Rafeiro do Alentejo

Rafeiro do Alentejo Dog Breed

About Rafeiro do Alentejo

Life Span
Getting a puppy home


Since the beginning of the breed’s history, Rafeiros Alentejanos were used in packs as Hunting Dogs for big game, although the task has gradually disappeared over time. More recently, the breed has been a Guard Dog for property and livestock, watching sheep and cattle. They often act alone in praise and will protect the herd against any intruders. Hailing from Portugal, Raffero do Alentejo is an oversized dog, powerful, rustic, calm and calm. He moves with a heavy, slow roll. Its coat is short or medium length and thick, straight and dense. They may be black, wolf gray, or fawn, with or without brindling, always with white markings; Or white with patches of these colors.

Rafeiro do Alentejo Dog Breed


Rafiro do Alentejo is believed to have descended from the Moloser dogs of the Middle East. Because of their size and courage, they were used by people whose livelihood depended on livestock, thus playing an important role for this type of community.

With the onset of transit in Portugal, it was observed that migrating herds and shepherds were exposed to many threats during their long journey. So on the way back to the mountains in summer and to the plains in winter, the herds were always accompanied by large dogs, which caused the dogs to spread from one area to another. As the population settled, the dogs eventually remained in the southern valleys, Alentejo plains, where they protected and used not only herds, but also large rural estates. The official standard of Rafeiro do Alentejo was first established in Portugal in 1953.

General Appearance

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a large breed dog, rustic in appearance and strong. The average height of males is between 26 and 29 inches, while females fall below an average of 25 to 27½ inches. The average weight of the Rafeiro do Alentejo breed can range from 77 to 110 pounds. Rafeiro do Alentejo moves with a weighty, leisurely and rolling gait.

The head of Rafiro do Alentejo is described as that of a bear; It is wide and round, but proportionate to the size of the body. The head is heavy, with an undecorated stop and a medium furrow between the eyebrows. The muzzle is of a medium size and has a nose bridge that is straight, with a black nose that is oval in shape. Black lips are firm and lean, slightly rounded and overlapping. The jaws are strong and powerful, giving way to strong white teeth that display a perfect scissor bite. Black eyes are small in size and set level on the face; They give a calm and calm expression to the Ruffero do Alentejo. The ears are small and triangular, displaying little mobility as they are pointed upward and held moderately high on the head.

The neck is strong and short. This gives way to well-muscled shoulders that are slightly angled. The forelegs are set well apart; Powerful and long, the façades are straight and with a slight slope on the pastern. Rafiro do Alentejo’s body is hoarse; He is taller than that, with a deep and broad chest. The back is straight and takes in a wide waist, slightly arched and well covered in powerful muscles. Headquarters are set well apart; The upper thigh is wide and it is long with a slight angle. Feet display long toes that are tight and only moderately arched, with thick and hearty pads and multi-colored nails. Duclaves may be present. The tail of the Rafeiro do Alentejo is slightly bent at the base and is long and substantial.

The skin is thick and fits tightly around the dog’s musculature. The coat should be medium in length, without evidence of wave or curl, and should be dense. The coat should cover the body of the Rafiro do Alentejo fairly evenly and may be black, fawn, or yellow (wolf-like) with white markings, or it may be white with any combination of these colours. Coat markings can be of any style including dappled, brindle or streaked.

Rafeiro do Alentejo Dog Breed


This breed does not require a lot of gromming, are great watchdogs and are kid friendly


This breed is difficult to train, is prone to health issues and allergies
Rafeiro do Alentejo Dog Breed


The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’


In addition to regular weekly grooming, occasional bathing will keep your Rafeiro do Alentejo clean and perform at its best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. Strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splits, and cracks. The ears should be examined regularly to avoid the formation of wax and debris, which may result in infection. The teeth should be brushed regularly.


As with all breeds, initial socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. This breed has a reputation for being difficult to house. However, in every other case, it is very easy to train them. For example, They like to perform tricks and learn new ones quickly. They respond very well to training based on positive rewards rather than harsh or negative methods. This breed is required to live with his family and is likely to result in undesirable behaviour if he is regularly left alone for long periods of time.


Exercise options may include playing time in the backyard, preferably fencing, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, such as hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolling on the floor, or learning new tricks. Some outdoor activities such as hiking or retrieving balls can provide a good outlet for spending energy. If you live in an apartment, even a short walk in the hallway can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise


Rafeiro do Alentejo should perform well on high quality dog ​​food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.


Some dogs may face health challenges in their lives, but most Raffiros Alentzenos are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can obtain the education necessary to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.

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