CAO DE CASTRO LABOREIRO UK - Breeders of The Castro Laboreiro Dog in the UK
 
History
 castro laboreiro

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The Region of Castro Laboreiro is situated at an average altitude of 1000 meters above sea level in the far north of Portugal. The mountainous area of Castro Laboreiro takes us to Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês and a different side of Melgaço where the villages are isolated and so being one of Minho's better preserved habitats. It is the original place of the world famous canine breed, the Castro Laboreiro dog which as been around for over a thousand years .
 The Iberian wolf - European Predators
Iberian Wolf Portugal
Iberian Wolf Portugal
The history, geography and isolation of these lands, provided the inheritance of a legacy and cultural heritage of the richest in northern Portugal.The origin of the Castro Laboreiro dog is unknown to anyone. The type of use and the isolation region led to the appearance of a kind of dog with specific and well defined characteristics apart from the other common existing races.

This centuries-old indigenous breed was selected emphatically for centuries in order to choose a dog type that would meet the needs of family and population, for family company, the defence of the home and of family animals. 

This mastiff, the most agile dog of the mastiff family, has a unique genetic make-up, for all of this, consider the race one of the oldest European breeds.

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Castro Laboreiro guarding flockIt is part of their character and breeding to bond with and protect their flock fiercely, mainly against the wolf which is now also protected in Portugal. 
The Castro Laboreiro dog was mainly brought up by the women of this region, making them an excellent devoted family dog.  Their unique lifestyle and isolation back then was fundamental to the breed and for this reason this breed of dog kept to themselves, for a long time, in a relative state of purity. If under attack, the dogs will stand between the flock and the wolf, barking and chasing the wolf away.  Their sense of smell is so powerful they can even distinguish between the goats or sheep of their own flock and another.

Willian-Stratton and the Brindle Retriever
The Cao Castro Laboreiro is probably the true ancestor of the Labrador Retriever, there is a lot of similarities.  Portuguese Sailors since the early 1500`s have been travelling to what is now known as Newfoundland, and it was common practice for these men to bring along their dogs with them. John Cabot first used the term "new found isle" in 1497. The name Labrador is from the Portuguese word "lavrador" or small landholder, and is probably attributable to João Fernades, a Portuguese explorer. The name only recently changed from the province of Newfoundland to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
There is perhaps no breed that so closely resembles the Labrador retriever as the Cao Castro Laboreiro. Even though the colour is slightly different more to the “cor do monte” meaning the mountain colour, some are brindle, they do rarely have sometimes black, and even golden puppies, interestingly Labrador puppies are still frequently born with brindle, a trait possibly inherited from this breed, one can see these traits would certainly describe the Castro Laboreiro dog.

Cao Castro Laboreiro Now in Portugal a organisation called  Group Lobo "Wolf Group" under very strict
conditions, are encouraging farmers to use traditional livestock guard dogs once again, not only to cut down on livestock attacks which will help farmers tolerate the wolf more, but also to bring this traditional Portuguese wonderful dog breed back from the brink of extinction.

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Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro Dog at work
Castro Laboreiro
Castro Laboreiro
Roman Castle ruins
Castro Laboreiro Puppy
Castro Laboreiro Puppy
Puppy with Sheep
Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro with Flock
Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro Dog
Castro Laboreiro guarding the Flock
Castro Laboreiro
Castro Laboreiro
Castro Laboreiro looking after farm animals