Rafeiro Do Alentejo



The Rafeiro do Alentejo (also called the Portuguese Mastiff or Alentejo Mastiff) is originally from Portugal. This large breed was developed for grazing cattle and sheep, as well as for the protection of estates and farms. Rafeiro do Alentejo are rare dogs, particularly uncommon outside their native land.

Height: 25-29 inches  Weight: 77-132 pounds  Lifespan: 10-12 years


The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a powerful, strong and muscular dog of large size. He is agile, fast, fierce and has an independent mind. The Rafeiro is ideal for guarding, he is always on the alert, especially at night.


The Rafeiro do Alentejo is not recommended for inexperienced dog breeders. Calm and well-balanced, the Rafeiro do Alentejo does well with children, other pets and even cats, provided that they grew up in the same household. However, this dog breed is very suspicious of strangers.

Coat / Care:

Rafeiros have a thick, straight hair of medium length. They come in black, yellow, and fawn. White markings are allowed. Although this breed sheds profusely during the shedding seasons, the Rafeiro do Alentejo dos not require special care. It is enough to thoroughly remove excess hair to minimize hair loss. This breed is generally healthy, but some may be susceptible to hip dysplasia.


The Rafeiro do Alentejo requires early socialization and obedience training. This dog is stubborn and tends to dominate, so the owner of the dog must be patient, strong-willed and tenacious. Hard training methods are not suitable for this breed. On the contrary, education should be based on positive reinforcement, such as food reward and play.


Although Rafeiro do Alentejo does not need intense physical exertion, he will not be able to handle apartment living. Such a large dog thrives best in rural areas. Hence, a farm or a vacation home with a large, well-fenced yard is the perfect environment for this breed.

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