Dog Breed Group: Guard Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 37-62, Female: 35-60
Height: Male: 25-29, Female: 25-28
Origin of Name: The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a Portuguese breed of livestock guardian dog.
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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.