Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large breed of dog that came from Portugal where it was mainly used to guard sheep and private homes. These dogs are known by a variety of different names including the Estrela Mountain Dog, Serra da Estrela Mountain Dog, Estrela, Cao da Serra da Estrela and the Portuguese Shepherd Dog. The Estrela Mountain Dog got its name from the Estrela Mountains in Portugal where it was commonly found guarding flocks of sheep. It is believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds that originated in the country. While the actual history of the breed is not clear, it is thought that the dogs descended from the Roman Mollossus dogs of ancient times.

Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, muscular breed that comes in a variety of coat colors. They have strong legs and deep, broad chests. The medium-sized, pendant ears are set relatively low on their heads. Their coats are medium in length and may be gray, fawn or yellow. Most dogs have a facial mask and white markings on their chest. They also have feathering on their legs and tail. Despite the long coat, these dogs are relatively easy to groom. They do need to be brushed regularly. These are large dogs that weigh anywhere from 66 to 110 pounds fully grown, with males being larger than females. They can have either long or short hair that can come in several colors including fawn, yellow, red or wolf gray. A black mask is acceptable. Long-haired dogs have a thick, soft undercoat and a longer, stiff overcoat. The head of the Estrela is quite large, and the body is extremely muscular. The drop ears are somewhat small and hang to just above the cheeks. The eyes of the Estrela Mountain Dog should be amber or dark brown, and the nose should be black. The tail is long and heavily plumed on long-haired varieties. Personality: Estrela Mountain Dogs are very loyal and protective dogs. They are affectionate towards their owners and children, but reserved towards strangers or new people. They need long daily walks and a home with lots of space. They may be aggressive or suspicious towards other dogs, especially if they feel that they represent a threat to their owners. While the Estrela Mountain Dog is a playful and gentle breed of dog, it can become aggressive if it feels that it or its family is being threatened. It is also highly intelligent and learns rather quickly. Although these dogs get along great with other pets and kids, due to their large size, they are not recommended for small children.

Estrela Mountain Dog image
Life Span
9-13 years
Other Names
Estrela, Serra da Estrela Mountain dog, Cao da Serra da Estrela and the Portuguese Shepherd dog, Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela Mountain Dog Build Information

Size
Large

Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, muscular breed that comes in a variety of coat colors. They have strong legs and deep, broad chests. The medium-sized, pendant ears are set relatively low on their heads. Their coats are medium in length and may be gray, fawn or yellow. Most dogs have a facial mask and white markings on their chest. They also have feathering on their legs and tail. Despite the long coat, these dogs are relatively easy to groom. They do need to be brushed regularly.

These are large dogs that weigh anywhere from 66 to 110 pounds fully grown, with males being larger than females.

They can have either long or short hair that can come in several colors including fawn, yellow, red or wolf gray. A black mask is acceptable. Long-haired dogs have a thick, soft undercoat and a longer, stiff overcoat. The head of the Estrela is quite large, and the body is extremely muscular. The drop ears are somewhat small and hang to just above the cheeks. The eyes of the Estrela Mountain Dog should be amber or dark brown, and the nose should be black. The tail is long and heavily plumed on long-haired varieties.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Estrela Mountain Dogs are very loyal and protective dogs. They are affectionate towards their owners and children, but reserved towards strangers or new people. They need long daily walks and a home with lots of space. They may be aggressive or suspicious towards other dogs, especially if they feel that they represent a threat to their owners.

While the Estrela Mountain Dog is a playful and gentle breed of dog, it can become aggressive if it feels that it or its family is being threatened.

It is also highly intelligent and learns rather quickly. Although these dogs get along great with other pets and kids, due to their large size, they are not recommended for small children.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low Maintenance

Estrelas with short hair require little grooming other than an occasional brushing. However, if you have a long-haired Estrela, you will want to brush it at least once a day to prevent mats. You will only need to bathe your pet and check its ears for excess wax buildup once or twice a month. When it becomes necessary to clean your Estrela's ears, use the tip of a damp, clean cloth to gently wipe the debris out of the ears. If you need to clip your dog's nails, be sure to use a pliers-style pet nail clipper and trim just the tips avoiding the tiny veins growing within each nail.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy
  • Due to its large size and exercise requirements, the Estrela Mountain Dog is not well-suited for small homes or apartments
  • Estrelas form strong bonds with their human family members and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time
  • The United Kingdom was the first country to establish the Estrela outside of Portugal

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Common Health Conditions in Estrela Mountain Dogs

Most Estrela Mountain Dogs are quite healthy and can live anywhere between 12 and 16 years. However, just as with other large breeds of dogs, the Estrela can be prone to developing certain genetic health issues. Some of the most common of these conditions can be found listed below: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dissecans, and Various Forms of Cancer. If you are looking for a large pet that will make a great companion and guard dog, why not consider an Estrela Mountain Dog? Not only are these dogs natural guardians, but they are also very gentle making them excellent family pets. However, because of their large size, you will want to be sure to provide your Estrela with plenty of exercise and room to run.

Estrela Mountain Dog Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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