Estrela Mountain Dog
The Estrela Mountain Dog was bred to guard herds in the mountain range. It is one of the oldest breeds in Portugal. The breed was developed throughout hundreds of years; dogs with particular characteristics were bred to create a pure breed which has the necessary qualities to survive in the mountains as well as guard and move flocks.
The first official breed standard was written in 1933. The breed began to decline in the early 1970s but the Portuguese revolution of 1974 played a huge part in saving the breed. It eventually found its way to the U.S. as well as other countries.
The Estrela Mountain Dog stands 24.5 to 28.5 inches high and weighs between 66 and 110 pounds. It exists in two forms, long and short haired. Typically the show dogs are long haired and the working type has shorter hair. The breed has a hooked tail and turned-back ears.
Today the breed is used as a working dog guarding flocks, a police dog, and a family pet. It is an alert and intelligent breed, but most importantly, it is loyal and nurturing. It will do anything to protect its property and family.