October 28, 2022

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Estrela Mountain Dogs and Puppies

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The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Estrela Mountain Dogs and Puppies

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Estrela mountain dog breed information and frequently asked questions.

Where does the Estrela Mountain Dog come from?

The Estrela Mountain Dog originated from the Serra de Estrela Mountains in Portugal and is one of the oldest known dog breeds in the world. The Estrela Mountain Dog is classified as a Molossian Mountain Dog type by the FCI in the Mountain type subsection.

How big is an Estrela Mountain Dog?

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a big dog. Males weigh approximately 130 pounds and stand approximately 27 inches tall at the shoulders. Females are slightly smaller. Despite the Estrela’s substantial size, they are very agile and athletic and not cumbersome as some giant breeds tend to be. They have a favorable bone to body ratio but should not be overly large boned.

Do Estrela Mountain Dogs make good pets?

The Serra is a very lovable family dog. The Estrela Mountain Dog is exceptionally loving and tolerant of children. The superior intelligence, devotion to family members, vigor, and long lifespan of the Estrela Mountain dogs make the breed especially loved as family dogs in the right environment. The Estrela is very patient, alert, and self-sufficient. The breed can be left alone for certain lengths of time and will not suffer from separation anxiety if given an appropriate environment. This breed is not particularly suitable for urban living, apartments, and small spaces. Puppies benefit from socialization and positive community interactions. Some Estrela Dogs are suspicious of strangers.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs aggressive?

The true Estrela Mountain Dog is not an aggressive dog breed. Unlike some of the old-world guardian breeds, Estrela Mountain dogs although quite formidable have adapted well to modern family life while retaining their guardian instincts. This breed makes excellent therapy dogs. They excel in other disciplines requiring calm trustworthy temperaments. The Estrela will accept most strangers that the owner introduces and trusts. The Estrela possesses excellent guardian instincts and will protect the home and property of his owner. Estrela’s will not fall in love with strangers, nor will they permit suspicious activity if their owner is not present. Socialization as a puppy, breed lines, and basic foundational firm but gentle training all play a part in individual dog temperaments.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs good with children?

The Estrela Mountain Dog is particularly gentle, loving, and tolerant of children. They are known for their gentle attentiveness and forbearance with tiny humans. Their gentleness has made them a family favorite for centuries. Read more about Estrela dogs with kids here.

Are Estrela Dogs good with other dogs?

Estrela Mountain Dogs get along well with other dogs. They need positive socialization with other dogs, starting at a young age. Dominant male dogs may not tolerate other dominant male dogs if they consider them a threat as an adult. Female dogs are very sweet and more tolerant of other adult pet introductions in adulthood. For centuries these dogs were accustomed to living in groups/packs to guard livestock and homes. However, it is a myth that they are unable to live in a multi-dog home. Education, early socialization, and a positive relationship with his owners will assist a long way in enabling the Estrela to enjoy a happy life with other dogs/family members.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs good with pets?

Estrela Mountain Dogs have a very low prey drive, due to their heritage as flock guardians. The Estrela Mountain Dog will tolerate and care for/guard all species that belong to his owner and his home. Again, early education and experiences will shape the temperament of the Estrela regarding other pets. The Estrela Mountain Dog will not tolerate other animals that they see as a threat to their owner, their flocks, or their family’s home.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs friendly?

Estrela Mountain Dogs are very devoted to their family, and aloof and cautious with strangers. Estrela Mountain Dogs often accompany their owners in public places and with proper training are both sociable and friendly. The Estrela Mountain dog will accept strangers that his family introduces but will not readily fall in love with other humans that he considers threats.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs good flock guardians?

Yes, Estrela Mountain dogs are instinctually excellent guardians. The Estrela Mountain Dog will guard his flock with his life and will take as much action as necessary to protect his owners’ possessions, home, and livestock.

Is the Estrela Mountain Dog intelligent?

The Estrela Mountain Dog is a highly intelligent, independent thinker. Estrela Mountain Dogs often watch over their shepherds flocks alone, for short periods of time. This resulted in a dog breed that learned to make their own decisions and to independently act in case of danger. The Estrela is a patient, highly intuitive, alert, and intelligent breed with a loving, independent character. This breed needs positive training balanced with gentle accountability. They do not respond to harsh reprimanding. They need gentle yet firm training. If they are respected for their intelligence and loyalty, they will devote themselves completely to their owner.

Is the Estrela Mountain Dog good at obedience?

Some Serra dogs have earned Good Citizen Awards and many dog owners have done obedience trials with their Estrelas. Due to the breed’s independent thinking, they are not a rollover and beg type of breed. But with patience, they are very willing to please their owner, and their potential is limitless. The Serra is a very athletic breed and can excel at agility as a large breed dog.

Are Serra da Estrela’s easy to train?

The Serra is highly intelligent, and they possess an intuitive mind of their own. They respond well to consistent positive reinforcement training; they genuinely love to please their pet parents. Serra dogs possess strong working instincts. Estrela’s stubborn traits are born from their need to make sure everything in their environment is okay. An understanding of the breed and its original purpose helps one understand their behaviors. The Estrela does not do well with harsh training tactics. They thrive in stable, positive reinforcement environments. The intelligence of the Estrela contributes to a beautiful, mutually understanding owner/dog relationship.

Do Estrela Mountain Dogs shed?

The Estrela Mountain Dog has a double coat that sheds twice a year. The Estrela’s coat is low maintenance and only needs groomed once a week. A daily brushing will speed up the Estrela’s shedding process and reduce the amount of hair left on the grounds.

Do Estrela Mountain Dogs drool?

No, Estrela Mountain Dogs do not drool. The Serra dog is a large, dry-mouthed breed. They do not drool like some types of mastiffs and other wet-mouth giant dog breeds.

How long do Estrela Mountain Dogs live?

The Estrela Mountain Dog has one of the longest lifespans of all giant breeds. The Estrela Mountain Dog has an average lifespan of 12-16 years, due to the excellent health of the breed and the absence of health issues that plague most giant breeds.

How much does an Estrela Mountain Dog puppy cost?

Estrela Mountain Dog puppies cost anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 USD, or 1000 EU-3000 EU approximately, from reputable breeders and health tested parentage. The Estrela Mountain Dog is a rare, large breed, not commonly seen outside of Portugal. See the Estrela Puppy Adoption Guide here.

What do Estrela Mountain Dogs Eat?

Estrela Mountain Dogs need a healthy diet consisting of a quality dry dog food, raw bones and raw meat. Estrela Mountain Dogs do not eat as much as their size would suggest. For centuries they were a breed that existed in less-than-ideal nutritional conditions as flock guardians in economically poor regions. In certain eras, they were only fed the scraps from their owners’ own meals.

The Estrela Mountain Dog is genetically prone to become overweight on a western dog food diet. Care should be taken to feed the Estrela a diet that is lower in energy and nutritiously healthy. This will prevent obesity and maintain health. Estrela’s should be fed twice a day to prevent stomach torsion (a lethal condition common in large breeds) and they should have access to fresh water at all times.

Are Serra da Estrelas cold or heat tolerant?

The weather in the Estrela Mountain Dogs native home is diverse and extreme, Ranging from cold mountain temperatures to hot arid beach climates. The Estrela Mountain Dog has adapted remarkably to extreme weather changes and does not mind the heat like many giant breeds. They enjoy snow and you will have a hard time persuading them to come indoors when they are enjoying a big snowstorm. The Estrela will work and thrive in a variety of climates, basic care: water, shade and shelter should always be available.

Do Estrela Mountain Dogs bark?

The Estrela Mountain dog is very alert and will bark when they are guarding and determining a potential threat. Certain breed lines are noisier than others, and puppies should be taught at an early age not to bark without provocation. Depending on where you live, and the environment owners should consider if a large barking dog will disrupt neighbors and cause issues. The Estrela Mountain Dog is not as noisy as some large guardian breeds. This is because they do not bark to hear themselves bark, but Estrela’s will instinctively bark to deter potential threats.

Are Estrela Mountain Dogs destructive?

Estrela Mountain Dog puppies like to chew and can be mischievous like all normal puppies. Estrela Mountain Dog puppies like to dig holes, chew on sticks, and play tug of war. They should be given toys to deter them from more destructive behaviors. Puppies respond well to ethical crate training and grow out of the impish puppy stage with maturity.

Do Serra da Estrelas enjoy riding in a vehicle?

Estrela Mountain Dogs enjoy being with their owners. Puppies need short car ride experiences and socialization. Short rides should be made a positive experience. Estrela Mountain dogs enjoy traveling with their owners.

Does the Estrela Mountain Dog breed have health problems?

The Estrela Mountain Dog breed is a hardy, vigorous breed. They are do not have many of the health issues that affect similar giant breeds. They have adapted well to the challenges of their native environment, and lovers of the breed have championed to retain their vigor and genetic diversity.

Some of the common health problems that affect the Estrela Mountain Dog include:

 Hip dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia

Dilated cardiomyopathy

It is imperative to only purchase Estrela Mountain Dog puppies from breeders that health test potential parents. This is because it is imperative to provide the Estrela with a healthy diet and regular veterinary checkups.

Does the Estrela Dog need a lot of exercise?

The Estrela Dog has very flexible exercise requirements. If you only keep them in a yard with occasional walks, they will be fine. If you prefer to walk miles with them, they will be your happy companion. This breed should not be locked up in a small apartment without regular exercise. They prefer to spend time in a yard or garden. Exercise puppies should be unforced and restricted until they are 12 months of age, to promote healthy bone and joint development. Care should be taken with stairs and slippery surfaces to prevent injuries to hips and joints during development.

Do EMD Puppies require Puppy Training?

Yes, Estrela Puppies will benefit from the early socialization and bonding with their pet parents during regular puppy classes. Puppies will get to socialize with a variety of other puppies in a positive environment, promoting life skills and healthy habits for years to come.

How many puppies does the Cao da Serra da Estrela have?

The average litter size of the Serra da Estrela ranges from 7-10 puppies

Is the breed short or long haired?

The Estrela Breed is available in both short and long-hair varieties. Both the long and short haired dogs have functional working coats with a dense thick undercoat and longer guard hair that feels like soft goat hair. The coat requires weekly brushing but rarely matts because it isn’t cotton like or kinky.

In summary, the Estrela breed is an ancient, functional, loving dog breed. They have unique strengths and quirks, endearing them to their owners. They are not ideal for every situation but in the right environments, they excel as working, family guardians, and companions.

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