Rare and fairly unknown outside Italy, the Dogo Sardo was developed in the villages of Sardinia as an all-around working Molosser. Equally adept as an aggressive watchdog, protective cattle herder and a dedicated farmdog, the Dogo Sardesco is so valued by the Sardinian people that they routinely refuse to sell their puppies to strangers. Because of this attitude it is also hard to determine the breed's heritage. It is almost certain that its ancestry lies in the same root stock as the rest of the old Cane da Presa population of Italy, from which the mighty Cane da Branco, U Vucciriscu, Mastino Napolitano, Cane Corso, Bucciriscu Calabrese and others come from. The Dogo Sardesco is rarely seen outside its native region and no written standards are known to exist. Added confusion is created by reports of two separate Sardinian breeds under this name, one being the Pastore Fonnese Sardesco, a typical bearded sheepdog, while the real Dogo Sardo is known locally as the Cane Pertiatzu and is a shorthaired bully breed, similar to the Cane Corso. This confusion comes from this name wrongly being used for the Mastino Fonnese, which is the smooth-coated variety of the Pastore Fonnese, achieved by crossing the Fonnese Sheepdog with the Dogo Sardo.
The Dogo Sardo is a very muscular and athletic working dog, differing from the Cane Corso in some facial features, having a longer muzzle and tighter skin. Some rural dogs have fairly lupoid muzzles, but their purity is questionable. The body is lean and strong, with a powerful neck and sturdy legs. The ears are usually cropped, sometimes completely removed, while the tail can be both docked or left in its natural state.
The coat of the Canis Pertiatzus is short and smooth, usually red, grey, black or brindle in colour, but some working specimens are also common in other shades, as well as having slightly rougher coats. This rugged dogge rarely exceeds 24 inches in height, but since there are no set size limits, a variety of heights can be encountered.