Prince Henry’s sailors have discovered the Azorean Islands in 1427 but found it hard to go through since the islands were covered with rich vegetation. There were also no mammals and so they placed some cattle on the islands.

In 1439, a large group of cattle filled the island of São Miguel which grew wild and were raised free. Because of this, a great need for cattle dogs or fila dogs resulted.

At that time, the most significant dog named fila de Terceira which is now an extinct animal was bred with another molossers to create the Cão Fila de São Miguel. The dog has become a very important part of cattle breeding as well as an outstanding guard for their master’s belongings and family.

Additionally, the breed description was first made in their place of origin and was published in 1984. This standard specification was accepted around the world in 1995 since it was being released by the FCI. This livestock dog is a molosser as well as widely used as a buddy or attack dog.

Traits and Behavior

The Cão Fila de São Miguel is a dominant animal and they are capable of staying outdoors throughout the whole year guarding flocks as well as the tools that are used in farming.

They are smart and can learn quickly. They are working dogs as well as excellent guard dogs. These dogs have an extremely sharp personality but they are also obedient to their masters.

This breed is tremendously defensive with its territory. And just like the other guard dogs, they should be socialized well with the other household pets while they are still young to prevent them from being hostile with the other animals.

In addition, they should also be associated with the people most especially with the children since they have a natural tendency to be suspicious of strangers. On the other hand, these dogs can be very friendly to those people or animals that they are acquainted with.

For you to have a successful relationship with this dog, you must establish a pack leader position. Since these dogs have a natural impulse to acquire an order with their pack, you must be able to give that to them.

You need to be the leader of the pack and you should be the one who will make the choices, not your dog. You also need to imply that you are higher than them. That way, you can keep this type of dog together with the family successfully.

Pet Care and Diseases

Dry dog food of good quality is advisable for these dogs to achieve well-balanced nutrition. They can also have vegetables, fruits, cottage cheese or cooked eggs. Their drinking water should be clean as well as their food bowls to avoid infections.

Regular brushing is recommended to keep them clean and decrease the tendency of shedding. You should also check them for ticks and fleas daily when having warm weather. Most of these dogs require only a few baths every year.

Before bathing them, comb or cut out any tangles on their coat and then rinse them thoroughly after washing them.

The Cão Fila de São Miguel requires physical activity so that they will stay fit as well as invigorate their minds. Regular physical activity will also save them from boredom which can eventually lead them to disobedient behavior. However, the exercises must also be based on the dog’s age and level of fitness. 


The Cão Fila de São Miguel has the specific features of those medium-sized dogs which separate them from some cattle dogs. However, they can be considered as much bigger when compared to the other average dogs.

The males typically weigh around 55 to 90 pounds and stand for about 50 to 51 inches. On the other hand, the females normally have a weight of 45 to 80 pounds and a height of 48 to 58 cm.

They have a square head and expressive eyes that are dark or brown-colored. Their ears are usually cropped round and their jaws are extremely strong. They also have well-developed muscles in their limbs and trunk.

They walk in a wadding manner that is slightly fringed at the buttocks and anal region. They have a smooth, short and dense coat that is colored with streaks of reddish-yellow, gray and fawn. They can also have light patches at their feet, chest, chin and other frontal regions.

General Information

The expected life expectancy of the Cão Fila de São Miguel is about 12-15 years. The average litter size is around 4-10 puppies. The Cao Fila de Sao Miguel is also known as the Sao Miguel Cattle Dog, Saint Miguel Cattle Dog, Saint Michael Cattle Dog, Azores Cattle Dog, and Azorean Cattle Dog.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Cão Fila de São Miguels. Click this link: http://filadesaomiguel.com/