Finding an Estrela Mountain Dog for sale is harder then it seems. Many of the Estela Mountain Dogs in the United States are show and decorative lines. There are very few functional working Guardian lines of Serra da Estrela’s in the United States. Serra da Estrela’s are not for everyone but they excel here in the right environments.
Estrela Mountain dogs are hardworking guardians and wonderful companions. They are sought out for their love of children, and their gentle temperament. However, before you get one, it’s important to know more about the breed. We are here to help you decide if an Estrela Mountain Dog is the right choice for your Family.
Estrela Mountain Dog Origins
The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, sturdy dog with a long history of family companionship and the guardianship of flocks, livestock, and property. It originates back before the Romans. Shepherds introduced large. molosser dogs to Portugal. The Serra was created by native Shepherds to be agile and strong, for companionship and herd protection.
Its popularity waned in the early twentieth century, but it recovered after World War II. The FCI accepted the first breed standard in 1955. This breed was first officially imported into the United States in 1998. Today, it is a popular companion for people of all ages. Its dependable temperament, courage, and loyalty make it a great family dog. They excel as emotional support dogs.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is a mollosoid-type dog, a large, powerful animal similar to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Spanish Mastin. It is highly muscular and surprisingly athletic. Its coat consists of an outer coat and a insulating undercoat, complete with a thick tail. This breed is available in both short and long haired varieties.
The Estrela has a slightly tapering muzzle, with medium-sized oval-shaped dark brown eyes. It has a thick, coarse outer coat, and a soft wool-like undercoat. During the nineteenth century, local farmers became increasingly interested in foreign breeds. Consequently, some of the Estrela lines faced dilution by inbreeding with other large breeds. This mixing was a detriment to the true Genetic resource the Sierra carries. The autochthonous Serra da Estrela is a true treasure. Preservation of this beloved dog is important.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an athletic, large, and gentle dog.
- It is often used as a companion and guard dog.
- It can be found in several countries worldwide.
- It is recognized by the American Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
How to Find an Estrela Mountain Dog for Sale
When you decide to get an Estrela mountain dog, you will find that it is a large, gentle, and protective dog. The breed is very dependable and loyal. It is a great family companion and excels at LGD roles. However, its unfortunately very rare outside of Portugal. And the dogs that were first imported from Portugal did not always represent the true breed character.
Estrela Mountain Dogs for Sale in the United States
Your best option for finding an Estrela Mountain dog puppy for sale is to search on breed social media platforms and connect with ethical breeders here. Search for a breeder that performs health testing and has a true knowledge of the breed history and function. There are very few Estrela breeders in the United States and even fewer ethical ones. Anyone can import a few dogs and place them out with sheep or decide to make a litter. Search for someone with a knowledge of the original breed characteristics. These breeders will strive to preserve the autochthonous Cao da Serra da Estrela.
After you find a breeder that’s a good match for your needs, prepare to wait a bit for a healthy Estrela Mountain dog puppy. Most ethical breeders do not have puppies available at all times and keep waiting lists for select litters. Don’t worry, a healthy puppy is always worth waiting for.
If you think you’d like to import a original Estrela Mountain Dog puppy, feel free to contact us. We have native Portuguese roots and good connections with native ethical Estrela Mountain Dog breeders.
Are You Ready to Own an Estrela?
Like any large breed dog, Serra’s have some breed characteristics that are not suitable for every environment. They require space to exercise, a job to do/mental stimulation, grooming, socialization and gentle but experienced owners that can guide them. Here’s a list of things to consider before deciding to purchase an Estrela Mountain Dog.
- What is your setting like? Do you have close neighbors?
- What are your noise ordinances? Estrela’s do not bark incessantly, but they bark loud.
- Do you own your property and is it fenced appropriately?
- If your Estrela will be used as an LGD do you know your county ordinances etc. ?
- Is the area calm or will the dog be constantly overstimulated?
- Are you prepared for a big dog that likes to explore, dig and be a big dog?
These dogs are very versatile and can adapt to many different environments and lifestyles. The number one reason we see Estrela Dogs rehomed? New Owners did not prepare to own and manage a large dog in their environment.
- Do you have the time to commit to raising a puppy?
- Are you prepared to manage a dog in your life?
- Do you have solutions to exercise and stimulate the Estrela?
- If the Estrela will be an LGD are you committed to training the dog?
- Are you prepared for the costs of large dog ownership?
- Are you prepared to care for and support a dog for 12 years or more?
We know this is basic, but before you commit to large dog ownership, take the time to make sure you are ready. Check out our guide #1 Mistake We See New Puppy Owners Make ( And How to Fix It ) for more ideas here.
- What do you intend the Estrela to function as?
- Family Companion- Are you willing to socialize and take the puppy to training classes?
- Livestock Guardian Dog- Will you manage and guide your pup for success?
- Therapy Dog- Do you have time to commit to training and classes?
- Are you comfortable with owning a large, digging, barking, determined Dog?
- Are you ready for the lifestyle changes a large dog might incur?
- Are your expectations for your dog realistic and appropriate for an Estrela?
Only you can decide if an Estrela dog is right for you. Check out our blog and website for more resources if you are still on the fence and want to learn more about the breed. It is our experience that a lot of great dogs end up rehomed because the original owner did not realistically face the realities of owning a big dog. We want to help you avoid this. Take your time before deciding to sign up to parent this large loving breed.
Commonly Asked Questions About Estrela Mountain Dogs for Sale
Here are the most common questions we get asked about the Estrela Mountain dog breed.
How long do Estrela Mountain Dogs live?
Estrela Mountain Dogs have an average lifespan of 10-16 years. They are a healthy, vigorous large breed dog.
Are Estrela Mountain Dogs rare?
Yes, Estrela Mountain Dogs are rarely found outside of their native Portugal. There are a few breed advocates in the United States and the UK. Many other Estrela Dogs are spread out over Europe and the rest of the world.
Do Estrela Mountain Dogs Shed?
Yes, the Estrela Mountain Dog has a thick coat that sheds twice a year.
If you have a long haired Estrela mountain dog, you can brush it every week. This is important because brushing will remove any burs and dirt that might build up. A brush will also help prevent any matting of the fur.
Short haired dogs do not have to be brushed as often as long-haired dogs. But they will still benefit from a glove brush and getting their nails clipped regularly. The Estrela has strong dewclaws, sometimes double dewclaws. They require attention and clipping to prevent ingrown nails.
Do Estrela Mountain Dogs Bark?
Yes, the Estrela Mountain dog has a loud, deep bark. This breed is not an incessant barker, but they are happy to defend their territory and alert their owners when visitors arrive.
The Estrela Mountain Dog has a very expressive face. They are able to communicate with humans and have a natural guardian instinct. They will bark if they sense a threat. The breed has excellent intuition and can determine if visitors have appropriate or ulterior motives,
Are Estrela Mountain Dogs Friendly?
The Estrela mountain dog is very devoted to its owner and extremely intelligent and loyal.
- They are gentle and tolerant of children, small pets, and other animals.
- They are dutifully protective of their owner, family, and home.
- They are friendly in public if well socialized.
- They tend to be aloof with strangers they do not trust.
Are Estrela Mountain Dogs Aggressive?
No, this breed is not an aggressive, attack breed. They are a Defense, Deterrent & Companion breed. They are capable of showing aggression with any livestock predator, but they are not a breed that enjoys attacking humans. Serra’s strive to please humans, and love their owners. They will do their best to deter and bluff potential threats. These dogs should never be trained in attack training or bite training. Anyone using the Estrela in bite training or as an aggressive breed is a shame to the true character of the Serra da Estrela.
Are Estrela Mountain Dogs Good Pets?
The Estrela Mountain Dog is a great companion for households of all sizes. They love kids and enjoy pleasing and hanging out with humans. This very loyal, inquisitive and watchful dog is a joy to have around. The Estrela is a good choice for a family pet. To quote a native Portuguese Estrela advocate-
Anyone who claims that the Cao da Serra da Estrela is only fit for herds, does not understand the great love and bond the Serra carries for his owners. It would be cruel to deny this remarkable character the essential human companionship he seeks to establish and protect with his life.Teresa Gomez
Estrela Mountain Dog for Sale Summary
We hope this basic breed overview was helpful in deciding if the Estrela Mountain Dog breed is right for you. We know that finding an Estrela mountain dog puppy for sale isn’t easy. However, they are definitely a once in a lifetime kind of dog breed. We believe everyone should get to experience them if they have the environment and ability to enjoy this exquisite breed.
Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you might have about the breed, or just to tell us how much you love them to. We love meeting other Estrela nerds too.
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