Cao da Serra de Aires

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a medium sized dog breeds of the herding dog type, and is one of the indigenous regional dogs of Portugal. Called the Portuguese Sheepdog in English, the original name refers to the Serra de Aires, a range of hills or mountains marking the boundary between Ribatejo and Oeste, north of the Tagus river. The breed is nicknamed the "cão macaco" (monkey dog, referring to the macaque or monkey) for its furry face and lively attitude.

The Cão da Serra de Aires is a medium-sized dog, standing 45 to 55 cm (17½ to 21½ ins) at the withers for males (females slightly smaller) and 12 to 18 kg (26 to 40 lbs) in weight. The dog's body is long and has a long coat without an undercoat, of medium thickness and described as having a "goat like" texture. The lack of an undercoat made the dog less resistant to extreme weather as a working dog, but as a pet, lack of undercoat makes for easier grooming. Typical coat colours include yellow, chestnut, grey, fawn, wolf grey (fulva e a lobeira), and black, with tan marks. White hairs may be mixed in with the coat, but there should be no large white patches.

The tail should be long, and a natural bobtail is a disqualification under the breed standard, meaning that owners are discouraged from breeding such non typical dogs, and tailless dogs cannot compete for breed championships. The tail should never be docked. The drop (hanging) ears are set high and close to the head. Detailed descriptions of all of the ideal proportions and colours are listed in the original breed standard, as well as faults which are aspects not typical for the breed or that are structural problems.

No health problems or claims of extrodinary health have been documented for this breed. The dog breeds standard states that the ideal Cão da Serra de Aires is "exceptionally intelligent and very lively".

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