The Estrela Mountain Dog is one of the oldest living dog breeds in Portugal, known for its protective instincts. Read this article to find more information about this dog breed.

Estrela Mountain Dog

Breed: Mountain Dog
Height: 34-51 kg
Weight: 58-61cm
Coat: Double coat
The Estrela Mountain Dog is a dog of a Portuguese origin, which was primarily used for herding and guarding and was treasured by farmer and aristocrats alike for its ability to guard the flock and estate. This rare breed of dog is lauded for its intelligence, independence and faithfulness. Estrela Mountain Dogs are highly affectionate breed of dogs that are amicable towards both men and pets. They basically get along well with children, but are aloof and wary towards strangers. Very alert and agile, the Estrela are sturdy dogs with hardy features. Ferociously protective and very vigilant, these breed of mountain dogs, unlike their strong built, are barely aggressive. They are easy to train, though they can be stubborn at times. The canines need to be socialized more often to get over their protective inhibitions. They can survive over tough terrains on simple food and need very low maintenance. Estrela Mountain Dogs are not exposed to serious health hazard and do fine under general living conditions. To know more on these breed of dogs, read on.
Of all the nine known varieties of Portuguese dog breeds, the Estrela Mountain Dog is possibly the most well-known and most loved breed. Originating in the Serra da Estrela mountain range in Portugal, the Estrela is touted as one of the oldest existing breeds in the Iberian Peninsula. Experts trace back its roots to ancient Asiatic mastiffs that were introduced in the region during the invasions. The exact history of the Estrela Mountain Dog is little known, except for the fact that this large breed is a descendent of the Roman Molossus, brought by invading armies. The Estrela is a pure bred dog that is closely associated to the Spanish Mastiff. The Estrela was used by the farmers to herd flocks and protect their farms from predators, mainly wolves. The Estrelas were an equally popular sight in the show rings and were fancied as house pet too, mainly because of their protective instincts. The Estrela Mountain Dog was officially acclaimed in the year 1996 by UKC.
Estrela Mountain Dogs are usually large, sinewy, well-boned and extremely powerful looking dogs, known for their agility, vigor and strength. They have short back, slanted croup and muscular loin. Their chest is usually deep and strongly ribbed. They have thick front legs and muscular thighs. They have powerful round skull, thick neck and a long muzzle. The jaws are deep set and firmly built. These dogs have jet black nose and amber colored eyes. They have a high set tail which is long, thick, and furry. Estrelas usually come in two different coats - long and short. The longer coat is usually thick and slightly coarse, while the shorter coat is usually coarse and straight.
Very intelligent, highly alert and extremely faithful, the Estrela Mountain Dog is a loving family companion highly prized for its protective instincts. Independent and dominating, these breeds of dogs are amicable and friendly and are extremely well-mannered. Estrelas are affectionate, calm and rarely aggressive. They are natural guards who love to protect and are quick to react when threatened. They are usually friendly with other animals, but they need to be socialized from young, so that they learn to get along with other neighborhood pets. They are easy with kids and because of their protective instincts are best guards for toddlers and children. Estrelas are open to training, though they can be very willful at times. They don’t like to be bullied and need soft careful dealing.
Genetic Disease
Estrela Mountain Dogs are a hardy breed of dogs that are not prone to much illness. However, like most other canine breeds, the canines are highly susceptible to hip dysplasia. This breed also has higher chances of developing cancers and usually suffers from OCD.
The Estrela Mountain Dogs need to be brushed every once in a week to keep their coat glossy and healthy. However, if they are long coated than usual dogs, they will need to be brushed two times per week to remove dead hair and prevent matting. Special care should be taken when molting, since these dogs tend to lose much of their hair then. 

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