The Estrela Mountain Dog is a majestic and majestic breed of dog that has been a long-time companion to many families. Known for their strong and protective nature, these dogs have earned a reputation as one of the most loyal and dedicated pets one can ever have. As such, it is no surprise that numerous families have chosen to include an Estrela Mountain Dog in their home. However, before you welcome this breed into your household, it is best to learn as much as you can about them. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about this amazing dog breed.
The origins of the Estrela Mountain Dog can be traced back to the Serra da Estrela mountain range found in Portugal. These mountain dogs have been relied on by agriculturalists to guard their flocks and homesteads for centuries. Given its size, strength, and fearless nature, it is no surprise this dog rose to fame almost instantly.
The Estrela Mountain Dog has been so valuable to Portuguese locals that they have even been recognized as part of the Portuguese culture. In 1933, a breed standard was established, and the Estrela Mountain Dog was recognized by the Portuguese Kennel Club. It was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.
Over the years, breeders have endeavored to maintain the breed’s original physical characteristics, as well as its protectiveness and loyalty.
Location of Origins
The Estrela Mountain Dog was initially bred in a region in central Portugal known as ‘Serra da Estrela.’ This region is characterized by high mountain terrain, a landscape that can be quite challenging. The dogs would have to be raised in this environment, given that they had to be used by the locals to guard their flocks of sheep and homesteads. The breed is still popular in the region, and it has been adopted all over the world.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an imposing breed, weighing between 65 and 110 pounds and standing between 23 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a dense double-coat, with short, thick and soft fur. Their coat comes in two types – long and short. Both variants come in colors such as yellow, fawn, wolf grey or brindle. Estrela Mountain Dogs are known to be intelligent, loyal, protective, and a little bit headstrong. Their herding instincts also make them rather territorial, and they can be quite possessive about their families and home.
This breed is good with children as long as they have been introduced to them properly. Training and socialization require adequate attention, and dog owners should have experience with training large-sized breeds. They appreciate a lot of playtime, exercise, and activity, and they will thrive in homes with large backyards or that are closer to nature.
The Estrela Mountain Dog can suffer from a few health concerns, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Therefore, it is important that dog owners take good care of them and keep up with their regular health checkups.
Choosing the Best Foods
Owners of Estrela Mountain Dogs must develop a proper feeding routine that meets all of their nutritional needs. The dogs need a healthy diet that is high in protein to maintain their muscular tone and size. Proteins are necessary for tissue growth and repair while fibers help the food to digest. However, it’s essential to know that dogs have different feeding requirements, depending on their age, activity level, and health status. Therefore, owners must work with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet plan.
Most owners prefer dry kibble because it helps to clean a dog’s teeth while providing sustained energy throughout the day. A variety of foods – like sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, broccoli, apples, and blueberries – can also be included in the dog’s diet for an excellent nutritional balance. Freshwater should be available to the dog throughout the day to keep them hydrated.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed that can be trained easily if approached correctly. As they are large and muscular, owners must start training them from a young age to develop and enhance their natural instincts. Socialization is essential, and owners must ensure the puppy meets other dogs to reduce their territorial instincts.
This breed is known to bark a lot, and owners must ensure they stay engaged and active while interacting with their owners and visitors. Training methods should be friendly, fun, and not intimidating. Positive reinforcement like treats, toys, and praise should be used.
It is essential that owners remain patient and consistent when training their dogs. This breed has a highly territorial nature and can get aggressive if not trained adequately.
Owners of an Estrela Mountain Dog must take their grooming routine seriously. They require frequent grooming as their coats can be thick and can collect dirt and debris easily. Weekly brushing helps to reduce shedding; when shedding is seasonal, it is a good idea to brush them twice a week more regularly. Bathing should only be done when necessary, and grooming for their eyes, ears, and teeth should not be ignored.
As with all breeds, Estrela Mountain Dogs also require regular exercise and activity. Dog owners should schedule regular playtime and walks to keep their dogs healthy, happy, and stimulated. Owners should provide adequate exercise and training to ensure they don’t develop problem behaviors, such as aggressive or destructive behavior.
Can Estrela Mountain Dogs live in small apartments?
No. Due to their large size and active nature, it is highly recommended that they live in large homes with adequate outdoor exercise facilities.
Are Estrela Mountain Dogs affectionate?
Yes, they are, but they are also protective and may seem aggressive around strangers. They must be trained regarding their territorial instincts.
What is the average lifespan of an Estrela Mountain Dog?
They have a lifespan of about 10 – 12 years.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is an intelligent, loyal, and protective breed that has been part of Portuguese culture for many years. They make excellent family pets, but owners must have adequate experience training and taking care of large breeds. With proper training, exercise, and health care, Estrela Mountain Dogs can live long and healthy lives. Therefore, anyone looking to adopt an Estral Mountain Dog must be willing to commit the resources necessary to provide proper care and attention to their dog.