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  title of the page about the Portuguese dog Rafeiro of Alentejo  
Portuguese Rafeiro do Alentejo Dog picture
The Rafeiro do Alentejo has quite a similar origin to that of the Portuguese Estrela Mountain Dog, but while the latter migrated to the mountains in northern Portugal and got adapted to its climate, the Rafeiro remained in the wide plains of Alentejo when the population settled down, after centuries of hard work herding sheep during winter from the northern mountains to the Alentejo plains and back.

And he began to be used as
guard dog, not only to the herds, but especially, in time, to the big rural estates, where their rich landlords provided him good food and care. As a result, the Rafeiro do Alentejo became a strong and large dog.

Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs are very territorial, and their protective behaviour against people they do not know, may sometimes be understood as aggressivity, which is wrong. They are calm, but independent and fearless.

Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs have a bear-like head, hanging ears, and their hair coat, either short or long, is thick and comes in a variety of colours: black, fawn, wolf-gray, yellow... spotted or with white markings.

Though the biggest Portuguese dog breed and impressive by his corpulence, the
Rafeiro do Alentejo is a great dog with children, whom he protects against any danger. The dog in the photo is called Bela (which means beautiful) and is in fact a female dog!

Would you like to know a little better how to educate and take care of your dog or puppy? Then follow Barry's tips.

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    All Texts and Illustrations © Dulce Rodrigues, 2009. All rights reserved