Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

Portuguese Sheepdog

(Cão da Serra de Aires)

Portuguese Sheepdog


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Portugal.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
04.11.2008.

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Sheepdog for herding and watching over livestock.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 1Sheepdogs
Without working trial

UKC
Herding Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Portuguese Kennel Club. Revised by Raymond Triquet, Jennifer Mulholland and Renée Sporre-Willes.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
Sheepdog used in the Alentejo region for herding and watching different kinds of livestock; sheep, cattle, horses, goats and pigs. An austere and rustic dog perfectly adapted to the area’s temperature changes and with great endurance for covering long distances herding livestock through the Alentejo plains.
UKC
The Portuguese Sheepdog was developed in Portugal for use as a sheepdog, guard and general farm dog. It is thought to be descended from the Pyrenean Sheepdog with crosses to the Briard. Currently the breed is used particularly in the Alentejo, for guarding and driving all the flocks and herds (sheep, goats, cattle, horses, pigs). The Portuguese Sheepdog was recognized by the United Kennel Club July 1, 2006.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Medium sized dog, medium long (Sub-longilinear), with appreciable rusticity and sobriety, extremely agile and swift, with ample and suspended movement. Long hair of goat-like texture, without undercoat. It has simian-like attitudes and appearance, which is why it is known in its native region as “monkey dog”.
UKC
A medium-sized dog, long coated and fairly long in body, with monkey like characteristics, therefore in his native region he is called the ‘monkey dog’.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

The length of the body is approximately 10% more than the height at the withers.
The depth of chest is less than 50% of height at the withers. The muzzle length is 2/3 of the skull length; the width of the skull is slightly less than its length.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Exceptionally intelligent and very lively. Very devoted to the shepherd and the herd, it can be somewhat wary of strangers and vigilant at night. Nowadays it is also an excellent companion, sporting and guard dog. It is known for its skilful ability to keep livestock in the pastures and also for searching stray animals. It is always vigilant and successfully alerts for the proximity of predators. The breed is extremely devoted to its work and its shepherd. The work is conducted with joy and pleasure.
UKC
Very lively and intelligent, devoted to the flock and the shepherd but wary of strangers and a good night guarding dog.

HEAD

:
FCI
Medium sized (mesocephalic), strong, broad, neither long nor massive.
UKC
Strong and broad, not overly long, and never round. The stop is well-defined, and the toplines of the skull and muzzle are divergent.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Tending to square, slightly longer than broad; divergent longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle; convex on both axes, but more laterally. The superciliary arches are not prominent. The frontal furrow is pronounced and extends to the middle of the forehead; the area between ears is almost flat with apparent occipital protuberance.
UKC
Slightly longer than wide, convex on the sides, but flat between the ears. There is a pronounced median furrow that runs halfway up the forehead. The occiput is prominent.

Stop

:
FCI
Well defined.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Well defined, slightly raised and with ample nostrils, rounded, cylindrical and truncated almost vertically; preferably black, may be liver coloured in yellow and brown animals, but should always be darker than the coat.
UKC
Slightly raised from the profile of the foreface, with large nostrils. Black color is preferred, but others are acceptable as long as it is darker than the color of the coat.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Short, measuring two thirds of the skull length; almost cylindrical; the width being proportional to its length and shape. Straight in profile or slightly concave.
UKC
Short, only about two-thirds the length of the skull. The nasal bone is straight or slightly hollowed. The lips are tight and thin and do not overlap.

Lips

:
FCI
Close fitting, not overlaid, almost straight, thin; firm. Edges of the same colour as the nose.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Normally developed, with perfect opposition of both jaws; full dentition, with 42 solid white teeth; scissors bite, pincer bite accepted.
UKC
The Portuguese Sheepdog has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Medium sized; rounded; preferably dark in colour, but may be hazelnut or amber in brown and yellow animals; set level not prominent. Lively expression, intelligent but docile; horizontal lids black or always darker than the coat, in accordance with the colour of the nose.
UKC
Medium size and rounded in shape. Preferably dark in color with dark eyerims. Expression is lively, intelligent and docile.

Ears

:
FCI
High-set; hanging and not folded; triangular. Thin and smooth skin. Medium sized, of the same length and width (approximately 10 cm).
UKC
Medium length, with fine leather. Set high and hanging without folds when natural. If cropped, hanging straight and triangular in shape.

NECK

:
FCI
Harmoniously attached to head and body; of moderate length; straight and slightly rising, moderately thick with strong muscles; without dewlap.
UKC
Medium length, blending smoothing into the body, without dewlap.

BODY

:
UKC
Longer than tall, with a long back that is level or slightly hollow. The chest is well let down, of medium width, and there is prominent forechest. The ribs are lightly sprung and oval in shape, sloping towards the back of the body. The loin is short, wide and rounded and the croup is slightly sloping.

Topline

:
FCI
Level or slightly sloping.

Withers

:
FCI
Strong and harmoniously attached to the neck and back.

Back

:
FCI
Straight or slightly sloping and long; well muscled; almost twice as long as the loin.

Loin

:
FCI
Short and arched seen in profile; broad and curved seen from the front; strongly muscled and well attached to the back and croup.

Croup

:
FCI
Slightly prominent and sloping; smoothly; of medium length and width; strong muscles.

Chest

:
FCI
Down to the elbows; of medium width and depth; slightly arched ribs, with oval rib cage, slanting to the back; the forechest is prominent, broad, well let back and ample.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Uprising with moderately tucked up belly and slightly rising flanks.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set on high; pointed; reaching the hocks; tapering from the base. Long and abundant hair.
When at rest falls between the buttocks slightly arched and curved at the tip, in action it either extends the backline or may curve slightly over the top line, but never curled over the back.
UKC
High set, pointed, tapering towards the base, touching the hocks; when relaxed carried between the legs, more or less arched or curved at the tip; in action spreads out a little curved and fans out or rolls up.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Strong, upright when seen from the front and side and well set apart; the distance from withers to elbow is slightly less than from elbow to ground.
UKC
Shoulder blade and upper arm are of medium length and well muscled, with little angulation.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Of medium length; with a 45º lay back; well muscled; scapula-humerus placed at a 90º angle.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Strong and of medium length; set at a 45º angle; well muscled.

Elbow

:
FCI
Parallel, close to the chest and with a 135 º humerus-radius angle.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Strong and straight, with lean knee joints and fairly upright pasterns.

Forearm

:
FCI
Long; vertical and well muscled with bone of medium thickness.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Lean and not prominent.

Pastern

:
FCI
Of medium length; and medium thickness; neither sloping nor perfectly upright.

FEET

:
UKC
Round and well knuckled up, with long, tight toes and thick dark pads.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Rounded (not splayed); long and with tight and pronouncedly arched toes; strong nails, black or darker than coat colour. Thick and hard pads.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Identical to the forefeet in all aspects.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Medium width, upright when seen from the rear; strong; giving a perfect impression of power and agility.
UKC
Strong and moderately angulated.

Thigh

:
FCI
Of medium length and width; well muscled; hip-femur angle approximately 105º.

Stifle

:
FCI
Straight seen from the rear not inclined inwards or outwards. Strong femur-tibia angle approximately 130º.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
Straight and well separated when viewed from the rear. Upper thigh is medium length; lower thigh is longer and slightly inclined. The hock joint is rather low and open in angle. Rear pasterns are strong and single or double dewclaws are permissible.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Long; slightly inclined; well muscled; strong bones.

Hock

:
FCI
Of medium width; low set strong and lean; tibia-tarsus angle approximately 120º.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Of medium length and thickness, but strong; neither sloping nor perfectly upright. May have single or double dewclaws.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Predominantly it moves in a light and suspended trot, with great reach. The gallop, when the work requires it, is energetic.
UKC
Light, flowing and energetic.

SKIN

:
FCI
Thick; flexible; not very tight; internal and external mucous membranes preferably pigmented.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Straight or slightly wavy; long; with slightly harsh texture preferably goat-like; forming long beard, moustache and eyebrows, but not covering the eyes; dense and evenly distributed over the body, including between toes; hair of medium thickness; without undercoat or woolliness; very long coat on head, body and limbs, including between toes.
UKC
Very long, smooth or slightly wavy, forming long beards, moustache and eyebrows, but not covering the eyes. Hair very long on the head, body and legs, including between the toes. Hair of medium thickness and of goat like texture; dense and evenly distributed all over the body; there is no undercoat or wool.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Yellow, brown, grey, fawn and wolf-grey, in light, medium and dark shades and black; with tan markings more or less noticeable, but should never be pied, except for a very small white spot on the chest.
UKC
The colours are yellow, chestnut, grey, fawn and wolf grey, with shadings from light to ordinary and dark, and black, more or less marked with tan with or without mixed white hairs, but never with white patches, except a small patch on the chest.

SIZE

:
UKC
Ideal height at the withers for males is 17½ inches to 21½ inches. For females, 16½ inches to 20½ inches. Weight in proportion to size, approximately 26 to 40 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 45 - 55 cm.
Females 42 - 52 cm.

Weight

:
FCI
Males and females 17 - 27 Kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Behaviour Animals showing nervous, unbalanced temperament.
  • Jaws Incorrect implantation of teeth, lack of two premolars (except PM1).
  • Stop Not pronounced.
  • Nose Pointed.
  • Lips Overlapping or pendulous.
  • Eyes Light, small, slanting or not rounded.
  • Ears Folded or rose-shaped.
  • Forechest Too narrow.
  • Chest Shallow, flat rib cage.
  • Top line Saddle back or too sloping.
  • Croup Horizontal or too sloping.
  • Underline Too much tick-up.
  • Limbs Tilted fore- or hind feet, cow hocks, and hindquarters must not be straight.
  • Tail Low set, short or curled over back, when at rest.
  • Nails White.
  • Hair Not harsh enough or not long enough.
  • Colour White spot on the chest too large; tan points not defined.
  • Gait Not ample enough, not suspended, out at the elbows, hocks too close.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Behaviour Aggressive or overly shy.
  • General appearance Lymphatic, light boned. Serious deviations from the important proportions.
  • Head Narrow and long.
  • Skull Narrow, flat or globular.
  • Ears Low set, or too wide apart, erect or semi-erect.
  • Muzzle Convex profile.
  • Jaws Undershot or overshot lack of more than two pre-molars (except PM1).
  • Pigmentation Total lack of pigmentation on nose, eyelids and lips (albinism).
  • Tail Docked or absent at birth.
  • Hair Short, curly, or with undercoat.
  • Colour White on the extremities of limbs or pied. Lack of tan points in brown, grey and black adults.
  • Gait Too hobbled and heavy, or with serious deviations of forelegs, frailness.
  • Size Oversized or Undersized.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Undershot or overshot. Natural bob or docked tail.
Teeth: Undershot or overshot.
Tail: Natural bob or docked tail.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.