Cao de Castro Laboreiro - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Co de Castro Laboreiro is a rare breed with only 200 to 500 dogs worldwide. Its exact origins are unclear, but it is believed to be a very old breed, possibly a Lupomolossoid, which is an ancestor of herding and guarding dogs. This breed has been used as a guard dog in Portugal for centuries and has a wolf-like appearance. While they are strong and protective, they are also sensitive and respond better to praise and encouragement rather than dominance and fear. They are friendly with their family but wary of strangers and other dogs, so they should be socialized extensively. They require an experienced owner to provide them with training and guidance due to their intelligence and independence. Once trained, they are loyal and devoted to their family.

In conclusion, the Co de Castro Laboreiro is a rare and ancient breed with a mysterious history. They are known for their guarding abilities and wolf-like appearance. While they are protective, they also require positive reinforcement and socialization. With the right owner, they can become obedient and loyal family companions.

Ahead, we look at Cao de Castro Laboreiro dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Cao de Castro Laboreiro, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Cao de Castro Laboreiros!

Dog Breed Cao de Castro Laboreiro
Size Large
Weight 55-90 lbs (average)
Height 20-24″ (average)
Location Portugal
Ancestry Molossus
Date of Origin Ancient Times
Group Guarding. Herding. Companion.
Life Expectancy 10-12 years
Price $600 – $800
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The history of the Cão de Castro Laboreiro, although mysterious, is believed to be one of the oldest among dog breeds. Experts have tried to trace its lineage, with many pointing to a Mastiff-type dog or even the Lupomolossoids, ancestors of breeds like the Great Pyrenees. Some even suggest a connection to the ancient Molossus, the dogs of Greek and Roman warriors. These dogs have been guarding flocks and families in Portugal for centuries, protecting them from both humans and predators. It is even speculated that the Portuguese may have brought these dogs to Newfoundland, influencing the development of the Labrador Retriever. However, the breed remained relatively unknown outside of its region until the mid-20th century, resulting in limited numbers.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, changes in farming techniques and the use of advanced weapons led to a decline in predators, leaving many Cão de Castro Laboreiro dogs without their traditional work. Some farmers abandoned them, causing the dogs to resort to hunting for survival. This, in turn, led to conflicts with farmers as the dogs started killing livestock. Fortunately, a few dedicated breeders recognized the potential of these dogs as companions and began breeding them for that purpose. This shift in focus led to their appearance in a Portuguese dog show in 1914 and paved the way for a future as family pets and show dogs.

Today, the Cão de Castro Laboreiro remains a rare breed with a global population of around 500 dogs. Most breeders are still located in Portugal, but some have started to spread to the United States and Western Europe. The breed is highly valued for its unique history and characteristics.

🐕 Cao de Castro Laboreiro Appearance

The Co de Castro Laboreiro is a bigger dog, but by no means an enormous one. It typically weighs between 55 and 90 pounds and is little about two feet tall at the shoulder. With a long, slightly tapered nose, a strong, but not particularly athletic body, and a comparable coat structure (apart from the color), it resembles a Labrador Retriever in appearance. They have a rather square posture, long, slightly bushy tail, folded ears, almond-shaped, often dark eyes, and usually dark eyebrows. Their coats are distinctive, like a wolf’s in that they are weatherproof, thick, and slightly coarse. The latter is the most popular. They also come in a range of colors, including a blend of light and dark grey with individual hairs (not real spots) of dark brown and dark red. These hues are fittingly known as light wolf, dark wolf, and mountain color.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Gray, Brown, Red, Brindle

Fun Fact: Cao de Castro Laboreiro dogs are kinda antisocial. This breed doesn’t like being around people all the time, they tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Cao de Castro Laboreiro

Although they are affectionate, obedient, submissive, and unendingly devoted to their owners and families, Co de Castro Laboreiros do tend to take their guardian status seriously, which means they can be protective of their family from outsiders and other animals and will demonstrate it with a stiff posture and loud warning barks. Despite their fearsome appearance, they are overwhelmingly non-aggressive and prefer to bark over other behaviors. Although they are naturally bright, courageous, and strong-willed, they can also be sensitive and obstinate, so they require a seasoned owner to impose their authority and provide good reinforcement. They make great family pets and companion animals with careful training and socialization, and when raised with young children, they exhibit a surprising amount of sensitivity and gentleness.

🤝 Are Cao de Castro Laboreiros Friendly or Aggressive?

Cao de Castro Laboreiro dogs thrive as the sole pet in a family and may not be the most welcoming towards strangers. However, they are known to be friendly with children, making them a suitable choice for families with kids. On the other hand, they are not typically fond of cats or other dogs, so if you are looking to have multiple pets or participate in dog gatherings, the Cao de Castro Laboreiro might not be the best fit. Due to their characteristics, these dogs are often suggested for older individuals.

This breed is known for being:

  • Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Dominant
  • Fearless
  • Brave

🐩 Cao de Castro Laboreiro Care & Maintenance

Despite their size, Co de Castro Laboreiros need only a little upkeep. They just require a weekly brushing ordinarily, only needing it many times a week during peak shedding seasons to help decrease coat weight and disperse natural oils. Teeth should be examined and brushed often due to their substantial food intake. The owner should keep an eye on the nails and ears and take any necessary action.

Cao de Castro Laboreiro dogs have a moderate amount of shedding, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. Regular brushing is effective in reducing the amount of hair that is shed. The shedding level can vary based on the dog’s health and breed type. In terms of bathing, these dogs typically require a bath every 6-8 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 4 cups daily, costing you about $2.00 – $3.00 daily, or around $60.00 – $90.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Cao de Castro Laboreiro dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long ones on weekends.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 14 miles per week, which equates to about 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Cao de Castro Laboreiro dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn’t the perfect choice for you.

❤️‍🩹 Cao de Castro Laboreiro Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Cao de Castro Laboreiro Dog Breed can be:

  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed

While minor concerns include:

  • Gastric Torsion
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

🤧 Important: Is Cao de Castro Laboreiro hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Cao de Castro Laboreiro.

⚡ Cao de Castro Laboreiro Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Cao de Castro Laboreiro a great choice for families with young children?
The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is a great choice for families with young children because they are affectionate, loyal, and docile. They show considerable awareness and have a surprisingly gentle nature when raised with small children.

Is the Cao de Castro Laboreiro breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Cao de Castro Laboreiro is not considered a suitable breed for apartment living due to their need for exercise and space. They are better suited for homes with a yard or open area for them to roam and explore.

How much exercise does a Cao de Castro Laboreiro require compared to other breeds?
The Cao de Castro Laboreiro requires a significant amount of exercise compared to other breeds. They are highly intelligent and strong-willed, so they need regular physical activity and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and potential behavioral issues.

Is the Cao de Castro Laboreiro breed known for being good with other pets?
The Cao de Castro Laboreiro breed is known for being protective of their family, which can make them less tolerant of other pets. They may be cautious and tentative around strangers and other animals, so proper socialization is necessary to ensure compatibility.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro include the Great Pyrenees and other Lupomolossoid breeds. These breeds typically have similar temperaments and exercise needs.

What are the common health issues that Cao de Castro Laboreiros are prone to?
Common health issues that Cao de Castro Laboreiros are prone to include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Regular veterinary check-ups and a proper diet are important for maintaining their overall health.

Are Cao de Castro Laboreiros known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Cao de Castro Laboreiros are intelligent but can also be stubborn and sensitive. Therefore, they may require an experienced owner to assert their authority through positive reinforcement training methods.

Are Cao de Castro Laboreiros more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Cao de Castro Laboreiros can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if they are not properly trained and socialized. They thrive on close bonds with their family and may struggle when left alone for long periods of time.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro that are suitable for people with allergies?
There are no specific dog breeds similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro that are known to be hypoallergenic or suitable for people with allergies. However, regular grooming and keeping the dog’s living environment clean can help reduce allergens.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Smaller-sized dogs similar to the Cao de Castro Laboreiro, such as the Pyrenean Mastiff or the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, may be more suitable for individuals or families with limited space.

Is the Cao de Castro Laboreiro breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Cao de Castro Laboreiro breed can be good with children with special needs, as they are generally gentle and loyal. However, proper supervision and socialization are crucial to ensure a positive interaction between the dog and the child.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Cao de Castro Laboreiro?
The grooming and shedding needs of the Cao de Castro Laboreiro are moderate. They have a thick coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. They shed seasonally, so expect some shedding during those times.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Cao de Castro Laboreiro dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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