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Rafeiro do Alentejo Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Rafeiro do Alentejo so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Guard Dogs
Popularity Rank256
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OriginPortugal
Other Names
What other names does the Rafeiro do Alentejo have? The dog breed also known as...
Alentejo Mastiff, Portuguese Mastiff, Mutt of Alentejo
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
Purebred
AKC Group
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Molossian type section.
Price
How much does the Rafeiro do Alentejo puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Rafeiro do Alentejo price:
$800-$1000
If you choose to purchase the Rafeiro do Alentejo, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Rafeiro do Alentejo for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Rafeiro do Alentejo gets to a happy place.

History

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is believed to be originated from molosser type of dogs from the Middle East. Yet, according to another theory, The Rafeiro do Alentejo is often claimed to be descended from huge dogs on the vast Tibetan highlands, thousands of years ago. These powerful dogs are commonly thought to have migrated slowly westwards into Asia Minor. They are believed to have crossed the Balkans, following the Roman legions from the Black Sea to the shores of the Atlantic. Over so vast an area and through centuries of natural selection, the breed acquired characteristics of their own; this eventually differentiated them from region to region.

In the Iberian Peninsula, tribes whose subsistence was based on the exploitation of cattle undoubtedly gave these dogs of great strength and size the unique task of protecting them against cattle rustlers and rival tribes, thus performing a crucial role for these types of communities. With the beginning of the transhumance in Portugal and in the Iberian Peninsula, it was noticeable that the migrating shepherds, herds, and communities were exposed to many dangers during their long journeys. So, on their route to the mountains in the summer and back to the plains in the winter, flocks were always accompanied by powerful mastiffs, were driven between the northern region of Douro and the Alentejo hinterland. As the population settled down, the dogs eventually remained in the southern prairies, where they adapted and began to be used to guard, not only the herds but especially, in time, the big rural estates. These diverse climates and roles led the dogs to be spread along the route from region to region.

In 1953, the official standard was first established for the Rafeiro do Alentejo in its native land, Portugal. Moreover, it is important to state that the Rafeiro do Alentejo is the biggest Portuguese canine breed. Since the late 19th century the breed has been known as Rafeiro do Alentejo, whereas previously they were called the Alentejo Mastiff. The breed got accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale mid-1900s the Portuguese breed club is the Associação dos Criadores do Rafeiro do Alentejo was established.

Between the 1960s and 1970s, the breed’s population decreased dramatically, both in quantity and also in quality, the more crucial point was reached in the 1980s, pushing the breed to the edge of extinction. Fortunately, at the turn of the century, the situation improved for the better, and now we can safely say that it has been overcome, thanks to the zeal of a small but resolute group of breeders, who are carrying out the rewarding task of ensuring the continuity of the Rafeiro do Alentejo with dedication, perseverance and strictly planned and observed breeding programs.

General Appearance

Size
What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Rafeiro do Alentejo size:
Giant
Weight
How much does the Rafeiro do Alentejo weigh? Rafeiro do Alentejo weight:
Male: 110-132 pounds (50-60 kg), Female: 100-121 pounds (45-55 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Rafeiro do Alentejo? Rafeiro do Alentejo average weight:
Male: 121 pounds (55 kg), Female: 110.5 pounds (50 kg)
Height
How tall is the Rafeiro do Alentejo? Rafeiro do Alentejo height:
Male: 27-28 inches (66-75 cm), Female: 25-28 inches (64-70 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Rafeiro do Alentejo average height:
Male: 27.5 inches (70.5 cm), Female: 26.5 inches (67 cm)

Hair & Care

Coat
What type of coat does the Rafeiro do Alentejo have? What does this canine coat look like?
DoubleDenseStraight
Colors
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Rafeiro do Alentejo's coat?
FawnBrindleGrayYellowBlack
Grooming
How to groom the Rafeiro do Alentejo and how often?
Easy to groom: The Rafeiro do Alentejo doesn't require a lot of grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Rafeiro do Alentejo is a good choice if you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of a high maintenance dog. Recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Alentejo Mastiff? Rafeiro do Alentejo shedding level:
Rafeiro do Alentejos shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.

Characteristics

Temperament
What kind of personality does the Rafeiro do Alentejo have? What characteristics does the breed have?
CalmProtectiveSoberIndependentSelfishConfidenceTerritorial
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Rafeiro do Alentejo? Are they intelligent?
Average: Rafeiro do Alentejo's has average obedience intelligence. Patience is needed for teaching this breed to any tricks and commands though, but it's worth the effort. They understand and memorize new commands in 25-40 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 50% of the time or better.
Trainability
Are Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are hard to train. They don't really get the association between commands and actions. If you want them to obey, you should be very consistent and patient while teaching.
Playfulness
How playful is this breed?
Rafeiro do Alentejos don't really like playing. You need to find another activity to make them happy.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Rafeiro do Alentejo sensitivity:
Rafeiro do Alentejos don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits. This breed emotional level reflects their owner's feelings and they don't handle punishments well.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered as an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Alentejo Mastiff need? Rafeiro do Alentejo social needs:
Rafeiro do Alentejos need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Barking
Do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs bark a lot? Why does my Portuguese Mastiff bark?
Low to Average: The Rafeiro do Alentejo rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo good as a watchdog?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Territorial
Do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Rafeiro do Alentejo can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Rafeiro do Alentejo will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Rafeiro do Alentejo bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Alentejo Mastiff? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Rafeiro do Alentejo? Why do dog bites happen?
Low
The Rafeiro do Alentejo has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Mouthiness
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Rafeiro do Alentejo do?
Rafeiro do Alentejos have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Rafeiro do Alentejos need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Rafeiro do Alentejo to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Rafeiro do Alentejo roam?
Wanderlust potential of the Rafeiro do Alentejo is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Rafeiro do Alentejo have high prey drive?
Rafeiro do Alentejos have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Rafeiro do Alentejos are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are not apartment-friendly dogs. If you don't have a garden, you may have to reconsider your choice for having a puppy from this breed.
Adaptability
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Rafeiro do Alentejos adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Rafeiro do Alentejos tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog
Where Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they friendly with strangers?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are not stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Rafeiro do Alentejo and children:
Rafeiro do Alentejos are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Rafeiro do Alentejo is not a good choice.
Office Friendly
Are Rafeiro do Alentejos good office dogs? Do Rafeiro do Alentejos make good office friendly dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejos be office dogs?
No
Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Alentejo Mastiff temperament with senior people? Are Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs good for elderly owners?
Rafeiro do Alentejos are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs get along with other pets? Are Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Rafeiro do Alentejos usually don’t get on well with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Rafeiro do Alentejo breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
No
Rafeiro do Alentejos are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a service dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a therapy dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a boat dog?
Not really
Rafeiro do Alentejo breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Rafeiro do Alentejo be a drafting dog?
Yes
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Rafeiro do Alentejo breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy breed? Do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs have health problems?
Rafeiro do Alentejos tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Life Expectancy
How long do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Rafeiro do Alentejo be?
10-12 years
Hypoallergenic
Is the Rafeiro do Alentejo breed hypoallergenic?
No
Rafeiro do Alentejos don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Rafeiro do Alentejo have?
Rafeiro do Alentejos have a lower energy level than other dogs. If you live a chilled life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Rafeiro do Alentejo dogs require per day?
Rafeiro do Alentejos exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Rafeiro do Alentejos like sleeping so they do sleep a lot. They're not the most active dog breed. If you live an active life, this breed can be a bad choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Rafeiro do Alentejo need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
5 to 6 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Rafeiro do Alentejo risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Rafeiro do Alentejo's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Rafeiro do Alentejo's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
Medium
The Rafeiro do Alentejo has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Rafeiro do Alentejo drool?
The Rafeiro do Alentejo is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long is the Rafeiro do Alentejo pregnant? How long does it take to have this dog puppies? Rafeiro do Alentejo pregnancy time period:
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Rafeiro do Alentejo: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Rafeiro do Alentejo have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Rafeiro do Alentejo have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
3-5 puppies

Pros & Cons of Rafeiro do Alentejo

Pros
  • Grooming: Easy to groom: The Rafeiro do Alentejo doesn't require a lot of grooming.
  • Watchdog Ability: Rafeiro do Alentejos are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Child Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejos are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejos are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Cons
  • Trainability: Rafeiro do Alentejos are hard to train.
  • Health Issues: Rafeiro do Alentejos tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Rafeiro do Alentejos don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejos are not apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • Mouthiness: Rafeiro do Alentejos have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust potential of the Rafeiro do Alentejo is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Rafeiro do Alentejos tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Cat Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejos are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejos are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Rafeiro do Alentejo is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Rafeiro do Alentejos are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.

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