Barbado da Terceira


  • Height: 19-22 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-77 pounds (male), 44-66 pounds (female)
  • Life Span: 12-14 years
  • Diet: Omnivore

Barbado da Terceira Overview:

The Barbado da Terceira is a relatively rare breed, originating from the island of Terceira in the Azores archipelago, Portugal. The breed’s name “Barbado” means “bearded” in Portuguese, referring to the distinctive beard and long eyebrows that give the dog its unique expression. These dogs are highly prized for their intelligence, versatility, and strong work ethic. They were initially bred for herding cattle, but their adaptability and intelligence make them suitable for a variety of roles, including search and rescue, therapy, and dog sports.

Barbados are medium-sized dogs with a robust and muscular build, denoting their strength and agility. They have a dense, slightly wavy to curly coat that is weather-resistant, allowing them to perform their duties in different weather conditions. The coat colors range from yellow to gray to black, often with white markings. Their friendly and alert expression, combined with their athleticism, gives them an appealing appearance that often endears them to people.

Barbado da Terceira Highlights

The Barbado da Terceira is a remarkable breed with a rich history and a range of attributes that make it stand out. They are known for their intelligence and ability to solve problems, making them excellent working dogs. Their keen sense of smell and ability to navigate challenging terrains have also made them valuable search and rescue dogs.

The Barbado is also known for its sociability and friendliness. Despite their working dog origins, they are excellent family dogs and form strong bonds with their owners. Their protective nature and loyalty make them reliable watchdogs, but they are not typically aggressive. They are also known to be very good with children and get along well with other animals, making them excellent family pets.

Barbado da Terceira Evolution and History

The Barbado da Terceira’s history traces back to the island of Terceira in the Azores, where they were primarily used for herding cattle. It’s believed that the breed developed naturally over the years, adapting to the needs of the local people and the specific conditions of the island. The exact ancestry of the breed is uncertain, but they are likely descendants of other Portuguese herding dogs, mixed with local dogs from the island.

The breed was almost extinct in the mid-20th century, but thanks to the efforts of a handful of enthusiasts, the Barbado da Terceira was revitalized. The breed was officially recognized by the Portuguese Kennel Club in 2004, but it remains relatively rare, especially outside Portugal.

Barbado da Terceira Size and Weight

The Barbado da Terceira is a medium-sized breed. Males typically stand between 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 to 77 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, with a height of 18 to 21 inches and a weight of 44 to 66 pounds.

Despite their moderate size, these dogs are strong and agile, built for endurance and speed. They have a balanced and athletic appearance, with a sturdy frame and strong legs. Their dense coat gives them a slightly larger appearance, and their distinctive “beard” gives them their unique look.

Barbado da Terceira Personality

Barbados are known for their intelligence, alertness, and friendliness. They are extremely sociable and love to be involved in family activities. Despite their herding instincts, they are usually gentle and patient, even with small children or other animals.

Their intelligence and curiosity make them eager learners. They thrive on mental stimulation and enjoy games and tasks that challenge their problem-solving skills. Barbados are also known for their loyalty and can form very strong bonds with their family. They are protective, but not typically aggressive, making them reliable watchdogs.

The Adaptability of the Barbado da Terceira

The Barbado da Terceira is a highly adaptable breed that can thrive in a variety of environments. They are hardy dogs that can adjust to different weather conditions thanks to their dense, weather-resistant coat. However, they do need plenty of outdoor space to run and play, given their high energy levels and working dog roots.

While they are energetic and active, Barbados can also adapt to a more relaxed family life, as long as they get enough physical and mental stimulation. They enjoy being involved in family activities and are typically friendly and sociable with people, including strangers. Despite their sociability, they are also quite independent and can entertain themselves when left alone for short periods.

Barbado da Terceira Temperament

The Barbado da Terceira is known for its friendly and sociable temperament. They are usually very good with children and are known to be gentle and patient. Despite their friendliness, they are also protective of their family and can make excellent watchdogs.

Their intelligence and problem-solving skills are also key aspects of their temperament. They enjoy tasks and games that challenge their minds, and they can be quite determined when they set their minds to something. Barbados are also known for their loyalty and can form very strong bonds with their owners. They are typically easygoing and adaptable, capable of fitting into a variety of living situations.

Barbado da Terceira Maintenance and Grooming

Despite their dense, slightly wavy to curly coat, the Barbado da Terceira is a relatively low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their coat is weather-resistant and doesn’t require frequent bathing. A weekly brush will help to control loose hairs and keep the coat healthy.

However, they do shed, particularly during shedding season, and may require more frequent brushing during this time. It’s also important to regularly check their ears for signs of infection and to keep their nails trimmed. Regular teeth brushing will help to prevent dental problems.

The Trainability of the Barbado da Terceira

The Barbado da Terceira is highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them highly trainable. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and are quick to pick up new commands and tricks. However, their independent nature means that they can sometimes be stubborn, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with training.

Their intelligence and curiosity make them excellent candidates for advanced training and dog sports. They excel in activities such as obedience, agility, and search and rescue. Early socialization is also important to ensure that the dog is comfortable in a variety of situations and behaves appropriately.

Exercise Needs of the Barbado da Terceira

Given their working dog origins, the Barbado da Terceira requires a significant amount of exercise. They are active and energetic dogs that need daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy. This can include walks, runs, playtime in a secure yard, or participation in dog sports.

In addition to physical exercise, Barbados also need plenty of mental stimulation. They are intelligent dogs that enjoy problem-solving tasks and games. Training sessions, puzzle toys, and interactive games can all help to keep their minds active and engaged.

Barbado da Terceira Health:

The Barbado da Terceira is generally a healthy breed with few breed-specific health issues. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain conditions.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition in many dog breeds, where the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly, leading to pain and arthritis. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can help manage this condition.
  • Eye Conditions: Barbados can also be prone to certain eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can lead to blindness. Regular eye checks can help detect this condition early.
  • Bloat: This is a serious condition that can affect large, deep-chested dogs like the Barbado. It involves the stomach twisting and filling with gas, and it can be life-threatening. Feeding small meals throughout the day and avoiding vigorous exercise immediately after eating can help prevent bloat.

Barbado da Terceira Care

While the Barbado da Terceira is a relatively low-maintenance breed in terms of grooming, they do require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They need a safe space where they can run and play, and they also need challenging activities to keep their minds active.

Training should start from a young age, and it should be consistent and positive. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but they can also be independent and sometimes stubborn. Early socialization is also important, as it helps to ensure that the dog is comfortable in a variety of situations and can behave appropriately.

Barbado da Terceira Feeding

Barbados should be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. They can be prone to obesity if overfed, so it’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their food intake as necessary.

Treats can be a useful tool in training, but they should be used sparingly to avoid weight gain. Fresh water should always be available.

Barbado da Terceira Coat Color and Grooming

The Barbado da Terceira has a dense, slightly wavy to curly coat that comes in a variety of colors, from yellow to gray to black, often with white markings. The coat is weather-resistant, which allows the dogs to work in different weather conditions.

Grooming is relatively straightforward, with a weekly brush usually sufficient to keep the coat healthy and looking its best. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be required to control loose hair. Bathing should be done only when necessary, as too frequent bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils.

Barbado da Terceira and Children

With proper socialization and training, Barbado da Terceira dogs can be excellent with children. They are known for their gentleness and patience, and they can form strong bonds with the children in their family. Their protective nature also makes them good watchdogs.

However, interactions between dogs and young children should always be supervised to ensure the safety of both. Children should be taught how to approach and touch dogs, and any biting or ear-pulling should be discouraged.

Barbado da Terceira and Other Pets

Barbados can get along well with other pets, especially if they are raised together from a young age. Their friendly and sociable nature often means that they enjoy the company of other animals.

As with any dog, introductions to new pets should be done gradually and under controlled conditions. It’s also important to remember that every dog is an individual, and not all Barbados will necessarily get along with all other pets.

Similar Dogs

  • Portuguese Water Dog: Similar to the Barbado in size and temperament, the Portuguese Water Dog is a working breed known for its intelligence and adaptability. They share the Barbado’s love for physical and mental stimulation, making them great companions for active families.
  • Spanish Water Dog: This breed shares the Barbado’s herding instincts and high energy levels. They are both intelligent, trainable, and known for their curly, weather-resistant coats.
  • Berger Picard: The Berger Picard is a herding dog from France, known for its scruffy appearance and beard, similar to the Barbado. They share a similar temperament, being intelligent, loyal, and good with children and other animals.

Barbado da Terceira FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)