DATE OF PUBLICATION
OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD
Sheepdog for herding and watching over livestock.
Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs.
(except Swiss Cattle Dogs).
Section 1 – Sheepdogs.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
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.
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”.
The length of the body is approximately 10% more than the height at the
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.
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.
Medium sized (mesocephalic), strong, broad, neither long nor massive.
Skull: 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.
Stop: Well defined.
Nose: Well defined, slightly raised and with ample nostrils,
cylindrical and truncated almost vertically; preferably black, may be
liver coloured in yellow and brown animals, but should always be darker
than the coat.
Muzzle: 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.
Lips: Close fitting, not overlaid, almost straight, thin, firm.
of the same colour as the nose.
Jaws/Teeth: Normally developed, with perfect opposition of both
full dentition, with 42 solid white teeth; scissors bite, pincer bite
Eyes: Medium sized; rounded; preferably dark in colour, but may
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.
Ears: High-set; hanging and not folded; triangular. Thin and
skin. Medium sized, of the same length and width (approximately 10 cm).
Harmoniously attached to head and body; of moderate length; straight
and slightly rising, moderately thick with strong muscles; without
Top line: Level or slightly sloping.
Withers: Strong and harmoniously attached to the neck and back.
Back: Straight or slightly sloping and long; well muscled;
as long as the loin.
Loin: Short and arched seen in profile; broad and curved seen
front; strongly muscled and well attached to the back and croup.
Croup: Slightly prominent and sloping; smoothly; of medium
width; strong muscles.
Chest: Down to the elbows; of medium width and depth; slightly
ribs, with oval rib cage, slanting to the back; the forechest is
prominent, broad, well let back and ample.
Underline and belly: Uprising with moderately tucked up belly
slightly rising flanks.
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.
FOREQUARTERS: Strong, upright when seen from the front and side
well set apart; the distance from withers to elbow is slightly less
than from elbow to ground.
Shoulder: Of medium length; with a 45º lay back; well muscled;
scapula-humerus placed at a 90º angle.
Upper arm: Strong and of medium length; set at a 45º angle; well
Elbow: Parallel, close to the chest and with a 135º
Forearm: Long; vertical and well muscled with bone of medium
Carpus (Pastern joint): Lean and not prominent.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Of medium length; and medium thickness;
sloping nor perfectly upright.
Forefeet: Rounded (not splayed); long and with tight and
arched toes; strong nails, black or darker than coat colour. Thick and
HINDQUARTERS:Medium width, uprightwhen seen from the rear;
giving a perfect impression of power and agility.
Thigh: Of medium length and width; well muscled; hip-femur angle
Stifle joint: Straight seen from the rear not inclined inwards
outwards. Strong femur-tibia angle approximately 130º.
Second thigh: Long; slightly inclined; well muscled; strong
Hock: Of medium width; low set strong and lean; tibia-tarsus
Metatarsus (rear pastern): Of medium length and thickness, but
neither sloping nor perfectly upright. May have single or double
Hind feet: Identical to the forefeet in all aspects.
Predominantly it moves in a light and suspended trot, with great reach.
The gallop, when the work requires it, is energetic.
Thick; flexible; not very tight; internal and external mucous membranes
HAIR: Straight or slightly wavy; long; with slightly harsh
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
COLOUR: 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.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Height at the withers:
Males: 45-55 cm.
Females: 42-52 cm.
Weight: Males and females: 17-27 Kg.
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: Animals showing nervous, unbalanced temperament.
Jaws: Incorrect implantation of teeth, lack of two premolars (except
Stop: Not pronounced.
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
Tail: Low set, short or curled over back, when at rest.
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
Behaviour: Aggressive or overly shy.
General appearance: Lymphatic, light boned. Serious deviations from the
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
Pigmentation: Total lack of pigmentation on nose, eyelids and lips
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,
Size: Oversized or Undersized.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.