Brazilian Gaucho Sheepdog
Sometimes known as the Brazilian Collie, the rugged Ovelheiro Gaucho was created in the late 1800's by local ranchers and European immigrants in Rio Grande do Sul in the south of Brazil. The original variety of the breed was heavily influenced by the imported Scottish Collie and native herding dogs, but it was the introduction of the Border Collie in the post-WW2 years that was crucial in the establishment of the modern Brazilian Gaucho Sheepdog. Some German Shepherd blood was reportedly added into certain bloodlines, but has since been bred out.
Over the course of the next 50 years, a few types existed within the breed, depending on the farmers' preferences and the duties the dog needed to perform. Strains bred for driving cattle were generally taller and stronger than common sheepdogs, but these types were often crossed with each other to create a superiour all-around working dog. Highly intelligent and driven, the Ovelheiro Gaucho has been a prized cattledog and sheep herder, as well as a capable farm watchdog in its native land for many years, but it remained fairly unknown outside Brazil. With standardization and breeding for uniformity in type also came the official breed recognition in 2000, boosting the Brazilian Gaucho Sheepdog's popularity.
Similar in appearance to other working herding dogs, such as many American, British and Australian breeds, the Ovelheiro Gaucho looks a bit like a smaller Scottish Collie or a larger Australian Shepherd or Border Collie. This is a muscular, well-boned and agile breed, capable of great speeds and valued for its stamina. Friendly, loyal and trainable, the Brazilian Collie is an excellent herder, but also makes an amenable family companion and Agility contestant.
The breed has a hard, dense and moderately long Border Collie-like coat, which is allowed in all colours. Average height is around 23 inches.