The Cao Fila de Sao Miguel or otherwise known as the Saint Michael’s cattle dog or the Azores cattle dog is considered a rare breed of dog that originates from the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. The history of the dog and its breed dates back to the 19th century and was breed to work with cattle and be a companion. The general appearance of the dog is that of a large but not oversized dog, with a deep-chested muscular build with a broad head and straight neck. This is a great breed for farmers since they love keeping busy and are eager to please their owners. They have been used to work with cattle in the Azores since the 19th century moving cattle from one area to another and back into the barns. These are loyal but territorial dogs and will obey commands given by their owner if properly trained. They will guard and protect their surroundings and enjoy being outside as much as possible. The average life expectancy of the breed is around 15 years with no none medical conditions that plaque the animal. The popularity of the dogs has increased greatly over the last couple of decades with dog lovers from Finland to Canada all exporting these rare dogs for their farmlands. It must be said that it is important at a young age to socialize your puppy with other humans, teaching them not to be aggressive when they are friendly natured humans around. These dogs if not properly socialized as puppies can be slightly aggressive as an indoor house pet, as they were breed as a cattle dog. These dogs play an important role in Azores’ history and culture as they worked side by side with their owners in this predominately agricultural-based society where there were always lots of long days and hard work. There is even a statue on the island of Sao Miguel in the city of Vila Franca where the dog was originally bred. A book was just released in the fall of 2017 about the rare Azorean cattle dog and its significance in Azorean culture, which if you can read Portuguese is worth exploring.