Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela Mountain Dog

Last updated: Sep 04 2023

Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, intelligent, and brave dog originally used for guarding livestock. This dog originates from the Estrela mountains in Portugal. Besides his working abilities, this is an excellent family dog who will love every family member.

This is a dominant dog who will need proper socialization and training so it wouldn't become aggressive. Today, these dogs can still be found mostly in their native land – Portugal, so if you are thinking about getting this dog, be prepared that you will have to wait for your puppy.

FUN FACT: This dog is called Cao da Serra da Estrela in Portugal.

Estrela Mountain Dog


24-29 in (61-74 cm)

Estrela Mountain Dog


77-132 lb (35-60 kg)

Estrela Mountain Dog



Estrela Mountain Dog

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


Estrela Mountain Dogs comes in two variants – longhaired and shorthaired. Both types need proper care in order that this dog looks good. The short variant of the coat is dense and coarse, and the longer version has a coarse outer coat and a thick undercoat.

Weekly brushing will be enough to keep this dog looking the best. The rest is a basic care for these dogs – brush their teeth to secure a fresh breath, trim their nails when they become too big, and regularly check their ears for any sign of infections (redness, bad odor, wax buildup).

Estrela Mountain Dog coat colors:

  • Solid – yellow, fawn, and grey tones
  • Wolf grey–fawn, yellow and grey tones
  • Brindle – fawn, yellow or grey


Estrela Mountain Dog is moderately active and will require a proper amount of daily activities to be happy. If they are not used for working purposes, this dog will enjoy various things like chasing a ball, hide and seek, playtime in the backyard, etc. They are best suited for houses with a big yard where they can wander around. Although there can be inceptions, in general, these dogs are not best suited for apartment living.

FUN FACT: Estrela Mountain Dogs are used as police and marine dogs in Portugal.

If you don't provide these dogs with the proper amount of activities, they will become bored and can develop destructive behavior.

FUN FACT: Estrela Mountain Dog enjoys canine sports such as obedience, rally, and agility.

Estrela Mountain Dog personality

These are extremely calm dogs but fearless and fierce, and they will not hesitate if dangers emerge. They are excellent watchdogs as well as guardians. Estrela Mountain Dog is required early and proper socialization if you want to have a good dog with whom you will not have problems in life.

From the puppy age, you must expose your dog to many different people, sights, sounds, and other animals so he can learn how to react in different situations. You can check these tips and tricks for puppy socialization. Estrela Mountain Dogs are intelligent, eager to please, and loyal and will protect their family and especially the kids in the family, and with the proper socialization, you will teach your dog when it is alright to react.

Estrela Mountain Dog and kids

Estrela mountain dogs love children and will be their protectors. They will be great playing partners for kids, but you must be careful when you let them play because of their large size these dogs could easily knock the kids and hurt them unintentionally. That is why you should always supervise when they play.

Other animals

Estrela mountain dogs will prefer a household where they are the only pet. If they are introduced properly and from a young age, Estrela Mountain Dogs can learn to get along with other dogs and animals in the house. Here is where proper training and socialization will play a big part.

Health problems

These are in general healthy dogs with a life expectancy of 10-14 years. To be sure that you will get the best possible dog regarding health, always buy him from a responsible and official dog breeder.

Estrela Mountain Dogs are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.

Estrela Mountain Dog Breeders

These are still fairly rare dogs outside their native land, and if you are considering Estrela Mountain Dog for your next companion, be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list. When searching for breeders, always make sure that you are talking to official and responsible ones, and always ask them to show you the health certificates of their breeding dogs. That way, you can be sure that the puppies will be healthy as well.

Estrela Mountain Dogs will be excellent family dogs and protectors if you provide enough activities and proper training. If you are a novice owner and don't know how to train your dog properly, we advise you to seek professional help so you wouldn't have problems with your dog in life.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at04.09.2023.

Breed History

The exact origins of the Estrela Mountain Dogs are uncertain, but they are one of the oldest dogs from the Estrela Mountain region. At the beginning of the 20th century, the breed standard was developed. Estrela Mountain Dogs were used in Portugal to scare different predators. Before World War II, only shepherds and farmers bred these dogs, and that changed after the war when these dogs became a bit more popular, and many people showed interest in Estrela Mountain Dogs.

AKC officially recognized and accepted these dogs in the Foundation Stock Service in 2004.