The Pastor da Mantiqueira has standardized appearance, it is officially recognized breed and you can find their breed standard on the website of SOBRACI. According to the standard, this is well proportioned and well balanced breed with rustic appearance, showing great athleticism and agility.
The size of this breed is up to 53 cm and 25 kg, which is 21 inch and 55 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
The Pastor da Mantiqueira can have either short, medium or long coat, but it is always pretty dense coat and it can be either smooth or curly. The most common color is azulêgo, which is a coat with golden base, overlayed with black and gray hair. But the breed comes in variety of colors, some of them are for example black, white or yellow.
The breed has a deep chest, long and muscular back, muscular loins, moderately long tail and broad hindquaters. When it comes to the face, it has oval shaped eyes in black or brown color and with cheerful and alert expression, triangular and erect ears, moderately short and robust muzzle and strong jaws with perfect scissor bite.
The Pastor da Mantiqueira temperament is formed by its utilization, which is cattle herding. It is a hard working, tireless, agile, hardy, resistant, very intelligent dog with all the needed instincts for handling the cattle. For a long long time, the Mantiqueira Shepherd is indispensable for shepherds of Mantiqueira mountains.
This breed is not primarily bred for companionship, but just like all the dog breeds, they will create very strong bond with its owner and family. They are very loyal, they love good playtime, they show affection and they love recieving affection from its owners.
If the breed is not used for herding, than it must be properly exercised. These dogs are active and endurant and they need daily long walks, jogs, hikes, playtime, training sessions, just anything that will occupy their mind and body. They can also live with other kids, dogs or even with other pets in the family, especially if socialized from the puppyhood. They should not have high prey drive.
Some Mantiqueira Shepherds can also make good guardians and watchdogs, which is mostly thanks to their alert nature.
The Pastor da Mantiqueira is a Brazilian breed, which originated in the mountanious Southeast Brazil, in Serra da Mantiqueira, or in English, Mantiqueira mountains. The breed was developed from dogs of European immigrants. These dogs were known as Policialzinho, or little Policmen and even today, the Pastor da Mantiqueira is known under this nickname, the Policialzinho.
But what exact breed are the ancestors of the Mantiqueira Shepherd? Well, we do not know it for sure. Some theories say, that one of the ancestors are Belgian and Dutch Shepherds. But it is more likely that native Spanish and Portuguese breeds played bigger role in the breeds development. This would include dog breeds like Pastor Garafiano, Basque Sheepherd, Can de Palleiro or Estrela Mountain dog.
The breed evolved into the dog we know today by adapting to local mountanious environement and by breeding for utilization. Over the time, the Pastor da Mantiqueira becomes slightly smaller, but much more agile, resilient and adaptable, which was extremely important to become excellent herding dog in the mountains of Mantiqueira.
The breed was mostly used for herding cattle and it was very popular for this purpose in Southeast Brazil. But over the time, the numbers of cattle declined, so as the numbers of dogs used for herding. That is why, today, the Mantiqueira Shepherd is endangered dog specie. It is very rare breed and it is almost impossible to find this breed outside Brazil.
Health and grooming
The grooming and overall maintenance depends on the coat length. All coat types shed some deal of fur and you can minimize it by regular brushing, which will remove the dead and loose hair and it will also redistribute natural oils all over the coat. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There are no scientific studies about the breeds health and according to the owners, this is usually very healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 13 years.