Breed History

The Beginning

The Azore Islands, 972 miles directly west of Lisbon, Portugal, were colonized by the Portuguese in the mid-15th century. Terceira, from whence the breed is named, is one of the nine islands that make up the Azores.

They’re island dogs!

The “Barbado” (meaning “bearded”) is thought to have evolved from the mixture of the dogs that were brought from the continent for herding and guarding cattle and livestock. Over the following centuries, travelers who arrived with their dogs influenced the breed as well.

Basic Characteristics

The medium-sized Barbado is agile and dynamic with a lively and intelligent look, and an abundant coat. It moves with a slight roll of the back and a fluid trot that is useful in herding cattle. The Barbado is also an excellent livetock guard dog. Due to its pleasant and intelligent character, it is easy to train and makes a great companion dog.

Recent Development

In August, 1997, dog fanciers Carla Molinari and Jorge Gonçales visited the island of Terceira. António José, a delegate of the Portuguese Kennel Club (CPS) in the Azores, assisted Molinari and Gonçales in getting the breed to be recognized as a native Portuguese breed.

In 2003, after several visits to Terceira to study the breed, the CPC delegation, led by President Carla Molinari and Vice President Luis Catlan, proposed to officially register the “phenotypical homogeneity and genetic diversity of the breed.” A protocol of action for the recognition of the “Barbado da Terceira” was signed in April, 2004, by the CPC, the Direcção Regional do Desenvolvimento Agrário (Regional Directorate of Agricultural Development) and the University of the Azores. The first provisional standard of the Barbado da Terceira was presented to General Assembly members of the CPC in 2005.

The Barbado da Terceira is recognized by the following national breed clubs:

The popularity of the Barbado as a pet, herder, and show dog is growing in Portugal and abroad and is facilitated by the Associação Açoreana de Criadores de Cães Barbados da Ilha Terceira (AACCBIT), and the Clube Português do Barbado da Terceira (CPBT).

The Breed in the United States

In June, 2018, U.S. visitors to Terceira Island brought a female, Pico da Casa dos Bravos, back to the U.S. In October, 2018, the couple traveled back to the mainland of Portugal and brought back a male, Rubin do Monte de Magos, back to the U.S. Of these two Barbado da Terceira, the first United States-born litter of eight was born on October 4, 2020.

In January 2021, the AKC accepted the Barbado da Terceira into its Foundation Stock Service.

*Associação Açoreana de Criadores de Cães Barbados da Ilha Terceira.
Terceira’s Barbados (Terceira Cattle Dog): A Rustic Race of Our Island.
Praça Velha, Portugal, Angra do Heroísmo: Câmara Municipal.

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