Cão da Serra da Estrela FCI Standard
Some think that this breed arrived in Portugal with the very first Iberian farmers; others claim that the dog was brought by the Romans. It is believed that the Estrela Mountain Dog descended from the Roman Molossus dog. It has been used by shepherds to protect flocks for many centuries. Eventually by the XIX century local aristocrats began to use this breed as a guard dog.
In the 1908 the first Estrela Mountain Dog participated in a show ring. In 1922, the first standard for the breed was published. By the 1933, the first official breed standard was established. In 1972, the United Kingdom became the first country to establish the Estrela Mountain Dog outside of Portugal. The following year first breed members arrived to the United States. In 1996, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed.
Many Estrela Mountain Dogs are still used to protect the livestock in the Serra Estrela Mountains of Portugal. However, most breed members are now kept for property and personal protection. In recent years, many of the Estrela Mountain Dogs are used as a companion or show dogs.
If you train and socialize you dog properly, it will be an excellent companion for a child. The Estrela Mountain Dog is very patient and gentle with children and will be a great playmate for them. Some dogs may become overly protective of their children, and may understand wrong the rough play with other children. Estrela Mountain Dog puppies can bowl accidentally over a small child so you have to supervise them all the time.
The Estrela Mountain Dog will be an excellent guard and watchdog. It is very suspicious of strangers, and always will be wary around them. Therefore it is absolutely important to train and socialize your dog properly. Your dog must distinguish from an early age between real threats and friendly strangers.
The properly socialized Estrela Mountain Dog will be very tolerant of other animals. It has a very low prey drive, and most breed members get along with cats and other pets. However, this dog tends to be territorial, and may drive away strange animals. With other dogs the Estrela Mountain Dogs is less aggressive than other guardian breeds but this is a very dominant breed that can lead to dogfights, especially with other dominant breeds.
Another thing you need to know about the Estrela Mountain Dog is that it has a tendency to bark frequently. These barks can be extremely loud and deep, and your neighbours might not like it.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• anterior cruciate ligament rupture;
• skeletal growth abnormalities;
• heat sensitivity;
• progressive retinal atrophy;
• patellar luxation;
The Estrela Mountain Dog shed very heavily and will not be a good choice for allergy sufferers. Bathe your dog only when necessary using the good quality dog shampoos and conditioners.
However, the Estrela Mountain Dog is hard to train. It prefers to do its own thing rather than follow commands, and most breed members are extremely stubborn and wilful. Training must be based on rewards and positive methods. The physical correction and other negative methods your dog will simply ignore. The most important thing is to establish yourself as a leader from the very beginning and maintain this position all the time.
The Estrela Mountain Dog will be a great jogging and hiking companion and is perfect choice for an active family. This is a playful breed and will enjoy different games with kids, other dogs or family members. The Estrela Mountain Dog requires a home with a yard, preferably a large one. A properly exercised dog will be very quite and relaxed at the home.