Rafeiro do Alentejo vs Dogo Cubano - Breed Comparison

Rafeiro do Alentejo is originated from Portugal but Dogo Cubano is originated from Cuba. Rafeiro do Alentejo may grow 20 cm / 8 inches higher than Dogo Cubano. Rafeiro do Alentejo may weigh 14 kg / 31 pounds more than Dogo Cubano. Both Rafeiro do Alentejo and Dogo Cubano has almost same life span. Both Rafeiro do Alentejo and Dogo Cubano has almost same litter size. Rafeiro do Alentejo requires Moderate maintenance. But Dogo Cubano requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Portugal
Cuba
Height Male:
64 - 75 cm
25 - 30 inches
48 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
Height Female:
64 - 75 cm
25 - 30 inches
48 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
Weight Male:
45 - 60 kg
99 - 133 pounds
42 - 46 kg
92 - 102 pounds
Weight Female:
45 - 60 kg
99 - 133 pounds
42 - 46 kg
92 - 102 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
8 - 10 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
2 - 8
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Portuguese Mastiff
Cuban Mastiff, Mastin de Cuba
Colors Available:
Fawn, cream and black. , white, a wolf grey
brindle, Brown, fawn, tan
Coat:
Short to medium length, dense
Short and smooth
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

rafeiro do alentejoKnown also as the Portuguese Mastiff, the Rafeiro do Alentejo comes from Portugal and has always been used as guardian for livestock. Their numbers declined quite a bit when there was no longer a need for this kind of job.Today it is essentially a companion dog.

The official standard of the Rafeiro do Alentejo was established in 1953. The dog is is recognized as a breed by the Portuguese Caniculture Club as well as the Federation Cynologique Interationale.

The Cuban Mastiff which came from Cuba, was developed from breeds of Mastiffs, Bulldogs and cattle dogs, with the breed being thought to be extinct since the end of the 19th century.

The Dogo Cubano had a number of roles to fulfill in its day and they were used for guarding stock, for dog fighting and for chasing runaway slaves. After the abolishment of slavery, the large dog had no real role and it died out.

Known also as the Cuban Mastiff or Mastin de Cuba, there isn’t much accuracy as to its origins, with the most common story for their origin being that they are descendants of the Molossus.

The dogs were later introduced into Western Europe, becoming fairly common in England and Spain. The dog was also was also mentioned in the works of canine authors Stonehenge and George Wood.

Description

rafeiro do alentejo puppyThe Alentejo is a large dog standing at between 64 and 75cm in height and weighing 45 to 60kg. He is a powerful dog with a deep chest, dark eyes, floppy ears. His coat is short to medium length, thick and straight. The color of the coat is a mix of fawn, a wolf grey, white, cream and black.

Temperament:

This is a serious dog with a calm demeanour about him. It doesn’t matter how calm he is though, as every dog will require training ad socialization if you want to enjoy having an obedient, well mannered dog around you. This is particularly important with a large, independent, self-confident, territorial dog like this.

He isn’t an aggressive dog but he is protective, wanting to guard and look out for his human family. They are dogs that get on well with children and other pets in the home, being wary of strangers.

They’re not recommended for life in small properties in the city as he requires a large garden at least.

The Dogo Cubano was generally similar to other Mastiffs and stood at rough 48 – 55cm in height and weighing in the region of 45kg.

He was a large dog, powerfully built, muscular and strong. Images of the dog show that it had strong, straight legs with a long tapering tail and medium-sized floppy ears that were sometimes cropped upwards and close to the head.

The dog breed came in a variety of colors such as brown, tan, fawn and brindle. The muzzle was broad and short and black. The dog had pronounced jowls with its face being fairly wrinkly.

Temperament:

This large dog was known for being a courageous, independent and aggressive dog. He became attached to his owner, showing protective characteristics .In those days the dog would have received simple training and certainly if such a large dog still existed today, it would have to receive training and socialization as well.

The Dogo Cubano was an intelligent dog and easily trainable, requiring an owner with a firm hand. Being an aggressive breed, the dog possibly wouldn’t have been the best companion for children. He also wouldn’t have got on too well with pets in the home as he was trained to be a fighter in his day. Independent and strong-willed, the dog would not have suited a novice dog owner.

Health Problems

rafeiro do alentejo dogThe Rafeiro do Alentejo is a generally healthy dog breed, and with good care can get to 11, 12 or 13 years of age.

Of course with a large dog like this, it is always a good idea to be aware of canine hip dysplasia, particularly because this is a large dog with a deep chest.

This makes him also vulnerable to bloat, a condition where the stomach swells with gas and which can be life threatening. Other things to watch for are ear infections and parasites.

The Dogo Cubano was a generally healthy breed, but just like with most other dog breeds, they were also prone to some of the more common dog problems. The chances of him getting sick were slim though.

When the dog first originated, there were unlikely to have been health clearance certificates, but today, you’d want health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

The reason for this is that hip dysplasia is a heritable condition, seen more often in large dogs, where the thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint properly. The dog suffers with pain and discomfort and the condition can lead to lameness with the dog.

Gastric Torsion or Bloat is a life threatening condition that affects large dogs like the Dogo Cubano and those with deep chests. The stomach is distended with gas and it can twist.

The gas can’t escape and blood flow is hindered. The dog vomits, is lethargic and weak, and immediate veterinary help will be required.

Caring The Pet

Grooming:

rafeiro do alentejo puppiesMake your grooming time with this serious, calm canine friend of yours a special bonding time. His coat simply requires a brush twice a week to keep it healthy and shiny.

While bushing him, run your hands over him to make sure there aren’t any unusual lumps. Check inside the floppy ears to make sure they’re not red which could be the start of a painful ear infection.

Look a his nails and trim them if they’ve become too long. Check inside his mouth and make sure there aren’t any black, rotten teeth as this can seriously impact the health of your pet.

Exercise:

Options for exercise will include long walks and a chance to run off his leash. In the back yard it will be to his benefit to throw balls for him to fetch. You can even bring him indoors and play some calm games with him. He should have exercise every single day.

Diet:

Good food is needed for good health. It is always convenient to make use of the commercially manufactured dog foods there are on the market.

You don’t want to feed this to your dog day after day so provide your pet with some tasty home-made food too. Dogs want simplicity and consistency with their diets so they don’t battle with upset stomachs and an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Some home-cooked food twice a week and added to the dry kibble can keep him healthy and happy. Boiled chicken, sweet potatoes, brown rice or pasta, carrots and spinach will be perfect for him. Chop the food up finely and add it into the dry kibble once or twice a week.

Some people even cook it in bulk, refrigerate it and warm up small portions to add to the kibble. Raw meat added in occasionally can also be a good treat. Make sure your pet is never without a constant supply of fresh, cool water.

Exercise:

The Dogo Cubano was a large dog, so if he did become used to living in the city, he would have adapted better to life in the country.

He wasn’t a dog requiring too much exercise but he would have needed to go for walks. They were used as guard dogs long ago, and if he had been in existence today, you wouldn’t have been able to include him in your jogging and cycling as he was a dog that could easily overheat.

Diet:

Not all dogs require the same amount of food. Long ago the Dogo Cubano wouldn’t have had the same variety of dog foods available today. Maybe the dog in those days was fed the same kind of food that his owner ate.

Today, if these dogs were still around, they would require the best quality ‘large dog breed’ kibble.

The better the dog food, the more nourishing it is and the healthier the dog is. The Dog Cubano would likely have been a dog that drooled, leaving quite a bit of backwash in the water bowl, so it would have been important to wash out the drinking bowl and to regularly replace it with cool, fresh water.

Characteristics

rafeiro do alentejo dogsThe Rafeiro do Alentejo is a quiet dog, but intelligent and strong-willed. Training and socialization will make him easy to get on with.

He will become an excellent companion, and can come indoors because he is well mannered and considerate. He was bred to be a guard dog, and the responsibilities he had taking care of livestock has been transferred to looking out for- and protecting his human family.

He makes a wonderful pet and companion, even with children and other pets, more so when brought up correctly by loving, firm, consistent dog owners.

The Dogo Cubano was bred to be a guard dog as well as for dog fighting, but this large dog, with training and socialization, no doubt became a loyal and devoted family pet.

It was actually a social dog, being aggressive towards other dogs. He would be described as a dog better suited to a home with older children.

He was protective with his human family but not very active, being too big to be leaping around like other dog breeds. It is a pity that this large dog has disappeared as he had some good qualities.

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