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Estrela Mountain Dog

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela Mountain Dogs have thick weatherproof coats that come in long and short lengths. The outercoat is short and coarse, lying close to the body and the undercoat is dense. The hair can be straight or slightly wavy. It is short on the head and on the front of the legs and long around the neck and chest. The hair on the back of the legs and tail is thickly feathered. The coat colors include fawn, brindle, and wolf grey. White is sometimes found on the chest, feet and tail however this is undesirable when showing the breed. They have a strong, elongated head with a broad, dome-shaped skull. The medium-sized, oval-shaped eyes are either amber or darker in color. The high set, triangular shaped ears are small and rounded at the tips. The strong jaw should have teeth that meet in a scissor-like bite. The tight lips and the roof of the mouth should be black. The short, thick neck fuses into a deep, well-sprung chest. The straight forelegs should be muscular and strong boned. The hindlegs are also strong boned and the thighs are muscular. The compact feet should be thick with plenty of hair between the toes. The long tail is somewhat curved, well feathered and should be carried slightly above the back.

Temperament Estrela Mountain Dogs are independent, strong and powerful dogs. They are very affectionate and bond deeply with their families; however, they can be stubborn and willful. They are cautious of strangers and it is not easy for them to transition between owners. Their loud bark can deter any threat and they make good watchdogs. Estrela Mountain Dogs are extremely intelligent; however, they are independent and can become stubborn. They will decide to ignore you when it suits them. It is best to begin training this breed during puppyhood. They love to please, but will not stand to be bullied.
Height, Weight Male Height: 23-27" ; Weight: 75-110 lbs.
Female Height: 20-24" ; Weight: 60-90 lbs.
Health Problems Health concerns include hip dysplasia and gastric problems.
Living Conditions The Estrela Mountain Dog does well in both suburban and rural homes. They are very adaptable and do best with active owners.
Exercise This healthy breed requires lots of daily exercise. A regular regimen of physical exercise will keep the breed content as well as healthy.
Life Expectancy About 9-13 years
Grooming The Estrela is easy to groom. A good brushing once a week should keep their coat in good condition. A slicker brush, wide-toothed comb and a good rake will make grooming easier.
Origin The Estrela Mountain Dog was developed in the Serra da Estrela Mountains of Portugal. They are the oldest of the Iberian Peninsula breeds and descendant from ancient dogs. Since there are no written records for this breed, it is unknown if they were brought to the area by Romans during the Iberian colonization or later by invading Visigoths. Despite their roots, the Estrela Mountain Dog is one of the oldest breeds in Portugal. They were specifically bred to survive the mountain environment, protect the flocks and be a companion to shepherds. Since the region was isolated, breeding with non-native dogs was extremely limited leading to purity of the breed. Up until the early 1900s, Estrela Mountain Dogs were unknown outside of their native Portugal. The breed was finally brought to Great Britain in 1974 and then introduced to other countries throughout the world. They were recognized by United Kennel Club in 1996 and have been accepted for recording in the AKC Foundation Stock Service®.
Group AKC/FSS Working, UKC Guardian Dog