Welsh Sheepdog vs Cao da Serra de Aires - Breed Comparison

Welsh Sheepdog vs Cao da Serra de Aires - Breed ComparisonWelsh Sheepdog is originated from United Kingdom but Cao da Serra de Aires is originated from Portugal. Both Welsh Sheepdog and Cao da Serra de Aires are having almost same height. Both Welsh Sheepdog and Cao da Serra de Aires are having almost same weight. Both Welsh Sheepdog and Cao da Serra de Aires has almost same life span. Welsh Sheepdog may have more litter size than Cao da Serra de Aires. Welsh Sheepdog requires Low maintenance. But Cao da Serra de Aires requires Moderate maintenance


welsh sheepdog - historyThe Welsh Sheepdog is sometimes referred to as the Welsh Collie, but it is not a collie in anyway. It is the cross between the Border Collie and Welsh Sheepdog that is actually the Welsh Collie. The sheepdog was bred for herding not appearance and they are not all consistent in looks and size. They are a collie type but do not have recent collie ancestors. In fact the Border Collie has basically replaced the Welsh Sheepdog in herding sheep in Wales. The Welsh Sheepdog is still being bred as an indigenous breed. They are still prized for their ability to work independently and herding cattle, pigs, horses and goats as well as sheep. They were originally drovers.

In the 18th century there were many different Welsh herding dogs and one drover might have 4-6 different types of sheepdogs as guard dogs, herders and hunters. Most of these breeds were taller than the Welsh Sheepdog. By 1940 there aere only a couple of breeds doing these jobs in Wales. The purebred Welsh Hillman and Black and Tan Sheepdog were on the verge of extinction at that point.

At that time the most common dogs were descendants of the Black and Tan Sheepdog and the Border Collie. The Welsh Sheepdog was still working in central Wales and in the north country. They were purely a working breed and not a show breed in any way. They remain that today.

They are a landrace and very rare today. They have been around for more than 800 years with no effort at standardization for this working dog. They are only registered with the WSS or Welsh Sheepdog Society and the DRA Dog Registry of America.

cao da serra de aires - historyAncestors of the Cao da Sera de Aires were used for herding livestock in the Serra de Aires and Alentejo, Portugal. This herding dog is native to Portugal and throughout the 20th Century he was kept as a working dog.

Known also as the Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Shepherd Dog or Serra de Aires Mountain Dog, there are some questions surrounding the breed's ancestry as there are few records of dogs before 1900. The dog is thought to be related to the Pyrenean and Catalan Sheepdogs and that it has descended from Briards which were imported into Portugal and crossed with the Pyrenean Sheepdog.

The Cão da Serra de Aires breed standard was accepted by the Portuguese Kennel Club, and the breed was recognized internationally in 1996. The dog was also recognized by the United Kennel Club in the Herding Group in 2006.


welsh sheepdog puppy - descriptionBred for their herding abilities not their appearance, the Welsh Sheepdog can vary in color, build and size. They have long legs, broad chests and wide muzzles. They are all around bigger than the Border Collie. They come in black and white, tricolor, red and white and merle. The coat can be short or long and the ears pricked and folded at the top.

They look most like the Border Collie with a taller, broader, more solid build. They typically are stronger than the Border. Their head is distinctly collie shaped, flat and broad with the wide muzzle. The nose is black and the eyes are oval and brown. The merles can have striking blue eyes.

This is an athletic dog and you can tell by looking at her. Well muscled, broad back and neck with a long upward tail. Their tough paws are perfect for the rough terrain and Wales mountainsides.

cao da serra de aires puppy - descriptionThe beautiful Cão da Serra de Aires is a medium-sized dog. He stands at 45 to 55 cm at the withers and weighs about 17 to 27 kg. He is recognizable by the long, shaggy, single-layer coat, of straight or slightly wavy hair. Don’t be deceived by the coat as below, the dog has a muscular, athletic body.

The coat comes in different shades such as fawn, gray, yellow and black. The dog has a long tail which is held straight out or down and he has medium-length, floppy ears. You’ve got to look hard, as the facial features of the dog are hidden by its shaggy coat. He has a lot of facial hair that sometimes you have to wonder if he can see out of his eyes.


The Cao da Serra de Aires is a wonderful canine companion and is devoted and loyal, forming strong bonds with their human family. He is a playful, amicable dog and gets on well with children in the home as well as with other pets.

He is intelligent and trainable, and when properly trained and socialized,he becomes an even nicer pet to have around and is obedient to his master’s voice. He is territorial, strong willed and dominant and makes a good watchdog too.



welsh sheepdog dog - characteristics1Children friendliness not really – aloof and concerned with job- all this dog wants to do is work.

2.Special talents -independent worker

3.Adaptability – Not an inside dog in any way. They need several hours of exercise per day.

4.Learning ability Highly intelligent but stubborn, independent

cao da serra de aires dog - characteristicsThe Cão da Serra de Aires is such a loyal dog to his human family that he makes a splendid pet. He is active, having worked historically at herding and guarding.

Socialization and obedience training ensure that he becomes an exceptional pet and he has a host of positive attributes to his name – he is intelligent, energetic, loyal and loving. He may have been used long ago to guard livestock, but today he is selected as a pet specifically for his excellent companionship and for his protective nature.

Health Problems

welsh sheepdog puppies - health problemsUsually an indigenous rare breed does not have a lot of genetic or hereditary health concerns. This is a little different with the Welsh Sheepdog can suffer from any of these conditions.

• Epilepsy – Most respond well to medication and others might not even need medication.

• Collie Eye Anomaly – This is common in collie breeds like the rough coated collie. The development of the Choroid is impaired resulting in harm to the circulation of blood to the eye.

  • Hip Dysplasia – Can lead to lameness or arthritis.

• Atopic Dermatitis – Allergic skin disorder irritating paws, ears, and perineum.

• PRA Progressive Retinal Atrophy - deterioration of the retina can lead to blindness. Inherited.

  • Diabetes Mellitus – Damages pancreas, high blood sugar. Can be treated.

cao da serra de aires puppies - health problemsAs with most dogs that are looked after well, their health can be good. The Cao da Serra de Aires isn’t likely to keep you at the vet often. Just like with any good dog, there are some health disorders that can benefit you to know about.

Being forewarned , you can get your pet to the vet quickly before the illness gets out of hand.

There are some pet owners who want to have their pets tested by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals as well as the Canine Eye Registration Foundation to rule out health defects such as hip dysplasia and cataracts before they manifest themselves in their pets. This is of particular importance to breeders so as to prevent the parent dogs passing bad genetic conditions to the puppies.

Hip Dysplasia:

This is a common skeletal disease where the dog’s hip joints don’t develop properly. It can be terribly painful for your pet to get around. It’s a genetic condition and while it is more prevalent in big dogs, any breeds are susceptible.

Your dog will battle along with painful joints and sometimes his hind-end will be lame. You’ll notice that once lying down, he battles to get up again. Fortunately vets are well acquainted with this ailment and they have different options to treat and manage it.


Cataracts in your dog come about from a disease process which affects the lens of the eye. The eye loses its transparency and impairs vision. There are some instances where cataracts can cause blindness. You’ll see a whitish gray area in your pets eye. The most common cause of cataracts is genetics. Get your pet to the vet who will do certain tests to evaluate the eyes and make a recommendation.

Caring The Pet

Caring for Dog

welsh sheepdog dogs - caring1Feeding the puppy active dog feed high quality high protein food. 3-4 x day 1-2 cups

2.Feeding the adult Active dog feed high quality high protein 2x day 2 cups a day.

3.Points for Good Health stamina and intelligence

4. Games and Exercises This is an extremely active breed that needs a job. They are not the best pets they are working dogs. They need a lot of exercise. They are not good at living indoors. At least 2 hours of exercise daily is a must.

cao da serra de aires dogs - caringAs a working dog used to long hours of action, the Cao da Serra de Aires will need lots of activity. He’ll need you taking him for long walks and playing ball games with him. He can become frustrated and destructive when left without any physical stimulation.


The Cao da Serra de Aires may have long hair but he isn’t high maintenance. He won’t require professional grooming, but will require a good brush a least twice a week. This is because the long coat can tangle.

To keep him looking his best, you’ll want to be trimming the hair around his paws. Another important grooming task is checking his ears and cleaning them. You have to be careful about cleaning your pet ears if you don’t know how, as it could damage the ears. Your vet can always advise you on how this is done.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
United Kingdom
Height Male:
51 - 56 cm
20 - 23 inches
45 - 55 cm
17 - 22 inches
Height Female:
48 - 54 cm
18 - 22 inches
42 - 53 cm
16 - 21 inches
Weight Male:
16 - 25 kg
35 - 56 pounds
17 - 27 kg
37 - 60 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 22 kg
30 - 49 pounds
15 - 27 kg
33 - 60 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
3 - 6
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
welsh collie
Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Shepherd Dog
Colors Available:
blue merle and tricolored Black and white • Red and white
Fawn, gray, yellow and black
soft undercoat short to moderately long, and it can be coarse or soft.
Long, shaggy, single-layer coat,
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Protective, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Detached, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

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