Fun Estrela Mountain Dog Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 07, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Estrela mountain dog facts are interesting to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.8 Min

Of all the animals that humans have been able to domesticate, dogs are arguably one of the most special animals with whom humans have the most intimate bond. In this article let's learn about one of the breeds of the dog that made a name for itself around the world despite originally being from the isolated Portuguese mountains. The Estrela mountain dog, which is known as cão da Serra da Estrela in Portuguese, is a dog breed that was developed in the mountains of Serra de Estrela. Estrela's have a fascinating history with their lineage coming from guard dogs that would protect the herds in Serra da Estrela. This is probably the reason behind this gentle giant being highly intelligent. The fact that the region was isolated presented its own challenges. The breed was too obscure among other dog breeds and was thus ignored as a show dog at events. So, through the years of 1908 and 1911, special shows known as 'Concursos' were organized with the aim to preserve and promote the Estrela breed. Estrela mountain dogs are family-oriented and fiercely loyal and protective of those that it cares for. It is highly intelligent and needs a social environment to keep it engaged and entertained. It needs proper training and regular exercise to live its best life. Having their roots as guard dogs, the Estrela mountain dogs can be the perfect guard dogs for you and with sociable behavior can even be the perfect family pet.

Read up on these facts on the Estrela mountain dog and gain more knowledge on this version of man's best friend.

If you are an animal lover and want to learn more, then expand your knowledge with the husky retriever mix and the chow lab.

Estrela Mountain Dog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Estrela Mountain Dog?

The Estrela mountain dog is a breed from Portugal and is one of the oldest breeds in the Iberian peninsula.

What class of animal does an Estrela Mountain Dog belong to?

The Estrela mountain dog is a Mammal.

How many Estrela Mountain Dogs are there in the world?

Historically their population was limited to the Estrela mountains. Before 1972  there were no Estrela mountain dogs outside Portugal.  But since then, dogs have been imported to other countries around the world. The UK was one of the first countries to establish the breed outside of Portugal. Today the dog can be located in many different countries but its exact population is hard to determine.

Where does an Estrela Mountain Dog live?

Cão da Serra da Estrela originally lived in the mountains of Serra da Estrela, but since then has been domesticated and can be located all over the planet.

What is an Estrela Mountain Dog's habitat?

Estrela mountain dogs used to live in the Estrela Mountains of the Iberian Peninsula. Since their popularity has gone global it has gone from being one of the breeds in Portuguese mountains, to all over the world where they are domesticated in homes and on farms.

Who do Estrela Mountain Dogs live with?

Estrela mountain dogs live with people, more specifically shepherds and farmers. Being a great family dog, humans have bred the Estrela mountain dog to become the perfect canine companion.  

How long does an Estrela Mountain Dog live?

Estrela mountain dogs can live between eight and 12 years. They are generally happy dogs but they may be riddled with problems like hip dysplasia (caused when the thighbone doesn't fit the hip joint ), and elbow dysplasia (caused by developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint). Estrela mountain dog's heart issues too are a genetic predisposition that you'll need to be aware of, which manifests itself in the form of dilated cardiomyopathy. Elbow dysplasia is a problem too due to the fact that they are a large breed. Being able to spot these problems early is the key to curing them, so make sure your dog gets regular checkups and also gets enough exercise.

How do they reproduce?

The Estrela mountain dog reaches maturity by the age of two. These dogs have between seven and eight puppies per litter. One may need to find a reputable breeder to get an Estrela mountain dog because they are not as common nor as popular outside of Portugal.

What is their conservation status?

Estrela mountain dog's conservation status is Not Listed.

Estrela Mountain Dog Fun facts

What do Estrela Mountain Dogs look like?

Estrela Mountain Dog Fun Facts

With a resemblance to the fur of a teddy bear, the Estrela mountain dog's color can vary between wolf gray, fawn, black, and shades of yellow. They are a large breed that has characteristic white markings or shades of black through their coat. They may have one of two types of coats; the long-haired coats are either flat or wavy, thick and close. The short-haired coats are pretty much the same but are shorter, with an undercoat that is shorter too. The males have a lion-like mane. This dog breed has a large head and a somewhat rounded skull. Their coarse outer coat also is a distinct feature they possess, while their outer coat is coarse their undercoat is thick with a light color. These dogs have closed tight black lips and large noses with big nostrils. These dogs have eyes that are a shade of amber with rimmed eyelids and eyebrows.  They have uncropped thin ears that droop and are in the shape of a rose that folds into a triangular shape and, lastly, their long tail is very fluffy too.

How cute are they?

Well, one does not even have to think twice before making the claim that all dogs are cute. The Estrela mountain dogs are no exception. Their characteristic white markings make them more even more attractive. Even if it didn't look as cute as it does, its mannerisms and affection towards its human family are too adorable. Estrela mountain dog puppies especially are very cute. Playing with these dogs can be a great exercise in serving as a reminder of how joyful it can be to be a dog owner.

How do they communicate?

Estrela mountain dogs communicate by barking, growling, howling, whining, and whimpering. Dogs don't just rely on auditory communication, they may even communicate by utilizing scent and pheromones.  Any dog lover would tell you that even when it comes to body language dogs are very expressive with their tails especially serving as an insight into their emotions.

How big is an Estrela Mountain Dog?

An Estrela mountain dog size is one of a large breed. The dogs can have a height between 25-30 in, the bitches have a height between 24-28 in.

How fast can an Estrela Mountain Dog run?

Estrela mountain dogs are built athletic as they were bred for the purpose of protecting herds. Thus, they can run really fast so either put them on a leash or be careful of their whereabouts when playing outside. While they can run, they require only about a moderate level of activity. Taking these dogs on hikes will make for a great time.

How much does an Estrela Mountain Dog weigh?

The Estrela Mountain Dog has a weight between 99 lb -132 lb. The bitches have a lesser weight compared to the dog with weights ranging between 77 lb -99 lb. Pet owners must be wary that they keep their dog's weight in check because Estrela mountain dogs can become overweight with the slightest bit of neglect in diet and lack of exercise. It is thus important to monitor their health and train them regularly and from an early age.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male Estrela mountain dog is referred to as a 'dog' while the female can be referred to as a 'bitch'.

What would you call a baby Estrela Mountain Dog?

A baby Estrela mountain dog is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

Having lived in rural Portuguese farms as a guard for livestock and homesteads these dogs relied on meat, table scraps, or things that they may find or hunt. The amount they should ideally consume, on the other hand, depends on the level of activity of the individual dog. They may consume between three and seven cups of good quality dry dog food in a day. These meals (that may not necessarily be packaged dog food) are best when split into two meals at least, to avoid bloating and indigestion. In the event that your dog is overweight or is facing health issues, it is always advisable to review the diet of your animals with a vet or a professional dog trainer.

Are they hypoallergenic?

Yes. Estrela mountain dogs are not known to cause allergic reactions. Thus, it is a positive consideration while planning to take these dogs as pets.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, but one has to research well before making the big decision of taking the Estrela mountain dog as your canine companion. One has to make sure that if you do decide to take them as pets that you have a large home because the Portuguese Shepherd dog is a large breed of dog. So, if you have an apartment or a condo then it might not be a smart idea to adopt them. The Estrela mountain dog makes for the perfect family pet as it is intelligent and has an innate instinct to protect and nurture the young which is great if you have infants or plan to have kids. Although, they have to be acquainted with other animals and pets from an early age so that they are comfortable in their presence. They are really intelligent after years of being used as shepherd dogs in Portugal where it is one of the oldest dogs in the region.

Did you know...

The breed standards for this dog were published tentatively in 1922 but it was as late as 1932 that the first official breed standard came to be written.  Minor refinement of the standards has been routine with Estrela mountain dog dew claws being optional and limits on the colors allowed for the Estrela mountain dog. Interest in the breed returned in the '50s but the Estrela mountain dog's history resembles a roller coaster as by the '70s  their popularity was again declining. But in 1974, the Portuguese revolution was what helped save the Estrelas. Dog shows, which were once considered a pastime for the wealthy, now became the working people's opportunity to show off their native guard dog.

Before World War II, breeders of Estrella's were still the regions' farmers and shepherds that would keep such dog breeds for guarding herds. Being unaware, these breeders did not pay attention to any breed standards. Things did change by the '50s when the shows called concursos were reinstated which made sure that interest in the breed returned and compliance towards the official standards was increased.

There are many factors to be aware of when considering the wellbeing of your canine friend -the Estrela mountain dog. The Estrela mountain dog is a highly intelligent dog and its training can be challenging in its own right because they exhibit a strong, independent, and, at times, stubborn attitude. You'd need to make sure that as you train them you remain consistent in your disciplinarian approach and are firm in implementing positive training methods. Estrela mountain dog puppies have to be trained to be comfortable in the presence of other animals so that they are easy to get along with your other pets as they grow older. The Estrela mountain dog is not particularly hyperactive and it needs moderate levels of regular physical exercise and constant mental stimulation. It would be ideal to house them in a place that is spacious and has a yard that is well fenced and has people around at almost all times. These dogs don't do too well being left alone for long periods of time.

Having your own Estrela Mountain Dog

The population of this dog is limited to Portugal, so finding a breeder or one to adopt from a shelter can be a difficult task. Estrela mountain dog costs about $1000 when the puppy is sourced from a reliable breeder. Finding a good breeder is important as puppies from them are more likely to be healthier. The Estrela mountain dog's price can vary depending on whether or not you live in Portugal.

They are great family dogs and demand constant interaction and stimulation. Thus, it is not ideal to leave them alone for long periods of time. They bark a lot if they feel something's amiss. With strong leadership and good socialization, this dog has a perfect temperament. One thing to note is that they can be distrustful of new people, so be aware of that in your training  Also being a large dog it has a tendency to be rather rough in its play with smaller animals but this issue can be taken care of by training them to be gentler since it's a puppy. Short-haired Estrela mountain dogs have their own set of grooming needs you'd need to take into account. They shed a moderate amount of hair so one has to brush them a couple of times a week. It's very important to make them exercise semi-regularly because these dogs have a propensity to put on weight easily.

Do Estrela mountain dogs drool?

The lips of the Estrela mountain dog are tight and are not prone to drooling any more than an average dog.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the golden dox and the drever.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Estrela mountain dog coloring pages.

Estrela Mountain Dog Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

7 - 8

How Much Did They Weigh?

Male: 99 lb – 132 lb, Female: 77 lb – 99 lb

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?


How Long Were They?

25 - 40 inches excluding the tail

How Tall Were They?

Males: 25½ in - 28½ in , Females: 24½ - 27 in







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Fawn, yellow and/or grey fur with a dark facial mask

Skin Type

Fur coat

What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Not Listed
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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