Estrela Mountain Dog

Also known as: Portuguese Shepherd

Breed origin: Portugal
Original purpose: Livestock guardian.

AKC recognized: No
AKC group: Foundation Stock Service

Size: Weight: males 88 to 110 lbs; females 66 to 88 lbs
Size: Height: males 25½ to 28½ inches; females 24½ to 27 inches
Color: Fawn, brindle, wolf-grey, or yellow, with or without white markings, preferably with a black mask.

Life span: 12 to 16 years.

General characteristics/temperament: The Estrela Mountain Dog is alert, agile, intelligent, loyal, and nurturing. While still widely used to guard flocks in their native Portugal and elsewhere, they also make an ideal family pet. They are naturally protective of their family, especially children, and very distrustful with strangers. They are intelligent, but are very independent and can be very stubborn and challenging to train. They tend to be dominant as well, making it extremely important to start socialization and obedience training very early in puppyhood. Although happiest in cold climates, they adapt very well to hot climates if provided with adequate shelter from the heat.

Good with children? Yes, although puppies and adolescents may play too roughly with young children and hurt them inadvertently.

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? Naturally

OK for inexperienced owners? No

OK in apartments? No

Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? No

Exercise requirement: Daily walks and/or play sessions.

Grooming requirement: The rough hair does not tangle (except for mats behind the ears) so maintenance is easy. One deep brushing weekly should be sufficient.

Known health problems: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia.

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
The Estrela Mountain Dog Associasion of America
Wikipedia breed information page

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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