Estrela Mountain Dogs are perfect guard dogs, due to their long history of protecting livestock for many centuries on the Iberian Peninsula. Their days were spent helping shepherds keep an eye on their flocks on the Serra da Estrela Mountains in Portugal.
As early as three months old, your Estrela will show signs that he can be a good guard dog. While this breed does not bark often as an adult, it will exhibit a loud bark when it suspects trouble or feels threatened. This may be enough to make a potential intruder back up and leave.
An Estrela Mountain Dog when fully-grown is a powerful and sturdy animal with a strong jaw and a firm, potentially dangerous bite. Its neck is very strong and its legs are muscular. Despite the fact that this dog can grow to become anywhere from 70 to 110 lbs, it can also move swiftly when the situation calls for it. Like most dogs, Estrelas also have a keen sense of hearing and will detect unusual activity well before you do.
Needless to say, no intruder in your home will want to tangle with a powerful Estrela Mountain Dog.
If you plan to purchase an Estrela for security reasons, you will need to train him as to when it is appropriate to react in a highly aggressive manner. Needless to say, you don't want the dog to be a danger to family members, friends and visitors. Never use rough training methods to get the dog in line. If you do, its natural aggressiveness could become out of control.
By nature, they can also be stubborn, so firm and consistent training is a must. However, Estrelas are always on the alert and highly suspicious of people they don't know. They are also considered to be one of the more intelligent breeds, so these natural abilities should make training the dog to be a guardian somewhat easier.
An Estrela must also get plenty of exercise, since the breed is accustomed to running the wide-open spaces of the mountains. To keep your pet in top shape as a guard dog, make sure he gets a good half hour or more of time on a run or out walking every day. This will help your Estrela to remain balanced both physically and mentally.
Estrela Mountain Dogs have exhibited the ability to serve as protectors of the marines in Portugal, as well as therapy dogs that visit with elderly folks and children in the hospital. This proves that an Estrela can be properly trained to suit your needs.
Once your Estrela is properly trained, he will not only be a faithful companion within your family, but also a dependable protector and guard dog that you can always count on.