Serra da Estrela Dog

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Large dog, molossoid mastiff. There are two varieties of fur: long and short. Rustic, substantial, with lively movement and imposing attitude. The breed has a lively, calm and expressive look; well proportioned; well built and with a harmonious appearance, which is how the breed has traditionally been recognized over time.
 

Personality:  Guardian and docile.
 

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  
 

Good with children:  Yes.

 

Good with other dogs:  With supervision.

 

Grooming:  Seasonal.

 

Life Expectancy : 10-12  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.

  • HISTORICAL SUMMARY 

Since ancient times, this dog has developed and settled in the Serra da Estrela region (high mountains in the North of Portugal), having been lost in time to its true place of origin. However, this can be considered one of the oldest breeds in the Iberian Peninsula. It can be found from the foot of the Serra to the highest altitudes (approximately 2000 meters), especially in summer, after the snow has melted, when green pastures are much sought after by herds, as the excessive heat dries out pastures on the plains. The progressive recognition of its attitudes led to its diffusion throughout the world since the second half of the 20th century.

Country of Origin: Portugal.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Inseparable company of shepherds and faithful guardian of the flocks, bravely protecting them from predators and thieves. Magnificent guardian of farm and home, wary of strangers and typically docile with his owners.

HEAD:  Strong, voluminous and long, slightly convex when seen in profile. Well set and proportioned to the body, with the skull in good proportion to the face and with all parts in perfect harmony. Smooth skin on skull and cheeks.

  • CRANIAL REGION  
     

Skull:  Well developed, rounded, with slight divergence of the upper longitudinal craniofacial axes; convex profile, slightly developed superciliary arches with slightly apparent frontal furrow and non-prominent occipital crest.

 

Stop: Only slightly marked and approximately equal distance between nose tip and occipital crest.

 

  • FACIAL REGION

 

Nose: Straight and in line with the nasal bridge; nostrils well open, wide and black.

 

Muzzle: Long, tapering to a point, without being pointed; almost straight and very slightly convex at the tip.

 

Lips: Well developed but not thick, well overlapping, not pendulous; mucous membranes of the mouth, palate and edges of the lips intensely black pigmented.

 

Jaws and  Teeth: Mouth well defined with well-developed jaws; complete dentition, with strong, white teeth, well set and adjusted; bite preferably with scissors, being acceptable in pincers.

 

Eyes: Of medium size, tending to small, oval in shape, level, of the same size and wide open, with a calm and intelligent expression; preferably dark amber in color. Eyelids with good grip and black edges. Slightly visible eyebrows.

 

Ears: Medium set; pendulous, sloping backwards and falling laterally against the head, with their inner faces visible (also called pink ears); thin, triangular, rounded at the ends; small compared to the body.

 

NECK: Short, straight and thick; well inserted and well connected to the shoulders; with a slight dewlap, not exaggerated.

 

  • TRUNK

 

Topline: Straight, almost horizontal.

 

Back: Preferably short and well muscled.

 

Loin: Short, broad, well muscled; well connected to the croup.  

 

Croup: Slightly sloping; short, broad and muscular. The height at the croup should be equal to or slightly greater than the height at the withers.

Chest: Broad, deep; well arched, but not barrel-shaped; well down to or slightly below the elbow.

 

Underline and belly: Should rise gradually but smoothly from sternum to groin; slightly bulky abdomen, in proportion to the animal's substance and harmoniously connecting to its body.

 

TAIL: Medium set on; long, thick; Carried below horizontal, scimitar-shaped, with a hook at the end. With the dog still, it is placed naturally between the thighs, reaching at least to the hock; when excited and in motion, the tail rises above the horizontal, curving upwards and forwards, sideways and downwards, without carrying it over the croup. It should be well furred, and feathered in long-haired dogs.

 

  • MEMBERS

 

FOREQUARTERS: Well erect, with strong bone and thick joints, moderately open angles, with ease of movement.

 

Forearms: Straight, parallel, long, with strong bones and almost cylindrical in shape.

 

Feet: Proportionate, neither too round nor too elongated, between cat's and hare's feet (not flat); thick, provided with abundant hair between the tight toes and pads. Dark nails, preferably black, well developed; thick, hard pads.

 

HINDQUARTERS: Well erect, with strong bones and thick joints, moderately open angles, with ease of movement.

 

Hocks: Slightly let down; moderately open, neither facing in nor out.

 

Metatarsals: Vertical, almost cylindrical. It can have single or double lifts.

 

Feet: Identical to the forelegs.

 

  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free and easy movement.

  • COAT

 

Hair: Strong, very abundant, slightly thick, without excessive roughness, similar in texture to goat hair. The undercoat consists of fine, short, abundant and interlaced hairs, normally lighter than the topcoat.

 

• Long-haired variety: Smooth or slightly wavy upper coat, uneven in some regions. It is short and denser on the limbs, below the elbows and hocks, as well as on the head; on the ears, it gradually decreases in length from the base to the tips, becoming fine and soft. It is longer on the tail, which is full, thick and fringed; around the neck, lower border and buttocks, they are abundantly feathered, as well as on the posterior surface of the forearms.

• Shorthaired variety: Shorthaired, evenly distributed over the entire body, slightly shorter on the head and limbs, without feathering.

 

COLOR: The following colors are accepted and considered typical:

• Solids: Yellow, fawn and gray in all shades and color intensities.

• Wolf Grey: Fawn, shades of yellow and gray, commonly in light and dark shades.

• Brindle: Basic fawn, yellow or gray color with black stripes. In the craniofacial region, a black mask is typical. White markings are allowed only on the extremities of the fore and hind legs and to a small extent on the ventral surface of the neck and chest.

 

SIZE:  Height at the withers: Males: from 65 to 73 cm. Females: from 62 to 69 cm. +2 cm tolerance.

 

WEIGHT: Males: 45 - 60kg. Females: 35 - 45kg. Skull should be flat and of moderate width, gradually decreasing in width towards the eyes and narrowing towards the muzzle.


 

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

 

• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.