December 16, 2022

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. Mix (Which Is Better)?

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Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. Mix (Which Is Better)?

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Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog puppy imported from Portugal

So, you want a dog with Estrela Mountain Dog genetics but are not sure if you need a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs a mix? Both options can make wonderful companions and partners. But if you really want to know which is better between a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog and a mixed breed dog, here’s the clear answer. 

A purebred Estrela Mountain dog’s behavior is easy to predict. A mixed breed dog has a tendency to be instinctually confused and unpredictable. Mixed-breed Estrela puppies are cheaper. Purebred Estrela Mountain dog puppies may be more expensive. Apart from these differences, the best will be relative to each dog and situation. The most suitable dog is the one that meets your expectations. Both have their pros and cons. Read more about Estrela Mountain Dog pros and cons here.

To help you know what to expect, this article describes the strengths and drawbacks of a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. A mix. 

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. Mix: The Genetic Difference

The most significant difference between purebred and mixed dogs is their genetic inheritance. A purebred Estrela Mountain Dog is born from breeding two purebred Estrela Mountain dogs with the inherited genes of a family line of only Estrela Mountain Dogs.

Estrela Mountain Dog mixes result from breeding dogs with genetics from more than one breed. For example, breeding an Estrela Mountain Dog with a Newfoundland would result in a mixed breed litter of puppies. Mixed breed dogs occur whenever 2 parents of mixed or different breeds mate and produce puppies.

Is a Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog Better Than a Mix?

Purebred Estrela Mountain dog sitting with a child on a bridge

Dog owners normally decide on a particular dog breed because they have expectations for a dog to fulfill or are looking for a certain type of dog personality. It’s always wise to evaluate your expectations before making a decision about a preferred dog breed. These factors will help you decide on the dog breed that best suits your expectations and environment.

You can decide if a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog or a mix is better for you based on these factors:

1. The dog’s function

2. The dog’s temperament.

3. The cost of owning (and buying) a dog.

4. The dog’s health and lifespan.

5. The dog’s trainability.

1. The Dog’s Function

The definition of a dog breed is: a predictable genetic package created with the goal of specific function. Dog breeds are created to be consistent in behavior and gradually become more uniform in appearance. The Estrela Mountain dog is one of the oldest indigenous landrace breeds. They were developed as companions and guardians for the native inhabitants of the Serra da Estrela Mountains in Portugal.

You will need to first determine what functions you’re expecting your dog to fulfill before you choose between a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog and a mix.

If you need an Estrela Mountain dog to perform specific tasks such as guardianship, livestock predictability, LGD work, safety with disabled children, etc. You will want to choose a dependable purebred Estrela Mountain dog.

A mixed-breed dog may not be able to perform the functions of either of its parent breeds. Mixing a herding breed with an Estrela will not make a herding Estrela. It will simply produce genetically confused puppies that will not be safe around livestock and won’t be biddable enough to herd properly. These types of mixes will not be functional and are only suitable as human pet companions.               

Conclusion: Purebred dogs are a predictable genetic package. Mixed dogs are instinctually confused and may not be able to fulfill the intended function of either of their different breed parents.

2. The Dog’s Temperament

A purebred Estrela Mountain dog’s temperament is easily predicted based on descriptions of their native owners and national breed standards such as the one described by the AKC. The Estrela Mountain dog is intelligent, trustworthy, courageous, affectionate, highly adaptable and patient, aloof with strangers, fantastic with children, and protective of family and the owner’s possessions, among other traits. 

When you breed an Estrela Mountain Dog with another dog, it’s expected that the mix will inherit a bit of each dog.

In fact, studies have confirmed that the most significant part of a dog’s personality is genetically inherited, while owner personality and training also play significant roles. 

A mixed breed can have more of one parent’s temperament. The percentage the offspring inherits from each parent is not guaranteed to be 50:50. Ifparents had conflicting genetic functions the pups may be genetically conflicted and struggle throughout life with genetics trying to override each other.

Verdict: Although it is easier to predict the temperament of a purebred dog, you can also partially predict how an Estrela Mountain dog mix will turn out by guessing from the temperament traits of the parent breeds. The Estrela can lose its original genetic temperament if it is mixed with a breed with conflicting functions such as a herding breed.

3. The Cost of Buying (and Owning) an Estrela Mountain Dog.

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog puppy lying on a floor

The average cost to buy an Estrela Mountain Dog ranges between $2000-3000$ in the United States. On top of that, you’ll need to keep in mind the cost of owning the dog for the pet’s life span. This includes vet care, food, quality of life, and training. You can learn more about buying an Estrela Mountain Dog puppy here.

Choosing a purebred Estrela Mountain Dog or mix won’t make a difference in the basic costs of owning a dog. However, you may pay more or less to buy an Estrela Mountain dog mix depending on the following:

  • Your location: You might pay less for a mix depending on your country of residence.
  • What breed your EMD is mixed with: An EMD bred with another popular breed may cost more than when mixed with a less popular dog.
  • Parent dogs’ genetics: An Estrela Mountain dog mix with a champion bloodline will cost more. 

Summary: If you are on a tight budget, it might be better to find an Estrela Mountain dog mix. Ideally, seek out a dog in need of adoption. Remember that the costs of dog ownership only start when you choose to adopt a dog. There will be numerous costs related to owning any large breed of dog, purebred or mixed. If cost is not a factor, you may save yourself more problems in the future by choosing a healthy puppy from a purebred or a champion bloodline mix. Your finances may determine which dog is best for you. Find Info about the Best Estrela Mountain Dog Breeders in the United States Here.

4. The Dog’s Health & Lifespan

A study of the health of purebreds vs. mixed breeds showed that purebred dogs had higher chances of suffering inbred genetic disorders. In mixed breeds, only one of the disorders (4%) had higher incidences.

However, we forget three critical facts when assuming that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds:

  • The referred study found no significant difference in the incidence of 13 disorders (a majority of 54%). This means both purebred dogs and mixed breeds have equal chances of suffering from these diseases.
  • When a dog is mixed with another breed they run the risk of inheriting genetic disease weaknesses from both breeds. For example, an Estrela Mountain dog mixed with the great Pyrenees runs the risk of developing additional genetic diseases that the Great Pyr brings into the mix.
  • A A dog’s health is highly dependent on the care given. A mixed breed dog owner who takes proper care of their dog helps ensure their pet has good health and a longer life. A Purebred Estrela Mountain dog owner who neglects their dog’s preventative health care and well-being puts their dog’s health at risk.

Responsible dog breeders should ensure they breed healthy dogs, whether these dogs are purebred or mixed breeds. 90% of the time mixed Breed breeders do not health test their adult breeding stock. And most large breed dogs are prone to more genetic diseases than the Estrela Mountain Dog. Mixing these Breeds with the Estrela Mountain dog makes their puppies more susceptible to large breed dog diseases. The indigenous purebred Estrela puppies are healthier then most other large breed puppies. A puppy is at risk of developing preventable disease if its parents are not health tested.

Lifespan of Estrela Mountain Dogs

Estrela Mountain Dogs have one of the longest lifespans of large breed dogs. The Estrela Mountain dog’s lifespan ranges from 10-13 years.

The speculation that mixed-breed dogs live longer is not scientifically proven. This recent study on the lifespan of dogs did not find any definite difference in lifespan between mixed breed and purebred dogs.

Being a purebred Estrela Mountain dog or a mix may not significantly affect longevity. Purebred Estrela Mountain Dogs are already a healthy, large breed known for their longevity. Therefore, adding another large breed to their genetics may significantly lower their expected lifespan.

Verdict: A purebred Estrela Mountain dog and a mix are both prone to health problems if they inherit them from their parents. Any dog not properly cared for is at risk of developing health issues. Unless you know that the dog breed your Estrela Mountain dog is mixed with has a history of living longer than the Serra da Estrela breed, there’s no guarantee that your mix will live longer than a purebred Estrela. The mix may even have a shorter lifespan.

5. The Dog’s Trainability

There’s no conclusive evidence to suggest that purebred or mixed-breed dogs have any intellectual and trainability advantage over each other. Indigenous Estrela Mountain dogs are known for their superior intelligence and perceptivity.

We need to look at the breed the Estrela is mixed with to predict what type of intelligence level a mix might have. How fast or how slow a dog learns depends on their previous life experience. And the foundational social start they received as puppies. A 2013 California State Science Fair project found that mixed-breed dogs solved more problems than pure-breed dogs. 

In contrast, a 2017 study on owner-perceived differences between purebred and mixed-breed dogs. The study recorded similar scores for trainability for both categories. 

Summary: How fast or slow your dog learns is affected by several factors. These factors include personality, training methods, age, and environment.

Unless a dog is mentally unstable there are no bad dogs. And all dogs are trainable.

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. Mix Summary

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog female, standing beside a river

Purebred Estrela Mountain Dogs and mixes all have their advantages and disadvantages. To answer the question, “Purebred Estrela Mountain Dog vs. mix: Which is better?” Prospective Estrela puppy owners have to assess their lifestyles and expectations to see which one has the quality that fits best. 

· If a prospective owner finds an Estrela Mountain dog mix in need of rescue or a new home, they might be the right match for a dog with a lot of love to give.

· If a prospective owner is looking for a dependable family companion, livestock guardian or therapy dog, they would probably be most satisfied with a purebred puppy from an ethical Estrela Mountain dog breeder.

If you want to adopt an EMD mix, check out this article, Estrela Mountain Dog Rescues.

Or if you want more info on the Estrela Mountain Dog in general, check out this article, Short Hair Estrela Mountain Dog vs. Long Hair- What’s the Difference?

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