Estrela Mountain Dog


A large sized Estrela Mountain Dog
Estrela Mountain Dog Quick Summary
Also Known AsPortuguese Mountain Dog
Height (at withers)24-29in (61-74cm)
Weight70-110lbs (32-50kg)
Hair Colour(s)Fawn, brindle, grey
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size4-8
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large and hardy looking dog. The body has a broad and deep chest with well-sprung ribs, a very level topline, strong boned and long legs and a low-set tail with a distinctive hook at the end. The broad head has a strong, slightly tapered muzzle, black nose, oval and well set eyes, and ears carried well back. The coat comes in two distinct varieties: a long, thick and slightly course coat and a shorter coat both with dense undercoats. Males have a more pronounced ruff around the shoulders and chest, and the colouring tends to be fawn, brindle and grey.


Estrela Mountain Dogs are eager and alert dogs with vigilant dipositions. They are loyal towards their owners and tend to form strong bonds with them, and so make ideal companions and family pets. Like many of the herding and working breeds, these dogs need to feel they are performing a task of some sort, and so it can be important to challenge them both mentally and physically on a regular basis. Being sociable animals, they prefer to be around people but are okay to be left for moderate periods of time. They are highly intelligent and can be obedient when trained properly and well socialised, but are also quite independent and can turn a deaf ear when it suits them. For this reason they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. Estrela Mountain Dogs get along well with children and can be very patient, but due to their large size are perhaps better suited to older, more considerate children. They are also pretty good with other dogs and pets when correctly socialised, and as they can be protective over their family, they tend to be wary and suspicous around strangers. Combined with their alertness, this makes them effective guard and watchdogs as they will bark to raise the alarm, although thankfully they are not generally prone to excessive barking.

History & Skills

Estrela Mountain Dogs, as their name suggests, originate from the Estrela Mountains in Portugal where they were bred to guard livestock and property. Possibly one of the oldest breeds of dogs from the Iberian Peninsula, they are still occasionally used for guarding livestock and herds but are mostly used as show dogs or family pets. These dogs arrived in Britain in the 1970s and were then introduced to other European countries soon after.

Breed Specific Ailments

Estrela Mountain Dogs tend to live between 10-14 years and are a relatively healthy breed not prone to illness. One of the few health problems noted in this breed include hip dysplasia.


Estrela Mountain Dogs are medium shedders that also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, and so may be unsuitable for allergy sufferers. Their coats can be long or short, which will dictate their grooming requirements. The short coated variety will simply need brushing a couple of times each week, while the longer coated variety may need more attention. Like with most dogs, the hair around the bottom area may need trimming for hygiene reasons, and the ears should be kept clean and dry to prevent infections.

Exercise & Environment

Estrela Mountain Dogs are adaptable and can live indoors or out, and can even be suitable for small homes such as apartments. However they do require plenty of space, and any outside areas should be secure because these are agile dogs that can escape fairly easily. They require a daily walk but this does not need to be rigorous.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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