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Saint Miguel Cattle Dog
Portugal FCI 340 - Molossoid - Dogo

The dog's Saint Miguel Cattle Dog It is a breed of dog Portugal, specifically the Azores Islands.

Fila de San Miguel



With the settlement of the Azores archipelago and the beginning of the exploration of the optimal conditions of the islands for raising cattle, the need for dogs on the islands to help drive and defend livestock soon became apparent, dating from the sixteenth century the first reference to its presence, in particular on the island of São Miguel. These animals are recognized as the precursors of Saint Miguel Cattle Dog.

Although the existence of Saint Miguel Cattle Dog, as an individual race, has been recorded since the early 19th century, only in 1982 began to be registered by António José Amaral with the collaboration of Maria de Fátima Machado Mendes Cabral, veterinarian, in order to create a census of your herds. The first officially registered dog of the breed was the “Corisca”, a perfect representative of your breed.

It is also on the initiative of these same two people that, in 1984, two years after the beginning of the registration of persons the first official standard is published. In 1995 was proposed to the FCI (International Cynological Federation) and the breed was finally recognized in 2008.


The breed known today as Saint Miguel Cattle Dog descended from mastiffs and alano initially brought to the islands of the Azores by the first settlers on the continent. Later, and through contact with other people who came and settled in the Azores, the genetic heritage of the breed was enriched by crosses made with English mastiffs, bulldogs and Dogue de Bordeaux, until the culmination of the appearance of the new race, with fully defined morphological and temperamental characteristics.

In addition to those mentioned, other races may form part of the Fila de San Miguel ancestry, as the St. Humberto's Dog, also known as Bloodhound, and the Dogo Canario, a Spanish breed from the Canary Islands, but the real link – yes there is – between these races and the Sao Miguel queue not yet proven.

Video "Saint Miguel Cattle Dog"

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Physical characteristics

The Saint Miguel Cattle Dog it is characterized by being an animal of size and rustic features and characteristically longer than tall. The breed is medium in size, muscular, but without the heavy appearance of others.

The muzzle is well proportioned, apparently short, but it hides a wide mouth, with a full denture, capable of a powerful bite. The head has a solid appearance, wide and with the ears well placed on top, implanted in a strong neck that starts from a solid trunk, with a wide and deep chest. The legs are proportional to the body, being the front, as a rule, slightly separated.

The coat is strong, smooth and dense, and always striped, and it can be tawny, gray or yellow, with white mesh on the chest. Legs can also be white. The tail is implanted high, it's thick, medium length and slightly curved. It is amputated at the height of the second or third vertebra, or is it naturally short.

  • Fur: short, smooth, dense, with hard textured hair.
  • Color: gray hair, carbonated sand (grey), yellow with all fades from light to fawn; always striated. May show white spot on forehead or from chin to chest, and white spots on the forefoot, in the later or in all four.
  • Size: males, of 50 to 60 cm.; females, of 48 to 58 cm..

Character and skills

Race of a lively and sharp intelligence, with great ease of learning, the strength of character of the Saint Miguel Cattle Dog, coupled with a distrust of the strange instincts of all guardians by vocation, can easily be mistaken for aggressiveness, but it hides a gentle nature towards those with whom it deals closely, while remaining a tenacious and courageous guardian of those who treat him. His loyalty to his human family is extreme.

With even greater emphasis, given the dominant nature of the breed, the education and sociability of puppies must be done from birth, gradually exposing the animals to new situations and stimuli, in order to improve the development of balanced individuals capable of living with humans and other animals.

Not a suitable breed for beginners, given its dominant nature, further enhanced by his physical strength and his strongly independent and autonomous character.

Even as a pet, a Saint Miguel Cattle Dog must have the opportunity to have a task to perform. Thorough training is always a simple and effective means of strengthening the relationship between the human family and the animal, while providing the physical and mental exercise necessary for the training and development of a well-balanced animal.

But, given the intrinsic characteristics of the breed, training a copy of the Saint Miguel Cattle Dog it is a task that can be quite difficult for someone who has little experience with dogs. Being a very intelligent and dominant breed, will not respond well to the use of force. Full socialization recommended.

The sheepdog for tradition and excellence, their natural fitness for livestock can, with the right training, can be channeled into the care of horses and other small ruminants such as sheep and goats. When not channeled to grazing, the Saint Miguel Cattle Dog has already demonstrated its aptitude for big game hunting, like the boar and the deer.

Its strong and protective temperament is also valued as a self-defense dog..

Health “Saint Miguel Cattle Dog”

Being a rustic breed, is in robust health and there are no records to date to suggest that there is any pathology to which the breed is specifically prone to for genetic reasons. The average life expectancy of this breed is calculated in 12 years.

Grooming “Saint Miguel Cattle Dog”

The same hardiness that gives vigor to the breed also makes it a poorly maintained breed in a strict sense. Short, hard hair can be brushed occasionally and baths will be sporadic.. Adequate and balanced feeding will give developing puppies what they need to become healthy adults, and the same regimen will suffice to ensure adult health..

Images "Saint Miguel Cattle Dog"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
  • Section 2.1: Molossoid, mastiff type. Without working trial.


  • FCI – Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs. Section 2: Molossoid. 2.1 Dogue type.

FCI breed standard "Saint Miguel Cattle Dog"

FCIFCI - Saint Miguel Cattle Dog

Alternative names:

1. Cão de fila de São Miguel, São Miguel cattle dog, São Miguel catch dog, Azores cattle dog, Azores cow dog (English).
2. fila de Saint Miguel (French).
3. Cão Fila de São Miguel (German).
4. Fila de São Miguel, Cão das Vacas (Portuguese).
5. (español).




1 – Fila de São Miguel during International dog show in Rzeszów, Poland by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA
2 – Fila de São Miguel during International dog show in Rzeszów, Poland. by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA
3 – At the Burnt Peak of Ribeira Grande, Son and Mother by TheLife / CC BY-SA
4 – Helsinki, el Finnish Winner Show 2015. by Thomas / CC BY-SA

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