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.

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 have 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 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 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 Foundation Stock Service (FSS) of the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in January, 2020.

The Barbado da Terceira Club

Established in 2020, along with its Constitution and Bylaws. The BDTC-USA’s goal is to purposefully breed for health, personality, herding instinct, and conformation. The BDTC-USA aims to diversify the breed, while maintaining breed standards as per the Clube Português do Barbado da Terceira.

The Club is supported by its BDT owners, members, founding officers (Wendy Dreese, Suzanne Hardy, Dana Simel, and Amanda Smiley), and founding Board Members (Kathryn Dorebeck, Alex Johnson, Jakob Kaastra, Chad Pierce, and Shannon Reidel).

Patricia Sousa, President of the Clube Português do Barbado da Terceira, and Roberto Cota, President of the Associação Açoreana do Cão Barbado da Ilha Terceira, have been instrumental in establishing the breed in North America. Together the U.S. and Portuguese clubs are working to save this rare breed from extinction. Sousa and Cota have provided their knowledge of the breed and best breeding practices to BDTC-USA members and are an invaluable source of knowledge.

Club meetings are held quarterly and board meetings are held every other month. In addition to community outreach, the club maintains a newsletter, sponsors events, and holds video conference webinars on health, training, and breeding.

*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.