Cão Fila de São Miguel

origin-iconOrigin:  Portugal

group-iconDog Breed Group: Hunting Dog

life-iconLife Span: 13-14 years

weight-iconWeight: Male: 26-28, Female: 25-26

height-iconHeight: Male: 21-22, Female: 20-21

Origin of Name:   The Cao Fila de Sao Miguel is a breed of cattle-working dog native to the Azores, an island chain belonging to the nation of Portugal.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Dog Breed
SizeTemperamentSheddingDroolingMonthly keeping cost
Large Zero
Hair Everywhere

About Cão Fila de São Miguel

  • Life Span*13-14 years
  • Getting a puppy homeAverage
  • Popularity
    Star Super star
  • Availability
    Rare Easy to get

Cao Fila de São Miguel is a working breed of cattle, native to the Azores, an island chain belonging to the nation of Portugal. This breed is known for its strong work drive and protective instincts. The breed has earned a reputation for aggression, but it may have more to do with training and socialization than the breed's natural instincts. Cao Fila de São Miguel has recently been recognized internationally, although it has probably been found in the Azores for centuries. This breed is very rare outside Portugal, but has recently increased in number. Cao Fila de Sao Miguel is also known as Sao Miguel Cattle Dog, St. Miguel Cattle Dog, St. Michael's Cattle Dog, Azores Cattle Dog and Azorean Cattle Dog.


Much of the history of Cao Fila de São Miguel is unknown. This is because the breed developed long before the written record was kept for breeding dogs and it was kept exclusively by farmers working in remote areas. To say anything about its origin is little more than speculation and conjecture. It is known for certain that the breed was developed on the islands of São Miguel in the Azores, and that it has been present in its homeland since the early 19th century. Despite the lack of evidence, some breed histories can be linked together.

European sailors seem to have had some knowledge of the Azores for centuries, though they were probably more mythological. In 1420, Portuguese sailors officially discovered the islands and claimed them for Portugal. At the time of their discovery, the Azores were completely uninhabitable by humans, and in fact there were no native terrestrial mammals of any kind. To provide food for future sailors and colonists, the first explorers of the Azores released cattle, pigs, sheep, and other livestock on the islands. Because the islands were home to rich vegetation and completely devoid of predators, the released livestock multiplied rapidly, creating large herds in a few decades.

Portuguese settled in mainland Europe and the island of Madira in the 1440s. The technology at the time was much less than it is today, and was the only way to settle and capture wild herds of cattle through the use of dogs. Wild cattle are very large, extremely powerful and highly dangerous, and very few breeds are able to work with them. Since at least Roman times, Western Europeans have chosen to use Molosar-type dogs for this purpose. Molosers, also known as mastiffs, matins, allants, and dogs, are the most ancient of all dog groups. Although each breed is different, mollosers are typified by a large size, strong protective tendency, and a brachycephalic (pushed) face. The reason is that mollosers were used to working with wild cattle, they were strong enough to hold the largest bull, aggressive enough to attack an animal, smart at times their size, quite gore. Or enough to keep from trampling, and to keep small, wide jaws. This provides a larger cutting area. Molosers of the Iberian Peninsula, especially those from Portugal, are smaller and less brachycephalic than those found in the rest of Europe. However, many Iberian mollosers have been employed as animal laborers for centuries, and have earned worldwide fame and name for doing so.

Because the Azores were inhabited mainly by the Portuguese, most of the dogs that were brought to the islands were likely Portuguese. This means that the Cao de Fila Sao Miguel is probably most closely related to breeds such as Ruffero de Alentozo, Cao de Castro Laborio and Cao da Serra de Aires. Some settlers came from elsewhere in Europe, including Spain, England, France, and Scandinavia, and these colonists could also bring their dogs with them. When the Azores were first inhabited, traveling across the sea was both very expensive and very dangerous. This meant that very few individual dogs would have come to the islands. As there were very few animals available for breeding, those that were available all crossed with each other. These crossbred dogs came to have a unique appearance and temperament, different from their ancestors. Several generations later, these crossbred dogs began to breed right.

General Appearance

Cao Fila de São Miguel is clearly a moloser, but this breed is significantly less exaggerated than most members of its family, especially in terms of size, bulk, and lack of face. Because this breed is only recently genealogized and recognized, it exhibits less standardization than is common in modern breeds. Cao Fila de São Miguel is a large breed, but not on a large scale. Members of the average male breed are 19½ and 23 the tall at the shoulder, and the average female is between 18½ and 23 . Although weight is strongly influenced by height and construction, the average male weighs between 55 and 80 pounds in good condition, and the average female weighs between 44 and 66 pounds. Cao Fila de São Miguel is an incredibly muscular breed that must always be extremely powerful and intimidating. It is an incredibly strong and athletic breed whose physical abilities are clearly visible through the presence of a dog. Although this breed is powerful rather than lean, it is significantly less manufactured than most mollosers. The tail of Cao Fila de São Miguel is traditionally docked between the 2 or 3 rd vertebrae, resulting in a small stump. In countries where this process remains legal, almost all breed members have docked. Tail docking is generally falling out of favor is actually banned in some countries. The natural tail of the breed is thick, medium length and slightly curved.

The head and face of Cao Fila de São Miguel are usually proportional to the size of the dog, although they are somewhat larger. The head is powerful, wide and square in shape. The head and the muzzle are quite distinct, connecting at a sharp angle. The muzzle is small in itself, but not excessive. The muzzle is wider and gives the mouth a square appearance, with the lips overlapping. This breed has either a scissor or level bite, never under bite. Cao Fila de São Miguel has a large nose and should always be black. The ears of this breed are traditionally cut and pricked so that they are short and erect. This breed has a unique traditional ear crop that is typified by round tips. Members of the breed in countries where ear cropping is still legal are almost completely cropped. Like tail docking, this practice is out of favor and banned in some countries. The natural ears of this breed are medium-length, triangular-shaped, and turn downward, but are not particularly close to the cheeks. Cao Fila de São Miguel's eyes are oval, expressive, medium-sized, and brown in color. Most breed members have a confident and sharp expression.

The coat of Cao Fila de São Miguel is short, smooth, dense and stiff. The hairs on the tail, on the thighs, and around the vent are slightly longer and very slight fringes may form. Dyeing is very important for this breed. Cao Fila de São Miguel should always be brinded, which means that its base color is mixed with black stripes. So the color of the coat is not particularly important as long as the dog is tied, and members of the breed appear at dawn, with black overlay, brown, reddish brown and any shades of brown. Light yellow. This breed may show white marks on the forehead, from chest to chin, and on the feet, but not all individuals do so. For show purposes, dogs with white markings on the feet must be on their front legs, back legs, or all four legs. Sometimes a Cao Fila de São Miguel is born in a different color such as a solid flax or solid black. Such dogs are disqualified in the show ring and should not be bred but otherwise make only good companions or Working Dogs as members of another breed.

Pros - Cons
This breed is healthy and intelligent and super easy to train
This breed is not apartment friendly, is prone to allergies, and has seperation anxiety

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.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Grooming

Cao Fila de São Miguel is a very low-maintenance breed that should never require professional grooming. This breed only requires a thorough brushing once or twice a week and requires regular maintenance procedures that allow all dogs such as nail clipping and occasional bathing. It is advisable for the owners of these dogs to bathe, clean the ears, and treat them from an early age and as carefully as possible. A ten-pound and willing puppy is much easier to rinse than an 80-pound and resistant adult. Because this breed is rarely kept except for a Working Dog, but there are no reports on its pretext. However, it is reasonable to assume that this breed sheds and is probably quite heavy.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Training

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.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Nutrition

This breed is classified as ""somewhat active"", but is average. Long segments of quiet activity are often spread with brief bursts of high activity, often simply moving around the house or yard. In addition to walking, daily play sessions are required. Another dog can be a good exercise partner, but they will still need quality playtime with his owner. A fence-backed backyard is a good idea; Bichons are surprisingly fast, and if someone makes a dash for freedom, it can be difficult to catch or call you back. They enjoy obedience, agility and participating in rally competitions.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Exercise

They should perform well on high-quality dog ​​food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared 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 level. 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. If you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet, check with your vet. Clean, freshwater must be available at all times.

Cão Fila de São Miguel Health

It does not appear that any health studies have been conducted on Cao Fila de São Miguel, which makes it impossible to make any definitive statement on the health of the breed. In the Azores, the breed is known to exhibit exceptional health. Azorean dogs have no known problems, and breed members from the islands often live to incredibly advanced ages of 15 or more. Dogs are considered somewhat less healthy than anywhere else in the world. Very few numbers of breed members outside the Azores have an equally small gene pool and may be at risk for many conditions. Additionally, non-Azorean dogs are often obliged to be much larger than the written standard, putting them at a lower age expectation and at greater risk of health problems.

Although skeletal and visual problems are not thought of in this breed at high rates it is advisable for owners to keep their pets by both the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) Do the test. OFA and CERF perform genetic and other tests before identifying potential health defects. It is particularly valuable in detecting conditions that do not appear until the dog has reached an advanced age, it is especially important for anyone considering breeding their dog , Which has tested them to prevent the spread of potential genetic conditions to their offspring.

Even though health studies have not been done on Cao Fila de São Miguel, they have been for similar and closely related breeds. The biggest problems discovered include:

  • hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat / gastric torsion
  • Access
  • Extraversion
  • cataracts
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy / PRA
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Shortness of breath
  • heat intolerance
  • Skeletal growth abnormalities
  • Arthritis
  • Demodicosis / Demodex mange / Demodectic mange