Ethics

Estrela Mountain Dog

Ponta da Pinta

 

  • Our breeding stock and the dogs we use at stud were health tested for disorders known to exist in the breed (hip and elbow dysplasias, dilated cardiomyopathy) and the matings’ purpose is to produce healthy, balanced, typical puppies. Although we cannot promise that any such puppy will never develop a genetic disease, they’re sold with warranties that, if that ever happens and the disorder is dysfunctional or debilitating, we’ll offer a replacement puppy. Warranties regarding puppies purchased for breeding are extended to any genetic disorders that should prevent them from being bred. In any case, the replacement puppy will be offered when one is available and after having received veterinary reports, copies of health tests and proof of spaying or neutering of the original dog).

 

  • We don’t use brood bitches under 2 years old and we avoid using males younger than that too (exceptions might be made if needed for preserving important traits); usually, we wait until they reach the age of 3 or 4 to have their first litter; by that time, not only will they have already matured, but also, in case they’re carriers for deleterious genes that might cause a hereditary disorder, they will have had more time for it to show up – in which case, should it be a serious disorder, the dogs will not be bred from.

 

  • Even if they already had a litter, whelping bitches are needy and sensitive, requiring support and assistance throughout labour – not only to calm them down but also to act in case of an emergency (uterine inertia, puppies’ wrong position in the uterus, etc.). Therefore, our puppies are born inside our house, with adequate comfort and hygiene conditions and under permanent surveillance during their first days (when they’re more vulnerable and require constant attention). After the 5th week (when they get their first parvovirus shot), they’re moved to the fenced yard, alongside their mother, and gradually allowed to play in the estate, always under supervision.

  • By staying indoors, in the house, during their first weeks, our babies start being socialised very soon, from their first days, getting used to music, voices and various sounds (telephones, television, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, etc.), seing visitors who cuddle them, interacting with other bitches as soon as their mother allows these to approach her puppies.

 

  • We don't breed more than 3 litters by each of our females (actually, most have been bred only twice), in order not to burden them and not to produce too many puppies from the same bloodlines.

 

  • Not just anyone has the right profile and conditions to have an Estrela Mountain Dog. Therefore, we choose our puppies’ owners. Any person living in continental Portugal who wants to purchase one of our puppies will have to come to Ponta da Pinta, so that we can meet and establish a confidence basis. Exceptional situations aside, someone who won’t spend a few hours to fetch one of our pups is letting out they contacted us out of random and not because they appreciate our breeding programme and that they won’t give the puppy the time and attention it needs. The only clients to whom we might agree on shipping a puppy to are people from Madeira, the Azores or overseas who cannot come to fetch the pup – but even so we only agree on selling after making sure that person has all it takes to get a dog bred by us.

 

  • Our puppies are sold after having got 2 shots (at 5 and 8 or 9 weeks of age), been regularly dewormed (every fortnight, after their second week) and microchipped (registered in an official Portuguese database). More than being mandatory, the microchip and its registry are a security measure to protect the puppy but also the owner and ourselves, as the breeder, since it is proof of ownership and origin, in case of theft or fraud.

 

  • We don’t sell puppies to pet shops or people acting as go-betweens.

 

  • We don’t sell puppies to puppy-mills.

 

  • We don’t sell puppies to people who plan to breed them to dogs that we think are morphologically and genetically incompatible to them.

 

  • We only sell puppies for breeding purposes if we think they are of excellent quality overall.

 

  • Before we sell a puppy, we tell the prospect buyer about any genetic defects that we know it might be a carrier for.

 

  • When we sell a puppy, we give health guarantees and we ask the owner to keep us up to date with its development.

 

  • To puppy buyers who live in other countries and are starting a breeding project for the breed, we give thorough advice and choose the best possible puppy.

 

  • We always inform prospect buyers about the breed’s traits that might be unpleasant (i.e. loud barking, digging holes, destroying plants and other things) and if we notice they seem worried or doubtful about it, we try to talk them out of buying an Estrela puppy.

 

  • We might choose to produce a litter from a dog or bitch that has some genetic disorder that we don’t consider too serious, if that animal’s positive traits more than make up for the fault. In that case, we will tell prospect buyers about that fault and the puppies’ odds of being carriers or affected.

 

  • Our dogs are as important for us as our breeding project. It’s them we dedicate most of our time to, as well as energy and financial resources. We try to offer them a happy, healthy life, pamper them and make them feel useful and active. If we happen to find out that a dog we have chosen and kept for breeding does not have what it takes to be bred, we keep it as a pet and guardian or place it with someone who can provide it with a happy life and will not breed it.

 

  • Our dogs’ happiness is our priority so we don’t keep them kennelled. They live freely in a 2-acre estate, with lots of space to run and play, and several of them sleep in the house. We have spacious kennels and a fenced 150-square-yards court, which are used occasionally (for litters, bitches in season, convalescent or rescued dogs).

 

  • We always try to sell the puppy with the temperament and traits the most adequate to the buyers’ expectations, so they will be completely satisfied and the puppy will have a happy life.

 

  • Whenever the owner of a dog bred by us can't keep them any longer, we take them back and ensure to find them new owners who can make them happy.

 

  • Our commitment to the Estrela Mountain Dog goes far beyond our dogs and or breeding programme: whenever possible, we shelter and/or help find new owners for Estrelas who need rescuing, no matter their origin.

 

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