The Estrela Mountain Dog is one of the best livestock guardian dogs nowadays.
Real name: Estrela Mountain Dog
Other names: Portuguese Shepherd, Cão da Serra da Estrela, Estrela
Breed type: Guardian Dog
Weight: Male 45–60 kg (99–132 lb), Female 35–45 kg (77–99 lb)
Height: Male 63–75 cm (25–30 in), Female 60–71 cm (24–28 in)
Lifespan: Over 10 Years
Color: Fawn, wolf gray, brindle and yellow with a dark facial mask
Coat: Both long and short hair
Estrela Mountain Dog History
The giant Estrela Mountain Dog is originally from Serra da Estrela, what’s today Portugal.
This dog is one of the oldest dog breeds in Portugal and one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. So far, no written record on this breed is recorded.
Overall, the Estrela Mountain Dog is a purebred dog who is courageous, loyal, and protective.
Initially, this breed was bred to guard stock. It’s known that the breed was developed in the early 1900s. Their job was to scare wolves and other large predators.
The most significant interest in the breed returned in the 1950s, after World War II. Nowadays, annual shows call upon canine lovers of Serra da Estrela to stick to official breed standards. To this day, the massive Estrela Mountain Dog History remains true to its real-life guardian heritage.
Even nowadays Estrela Mountain Dog is a working dog, guarding flocks in Portugal, its original place, and worldwide.
They are also used as police dogs. In an ideal family environment, Estrela Mountain Dog is the perfect dog due to its loyalty, alertness, and intelligence. Interestingly, this breed has strong instincts to nurture young.
Estrela Mountain Dog Physical Appearance
As a guarding dog, Estrela Mountain Dog is significant in height and weight. After all, this dog is ready to fight off wolves, similar To Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
The majority of dogs will weigh between 75 to 130 pounds and range in height from 24-30 inches at the shoulder, meaning that they can be smaller or even larger than usual.
This breed could have a long or short coat. The entire body is well proportioned, with a deep chest and longer skull.
Overall, Estrela’s large body is well-shaped, well proportioned, and long. Considering the size of this breed, it may be surprised how easily this dog moves around.
The breed comes in various colors, including fawn, yellow, wolf gray, and with or without face markings. In this breed, you can even meet dogs with a blue coat, although it’s infrequent.
Estrela Mountain Dog Personality
The Estrela Mountain Dog is highly protective of it comes to the safety of his family members.
Needless to say that as a guarding dog, this breed is, in general, very protective to not only his humans, but also to his territory. After all, they are natural guardians.
Since their temperament is calm, they can stay inside and cuddle all day long, or simply being outside and playing with children.
Accidents can happen when you place in a small place, something large and small, right? And children love to run and play around, without minding the size of their fluffy buddy.
Luckily, this breed is also known as a gentle giant, so they will probably be calm and won’t move as a lot around children.
Still, this calmness doesn’t mean that they won’t step in if needed and fight even larger predators. The Estrela Mountain Dog is known for barking.
This is an unusual trait since barking is significantly common in smaller dog breeds, but again – they are guardian dogs, and they will react even to the most gentle sound outside the house. Moreover, they will bark to any sign of trouble.
They are highly intelligent, but due to their size and independent spirit, they need a strong and confident owner. This is not a breed for first-time dog owners.
Luckily, they are eager to please their owners, so training should be easy as long as you use a positive approach.
Estrela Mountain Dog Health
The Estrela Mountain Dog may experience some of the most common conditions that affect large herding dogs might experience.
Large dogs are generally healthy, but some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it’s important to maintain good dog care and regular veterinarian checkups.
That being said, the Estrela Mountain dog may experience following health issues:
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Elbow dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia
If you provide proper nutrition, regular exercise, and regular veterinarian visits, your Estrela Mountain dog should be fine. Also, you can always get from a breeder certificate on how healthy a puppy is.
If you are adopting an adult Estrela Mountain Dog, the shelter worker will inform you about anything health-related that you should address.
Estrela Mountain Dog Nutrition
To have a healthy Estrela Mountain Dog, you need to care about the dog’s diet. Feeding style and proper nutrition matters.
One thing you should know about this fantastic dog, and that’s that – this is a large dog with medium energy. Therefore, this breed has a strong tendency to gain weight if overfed.
Lately, obesity in dogs is a serious problem globally, so you should do whatever you can do maintain dogs proper weight.
As you may guess, the dog’s feeding needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will change significantly once your dog reaches his senior years.
Also, your veterinarian will tell you exactly how much you should feed your dog. Still, you should educate yourself on how much you should feed your dog. Also, don’t forget always to have fresh and clean water at all times.
Estrela Mountain Dog Training
One thing that you should know about this breed is that this isn’t a dog with a high need for energy. The majority of his time, the large Estrela Mountain Dog will spend on the couch.
If Estrela Mountain Dog is a family pet, and not a working dog, then you should provide proper exercise and include playing time in the backyard always fenced.
Daily walks should go without mentioning it, because it’s beneficial both physically and mentally.
Also, this dog is not fond of other pets in the house, so they would prefer to be the only pet in the household.
Still, if raised together from puppyhood with other pets, your giant dog might get along nicely with other pets as well. Training will also help you keep the Estrela’s weight under control, especially since the breed comes with medium energy levels.
Estrela Mountain Dog Grooming
The Estrela Mountain Dog has a thick outer coat that needs sot to be brushed regularly. Moreover, this breed has a rather exciting coat that resembles the texture of goat hair and usually comes in longhair options than shorthair varieties.
Bath your Estrela only when needed. Since this breed usually comes with long hair, make sure that you have a strict brushing schedule and a good vacuum cleaner.
Their coat is dense, and without regular brushing, you can expect matted and messy fur.
Nails should always be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder. If you are afraid of nail trimming, you can always take your dog to the veterinarian or a professional groomer.
Always check ears for a buildup of wax and debris, which can eventually result in infection.
The Bottom Line
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an excellent working dog, as well as a perfect family dog. This massive dog is a true gentle giant, who is known for his love for children and other family members.
There may not be fond of other animals in the same household unless they are raised together from day one.
Are you ready to welcome Estrela Moutain dog to your home? If so, make sure that you choose a good breeder, or check various local shelters in search of this breed.
So, if you are thinking about getting the dog for the first time think about small or medium size dog breeds before you welcome the fantastic Estrela Mountain dog into your home.