11–13 years old
Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossians, Mountain and Swiss Cattle Dogs
The Estrel Sheepdog is considered the most ancient breed in the Iberian Peninsula. Most experts suggest that her ancestors came to the territory of Portugal during the Roman Empire. These descendants of Asiatic Molossians were used by people to protect livestock and dwellings, as well as to transport goods. Shaggy giants were kept mainly by villagers, using them for practical purposes, so for a long time the breed was neither in sight nor heard of. However, with the development of technological progress and, in particular, communications, as well as with some change in people’s attitudes towards pets, the popularity of the Estrel Shepherd Dogs has grown dramatically. From the beginning of the 20th century, cynologists seriously took up selection, dogs of new colors were bred, and in 1934 the official breed standard was adopted. In 1955, the Estrelian Shepherd Dog was included in the list of the FCI. But, despite the fact that there are a lot of such dogs in Portugal, they are poorly known outside the country.
A large, powerful, strong-built dog, commanding respect already because of its size alone. Bitches are slightly smaller than males. There are two types short-haired (not common) and long-haired. The body format is rectangular, the head is large, the chest is wide, the legs are strong, muscular. Eyes of medium size, ears triangular, hanging. In the old days they were usually docked, now the standard does not require this. The long-haired estrelians have a saber-shaped tail, solid, very fluffy, with a tassel.
On the head and paws, the hair is thick and short, on the neck a rich mane, on the limbs feathering. The color can be wolf, gray and gray with yellowness, fawn, red, there are black and brindle dogs. Undercoat a tone or two lighter than outer hair. A black “mask” on the face is considered a plus.
Confident, genetically trained to make independent decisions, bold, dominating dog. From a puppy of the Estrel shepherd dog, an ideal, faithful and understanding owner will grow up from a half-word guard and protector but only if the owner will seriously engage in his upbringing. Otherwise, the instinct cultivated for centuries, telling the dog that a stranger in a protected area is an enemy, will work at the most inopportune moments, which can lead to big trouble.
The main care, of course, for wool. It requires attention, it is advisable to comb the dog weekly, during periods of seasonal molting even more often. But the result will be great. Bathe the shepherd dog as needed, not often, when combing out the dirt is perfectly removed from the coat. Do not forget to check the cleanliness of the auricles as the envelope ears tend to accumulate discharge.
Conditions of detention
This breed is for country keeping. In a city apartment, a shaggy giant will be cramped and hot, and it will be difficult to cope with hypodynamia. But the house with the plot that’s it. These dogs are hard workers and will be happy with territory and objects to guard. They can perfectly live on the street all year round, only from time to time leaving for a house or booth where you can hide from rain or snow.
There are no specialized kennels in Russia, it is quite difficult to find a puppy. But in their homeland, Estrel Shepherds are common, and you can always choose the right dog. The price of a puppy is 400-700 euros.