: Living from the remotest time in the Estrela
Mountain Dog (high mountains in the North of Portugal), despite of its obscure
origin, the Estrela Mountain Dog may be considered as one of the oldest
beeds of the Iberian Peninsula. He can be found from the foot of the
mountains to the top, mainly in summer, when, alert the snow has
disappeared, the green pastures are much sought after by the herds, which
he accompanies from the lower regions where the grass is totally dried up
by the excessive heat. As a sheep-and watch-dog, he protects the
flocks against the wild animals still existant in these regions.
These dogs may also be found scattered in other parts of the country,
mainly in the Center, but all these dogs have their origin in the Estrela
mountains; either they have been brought as puppies to this area or they
have been bred by breeders originally from the Serra regions.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Alert and dignified, his expression is calm,
but keen and vivid. Imposing and remarkable for his sometimes
threatening distrust against strangers; on the other hand, he excels in
his dedication and his obedience to the shepherd, his master.
mastiff type molossoid dog with slightly convex lines, compact and
rustic. Well proportioned, of a perfect morphology, the harmonious
unity revealing a long tradition of ethnic purity.
HEAD : Strong, big, long and slightly convex.
Well inserted and in good proportion with the body, as well as the skull
is proportioned with the foreface, all parts in perfect balance.
Skull and cheeks smooth-skinned.
CRANIAL REGION :
Well developed, arched and convex in profile. Slurred occipital
Not very marked, in about the same distance to the tip of the nose as to
the top of the skull.
FACIAL REGION :
Nostrils straight, wide and well open. Always darker than the coat,
Long, tapering towards the tip, but not pointed. Almost straight,
but very slightly convex at the tip (aquiline nose).
: Clean cut; large lips, but not thick, not hanging and well
closed. Mucous membranes of mouth and palate and rims of the lips
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws well developed. Teeth strong, white,
well inserted, with good conclusion.
Horizontal, oval eyes, on a level with the socket. Medium and equal
in size, well open. Keen and calm expression. Preferably
dark amber in colour. Well closing black rimmed lids. Eyebrows
Comparatively to the body small (11 cm length to 10 cm width), thin,
triangular, rounded at the tip; hanging; moderately high set; carried
slightly falling backwards against the side of the head, with a small
portion of the inner edge showing. Cropped ears accepted although
natural ears are more appreciated.
NECK : Straight, short and thick; well set into
shoulders; with a modest tuft of hair under the throat.
Almost level preferably short.
Wide, short, muscled and well connected with the rump which should be
Well rounded, but not barrel-shaped; wide, deep and well let
: Belly not paunchy, well proportioned to the substance and harmoniously
connected with its surroundings; underline rising gradually but gently
from the sternum towards the groin.
TAIL : Long, not docked, reaching to the hocks when
the dog is at rest. Thick, scimitar shaped, set on at normal height,
well furnished with hair and feathered in the long haired variety, ending
with a hook. At rest below the horizontal line, hanging naturally
between the thighs; when the dog is excited or moving, the tail raises
above the horizontal curving upwards, forwards, sidewards or even
FORE- AND HINDQUARTERS : Vertical when the dog is in good stance.
Forearms and second thighs approximately cylindrical in cross
section. Bone well developed, solid and well muscled. Strong
articulations, angles medium open allowing easy movement. Hock
slightly let down, evenly angulated and well set like the vertical second
Well proportioned, well made, neither very rounded nor excessively long,
more or less between catfoot and harefoot, never splay feet. Thick,
well closed toes with abundant hair in between them and between the pads;
pads thick and hard. Dark or preferably black nails, well
grown. The hindlegs may have single or double dewclaws.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Free and easy movement.
Strong, slightly thick, not too harsh, somewhat like goat hair; smooth or
slightly wavy and close over almost the whole body; very abundant in the
shorthair as well as in the longhair variety. Normally the hair is
of different length in certain areas of the body. On the limbs,
below the elbows and the hocks it is rather short and dense as it is on
the head; on the ears it gets gradually shorter from the set on towards
the tip, becoming thinner and softer; it is longer on the tail which is
bushy, thick and feathered in the long haired variety; it is also longer
around the neck and throat where it may form a thick tuft of hair, and
over the thighs where especially the longhaired dogs may present
feathering on the back as well as at the backside of the forearms.
The undercoat is short and dense, made of fine hair entangled at the base
with the coarser hair and generally lighter coloured than the coat.
This is found mainly in the longhaired variety.
The only admitted colours are : fawn, wolfgray and yellow, either
self-coloured or with white markings.
Height at the withers for males
65 to 72 cm.
Height at the withers for
62 to 68 cm.
MEASUREMENTS AND WEIGHT OF A NORMAL