Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large and noble looking dog. They are loyal, protective, faithful and have a great love of children and family.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Estrela has a thick outer coat that resembles the texture of goat hair and comes in longhair and shorthair varieties. Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best.
Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Exercise Tips

The Estrela Mountain Dog is not a highly active dog but it does require a long daily walk to meet its needs for exercise. This breed will appreciate having a large outdoor space to run and play in addition to having a daily walk. The Estrela Mountain Dog has high protective instincts and hewill not hesitate to come to the rescue for those he loves.

Feeding Tips

Because the Estrela Mountain Dog is a large-breed dog it should be fed a dog food diet formulated for large breeds. Large breed dogs actually have slightly lower energy needs than small breeds so a regular dog food formula might lead to weight gain. If your dog is particularly active, however, it may benefit from switching to an active breed formula.

Health Tips

Though the Estrela Mountain Dog is largely healthy, it can be affected by some of the same health problems that affect other large-breed dogs includinghip dysplasiaand elbow dysplasia. Purchasing your dog from a reputable breeder will help to reduce the incidence of congenital conditions because most reputable breeders perform genetic tests on their breeding stock to reduce hereditary health problems.


The Estrela Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed so it has the potential to respond well to training. Because this dog was bred to protect livestock, however, hecan be a bit independent and strong-willed.
For this reason, you need to maintain a firm and consistent hand in training and it is recommended that you use positive reinforcement-based training methods. Starting this dog with training and socialization as early as possible is incredibly important and strong leadership will be required throughout its lifetime.


The origins of the Estrela Mountain Dog come from the mountains of Serra da Estrela in what is now known as Portugal. While the exact origins of this breed are unknown, it is undisputed that the Estrela Mountain Dog is one of the most ancient breeds in Portugal that still exists.
The Estrela Mountain Dog developed over a period of several hundred years, however, the first published breed standard was written in 1922 and the first official breed standard was written in 1933. Until 1972, there is no written record of this breed existing outside of Portugal and it was not imported into the United States until 1998.
To this day, the Estrela Mountain Dog remains true to its guardian heritage. It is still a working dog, guarding flocks in its native Portugal and elsewhere. The Portuguese also use it as a police dog. In the home, it is an ideal family pet because of its alertness, loyalty, intelligence, and its instinct to nurture young, all features it needed in its earliest days.