Rafeiro do Alentejo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rafeiro do Alentejo
Rafeiro male.jpg
Rafeiro do Alentejo male
Other names
  • Rafeiro of Alentejo[1]
Height Dogs 66–74 cm (26–29 in)[1]
Bitches 64–70 cm (25–28 in)[1]
Weight Dogs 45–60 kg (99–132 lb)[1]
Bitches 35–50 kg (77–110 lb)[1]
Coat short to medium-length; straight, thick, dense
Colour yellow, fawn, brindle, wolf grey or black - always with white markings
Kennel club standards
Clube Português de Canicultura standard
FCI standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a Portuguese breed of livestock guardian dog. It is named for its area of origin, the Alentejo region of southern Portugal.[2] It is recognised by the Clube Português de Canicultura,[3] and was definitively accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1954.[1]


Dogs of this type were traditionally used to protect flocks during the biannual transhumance to summer pastures in the mountains, and then back to the plateau of the Alentejo for the winter.[4] Since the late nineteenth century they have been known as Rafeiro do Alentejo.[4] In 1954 the breed was accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in Group 2, Section 2.2: Mastiffs, Mountain Type, Portugal.[4]

The Portuguese breed club is the Associação dos Criadores do Rafeiro do Alentejo.[5] The breed is considered "vulnerable".[6]


The Rafeiro is a large dog, slightly longer than it is tall, with a broad chest.[4] The head is massive; the eyes are small and dark, the ears small, triangular and hanging. The coat is dense and straight, of short or medium length. It may be black, fawn, wolf grey or yellow, either brindled or not, but always with white markings; or may be white marked with these colours.[4] It is not as thick as the coat of other pastoral dogs such as the Polish Tatra.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rafeiro do Alentejo (96). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed March 2020.
  2. ^ Pugnetti, Gino; Schuler, Elizabeth Meriwether, Editor (1980). Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore: Simon & Schuster. p. 33. ISBN 0-671-25527-4. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ Clube Português de Canicultura - Raças
  4. ^ a b c d e "Rafeiro of Alentejo (Rafeiro do Alentejo)" (PDF). FCI.be. FCI-Standard No. 96. Fédération Cynologique Internationale. 4 May 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  5. ^ Affiliated Clubs page of the Clube Português De Canicultura
  6. ^ (in Portuguese) Associação dos Criadores do Rafeiro do Alentejo, official breed club for the Rafeiro do Alentejo in Portugal. Archived 23 October 2008. Less than 5,000 females is considered vulnerable; the estimate is 1,700 of this breed in 2002.
  7. ^ David Hancock (2014). Dogs of the Shepherds: A Review of the Pastoral Breeds. Ramsbury, Marlborough: The Crowood Press. ISBN 9781847978097.

Further reading[edit]