The canine mountaineer
Original Name : Caõ da Serra da Estrela
Type : Molossoid
Other Names : Portuguese, Shepherd, Dog
Male size : 25½-28½ inches
Female size : 24½-26¾ inches
Degree of grooming :
Countries of origin : Portugal
Estrela Mountain Dogs are mastiff-type Molossoid dogs. Well balanced, morphologically perfect, compact and hardy, the overall harmony of this breed is highly pronounced, thanks to a long tradition of pure bloodlines.
Strong and big, elongated and slightly convex.
Virtually level and preferably short, broad loins, short, muscular, well connected croup, which slopes slightly.
Only fawn, wolf-gray and yellow are accepted, solid or with white markings.
Small in proportion (4¼ inches long, 4 inches broad), thin, triangular, dropping and rounded at the tip.
Long, not docked, reaching to the hock at rest.
Strong, somewhat thick but not excessively harsh, a little like goat hair.
Estrela Mountain Dogs are dynamic and imposing. Their gaze is alert, calm and expressive. They earn respect from strangers through their firm, occasionally menacing comportment, but they are also remarkably obedient to the herder and a loyal, inseparable companion. They work relentlessly to protect the flock from wolves and rustlers, but are also outstanding guard dogs for farmsteads and family homes, as well as well suited personal defense dogs. They can even be used as draught dogs. The breed has inhabited the Serra da Estrela region of modern-day Portugal. As such, it is one of the oldest in the Iberian peninsula, although its origins are shrouded in mystery.
Did you know ?
Estrelas are found anywhere between the foothills to the summits. In the summer, they can be found at up to 6,500 feet above sea level, as the herd leaves the lower reaches parched by excessive heat in search of the virgin pastures that emerge when the snow melts. Estrelas protect the flock against predators that continue to inhabit these parts.