Rafeiro do Alentejo Pictures and Information

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a large breed that has a wide head and dark eyes. Their ears may range in size from small to medium and will have the shapes of triangles.


Rafeiro do Alentejo Description

The ears will always dangle to the sides, and the males will be larger than females. The Rafeiro do Alentejo has a neck that is short but powerful,  and their chests are broad and well defined. The limbs in both the front and back of these dogs are strong, and they have long tails that can curve. They have coats which are dense and medium in length, and it should either be black, tawny, or yellow in color. These dogs can weigh up to 130 pounds and will stand at a maximum of 28 inches.

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is believed to have descended from large, wild dogs that lived in Tibet. These dogs are related to Mastiffs and are said to have spread from Asia into the Balkans. As time went on, these dogs begin to develop their own specific attributes.

Rafeiro do Alentejo

Also Known As

  • Alentejo Mastiff
  • Portuguese Mastiff
  • Portuguese Sheepdog

Country of Origin



The Rafeiro do Alentejo is an excellent guard dog and is very cautious at night. This is not a dog that should be purchased by someone who is not experienced. It needs an owner who will effectively lead it. While it is a good guard dog, it is not as aggressive as other guard dog breeds. It is both courageous and confident and will be affectionate to those that care for it. However, it will regard all strangers with caution, especially at night. The Rafeiro do Alentejo can be dominant, so the owner will need to be a good trainer. This dog must be trained as a puppy because it will become too large to be trained once it is an adult.

Health Problems

These dogs don’t suffer from a large number of health problems. The only condition that they may develop is hip dysplasia, but this is rare. The Rafeiro do Alentejo has a maximum life expectancy of about 12 years.


Once this dog becomes an adult, it does not need large amounts of exercise. Owners will want to make sure it gets good amounts of exercise while it is a puppy.

Special Grooming Needs

There is little grooming that is required for the Rafeiro do Alentejo. The coat will need to be well brushed twice a year, and this is when the dog begins to shed. Other than this, there is little that needs to be done. It will shed a large amount of fur.