The Estrela Mountain ridge, in central Portugal and not many miles away from Spain, is part of the Central Massif of the Iberian Peninsula, reaching about 2,000 m, at the highest point in the country: Torre. This ridge is the majestic birthplace of the Estrela Mountain Dog breed. Abundant in water, the herding has been its main source of development and importance with huge flocks travelling and grazing all over the mountains.
The need to protect the flocks from predatory animals, the wolf in particular, has turned the Estrela Mountain Dog into a true guardian. His origins are not clearly known but the Estrela Mountain Dog is one of the oldest breeds in the Iberian Peninsula and in Europe.
As far back as the 2nd century B.C., there are references about the Lusitanian people, ancient inhabitants of the Estrela Mountain ridge (Mountains of Hermes), fighting against the Roman invaders with the help of big and burly dogs.
The Estrela Mountain Dog has won the domination of the mountains with comfortable advantage over the wolf, and has developed to become a dog of firm character, vigilant, shrewd, agile and tough.
The secluded life of the shepherds and the transhumant migrations for distant places developed strong ties between man and dog turning the latter not only into a brave guardian but also into a loyal friend and an inseparable comrade of everyday life.
Like the Estrela ridge, also this dog has a strong character, gentle and harsh, showing aggressiveness only when required and at the same time being calm and transmitting his docility with his sweet and sincere look.
He is intelligent and easily learns how to perform a variety of tasks, adapting easily to the education given to him. It is of utmost importance for him to have a regular and frequent relationship with his owner.
He has an unusually kind relationship with children where he puts all his sensitivity and sweetness being extremely tolerant with the young contributing to their development in various aspects.
The Estrela Mountain Dog is a dog of great longevity.