General Information

Dog NameEstrela Mountain Dog
Other NamesEstrela
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeMountain Dog
GroupWorking and Guardian
Breed ForGuard livestock
Country of OriginPortugal

Physical And Size

Min Life Span10
Max Life Span14
Min Ideal Weight for male44
Max Ideal Weight for male44
Min Ideal Weight for female34
Max Ideal Weight for male44


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentCourageous, Alert, Smart
Prey DriveNo
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Dog FriendlyMedium
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginPortugal
Nicknames and Other NamesEstrela
Cão da Serra da Estrela
Portuguese Shepherd
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupWorking Group, Guardian Group
Bred Forguard livestock
Recognized ByAKC, FCI, UKC, NZKC, KC
Life Span10-14 years
Ideal WeightMale: 99-132 pounds
Female: 77-99 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 25-30 inches
Female: 77-99 inches
Fur TypeBoth long and short coat, mildly coarse,
similar texture to goat
Common ColorsWolfgray
MarkingsWhite markings
Black Mask
AvailabilityModerately available
AchievementsUsed as police dog
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToLeonberger

The Estrela Mountain dog is an independent breed that has a strong and muscular built body to guard the livestock. These sturdy dogs will make an excellent guard dog, always watchful and defending against strangers. Estrela is loyal to its family and protective towards their territory.

The Estrela Mountain dog can be quite dominant with other dogs as well as with people. You should socialize and maintain a firm leadership, if you want to add a Estrela Mountain dog as a companion.

Origin and History

Estrela Mountain dogs are the oldest breeds in Portugal and  they have been protecting flocks of sheep for many centuries. The first Estrela Mountain dog was entered into the show ring in 1908 but due to the Portuguese peoples’ admiration of foreign breeds and their behavior to prevent the breeds mate, the number of Estrela Mountain dogs began to diminish.

Between 1908 to 1919, special shows were held to promote and protect the Estrela Mountain breed in the region. The first official breed standard was established in 1993.

The United Kingdom became the first country to establish the Estrela Mountain Dog outside of Portugal in 1872. These dogs can be found in several countries around the world nowadays.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs Child Friendly?

No doubt! Estrela Mountain dogs are child-friendly because they like to be with children and play with them all the time. They like running around with children and play fetch games. The furious dogs can trouble the children if proper guidelines are not given.

facts of Estrela Mounatin dogs
Estrela Mountain puppy with kid sitting comfortably.

Always teach the children how to react with the Estrela Mountain dogs. They should be taught not to pull the tails or ears while the dog is sleeping or eating something. The dog can bite the children when they are disturb. So dogs should be taken to kindergarten classes or should be trained at home.

Behavior, Temperament and Personality

The behavior of Estrela Mountain dog is loyal and affectionate toward its family. The dog is aloof and suspicious of strangers and can be extremely defensive of his property. They are extremely lovable with their family but in the other hand, they tend to be aggressive. So, early socialization is a must with this breed.

The watchful and wary personality of Estrela Mountain dogs means that they are known to be dogs that bark a lot under inadequate exercise. They can mix well with other small dogs unlikely to challenge its dominance.

Walk Time.

Since Estrela Mountain dogs were bred to be guardian dogs, the temperament of Estrela Mountain dogs makes excellent guard dogs if properly trained. They are independent, stubborn and strong. Estrela Mountain dogs are not the choice for the inexperienced dog owner since they need high amount of exercise and training. They might rule the pack if sensed any lack of leadership.


Estrela Mountain dog is an intelligent breed that will respond well to training from an assertive and confident leader. Its independence and strong character can lead to stubbornness if it senses any weakness on the trainer.

Socialization training is important in Estrela Mountain dogs to ensure the natural suspicion of strangers seen throughout the breed. The positive reinforcement tricks should be included so that the dogs will be motivated during the training session.

Some Facts About Estrela Mountain Dogs

  • Estrela Mountain dogs is one of the 75 breeds that are banned and restricted in the United States.
  • Estrela Mountain dogs have ears that are rose-shaped and fold back at the top.
Facts of Estrela Mountain dogs.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy,
Cataracts, Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, Obesity,
Heart Disease
Vaccination RequiredCanine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough,
Canine Coronavirus, Rabies, Canine Distemper
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingAverage Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialHigh
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 32%
Fat: 15%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids

Estrela Mountain dogs are generally healthy but like other breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Some of the health conditions are given below:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: It is a condition of heart failure seen in Estrela Mountain dogs.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Malformation is a disorder of the elbow joints causing lameness, stiffness and pain in growing puppy.
  • Hip Dysplasia: It is a condition in which the hip joints are not formed properly.

Color Patterns

The Estrela Mountain dogs are found in following different colors:

  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Brindle
  • Yellow


Estrela Mountain dogs can give birth to 7 to 8 puppies. Puppies are intelligent and can be trained easily.


The average cost of Estrela Mountain dog puppy is about $800 USD.


The Estrela Mountain male stands up to 65 to 72 cm and the female will apparently stand up to has 62 to 69 cm tall.

Similarly, the male Estrela Mountain weigh about 40 to 50 kg whereas, the females will weigh about 30 to 40 kg on average.

Which Dog Breed Are They Similar To?

Some of the breeds similar to Estrela Mountain dogs are as follows:

Visit Doglime to know about different dogs breed.