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Rafeiro do Alentejo

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Rafeiro do Alentejo (Head, Side View)
Head, Side View

Breed Information


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Name Rafeiro do Alentejo
Other names Alentejo Mastiff, Portuguese Mastiff, Mutt of Alentejo
Origin Portugal
Breed Group Guardian Dog (UKC)
Size Large to Giant
Type Purebred
Life span 10-12 years








Male: 27-28 inches (66-75 cm)

Female: 25-28 inches (64-70 cm)


Male: 110-132 pounds (50-60 kg)

Female: 100-121 pounds (45-55 kg)







Litter Size 3-5 puppies
Puppy Prices

Average (Unknown)


Breed Characteristics


3 stars

Apartment Friendly

1 stars

The Rafeiro do Alentejo is not recommended for apartment life. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large yard. This breed is very suspicious of strangers, and it is therefore necessary to provide a secure, fenced yard.

Barking Tendencies

2 stars


Cat Friendly

2 stars

Child Friendly

4 stars

Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Dog Friendly

2 stars

Exercise Needs

2 stars

When fully mature, this breed has an average to low need for exercise. If not actively working, it needs to be taken on a daily walk or jog.


2 stars

This breed requires little grooming. The coat needs thorough brushing-out during the twice yearly shedding seasons. You can get away with little attention the rest of the year. The Rafeiro do Alentejo is a seasonal, heavy shedder.

Health Issues

2 stars

Hypoallergenic: NoLittle data exists for health problems in this breed. However, when bred to be very oversize, they may be subject to hip dysplasia, and dogs with deep chests sometimes suffer from bloat.


3 stars

Ranking: (N/A) Full Ranking List


1 stars

Shedding Level

3 stars

Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!

Stranger Friendly

1 stars


1 stars

Difficult Training: The Rafeiro do Alentejo isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.

Watchdog Ability

5 stars

Great Watchdog Ability: This dog will bark and alert its owners when an intruder is present. It exhibits very protective behavior, acts fearless toward any aggressor, and will do what it takes to guard and protect its family.

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Rafeiro do Alentejo Puppy (Lying, Face)
Lying, Face

Rafeiro do Alentejo Names

Rank Boy Names Girl Names
01 Max Lucy
02 Tucker Bella
03 Toby Coco
04 Jack Luna
05 Louie Penny
06 Bear Ellie
07 Riley Ginger
08 Teddy Stella
09 Leo Lulu
10 Buster Abbie
100 Cute Puppy Names ›


The Alentejo Mastiff is a large, powerful dog of rustic appearance. He has a bear-like head with a sober expression, a long, curving tail and a medium length, straight, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors.

As with all very large dogs, they are not the dogs for beginners. Dogs of this size and type have the potential to be a danger to others if not well socialized at an early age, and are recommended only for the experienced dog handler who has the time to socialize and train the dog. This Mountain dog matures slowly, is very independent, and often does not respond to traditional force methods of dog obedience training. They are extremely territorial and will protect the sheep, households, and families they feel were placed under their protection. They are not aggressive but protective and are said to get along quite well with children.


The Alentejo Mastiff (Rafeiro do Alentejo) originated in Portugal and was used as a herd guardian, moving with large herds of cattle as they were driven from pasture to pasture. The breed is likely to be descended from the huge dogs of the Tibetan highlands. The Alentejo Mastiff was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006.

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