Our Estrelas – Portuguese Shepherd Dog – Cao da Serra da Estrela

The Estrela Mountain Dog (Cão da Serra da Estrela) is a beautiful dog originally bred in the Estrela Mountains of Portugal. Estrelas, used to guard herds and flocks, are still gentle enough to be welcome members of the family.   We love our Estrelas.  However, we must warn you they are not the dog for everyone.  They can be stubborn and you must be firm and committed to training and socialization.   They will love you for it!

Currently we have four outstanding Estrelas.

Two Females:
Champion Sturtmoor Nossa Isabella “Bella”
Champion Sturtmoor Our Isdora “Izzy” (shown here)

Two Males:
Champion Indio Da Casa De Loas “Obi”
Soon to be Champion Master Sintra da Casa de Lôas “Sintra”

The Estrela Mountain Dog (Portuguese Shepherd) is one of the oldest breeds of dogs from the Iberian Peninsula. Estrela Mountain Dogs are devoted friends and protectors. This is a large dog with great agility to fight off large predators, bred to be a flock guard dog for sheep and goats but still be a family dog.

The Estrela temperament is loyal, affectionate to those he trusts, aloof, intelligent, alert, and inclined to be stubborn.  A fenced yard is a must with an Estrela.  We do not recommend under the ground pet fence with this breed.

A rare breed in the United States, the Estrela Mountain Dog is recognized by the United Kennel Club, which describes the breed this way:

“The Estrela Mountain Dog is a large, powerful, athletic dog, strongly muscled with substantial bone. The body is short backed, and the head is in proportion to the size of the dog. The Estrela comes in two coat varieties and coat colors include shades of fawn, wolf gray and yellow, with or without brindling, white markings, shadings of black throughout the coat or a dark facial mask. Estrelas have uncropped, small, triangular rose ears. The thick tail hangs down when at rest and should have a natural “hook” resembling a scimitar.”

These are our Estrela Mountain Dogs, Champion Sturtmoor Nossa Isabella “Bella, Champion Sturtmoor Our Isdora “Izzy” and Champion Indio Da Casa De Loas “Obi” and soon to be Champion Master Sintra da Casa de Lôas “Sintra”.   Bella came to us as a puppy from a world champion kennel in Great Britain, Sturtmoor, in August 2009.  Bella’s half sister Izzy joined us in the fall of 2010 also from Sturtmoor.  Obi came to us after a great adventure.  I was able to go to Portugal in June 2011 , meet the breeder and return home with Obi.  Obi’s breeder, Casa de Loas, has been named “Best Breeder” three years in a row.   Sintra is also from Casa de Loas and joined us in January of 2013.   They are active, happy dogs who always seem to have smiles on their faces.   Bella’s favorite activity is running around the pasture and carefully watching and taking care of any baby goats or kittens we might have.  Izzy loves to climb into the most unlikely spots, and to challenge us constantly with her quick intelligence and spirit.   Obi is more of a ladies’ man.  You can always find him somewhere near Margaret.   Sintra is a big puppy at heart and loves running and playing.   They all have been wonderful additions to our family.

Bella received her Champion title in the fall of 2011 and Izzy close behind in the Spring of 2012.  Obi received his title in the late summer of 2012.  Bella, Izzy and Obi all placed in the United Kennel Club (UKC) top 10 for 2011.  Bella had an especially fantastic year tying for first place.  We are pleased by all their results and continue to show them in 2012.  Due to other obligations the dogs have not been shown in 2013!

We recently began breeding these magnificent dogs.  Look for Estrela Mountain Dog puppies on our puppy page. Email with questions or more information.

margaret and bella


Star Mountain Kennel is operated by Margaret Boisture