What type of coat do Rafeiro de Alentejos have?

If you are considering getting a Rafeiro de Alentejo, also known as the Portuguese Watchdog, it’s important to understand their unique characteristics and needs. One essential aspect is their coat type. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the coat that Rafeiro de Alentejos possess.

The Thick and Protective Double Coat

Rafeiro de Alentejos have a thick and protective double coat that helps them adapt to various weather conditions. The outer layer consists of coarse guard hairs that act as a shield against dirt, debris, and even minor injuries. These guard hairs help protect the dog’s skin from external elements such as harmful UV rays or thorny bushes during outdoor activities.

The inner layer of their coat is made up of a dense undercoat that provides insulation during colder seasons. This feature allows Rafeiros to stay warm even in lower temperatures by trapping body heat close to their skin.

Colors and Patterns

Ranging from light fawn to dark shades, Rafeiro de Alentejos exhibit a variety of colors within their coats. Common colors include brindle (striped), black with white markings on chest or paws, yellowish-brown shades resembling wheat fields – reflecting their origin in rural Portugal – and solid tan or gray hues.

In terms of patterns, they can be solid-colored or display patchy spotting throughout their fur. Some individuals may also showcase a black mask around their muzzle area while others have an overall uniform coloration across their entire body.

Low Maintenance with Occasional Shedding

While Rafeiros have thick coats designed for protection against harsh conditions, they are surprisingly low maintenance when it comes to grooming requirements. Due to having longer hair compared to other breeds originating in similar climates, they might shed moderately throughout the year. However, regular brushing can help minimize shedding and keep their coat looking healthy.

It is recommended to brush your Rafeiro de Alentejo at least once a week using a bristle or slicker brush to remove loose hair and prevent matting. This not only keeps their coat in good condition but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion through gentle grooming sessions.

Adapting Coat Care Based on Seasons

As seasons change, so do the coat care needs of Rafeiro de Alentejos. During spring and fall – when they experience more significant shedding – it’s advisable to increase brushing frequency to two or three times per week. This helps remove excess fur as they transition from one season to another.

In summer months when temperatures rise, this breed tends to shed less due to adaptation for heat regulation purposes. Nevertheless, providing them with access to shade and fresh water is essential for keeping them comfortable during hot weather.

When winter arrives, you might notice an increased thickness in their undercoat as a natural response against colder conditions. Regular brushing during this period ensures proper insulation while reducing the chances of matting or tangling of fur strands.


Rafeiro de Alentejos possess a thick double coat that provides protection from external elements while maintaining warmth during colder seasons. Their coats come in various colors and patterns that add diversity within the breed. With moderate shedding throughout the year, routine brushing keeps their coat healthy and glossy. By adapting grooming practices based on seasonal changes, you ensure optimal comfort for your beloved Rafeiro de Alentejo all year round!