If there was ever a canine that you could totally rely on, it is an Estrela Mountain Dog.
Though they tend to be a bit rebellious and single-minded as pups, Estrelas are intelligent dogs that can be trained with little trouble and quickly become faithful companions to a single master. There is a saying that Estrelas will either run you or you run them, so get a handle on this soon after you bring your puppy home.
The more time you spend with your Estrela both at play and during training, the more likely it is that his affection for you will grow in leaps and bounds. Estrelas love to please their masters, so go lightly on your pet and avoid any harsh punishment. If you show violence or yell at this dog, he will likely bolt and take off on you. It is better to form a kind of partnership with your pet where you both understand the rules.
Your Estrela will learn to enjoy every member of the family, especially children, but he will always keep one eye on you to ensure your safety. If he suspects any signs of trouble, he will react with anything from simple barking to very aggressive behavior depending on the severity of the situation.
If you are roughhousing with your spouse or children, you can expect your Estrela to watch very closely and perhaps even cut in at some point. He does not mean to be disruptive. He simply has your best interest at heart.
Once you have a well-trained Estrela Mountain Dog, you will never have to worry about your safety or that of your family. His acute sense of hearing and especially good eyesight will be used constantly to ensure that no one trespasses on your property or tries to break into your home.
You will find that your faithful Estrela will even be able to sense your moods and will react in a likewise manner. If you are angry, he will show his more aggressive side. If you are happy and calm, he will relax and just enjoy your company.
Estrelas by nature are used to following the lead of one master and protecting their property. During its long history in the mountains in Portugal, this breed learned to be a loyal and trusted companion of shepherds, who needed the dogs to guard their livestock. Females of this breed tend to be gentle by nature, playful, and very reliable pets. Males, on the other hand, tend to be more aggressive and lively.
Treat your Estrela Mountain Dog with dignity and love, and you will certainly have a faithful and loyal companion throughout his life.