The Barbado da Terceira is a medium-sized cattle and livestock herding dog. She will nip at heels, alert her owner when strangers approach, lick her owner’s face, and follow her owner around the home. She will make her owner laugh with her cuteness and goofiness. And she will problem-solve. She does these things because centuries of selective breeding have perfected her propensity to behave and to look as she does.
This “perfection” began over 500 years ago on the Portuguese Azore Island of Terceira when settlers brought them to herd cattle and livestock. The breed is thought to have originated from English Sheepdogs mixed with various herding breeds throughout Europe. President Carla Molinari and Vice President Jorge Gonçales of the Clube Português de Canicultura (Portuguese Kennel Club) visited Terceira Island in 1997.
Together with geneticists from the University of the Azores and the Regional Directorate of Agricultural Development, they proposed to register the “phenotypic homogeneity and genetic diversity of the breed.” The Portuguese Kennel Club General Assembly recognized the breed in 2004. There are two breed clubs in Portugal: Clube Português do Barbado da Terceira on the mainland and Associação Açoreana do Cão Barbado da Ilha Terceira on Terceira Island.
Dana Simel and Gerald Royston imported Nuvem do Pico da Casa dos Bravos and Rubin do Monte de Magos in 2018. Amanda Smiley and Jacob Kaastra imported Eloise and Bansky of the Bearded Smile in 2018 and 2019. The AKC Foundation Stock Service approved recognition of the breed in 2021. Wendy Dreese imported Eli do Case dos Bravos in 2021 and Suzanne Hardy imported Aninah do Monte de Magos in 2022.
Together, these six dogs make up the foundation of the breed in the U.S. With U.S. births and imports from Portugal, there are now 34 BDTs in the U.S., the first litter of eight being born to Pico and Rubin in October, 2020. BDTs are now living in 13 states, with seven breeders planning litters in 2023-2024.
She does these things because centuries of selective breeding have perfected her propensity to behave and to look as she does.
Barbado da Terceiras on the Move
The Barbado da Terceira Club-USA (BDTC-USA) was 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.
The BDTC-USA’s goal is to purposefully breed for health, personality, herding instinct, and conformation.
Barbado da Terceira Breed Standard
The Barbado da Terceira Club-USA is committed to maintaining the breed standard as put forth by the Clube Português do Barbado da Terceira: https://www.cpc.pt/en/breeds/portuguese-breeds/terceira-cattle-dog/
Due to its agility and intelligence, the Barbado da Terceira is an excellent herder:
Video courtesy of Monte de Magos
Skateboarder (video of Frank do Monte de Magos) and home base-slider.
Eli dos Casa dos Bravos and Jacob do Diogo Guedes da Silva (Video courtesy of Wendy Dreese)