Estrela Mountain Dog



Deduced in Portugal, the Estrela Mountain Dog (also referred to as the Portuguese Shepherd) was originally used for cattle grazing and protection of personal property. Various abilities of this breed were very appreciated by both farmers and aristocrats. The Estrela Mountain Dog breed is one of the oldest breeds in Portugal and is quite rare outside its native land.

Height: 24.5-28.5 inches  Weight: 75-130 lbs.  Lifespan: 12-16 years


Estrela Mountain Dogs are quite agile, strong and hardy dogs, which are naturally extremely vigilant. Comparable Breeds: The Leonberger and Great Pyrenees.


The Estrela Mountain Dog has an independent mind. He is intelligent, very affectionate and faithful to his master. Also, since this breed is deeply attached to its entire family, it cannot get along with new owners (if someone re-sells or give the dog). Estrela Mountain Dogs do well with children and other pets, provided that they grew up in the same household. On the other hand, representatives of this breed are extremely cold and reserved with strangers, and they are not afraid to react if feel threatened. Alert, loyal and loving dog breed, the Estrela Mountain Dog makes an excellent guard and a family companion.

Coat / Care:

The Estrela Mountain Dog is covered with a thick furry coat, consisting of two layers. There are two subspecies of this breed: Short-haired and long-haired. Long haired subspecies have a thick, rough and straight outer layer of coat, which is fitting tightly to the dog’s body. Below is located neat and dense undercoat. Short-haired subspecies are adorned with a thick and coarse coat. They have a dense, soft undercoat. During the shedding seasonal, this breed sheds quite actively, which requires special attention. In general, Estrela Mountain Dogs require regular cleaning. If really necessary, you can bathe your pet. There are no special health problems in this breed, although stomach problems and canine hip dysplasia may occur.


The Estrela Mountain Dog can be excessively obstinate, and he often tends to dominate. Therefore, this dog breed requires early socialization and habituation to obedience. Rough or heavy-handed training methods are completely ineffective. In fact, education should be based on fairness, firmness, consistency and patience.


Do not keep your dog in a city apartment. Hence, the Estrela Mountain Dog should roam freely without a leash, particularly because this breed is a barker. In addition, Estrela Mountain Dogs thrive best in the countryside, with a big house and extensive, well-fenced yard, where they can perform any given task.

Photo credit: gailhampshire/Flickr

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