Updated 04-09-2023

Estrela Mountain Dog

A native of Portugal's Estrela Mountains, the Estrela Mountain Dog is a purebred canine. These canines share the best attributes of many popular breeds: bravery, protectiveness, and loyalty. Portuguese Shepherd and Cao da Serra do Estrela are just two of the names for the Estrela Mountain Dog.

This lovely canine is larger in size and requires a spacious home and a yard to run around in. Apartment life may not be the best fit for them. They are perfect for homes of any size due to their loyalty and protective nature. This stunning dog could be the perfect fit for you and your family if you're looking for a loyal friend to keep an eye out for danger and alert you to any changes in the status quo. Detailed information about the Estrela Mountain Dog and its traits is provided below!


  • Fawn, yellow, and grey are the primary hues seen in an Estrela Mountain Dog. White spots, shading, or brindling are all possible coloration types. Although there may be some blending of certain hues, many will be solid.
  • The Peak of Estrela Coat length in dogs is flexible. Neither of the two common coat types is suitable for those with allergies. Grooming requires a thorough brushing at least once every week.
  • Being a huge, purebred breed, Estrela Mountain Dogs have no trouble keeping up with active children. All dogs require human supervision when playing.
  • They are smart, but they need an authoritative trainer and early socialization with other dogs to avoid aggression.
  • Estrela Mountain Dogs may prefer to be the only pet in the home because they aren't naturally friendly toward other animals. Training, socialization, and even chance can all play a role, but many Estrela Mountain Dogs get along nicely with other dogs and cats.
  • The Peak of Estrela Dogs have a modest amount of energy and are prone to putting on weight. Give your dog plenty of exercise, including several short walks and a couple longer, more vigorous play sessions per day.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighborhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


24 to 30 inches


75 to 130 pounds

Life Span:

11 to 15 years


Sheepdogs in the Serra da Estrela, in what is now Portugal, were known as Cao da Serra da Estrela. One of the oldest canine breeds in the Estrela Mountains, their ancestry is shrouded in mystery.

The modern Estrela Mountain Dog is the result of nearly a century of breeding efforts aimed at creating the ideal guardian and herding dog.

Breed standards for Estrela Mountain Dogs were established in the early 20th century. To protect their flocks from wolves and other huge predators, Portuguese shepherds relied on their keen sense of sight and hearing. These pups were bred to be guardian herding dogs, and their bravery and intelligence made them ideal for the job.

Until the Second World War, Estrela Mountain Dogs were mostly bred by shepherds and farmers. By the 1950s, however, there was renewed enthusiasm for the breed. The residents of Serra da Estrela are once again encouraged to adhere to official breed standards by the revival of annual special exhibits called concursus.

Personality & Temperament

The Estrela Mountain Dog, while ideal as a guard dog, can be difficult to live with if its owners lack self-assurance and expertise, and the dog is not properly socialized and exercised. While it is devoted to its family, it remains on high alert for any hint of danger. It is usually quite patient and kind to kids, but the very young may be threatened by its size and power.

The Estrela Mountain Dog gets along well with smaller dogs that aren't likely to dispute its dominance, but it's important to take precautions when introducing it to new dogs of the same sex. Because of its alert, apprehensive disposition, this breed is sometimes stereotyped as a noisy canine, particularly if it is bored or under-exercised.


This is a low-maintenance breed. Your dog will live a long and happy life with you if you provide it with nutritious food, some moderate daily activity, and a regular grooming routine.


Due to the Estrela Mountain Dog's rarity, relatively few studies have been done on the prevalence of hereditary diseases in the breed. One should make sure the parents of an Estrela puppy have been examined for the following conditions, which are known to be more common in the breed:

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

The leading cause of canine heart failure, with the Estrela being one of the breeds at increased risk. Exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, coughing, and abdominal swelling are the most prevalent symptoms, and they typically manifest in individuals between the ages of 20 and 40.

These develop when the heart's musculature progressively weakens, blocking blood flow and leading to congestion in the lungs and belly. Ultrasound imaging, radiography, and electrocardiography are used for diagnosis. Even though there is usually no cure, the symptoms can usually be controlled with medicine.

Elbow Dysplasia

Causes lameness, stiffness, and pain in developing puppies due to a problem with the elbow joints. Some symptoms may appear as early as four months of age, and an x-ray examination is usually necessary to make a diagnosis. Even with the help of weight control, pain medication, nutritional supplements, and even surgery, severely damaged dogs sometimes need to lead sedentary lives for the remainder of their lives.

Hip Dysplasia

Similar to elbow dysplasia, this deformity of growth is typically passed down from generation to generation, with healthy hips in both parents greatly reducing the likelihood of having a child affected by the disorder. Both hip and elbow dysplasia can be measured with a scoring system, and any Estrela Mountain Dogs in the breeding pool should be x-rayed. This necessitates the presentation of joint health certificates for both parents to anyone purchasing a puppy. I would not recommend proceeding with the purchase unless and until such certificates are made available.

Recommended Health Test

  1. OFA
  2. Heart
  3. CERF
  4. Full Physical Examination


As a huge breed, the Estrela Mountain Dog needs a diet rich in high-quality protein to maintain its health. The first ingredient should be real meat, therefore you should prioritize companies that list chicken, turkey, fish, or some other real meat. Avoid feeding your dog foods with corn as the first component since it digests too rapidly and will make your dog hungry again soon after eating. Your dog's weight increase, brought on by ingredients like corn, can lead to serious conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Some dogs may also have an adverse reaction to foods that include chemical preservatives or artificial colors, so it's best to steer clear of them.


A thick coat is a sign of a healthy Estrela Mountain Dog, so be prepared to brush yours often. The long-haired version requires brushing several times a week, and the short-haired version requires brushing on a regular basis. You'll need to brush every day in the fall and spring to keep up with the volume of hair shedding from either variety. If you hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, it's time to give them a trim. Brushing your dog's teeth with pet-friendly toothpaste will help prevent or delay the development of dental disease.


In terms of physical activity, this dog does not need a lot of walks or runs, but it does need a large yard. Your dog can maintain a healthy weight with your kids' support and regular exercise. Dogs benefit greatly from having their minds challenged on a regular basis, thus many pet experts advocate teaching your dog some new tasks.


Several government institutions rely on the intelligence of dogs like your Estrela Mountain Dog because of their capacity to learn and carry out difficult tasks. To maximize your chances of success with this breed, you should begin training as soon as possible. You should teach your dog at the same time every day so that he or she becomes used to the routine. The sessions should be brief and enjoyable, with lots of positive reinforcement and zero negative comments. There must be no breaks in continuity. Regardless of the justification for your absence, it might set your training back by weeks if you miss days.

Children And Other Pets

Being a huge purebred, the Estrela Mountain Dog has little trouble keeping up with active children. They may be kind and watchful, but they might accidentally knock a toddler over if they are playing together. However, the Estrela Mountain Dog can be a wonderful and dependable companion for kids who learn early on how to approach and play with dogs in general.

The Estrela Mountain Dog is able to get along with other pets, provided that they are introduced carefully and calmly; early socialization is recommended for this. Getting them used to other animals early on is ideal. However, Estrela Mountain Dogs aren't known for their tolerance of other pets, and some owners find that having just one dog suits their needs best.

Training, socialization, and even chance can all play a role, but many Estrela Mountain Dogs get along nicely with other dogs and cats.


You'll need to spend more time exercising them when they're young to prevent the destructiveness that comes with pent-up energy, as is the case with puppies of any breed. Raising kids beside cats or other small animals highlights the significance of early socialization. Given how resistant they can be to training, new owners would benefit greatly from enrolling their pups in puppy obedience classes.

Dogs similar to the Estrela Mountain Dog

The Newfoundland, the Saint Bernard, and the Bernese Mountain Dog are some dog breeds that are comparable to these dogs in terms of size and disposition.


The Newfoundland is the ideal first dog for families since he or she is great with kids and responds well to training.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard has a reputation for being patient and cautious around young people and pets. When teaching these dogs, you'll have a great time because they want to please.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a soft spot for youngsters and often develops an intense bond with a single member of the family. These canines are known to be loyal and protective within their family unit, although they can be shy or even aggressive when meeting new people.