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Estrela Mountain Dog
Portugal FCI 173 - Molossoid . Mountain

Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a big dog, rough lines and powerful appearance



The Dog of the Sierra de la Estrela (Cão da Serra da Estrela) It is a breed of dog native of Portugal, in the mountainous region that bears the same name. It has all the qualities required in this wild region, is intelligent, loyal and brave.

There are those who hold the theory that they were introduced to Portugal by the Visigoths and slowly to various parts of Europe.. The Estrela Mountain Dog was used mainly- in mountainous areas to accompany shepherds and flocks on their annual migrations, defending the wolves and thieves.

It is believed that the two varieties of existing hair: short hair and Longhair, they are due to regional variations. Contrary to what might be expected, the warmest region, the region of Manteigas, is where you could find the long-haired dogs, While short hair varieties were most frequent in the North, in Gouveia e Seia. Crosses between these two varieties were frequent.

In 1934 the standard of the breed was drafted, which was established according to its two varieties of layer. From this point, the cross between two varieties became undesirable. The publication of the rule in 1966 and the recognition of the breed by the FCI, have not brought more popularity to the breed. Over the years 60 and 70, the Portuguese emigrated looking for escape from the regime of poverty. The population of dogs Serra da Estrela declined drastically in that period, but the dedication of some breeders allowed the continuity of the breed.

Today, the Estrela Mountain Dog is highly requested, especially the variety of long hair. While the variety of short hair was more numerous at the beginning of the last century, is the variety of long hair that stands out, especially for being more eye-catching, stylish, with a larger. This made the breeders will focus primarily on the variety of long hair. Today the short-haired variety is particularly vulnerable and rare..

Physical characteristics

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a big dog, rough lines and powerful appearance. The head is huge, rounded and with a stunning skull. It has oval eyes, very expressive, Smart and serene.
The ears they are small and pendants, covered with a soft skin.

mastiff-type molosoid, the Estrela Mountain Dog has a broad chest and a slightly drooping rump. The members are strong and muscular. The tail is long, thick and slightly droopy.

There are two varieties of Estrela Mountain Dog: long hair and short hair. The hair is strong, thick, but not too rough. In some regions it is longer than others, especially in the queue, around the neck and back.

Only allowed the tawny colors, Lupine and yellow, monochrome or marbled.


Estrela Mountain Dog is a healthy dog, due to the strong natural selection which was exposed. But, There are some diseases of large animals with a higher incidence in this breed. The Dysplasia is one of them, especially that of hip. Due to this trend, owners must use quality diets, not exercise too your dog when he is young, avoid the steep stairs, breaks and slippery floors.

The variety of long hair they require more maintenance: brushed daily to untangle hair.
The variety of short hair only needs weekly brushings. Bathing should only be administered, only, When cannot be avoided,Since the protective greasiness of the skin can be damaged by cleaning products.

Character and skills

The Estrela Mountain Dog has always been kept with the sheep, While pastor was away from his flock the dog developed an independent organization and this led to his character of excellent guard dog.

It is also used for self defense and as a dog shot.

The Estrela Mountain Dog, due to its isolation and difficult access, It has become the home of this breed of dog. His hard hair helps you survive the harsh winters of the region. Each race has its specific character developed throughout its existence, of their own history.

This more or less independent nature makes this breed adapts well to modern times, where instead of caring won, waits for their owners to return from work at the end of the day. They have a lot of patience.

The beauty of this dog, his intelligence and strength, are the characteristics that allow him to be in addition to an excellent guard, a good family dog and very tolerant with children.

Habitat Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog it's a big dog with a big boost. So, an apartment in the city is not ideal for him. Fluctuations of time and temperature do not bother him much, so you prefer to spend the day outdoors. So, the ideal is a house with a large patio or garden where you can move freely. It also, does not want to do without his long walks. For many other canine sports, requiring reliable obedience, is however hardly suitable due to its obstinacy.

Nutrition Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog requires a correspondingly large serving of food, which should also be considered when buying it. Proper dog feeding helps keep it healthy for a long time. Whether one wants to use dry or wet food is a matter of personal preference.. In particular, nutrition during growth, especially in large dogs, sets the course for later life.

While puppies and adult dogs need enough energy, young dogs need an adapted diet, protein rich, to ensure that your muscles and skeleton grow evenly. If the young dog grows too fast on food that is too high in energy, there is a risk of permanent joint problems and malpositions. It also, It should be noted that all large breeds of dogs are at risk of stomach upset if the daily ration is administered at one time.. So, it is better and healthier to divide the food into at least two servings in the morning and at night and then give the animal a break for digestion.

Education and care

Due to the close connection of the Estrela Mountain Dog with humans and their good understanding, good conditions are created for purposeful education. But, the race's own head should not be underestimated. The Hound of the Sierra de la Estrela dog stubbornly reacts to too much hardness in training and the orders he considers meaningless. Therefore, the right key to a successful workout is patience, empathy and a consistent hand. During training special attention should be paid to the tendency to dominate, especially in males.

Although this is rarely directed against humans, but mainly against other big dogs, can disturb harmonious interaction and, above all, The walking. Ideally, great importance should be given to socialization already in the breeder. You should also practice meeting other dogs as soon as possible after your dog has moved in.. You can learn that other dogs are an enrichment and not a danger and that dominant behavior is not tolerated. In a good dog school you will receive many tips when in doubt, which will facilitate the management of your Dog from the Sierra de la Estrela.

A lot brushed in the change of coat

The Estrela Mountain Dog has a dense coat with a lot of undercoat, that adapts to weather conditions. The change of coat is therefore strong in this breed. To facilitate this process for the animal and reduce the amount of dog hair at home, should be brushed sufficiently and correctly, especially during the period. Ideal for this purpose are the special brushes, they can comb the bottom layer. Outside the change of coat phase, brush once a week.. The rest of the preparation is limited to a minimum. Especially if the dog is outside and a lot in the meadows and forests, should be checked regularly for parasites. If required, claws must be shortened with claw pliers.

Typical health and illnesses

The Estrela Mountain Dog it is a very robust animal that does not have to fight with the typical diseases of the breed. But, being a very large breed, you may suffer from dysplasia of the hip joint. Breeders recognized by the FCI only use parents that are not affected by this disease for breeding purposes., which also greatly reduces the risk to offspring.

Estrela Mountain Dog life expectancy

As a healthy race, the Estrela Mountain Dog reaches an age of 10 to 12 years without difficulty and generally without many visits to the vet. Proper nutrition and parenting are the prerequisites for a long and healthy life.

Photos Estrela Mountain Dog

Videos Estrela Mountain Dog

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
  • Section 2: Molossoid - 2.2 Molossoid, mountain type. Without working trial..


FCI , AKC , ANKC , ​KC , NZKC , UKC – The AKC does not have its own standard and instead is linked to the FCI

FCI breed standard "Estrela Mountain Dog"

FCIFCI - Estrela Mountain Dog

Alternative names:

1. Portuguese Shepherd (English).
2. Chien de montagne portugais (French).
3. Serra da Estrela Berghund (German).
4. Perro de la sierra de la Estrela (Portuguese).
5. Perro de la Sierra de la Estrela (español).

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