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Estrela Mountain Dog

The long-coat
   Estrela 
Ponta da Pinta

The Estrela is, by far, the most popular of Portuguese canine breeds, at least in Portugal, and that is almost exclusively due to the long-haired variety. Its spectacular beauty and fluffy appearance, along with the elementary qualities of the breed, such as the protective instinct and dedication to owners, made it highly appreciated, especially after the 1980s, after a phase, following the 1974 Portuguese revolution, in which the breed was in danger of extinction.

However, the beginning of its dissemination throughout the country, and later also abroad, took place earlier, especially as of the 1930s, when the breed was officially recognized by the Kennel Section of the Clube dos Caçadores Portugueses (later Clube Português de Canicultura - Portuguese Kennel Club) and breeders became interested in it, acquired dogs from shepherds and started working on it.

 

On the other hand, roadside shops in the Estrela Mountain started selling shepherd's puppies - and many Portuguese still mistakenly think it's the best place to buy good quality Estrelas.

Our breeding project started in 2001 by focusing on this variety, which, although very popular, faced some problems, such as undesirable character, loss of genetic diversity and of traditional colors, genetic diseases. We decided, therefore, that it would only make sense to breed it according to the shepherds' good breeding practices, which aimed to produce functional dogs, but also with a technical approach, carrying out systematic screening for hereditary diseases, the results of which are evaluated and allow the development of genetic pedigrees, for greater control of problems; other goals we established since the beginning were preserving old colours, favoured by the shepherds but abandonned by breeders, as well as genetic diversity - which, despite being broad in the breed, was, and still is, very limited in the breeders' lineages.

When, in 2014, we also started to breed the short-haired Estrela, we strategically opted for outcross breeding the two varieties together, as a way of improving each one and expanding the genetic diversity in the long-haired Serra.

Our long-coat dogs

 

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