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Saint Miguel Cattle Dog

Portuguese breed recognized by the FCI
Date of publication
of the original
valid standard
Cattle dog.
F.C.I. Classification
Group 2 – Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle dogs.
Section 2.1 – Molossoid breeds, Dogue type. Without working trial.
Height and Weight
Height at the withers:
Males: 50-60 cm.
Females: 48-58 cm.
Males: 25-35 kg.
Females: 20-30 kg.

Brief Historical Summary

A cattle dog originating in the island of Saint Miguel in the Azores, also known as the «Cow Dog». Its history is linked to that of the now extinct Terceira Dog. The existence of the Saint Miguel Cattle Dog has been documented since the beginning of the 19th century.


A cattle dog par excellence, it is equally a good guard dog for properties and people. A very determined character towards strangers but docile with its owner. Very intelligent and very receptive. While carrying out its duties driving dairy herds it bites low to avoid harming the cows’ udders.
However when dealing with stray cattle it may bite higher.

General Appearance

Robust and hardy.

Important Proportions

Slightly longer than high.


Strong, with parallel longitudinal axes of skull and muzzle.

Cranial Region

Skull: Broad, square-shaped, top slightly convex, only slightly visible occipital protuberance.
Stop: Pronounced.

Facial Region

Nose: Wide, black in colour.
Muzzle: Straight top line, a little shorter in length than the skull. Slightly rounded lateral faces.
Lips: Well-pigmented, overlapping and firm. Lower profile slightly rounded.
Jaws: Very powerful and well-developed, correctly fitting. Good wide mouth.
Teeth: Complete dentition with either scissor or pincer bite.
Eyes: Oval shape, expressive, set slightly sunken and horizontal, of medium size. Dark brown in colour.
Ears: Set above the level of the eyes; when not cropped they are of medium size, triangular and dropping but not touching to the cheeks. They are cropped with rounded tips in countries where ear cropping is not forbidden.


Straight, strong and of medium length, well set into the shoulders. No dewlap.


Strong, well muscled with ample forechest.
Chest: Broad and well let down.
Back: Straight.
Loin: Medium length, broad and well muscled.
Croup: Medium length in relation to body, slightly higher than the withers.
Underline: Lower profile rising, belly and flanks well-proportioned in relation to body.


High set, thick, medium length and slightly curved.
Docked at the 2nd or 3rd vertebra in countries where tail docking is not forbidden.


Strong, set reasonably apart and upright.

Shoulder: Slightly open scapular-humeral angle.
Upper arm: Strong, medium length, well muscled.
Forearm: Thick and well muscled.
Carpus: Strong.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Strong, medium length.
Front feet: Oval with strong nails and toes.


Strong, set reasonably apart.

Upper thigh: Long, muscled; coxo-femoral angle open.
Lower thigh: Medium length, muscled.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Medium length. Dewclaws permissible.
Hind feet: Oval, with strong toes, not too arched. Strong nails.


Free and easy. On the move the dog rolls slightly at the rear.


Thick and pigmented.


HAIR: Short, smooth, dense, of harsh texture, lightly fringed on the tail, in the anal region and the back of the thighs.
COLOUR: Fawn, pale fawn with black overlay, grey, going from light tones to dark; always brindled; white mark permissible on the forehead and from chin to chest; can have small white marks on both front feet or both hind feet or on all four feet.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Severe Faults

Head: Converging axes of skull and muzzle.
Jaws: Slightly over or undershot mouth.

Eliminating Faults

Aggressive or overly shy. Diverging axes of skull and muzzle. Seriously over or undershot mouth

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.