Castro Laboreiro Cão
Castro Laboreiro dog - Portugal FCI 170

Cão de Castro Laboreiro

The Castro Laboreiro dog It is an excellent guard dog and companion

The Castro Laboreiro Cão (Castro Laboreiro dog) It is a breed of Portuguese dog of large size. Originating in the parish of Castro Laboreiro, Melgaço, is a dog type Lupoid amastinado is lighter than other breeds of cattle dogs.

The dog from Castro Laboreiro has its origin in the region that gave it its name, the people of Castro Laboreiro, in the municipality of Melgaço. It is a rugged mountainous region that extends from the River Miño Peneda and Soajo mountains between the rivers Trancoso, Laboreiro and moro, until around 1400 m above sea level.

Like the dog, Castro Laboreiro is one of the oldest regions of the land of Portugal. The prehistoric remains such as dolmens and rock paintings, They demonstrate the presence of man in the region for thousands of years. The strengths are evidence of the strong presence of Celtic culture in the region. Also the Celts and the Romans came here, Roman roads and building bridges with their milestones. The castrejas communities have always lived of hunting, fishing, grazing and agriculture.

The search for good grazing for livestock carried out a kind of short transhumance, It has become a seasonal migration still occurs in some sectors of the population characterised by a curious adaptation to the mountainous terrain and climate.

The dogs that accompanied (and accompany) These movements of transhumant cattle that, being a short distance, Unlike what happened in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula (including the transhumance of herds of sheep in the Serra da Estrela, whose movement reached several hundred miles), an animal so powerful is not necessary.

The number of sheep and goats, It has been declining in recent years and it is gradually replaced by cattle. Castro Laboreiro dog has adapted to social changes, It is still as effective in protecting the sheep, goats and cows as yesteryear, but it has also acquired new features. Due to the emigration of men over the years 40, mainly to France, leaving women alone to care for the Earth and the animals, dogs have developed a very important role in the custody of property and of the members of the families, In addition to the protection of livestock that was his main work.

This special character, carved by the hardness of the mountains and the pace of life of the inhabitants of Castro Laboreiro, He was also a result of the isolation of this region of difficult access - until very recently – the first dirt road was completed in 1948.

Scientific advances have enabled geneticists to confirm certain tests (for example, Archaeological, morphological and behavioral) you claim that the Wolf is the ancestor of the Castro Laboreiro Cão. According to fossil records, the domestication of the Wolf has been hace aproximadamente 14.000 years in the region of the fertile Crescent, dogs have spread rapidly throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Genetic studies also indicate that domestication must have happened only once.

Despite the presence of dogs in the Portuguese territory since the Mesolithic period, the first traces appear in depictions of scenes of hunting in Roman mosaics. The earliest references to the national races in the century. 16TH, He suggests that they may be at least 300 to 600 years.

Cattle dogs have always been an important element in the agropastorales communities. With regard to the of the Cão of Castro Laboreiro, their quality and their importance are highlighted by various authors. Leal Augusto (1874), describing the region, makes mention of the existing dogs, also the ethnographer José Leite de Vasconcelos (1933) refers to the Castro Laboreiro as. There are also references to race in literature, like the novel of Camilo Castelo Branco, Prazins Brazil (1879).

The national pride generated by the Castro Laboreiro Cão shines all year round in the Castro Laboreiro dog contests, the oldest existing in Portugal canine competition. Developed by father Aníbal Rodríguez, Castro Laboreiro priest from 1945 (died in 2003), This competition is traditionally held every year since the middle of the 50, It was held for the first time in October and in recent decades 15 August. The competition has been very important in the dissemination and the maintenance of the characteristics of the breed.

In fact, mixing with other races was a serious problem until very recently. The introduction of other races, facilitated by greater openness to the outside of the region, produced crossing, not controlled, with the native dogs that led to the emergence of copies with less common features that alerted many judges in contests and those interested in the race through various media.

This problem is greatly exceeded by responsible breeders through greater control of mating. Were they interested in learning all about the characteristics of the breed, winning a lugarcito in the Portuguese Kennel Club (CPC), Noting the parents of the litter and placing copies in the genealogical book of the race.

Despite the recognition of his seniority, only in the second quarter of the 20th century relevant studies were initiated to achieve a definition of the standard of the breed. What was published in 1935 by Professor Manuel Fernández Marques. This was an important milestone for the conservation of the breed, being a guarantor of the preservation of its original features. In effect, the standard represents the ideal type of race, the description of the characteristics that define, they form the basis of reference to follow in selecting. Despite the fact that the standard was published in 1935, the earliest records in the genealogical book of the race were provisionally in 1932. In 1993 adopted an amendment to the height at the cross, was increased in 4,3 cm., reflecting the trend in the race in recent years.

Despite their smaller body size, Agility is also an advantage in the fight with the Wolf, easy to escape the attack of these. There are many stories of dogs who helped pastoralists to capture wolves when they were attacking livestock, Yet there are few reports of dogs fatally attacked by wolves.

The specific characteristics of the environment of the region and the grazing system, along with geographical isolation, they have given rise to a single cattle dog. Despite the probable common origin for more than 50 cattle dog breeds recognised in Asia and throughout the Mediterranean region, It is distinguished by being a smaller dog. In fact, It is a breed of dog of mountain, of medium to large rather than amastinada Lupoid – with a lighter head, but powerful, and with a height to the cross which can vary between 55 and 64 cm. (more than 2 cm tolerance) and a weight of between 25 and 40 kg. These features allow you to be more active and therefore restless, always alert, easily to be quickly has the presence of predators, When caring for cattle is about.

Physical characteristics

The eyes of the dog from Castro Laboreiro are inclined in almond-shaped and are medium-sized. Its coat consists of a layer of light brown pelage tends to dark brown. The ears are triangular, rounded at the tip and pendants. When is the dog attentive, the ears become forward. The tail is broad and thick, up the legs when the dog is calm and movement takes the form of Saber, beyond the bottom line. The hair is short (5 cm.) thick and resistant, hard to the touch, soft and abundant throughout the body. Usually, the hair is soft in some areas, as the head and ears. The color of the coat is composed of a layer of dominant spot color often has striations.

Because of their proven effectiveness in the protection of herds against wolves and other predators such as foxes or feral dogs attacks increasingly are used to protect the flocks of goats and sheep or herds of cows, Castro Laboreiro until Alvão mountains plateau. In this region there is a kernel race dogs growing integrated by Wolf Group – Association for the conservation of wolves and its ecosystem. The Wolf group has developed an innovative project of great interest, whose objective is to promote the use of dogs Castro Laboreiro in the protection of livestock, in order to reduce the losses caused by wolves, and thus reduce the conflicts faced by rural communities with this predator.

The Iberian wolf, the last of our large carnivores fauna, It is in danger of extinction and are fully protected by law from 1988. Thus we reach a situation in which it is affiliated to the conservation of the recovery of the Wolf to a national breed of dog, the dog from Castro Laboreiro, is also at risk of extinction. The genetic heritage of animals is part of the national biodiversity we have responsibility for the preservation, its loss would be irreversible.

During the first months of life, especially of 2 to 6 months of age, progressive contact with a variety of environments and situations should be given to the dog (for example, walking in the street or traveling by car, get in touch with strange people and children and other dogs). An adequate education, with positive stimuli and without the use of force, It is the basis for the development of a balanced and healthy pet.

The dogs may have two litters a year, the first - in general- After 6 months of age. The litters tend to have, on average, seven dogs, can, However, achieve the 14 dogs.

When the pups are born they have a darker coat that tends to gradually lighten as they grow and acquire the typical striped. Also the texture and hardness of hair change accompanied with growth.

With respect to the height of the samples was proposed in the meeting General annual of the Club of Castro Laboreiro dog (10 in July of 1993) the change in height for males 58 to 64 cm. (with a tolerance of + 2 cm.) and females in 55 to 61 cm. (with a tolerance of + 2 cm.). The proposed modification of the standard was adopted by unanimity and, later, subject to approval by the Portuguese Kennel Club, where be later reviewed by the Technical Committee, It was adopted by the General extraordinary Board of the canine Portuguese Club the 24 in August of 1993.

The Castro Laboreiro dog FCI standard

HEAD: Is medium sized, lighter than thick, thin without being gaunt. It is well provided of teguments, but without wrinkles. It is somewhat elongated, almost of rectangular shape, and is well linked to the body.


Skull : Moderately developed, some prominent and moderately broad. Shaft upper facial skull is slightly divergent to be rectilinear profile. Superciliary arches slightly developed with almost non-existent frontal furrow. The occipital Crest is not pronounced.

Depression links (Stop) : Little pointed ; It is more distant from the top of the skull to tip of nose.


Truffle : It is well developed, aligned with the nasal bridge, wide, always black. The Windows are wide open.

Snout : The nasal helm is long, strong and straight in its entirety. Snout decreases until the end, Although it is not even close, or pointed.

Lips : They are not hanging, or fleshy and are tight. The corners are very little apparent. The buccal mucosa, the edge of the lips and palate are well pigmetados in black.

JAWS / Teeth : The jaws are strong and are well articulated. The denture is complete and the teeth are white and strong. They are solidly implanted in the jaws, they are well muscled. Scissor bite, accepted a bite in Clip.

Cheeks : Flat, converging towards the tip of the snout moderately without diminishing.

Eyes : Medium-sized, almond shape, Neither prominent nor sunken, oblique. They are perfectly equal and open ; its expression is severe and lasts. Brown, in different shades ranging from hazelnut brown haired dogs clear to Brown very dark, almost black, the darker haired dogs. Black eyelids.

Ears : Very high inclusion falling naturally and parallel on both sides of the head, pendants. Fine and triangular, rounded at the tips, medium-sized (equal to its width length). While in care ear leaning forward.

NECK : Well inserted in the body and the head giving the head a haughty bearing. Short, straight, well developed and a proportionate thickness, without jowl.


Top line : Level or slightly tilted.

Cross : Properly inserted in the neck and body.

Back: Medium long, strong, longer than the back.

Pork loin: Strong, broad, short and well muscled; harmoniously joins the rump.

Rump: Short, Broadband, well muscled with a gentle slope may be somewhat higher than the cross.

Breast : It has a pointed shape. Halfwidth and deep.

Bottom line: Considerable elevation from the sternum to the groin. The abdomen is not voluminous and shows a remarkable difference in the line between the breastbone and belly area.

TAIL: Natural, inclusion more discharge than normal, thick at the base. In rest hangs down to the Hock; not too close between the buttocks covered in long hair. Tail with long hair, especially in the bottom, giving a thicker appearance at half its length with a bottom very cover of hair on the third part of the tail. Scimitar and generally its size is low. If the animal is excited the tail rises above the top line sloping upward, forward and sideways, but never down touching the back.


Back : Horizontal and medium length.

Pork loin : Strong, broad, short and well muscled ; harmoniously joins the rump.

Rump : Slightly inclined

Breast : It has a pointed shape. It is high, broad and deep well.

Bottom line : The belly is rather flat until collected, showing a remarkable difference in level between the regions xifoidea and pubiena. This produces a very ascending line from the sternum to the groin.


TAIL : It is not cropped. When is the animal at rest, You must reach the Hock. It is long and thick at the base and very hairy on the underside. It's beautiful, Sabre-shaped ; higher than usual joins body inserted. Forming an elegant line it naturally falls between the buttocks, you are very hairy, but not the touch, and it presents fall during sleep.

When is the animal animated, It is carried over the back line and deviates upward, the front or a little sideways, but never down in the form of hunting horn.



PREVIOUS MEMBERS : Strong, good muscular. Well Plumb in front and side views, well-developed bones.

Shoulder : Well-developed joints. Angle scapulo - humeral medium.

Arm : Well developed with strong muscles.

Forearm : Law and tapering gradually from the top to the Metacarpus. Well developed somewhat cylindrical bones.

Metacarpus : Never too long or too reclined.

Previous foot : Keep proportion with the size of the dog. They are more round than long, nearly a foot of cat. The fingers are strong, naturally arched and not deviating neither inward nor outward. The pads are thick and leathery. The nails are well developed; they are black or dark grey, smooth, hard and worn evenly

LATER MEMBERS : Strong and with good musculature. Well composed view back. Well-developed bones.

Thigh : Well developed with strong musculature that is distinguished easily from the back.

Knee joint : Angle femur-tibia moderately open.

Leg : Well-developed bones, good musculature.

Hock : High, leans slightly forward, well-developed joints and an angle tibia - tarso moderately open.

Metatarsus : Well-developed bones, rather cylindrical in shape. You can have single or double RAM.

Rear foot: Identical to the previous foot.

MOVEMENT : It is rhythmic and free, the limbs move in parallel to the sagittal plane of the body. Preferably, the dog moves with a normal step , and sometimes with amble, except that for a particular cause is forced to move more quickly (using the trot or Gallop).



HAIR : Short hair on the body (approximately 5 cm.) without Undercoat. Something Matt, soft, very thick and smooth in most parts of the body. It is usually shorter and thick on the head and ears, limb below the elbow and paw where it is thin and soft.

Hair is thick and long on the thigh which is well covered with thick hair, tough and somewhat rough to the touch.


COLOR : Color Wolf in all of its clear gradations, medium and dark, being the most widespread dark tones. By way of exception, These three shades may appear in the same issue in different regions of the body; Dark Wolf head, the back and buttocks, medium Wolf in the chest, the body and thighs, and the Wolf course in the belly and the lower part of the extremities. The most favorite color is the color"monte", as it is called the inhabitants of Castro Laboreiro. The breeders of this region considered this color how primitive and characteristic of the breed; It's a fur color Wolf, off-white with more or less dark shades, but not black, and presenting all over the body, or some of its parts, hair color Brown (color stone pine) or reddish (color mahogany).



Height to the cross:

Males: 58 – 64 cm.. (Tolerance + 2 cm.)

Females: 55 – 61 cm.. (Tolerance + 2 cm.)


Males: 30 – 40 Kg.

Females: 25- 35 Kg.


FAULTS : Any deviation from the above criteria is considered missing and the seriousness is considered to the extent of the deviation to the standard and their effect on the health and welfare of the dog.


  • Behavior : Animals showing signs of shyness or mistrust.
  • Head : Very bulky, fleshy or bony. Very narrow, long or pointed.
  • Ears : Unusual insertion, very large, fleshy and round.
  • Color : Small white outside the limits set by the standard stains.


  • Eyes : Yellow, loose eyelids.
  • Tail: Hunting horn way, screwed down or hooked at the tip.


  • Behavior: Aggression or excessive shyness.
  • Skull / Snout: Superior longitudinal convergence of the shaft head and face.
  • Truffle: Any other color that is not black.
  • JAWS: Prognathism or enognatismo.
  • Eyes: different size or eye gazeos.
  • Deafness : Congenital.
  • Tail : Amputated or rudimentary. Anurismo.
  • Color : Albinism. Very different from the typical coat.
  • Size : Too big or too small.


Any dog showing clear physical abnormalities or behavioral signs shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Los machos deben tener dos apariencia testiculos normal completamente descendidos en el escroto.

TRANSLATION : IRIS Carrillo (Puerto Rico Kennel Federation).

Technical review : Miguel Angel Martinez (Federation Cynologique Argentina).

Character and skills

Despite her natural aptitude for the protection of animals is a very versatile breed, he excelled in different roles. It was used as a military police dog and the Marine Corps in Portugal to maintain order. Some are also used in packs for hunting.

It is also an excellent guard dog and companion, by his innate to protect ability and complete dedication to its owner, will be of great delicacy, especially with the children.

It is an intelligent dog, easy to train, but with a somewhat independent temperament, It is derived from its task of protecting the herd, which acts independently of the Shepherd.

It establishes a strong link with his family (human or not) It protects instinctively from all danger. It has a great capacity for the protection, always vigilant, attentive to any thief or dangers that come, looking for possible amenazas… Males tend to be more dominant and aggressive in the presence of other males, but, used from small, You can easily live with other males of owls size.


His bark is very distinctive and very sound: begins with varying tones, only serious, and it ends with a howl-like extended treble.

Castro Laboreiro dog images

Videos Perro de Castro Laboreiro

  • Alternative names: Castro Laboreiro dog / chien de Castro Laboreiro / Castro Laboreiro-hund / Castro Laboreiro dog / Portuguese Cattle Dog
  • Group 2 / Section 2 – Molosoides and mountain dogs

Dogs breeds: Castro Laboreiro dog

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Ru Ram
Ru Ram

The third video, Keisha, It's not a Cão de Castro Laboreiro.

Francisco Jorge Colaço
Francisco Jorge Colaço

I have a dog there is 12 years of Castro Laboreiro breed, to get me to the guard of my yard, in Castle Street, N 10, San Antonio-Serpa, behaves as if the House was really her, sweet and always attentive to what's going on around. Initially I had some bad habits because when I came to Lisbon to this my land, I found it abandoned on the street, where parmanecia was more or less six months, without any backup, no company except hunger and thirst. I hope you will continue your life for a few years which has provided good service and always… Read more »

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