Rafeiro do Alentejo

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Is the Rafeiro do Alentejo right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Alentejo Mastiff; Portuguese Mastiff

The basics:
Closely related to the Anatolian Shepherd Dog and the Spanish Mastiff, the Rafeiro do Alentejo (Alentejo Mastiff) was likely developed from the huge Tibetan Mastiff to guard cattle. It was also used extensively for herding sheep from the mountains in northern Portugal to the plateau of Alentejo. Like its relatives, the Portuguese Mastiff is intelligent, tough, and capable of independent action to protect its charges from dangerous predators like wolves or thieves. This breed demands a confident, experienced owner who knows how to train a strong and strong-willed larger dog. A timid, novice, or fragile owner should pass on this animal.

Appearance / health:
The Rafeiro is a large, graceful dog with great strength. The bearlike head has a short muzzle with dark eyes. It has a thick chest and a well-muscled and strong boned body. The long, strong, and muscular forelegs in combination with its strong hind legs impart swiftness and agility to the breed.

The Rafeiro is a seasonal, heavy shedder that requires very little grooming. The coat needs to be thoroughly brushed twice a year during the shedding season. The Rafeiro needs little attention for the rest of the year.

Daily long walks and jogs help to keep these dogs healthy and happy.

Hip dysplasia (abnormal hip formation) may occur in some dogs, but is not very common.

Behavior / temperament:
Rafeiro do Alentejo is a breed more suitable for experienced pet owners with an understanding of dog behavior. Dogs of this breed are slow to mature, and are not suitable for owners who have no time to train, exercise, and socialize their pets. Territorial by nature, they are generally more active during the night than during the day. They tend to work alone and are protective of their herd.

These dogs have to be trained early, as they are not likely to obey commands once they are fully grown up. Socialization with different people, animals, and situations is also essential.


great guard dog, big heart




strange sounds, true instinct, Big dog

Helpful Rafeiro do Alentejo Review

Rafeiro do Alentejo

From TelmaCasaca Jan 3 2015 1:34PM


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