Estrela Mountain Dog

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The Full Estrela Mountain Dog Description

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

A sturdy, well built dog of mastiff type, conveying an impression of strength and vigour.


A hardy guard dog, active and of considerable stamina.


Loyal, affectionate to owners, indifferent to others, intelligent and alert, inclined to be stubborn.

Head and Skull

Head long and powerful with broad, slightly rounded skull. Moderate stop mid-way between the end of the nose and the slightly defined occiput. Muzzle tapers moderately, but a narrow head and pointed muzzle are undesirable. Nose black, a pale or partly pigmented nose being undesirable. Nostrils wide. Jaws well developed. Lips black, meeting closely and not pendulous. Roof of mouth intensely pigmented with black.


Neither deep nor prominent, of medium size, oval in shape with calm and intelligent expression, preferably amber or darker. Black-rimmed eyelids closing well, with rather prominent eyebrows.


Small in relation to body, thin, triangular, rounded at the tips, set on moderately high, carried falling backwards against the side of the head with a small portion of the inner edge showing.


Teeth very strong. Jaw strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Short, thick and well set on. What may appear to be a dewlap especially in dogs, should be a thick tuft of hair under the throat. A true dewlap undesirable.


Forelegs straight, well muscled and with strong bone, shoulders moderately sloping, rounded forearms and short pasterns which appear nearly vertical when viewed from the side.


Back slightly higher at withers than at loins and preferably short. Chest deep and well sprung without being barrel chested. Loins short and well muscled. The lower line rising gradually but gently from the sternum to the groin.


Thighs well muscled with moderate angulation. Hocks moderately well let down. Slightly sloping croup. Vertical pastern when viewed either from front or back. Strong bone well angulated.


Well made, neither very round nor excessively long. Thick, well closed toes with abundant hair between pads, which are thick and hard. Claws well protruding but not overgrown, dark and preferably black. Dewclaws customarily removed from hindlegs.


Long, reaching to the hock, well furnished with hair and feathered, forming a hook at the end resembling a scimitar. When excited the tail passes the horizontal.


Distinctive free and easy with a driving, purposeful jog trot. Tendency for closeness behind acceptable without any sign of weakness. Dogs should not be penalised for carrying the head level with topline in motion.


Two types:
Long Coat: The outer coat is thick and moderately harsh, resembling goat hair, lying close over the body, flat or slightly waved, never curly. Undercoat very dense and normally lighter in colour than the outer coat. Short and smooth hair on head, diminishing in length from the base of ears to tip, is thick and abundant round the neck and chest forming a ruff, particularly in the male. Thighs, lower hocks and backs of the forearm abundantly feathered, as is the tail. Front of legs, short smooth hair. A woolly or fluffy coat undesirable.
Short Coat: Short thick, moderately harsh and straight, calling to mind goat‘s hair, with shorter dense undercoat. Any feathering should be in proportion.


Recognised colours are:
Fawn: which varies from burnt yellow through reddish gold to a deep red, with or without guard hairs. The fawn should never be so pale as to be a dirty white.
Brindle: any of the previous permitted colours with the addition of streaks or smudges of black or brown varying in intensity.
Wolf Grey: All black and all white, skewbald and piebald unacceptable. Black muzzle or mask, is highly desirable. White markings on chest, underside, feet or tail are tolerated but undesirable.


Height: dogs: 65-72 cms (251/2-281/2 ins); bitches: 62-68 cms (241/2-27 ins). A tolerance of 4 cms (11/2 ins) above these limits is allowed.

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