The Estrela Mountain Dog!

The Estrela Mountain Dog is said to have originated from the Serra da Estrela mountain range in Portugal, from which it got its name. It could possibly one of the oldest breeds of dogs from the Iberian Peninsula. The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, powerful, athletic and strongly muscled dog with a short back and a thick tail. In 1974 it was brought to Great Britain, and in 1998, to the United States. The Estrela Mountain Dog was officially recognized as a breed by the UKC in the year 1996. The Estrela Mountain Dog is also known as the Portuguese Mountain Dog.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Large spaces; preferably not an apartment.


Exercise Needs:
Five thirty minute walks per week.

Breed Group:


24-29 inches

70-110 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Fawn (reddish brown), wolf gray and yellow.

National breed club:
The Estrela Mountain Dog Association

Estrela Mountain Dog Skills

In ancient times, the Estrela Mountain Dogs were bred to work as a guardian of livestock and that of the properties of its owners. Now, though this breed still, on occasion, guard herds and livestock, most are bred to be show dogs or family pets.

Estrela Mountain Dog Personality

The Estrela Mountain Dog makes good guard dogs as this breed is not only intelligent, it is also very vigilant. The breed is also very loyal and affectionate to its owners, bonds closely with its masters and is good with children. Those the Estrela Mountain Dog considers as family will be watched over and strangers will be approached with suspicion. This fierce loyalty to its owners makes it difficult for the Estrela Mountain Dog to accept a new owner in adulthood.

Exercise Needs

Ideally, the Estrela Mountain Dog should have a lot of space, indoors as well as out, to move around in. These dogs are very agile and if the Estrela Mountain Dog is to be kept outside, he should stay in a well-fenced garden. They do not necessarily require rigorous exercise but Estrela Mountain Dogs would happily join its owner during walks or regular runs.

Living Conditions

It is not advisable to keep the Estrela Mountain Dog on a leash as this breed appreciates the contact of its masters. The dog can survive in apartments or homes, though canines this large would be better off in places with a lot of wide open spaces. Generally, it really takes very little to satisfy the Estrela Mountain Dog.

Grooming Requirements

The Estrela Mountain Dog may have one of two different coat types: long coat or short coat. Each coat type has different grooming requirements. Long coated dogs have a dense undercoat that is usually of a lighter shade than the thick and slightly coarse top coat which lies close to the body. The top coat could lie flat or be slightly wavy, but it is never curly. With the long coated dog, it easier to brush both coat layers. Short coated dogs, on the other hand still have a thick top coat and the undercoat is shorter in length. You'll have to make sure that both layers get properly groomed. Common colors of Estrela Mountain Dogs include fawn (reddish brown), wolf gray and yellow. The coats may or may not have brindling and white markings. Some Estrela Mountain Dogs have a dark facial mask, a trait much preferred by breeders.

Health Issues

Though the Estrela Mountain Dog is a hardy breed that is not prone to illnesses, it is, as other large breed canines, slightly susceptible to Canine Hip Dysplasia.

If you liked this dog…

If you like the color and appearance of the Estrela Mountain Dog, you may also like German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers as these dogs have similar colors and markings.


Estrela Mountain Dog


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