Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

Rafeiro of Alentejo

(Rafeiro do Alentejo)

Alentejo Mastiff


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Portugal.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
04.11.2008.

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Guard dog for property and livestock.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.2Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
Without working trial

UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

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

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
It is believed to descend from molosser dogs from the Middle East. On account of their size and courage they were used by tribes whose livelihood depended on livestock husbandry, thus performing a crucial role for this type of community.
With the beginning of the transhumance, which implies temporary displacement of large flocks, it was noticed that they were exposed to many dangers during their long journeys. On their route to the mountains in the summer and back to the plains in the winter, flocks were always accompanied by large dogs, which lead to the latter being spread along the route from region to region. Thus is explained the appearance of this powerful dog, in the Alentejo plains, which has been called Rafeiro do Alentejo since the end of the 19th century.
UKC
The Alentejo Mastiff (Rafeiro do Alentejo) originated in Portugal and was used as a herd guardian, moving with large herds of cattle as they were driven from pasture to pasture. The breed is likely to be descended from the huge dogs of the Tibetan highlands. The Alentejo Mastiff was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Large sized dog, powerful, rustic, sober and calm.
Outlines in head slightly convex, the general structure is rather longer than high (sub-longilinear).
UKC
The Alentejo Mastiff is a large, powerful dog of rustic appearance. He has a bear-like head with a sober expression, a long, curving tail and a medium length, straight, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

Rectangular (Sub-longilinear), with height at withers slightly inferior to body length.
Skull width and head length should have a relation of 1/2. Muzzle and skull length should have a relation of 2/3.
Chest depth should be slightly less than half the height at withers.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
An excellent farm and estate watch dog, it is also a very useful livestock protector, more vigilant at night, being very serious when guarding territory or any other property entrusted to it.
It has a calm and confident expression, neither aggressive nor shy.
UKC
A self-confident guard dog, this breed is particularly alert and vigilant at night. They are calm, self assured, independent and brave but not aggressive. Affectionate with their family and docile with children, they are suspicious of strangers and very useful as a defense, not an attack, dog.

HEAD

:
FCI
Voluminous tending to massive, in proportion to the size of the dog; wide at the rear of the skull, narrower and less convex in the forehead. The superior cranium-facial axes are moderately divergent.
UKC
The head is bear-like in shape, proportionate to the size of the body. The toplines of the skull and muzzle should be divergent.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Broad; rounded in both the longitudinal and transversal axes; superciliary arches not prominent; slight frontal furrow between and over the eyes; occipital protuberance not too pronounced; well muscled sides of the skull.
UKC
Broad and rounded with a slight furrow between and above the eyes. Occipital bone not too prominent. The stop is not pronounced.

Stop

:
FCI
Not pronounced.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Oval, with tip slightly downwards and towards the rear part of muzzle; black coloured well open nostrils.
UKC
Oval in shape, with a slightly blunted tip, the nose is black in color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Nasal bridge straight, its cross section arched. The muzzle has a wide and high base, tapering moderately towards the nose and is shorter than the skull.
UKC
Medium in width, shorter than the skull, with a straight nasal bridge. The lips are thin and firm, black in color, slightly rounded in front and overlapping, giving a slight curve to the lower profile. The jaws are strong and well developed.

Lips

:
FCI
Black, slightly rounded in front, overlapping, well cut; of medium thickness; showing a slight curve in the inferior profile.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Strong and well developed; scissors bite, pincer bite accepted.
UKC
The Alentejo Mastiff has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Slightly evident with prominent masseteric area.

Eyes

:
FCI
Small; elliptical; set almost level with the foreface; brown (preferably dark); dark pigmented lids; firm and adherent to the eyes. With a calm expression.
UKC
Small and dark, set on a horizontal plane, giving a calm expression. The eye rims are black and fully pigmented. There should be no haw visible.

Ears

:
FCI
Medium set-on, with low mobility, folded and hanging. Small, with a narrow base and length equal to or slightly more than the width; Triangular and rounded at the tip. At attention they remain folded, rising at the base and folding vertically.
UKC
Triangular in shape, small, set on medium high and carried folded. The ears have little mobility. When the dog is attentive, they rise slightly at the base.

NECK

:
FCI
Well set into the shoulders; straight; short; strong; with even, single, longitudinal dewlap, proportioned to the size.
UKC
Straight, short and strong with a dewlap.

BODY

:
FCI
Strong, well muscled, slightly longer than the height at the withers, voluminous.
UKC
The body is slightly longer than tall and bulky, with a topline that slopes slightly from withers to tail. The chest is very wide and deep. The back is long and straight. The loin is wide and slightly arched with muscles. The croup is broad and slightly sloping.

Topline

:
FCI
Straight, almost level; a slight slope from fore to rear is tolerated.

Withers

:
FCI
Not prominent, well connected to the neck.

Back

:
FCI
Slightly sloping tending to horizontal.

Loin

:
FCI
Of medium length; straight and broad, well muscled.

Croup

:
FCI
Slightly sloping; of medium length; broad and muscled, in relation to the substance.

Chest

:
FCI
Chest: Broad; well let down to, or slightly below the elbow.
Forechest: Broad, but not too evident.
Ribs: Well sprung; slightly inclined towards to the back.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Almost horizontal sternum; belly not tucked up, following the line of the sternum.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set on at medium height following the croup; thick at the base, may be slightly curved or turned up at the tip, but no kink, long; at rest hangs down reaching at least the hock, preferably below it, in action it may rise and curl without resting on the top line.
UKC
Set on a gently sloping croup, the tail is long, thick and slightly curved at the base. When at rest, it should fall between the hocks and reach below them. In action the tail may roll upward.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Strong, wide apart, upright when seen from front and from profile.
UKC
The shoulder blades are of medium length and set so that they are fairly apart at the tips. They are well covered with strong muscles. There is moderate angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Strong; of medium length; well developed and muscled, approximately 105º scapula-humerus angle.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Strong; of medium length; inclined and muscled.

Elbow

:
FCI
Close to the thorax, neither turning in nor out; humerus-radius angle between 130º and 135º.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Long, strong, straight and well muscled, set well apart. The pasterns are of medium length and sloping. The length of the forelegs from elbow to ground is slightly more than half the height at the withers.

Forearm

:
FCI
Vertical; long; strong and well muscled.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Thick; with good joints.

Pastern

:
FCI
Of medium length; thick; slightly sloping.

FEET

:
UKC
The toes are long, well closed and not too arched. The pads are thick and tough. The nails vary in color.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Toes thick, tight (not splayed) and slightly arched (rounded); strong nails, coloured according to the coat colour; pads thick and tough.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Toes thick, tight (not splayed) and slightly arched; strong nails, coloured according to the coat colour; pads thick and tough.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Strong, wide apart, upright when seen from back and profile.
UKC
The hindquarters are strong and moderately angulated. The legs stand well apart.

Thigh

:
FCI
Long; broad; well muscled but not exaggerated; hip-femur angle approximately 105º.

Stifle

:
FCI
Strong joint; in line with the body without turning out; femur-tibia angle between 125º and 130º.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The upper thigh is long and broad, the lower thigh of medium length. The hock joint is lean and moderately angulated and the rear pastern is not too short, slightly sloping, and may have single or double dewclaws.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Strong; moderately inclined; of medium length; well muscled.

Hock

:
FCI
Strong; lean, of medium height; tibia-tarsus angle approximately 140º

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Thick, of medium length, set at medium height; very slightly sloping; may have single or double dewclaws.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Heavy, slow, roll without exaggeration.
UKC
Heavy, slow and rolling.

SKIN

:
FCI
Thick, rather close fitting; internal mucous membranes partially or totally pigmented with black, external mucous membranes fully pigmented.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Short or of medium length, this being preferred; thick, straight and dense, evenly spread down to between toes.
UKC
Preferably of medium length, straight, dense and evenly covering the body. The skin is thick and rather close-fitting.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Black, wolf grey, fawn or yellow, with or without brindling, always with white markings; or white with patches of these colours.
UKC
Black, fawn, yellow or wolf-like, with white markings, or white with markings of any of these colors, either dappled, streaked or brindled.

SIZE

:
UKC
Average height for males is 26-29 inches; for females 25-27½ inches. Males weigh 88-110 pounds; females 77-100 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 66-74 cm.
Females 64-70 cm.

Weight

:
FCI

Males 45-60 Kg.
Females 35-50 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.
  • Behaviour: Shyness.
  • Appearance: Bad overall condition, thinness or obesity.
  • Muzzle: Long, narrow, slightly curved in profile, with vertically truncated nose.
  • Backline: Carp or saddle back.
  • Croup: Long, too sloping down, narrow.
  • Tail: High or low set.
  • Limbs: Cow hocked or too wide in the front; incorrect angulation and lack of uprightness of pasterns.
  • Feet: Disproportioned to the body size, splayed or hare feet.
  • Coat: In poor condition; long hair; wire or wavy hair.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • General Appearance: Light build or lymphatic.
  • Head: Not proportioned to the size, lack of volume, pronounced stop, flat and narrow skull, parallel longitudinal superior cranium-facial axes.
  • Eyes: Light coloured, not elliptical, slanted, lids not very adherent to the eyeball.
  • Ears: Big, rounded, not folded, not hanging, partially cropped.
  • Neck: Absence of dewlap; too folded or double dewlap.
  • Chest: Narrow and flat ribs.
  • Tail: Curled when at rest, hook at the tip; short. Docked.
  • Mucous membranes: Partial external lack of pigmentation of the mouth, eyelids, lips and nose.
  • Height: Males less than 66 cm or more than 75 cm. Females less than 64 cm or more than 71 cm.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Behaviour: Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Type: Atypical.
  • General appearance: Extremely light in build or very lymphatic.
  • Head: Very narrow and long.
  • Muzzle: Too long; convex profile.
  • Jaws: Undershot or overshot.
  • Eyes: Too light, of different sizes and colour.
  • Ears: Very bad set, excessively big and round.
  • Tail: Anurous.
  • Mucous membranes: Total lack of pigmentation (albinism) of the mouth, lips and nose.
  • Coat: Too short.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Undershot or overshot bite. Yellow eyes. Docked or naturally bobbed tail. Albinism.
Teeth: Undershot or overshot bite.
Eyes: Yellow eyes.
Tail: Docked or naturally bobbed tail.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

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