A Portuguese shepherd dog

The origins of this breed are almost 2,000 years old. It is a shepherd dog that protects livestock from predators. That’s exactly how he protects his family. He behaves tame and affectionate towards her.

The Cão da Serra da Estrela is a breed that comes from the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of the few dog breeds that developed in Portugal.

Even if it reminds us of the Spanish mastiff, it still has some features that make it unique.

In the following article, you can learn more about this fascinating dog.

As with many Molossern, one can not determine with certainty also with the Cão da Serra da Estrela, how the race came about.

It is believed that this mountain dog arrived together with the first inhabitants of the region and thanks to his abilities remained to work by their side.

If so, this means that the Cão da Serra da Estrela has its origins in the Visigoths almost 2,000 years ago. Since then, he has made it his mission to guide cattle and to protect them from wolves, thieves and other dangers of the mountains.

As its name implies, it comes from the Sierra de la Estrela Mountains, in the center of Portugal. Since his recognition as a breed in the mid-20th century, he also became a family dog.

He is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, for example.

Physical characteristics of Cão da Serra da Estrela

It is a big dog, which one classifies to the group of Molosser.

There are great differences in males and females: both sexes are about the same size (between 60 and 70 cm stick size), but have a very different weight.

Males are much more muscular and weigh up to 60 kg, while bitches weigh up to 40 kg.

There are two variants of the breed. The first one has a short coat and the second long one. In both cases, they have the same color combination. Her body has blond fur and her face and ears have a dark mask.

This dog has a big head, but his eyes are bright and intelligent.

The ears have a triangular shape and fall down the sides of the head. The muzzle is straight and narrows slightly towards the nose.

The Cão da Serra da Estrela has straight and powerful limbs. The chest is not quite as deep as in similar breeds.

His tail is straight and hangs when the animal is resting. He can lift her up to the level of the spine when he is alert.

The behavior of Cão da Serra da Estrela

The temperament of this breed is typical for mountain dogs. They are territorial and protect their family or their home from strangers.

That’s why they appear cold or suspicious of strangers. However, to “their” people, they are generous, loving and gentle.

They are intelligent and brave dogs. If you educate them with respect and positive reinforcement, the training is easy and you get results quickly.

They always pay attention to their caregiver and obedience is natural to them. However, they also make decisions independently and find employment.

The Cão da Serra da Estrela was born to herd cattle in the mountains. That’s why he’s an energetic dog with physical and emotional needs to cover.

The dog was created to live in the mountains or the land. He needs enough exercise and stimulation. Otherwise, it can be destructive or bad behavior.

The care of the Cão da Serra da Estrela

Fortunately, there are no genetic diseases in this breed. Because of his height, however, the following problems may occur:

Large dogs often suffer from joint and bone diseases such as hip or elbow dysplasia.

Also, gastric rotation can be a problem. Only a veterinarian can diagnose these diseases or prescribe preventive treatment.

Since it is a dog that spends a lot of time in nature, it must be treated regularly against internal and external parasites.

One should regularly search his coat, as ticks and other external parasites can cause serious diseases.

One should not neglect ears and paws. The shape of his ears can cause fungal and other infections. Even spikes and thorns can settle there.

This dog has a double layer of fur, which is why you should not shave the coat in the summer. This also applies to the long-haired version, because its coat serves as a protective layer against high and low temperatures.

The Cão da Serra da Estrela is a Molosser with a benign, faithful character. For centuries, he has protected livestock in Portugal. However, he has also proven to be a valuable pet in recent decades.

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