Bred in Portugal, the Estrela Mountain Dog was originally used to graze livestock and guard the owner’s personal property. These abilities of hers were appreciated by both farmers and aristocrats. The Estrela Dog is one of the oldest canine breeds in Portugal and is quite rare on the American continent.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an agile, strong, and hardy dog, resembling a Great Dane in its physical strength and power, and in addition, it is extremely alert.
The Estrela Mountain Dog has an independent character, it is smart, affectionate, and loyal to its owner. Dogs of this breed are deeply attached to their owners and cannot put up with new owners if they are resold or donated to someone. The Estrela Dog is on good terms with children or other pets with whom she grew up in the same house. They behave very coldly towards strangers and are ready to defend their family, home or territory at any time. An alert, loyal and loving breed of dog that makes excellent guards, watchmen and companions.
Wool and care
The Estrela Mountain Dog is dressed in a thick coat consisting of two layers of wool. There are two subspecies of this breed – short-haired and long-haired. In the long-haired subspecies, a coarse, dense and straight outer layer of coat is quite close to the dog’s body, and under it is a neat dense undercoat. The short-haired subspecies differs from its counterpart only in the length of the thick and coarse coat. It also has a dense and soft undercoat. Molting is seasonal and quite active. The Estrela Mountain Dog needs regular cleaning; special attention should be paid to the dog’s coat during seasonal shedding. The dog can be bathed if necessary. No particular health problems have been reported in this breed, although stomach problems or hip dysplasia do occur.
The Estrela Mountain Dog can be stubborn, uncooperative and often tends to dominate. Therefore, she needs early socialization and obedience training. Rough or oppressive parenting methods are completely ineffective. Education must be conducted with fairness, firmness, consistency and patience.
It is not recommended to keep this dog in a city apartment. The Estrela Mountain Dog should roam freely without a leash, and besides, it is an actively “barking” breed. Best suited for her is a house in the countryside with a large, well-fenced yard or a farm, where the Estrela Dog would always have the work, he needs.