Cão da Serra de Aires - Herding Breed Of Dog

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a herding dog that is indigenous to Portugal. The dog has a comical and charming look. Its long coat makes it look shaggy. Many people trim their facial hair but this is what makes the dog look distinctive from others. The dog is mostly black in color but other colors are also permitted.   The dog was bred for working purpose and even today it is known for its hard work and “never give up” attitude. This breed of dog is also called Portuguese sheepdog and monkey dog. The dog is suitable for families who can fulfill its exercise requirements. If you want a moderate energy dog or dog with laid back attitude, this breed is not meant for you. The dog should be given purpose in its life to stay happy. It is a popular breed in Portugal but outside its country people barely know its name. The dog is highly trainable and is known to listen to the master. Presently people domesticate this dog for companionship purpose too because of its pleasant temperament.


The Cão da Serra de Aires is a native breed of Portugal. People wanted an all-purpose farm dog that could herd sheep, guard farm and watch over their territory from thieves and bandits. In order to achieve their desired objective they cross mated Briards with native mountain dog. The result was the dog which we know today. Eventually this breed became the part and parcel of shepherd’s life. The words “Serra de Aires” comes from the region where the dog was developed.


Cão da Serra de Aires Characteristics & Facts

  1. The dog belongs to Portugal and is a sheepdog
  2. It is dedicated, hard worker, intelligent and lively breed
  3. The average lifespan of this breed is 12-14 years
  4. It is 41-56 cm in height
  5. The dog weighs around 12-18 kg
  6. Generally the dog comes in black color. The other colors in which it comes are- fawn, grey and wolf grey color
  7. The average price of the dog is $800 - $1000 USD
  8. The dog is not meant for apartment life. It is a suitable breed for those who have farms or have at least an average sized yard
  9. The barking tendency of the dog is low
  10. The dog is mild natured with other animals
  11. It tends to be playful around kids
  12. The dog has incredible stamina and it need vigorous exercise on daily basis to be happy
  13. It is not a hypoallergenic breed
  14. The dog sheds averagely
  15. The dog shouldn’t be excessively groomed else its natural texture of the hair will be destroyed
  16. The dog is moderately easy to train. Be consistent and confident while training it.


It is a medium sized breed and its full body is covered with long coat. Underneath its dense coat lies muscular and athletic body. The hairy look of the dog makes it look stocky but in actual it is a lean dog. The tail of the dog is long and carried straight and then gently gets curved. The dog has a domed shaped forehead and short muzzle. The nose is black with well-developed nostrils. The dog has triangular shaped ears of medium size. The hairs on its head covered its eyes.

Size and Weight

The ideal height of the male breed is 17½ and 21½ inches and weight is around 12-18 kg. The female breed tends to be slightly shorter and lesser in weight than male counterparts.

Coat and Color

The dog’s coat gives it distinctive attribute. It has long coat which is either straight or wavy. The dog has dense facial furnishings. It has eyebrows, moustache and beard. The dog doesn’t possess a wooly undercoat. The hair tends to longer on head, chest and legs. The dog comes in black, grey, fawn and wolf grey color.



  1. Personality - This dog was bred to be a working dog and so it has the temperament of a working dog only. The dog cannot sit idle inside house and craves for responsibility of some productive work. It is extra ordinary devoted to its family members and is intensely loyal. This breed is also called monkey dog because of their monkey like personality. They will act, climb and romp in similar fashion to monkey. Moreover they are also rambunctious in nature like monkey.
  2. Behavior - The dogs have enormous energy which could be challenging for small children. They are not suitable for first time dog owners because they tend to be dominant in nature. Being a guard dog, the dog is naturally protective towards the herd of sheep or cattle and its loved ones. The dog is distrustful of strangers and will never get mingle to them. Though they are not aggressive in nature but if proper training is not provided they can develop anger and aggression towards others. The dog has a loud bark which is enough to threaten potential intruders. Generally this breed is tolerable of other dogs but some possess same sex aggression. The dog might also have prey drive so small animals should be kept away from the dog.
  3. Activities Requirement - The dog needs long exercise hours to thrive happily inside house. If they are already employed for farm activities, no need to provide it special exercise hour. But if you’re keeping the dog for companionship purpose then an hour and half duration of workout is must. You can take the dog for jogging and running as it excels in agility related activities.
  4. Training - There is not a single canine task which this breed cannot learn. They are intelligent and smart and experienced owner knows how to tame this breed. Once leadership has been established, they become highly obedient and happy to learn new tricks.


Small puppy needs 4 bowls of food in a day. When it becomes adult providing two times light meal is best for them. This breed also loves fruits, vegetables, cottage cheese and boiled eggs. You can give combination of dry to wet foods for your dog.


The dog lives up to 12 to 14 years of age.

Health Issues

The dog is not hypoallergenic in nature. Health concerns of the dog includes -

  1. Progressive retinal atrophy
  2. Sensitive to drugs like- ivermectin
  3. Hemophilia
  4. Dermatomyositis
  5. Trichiasis


The dog sheds averagely. It should be brushed few times a week so that the natural hair doesn’t get destroyed. The dog shouldn’t be bath excessively. You can use dry shampoo so that it smells pleasantly. Clean its ears periodically with vet approved solution. Brush its teeth regularly to avoid oral health problems.


The dog has all-weather coat. It can thrive mostly in all types of climate. The dog is not suitable for apartment and needs space to live freely.

Pet Names

  • Molly
  • Rooh
  • Mini
  • Samba
  • Pumba

Things To Consider Before Buying


1. The breed is affectionate and gets attached to family members easily

2. It is excellent watch dog as well as guard dog. Slight sound of the stranger approaching makes him alert

3. They are tolerant of other animals and that includes even cats.


  1. The breed is not hypoallergenic in nature
  2. It needs confident owner who can control the dog
  3. The dog needs someone who can commit to its exercise needs.