Q1: Wow, isn't your dog big?
A1: No, the Estrela isn't a huge dog, it gives the illsion of size, but allof of this can be due to their coat. As an agile breed still, they should not be overly heavy.
Q2: You could do with a saddle to ride that dog?
A2: Don't be silly, you should never sit on a dog, you'd break its back!
Q3: Bet he/she eats alot?!
A3: No, the Estrela for its size is not a big eater, they do however cost a lot to rear as puppies, if done in the correct manner. As adults they on a whole are not a greedy dog (there are exceptions ofcourse). The breed does much better on a low protein diet so expensive high protein foord aren't as a rule, for them.
Q4: I bet their coat is a problem and takes allot of maintenance?
A4: No, if the dog has the correct coat texture (it should resemble goat hair), then the coat is very easy to live with. A rake comb to get to the skin and a slicker brush are essential grooming tools. A good brush weekly and a thorough grooming every couple of weeks should be enough to keep a pet Estrela in good condition. This does however depend on where the dog lives and is exercised. Obviously dogs that are shown need more intensivly grooming and/or bathing on a relitively regular basis.
Q5: You must have a hugehouse to keep one of these!?
A5: No, the Estlrea doesn't take up loads of room, it is amazing what a small space an Estrela will get into. A decent garden is ideal along with daily walks.
Q6: Do I need a big garden to have one?
A6: No, not necessarily, as long as you are willing to take the dog for decent, regular exercise then acres of space at home is not essential. An Estrela will be happy, as an adult with walks from 40 minutes plus daily.
Q7: Do I need good fencing to keep one in?
A7: Most definitely yes, the breed is very capable of jumping to quite dizzying heights. If they have good fencing from day one and your pup has never gotten out of your garden, they they don't seem to want to try. 6ft is considered good height for the breed. Although there are plenty of the breed that are confined within much lower fences than that.
Q8: Bet he is quick?
A8: Yes, youd had better believe it!! An Estrela at full speed is a spectacular sight!
Q9: Can you let them off the lead?
A9: Ofcourse you can, you can let any dog off the lead. What you really mean is, is the breed good off lead and are they easy to get back? On the whole the breed is not known for its obedience off lead, they have a very independent character and will roam if given the chance. It depends very much on the dogs individual personality, you may find that males are less likely to be able to be let off lead.
Q10: Can you train them?
A10: Yes, the breed is trainable, but they will never give you slavish devotion like a Border Collie for example. You will get back what you are prepared to put into training your Estrela. The breed has a strong stubborn streak, a very good sense of humour is a must when training the Estrela. There have a been a few Estrela's who have worked to high standards in obedience, agility and a few have been used as rescue dogs, working trials and scent trials.
Q11: Do they mis with other dogs/animals?
A11: An Estrela is is no different to any other breed of dog, they accept as the norm the things they have grown up with and are comfortable with. It is essential that from a young age your pup is introduced to as many different sights, sounds and smells as possible in a positive way so that they will grow into a well rounded adult, who is accepting of things it will encounter in every day life. Care must be taken that all its encounters with adult dogs are good ones, so it doesnt see other dogs as the enemy. Every dog will develope their own personality, and some may decide for themselves which dogs they do like and don't like.
Q12: Are they noisy?
A12: Yes, they do have a tendency to like the sound of their own voices. It has to be understood that they are a guarding breed, so they do tend to let you know if there is someone around, even if it's half way down your street and you're not interested in knowing.
If left for long periods of time, they can get very bored and become a serious noise pollution problem.
Q13: Is the breed good with children?
A13: Yes, they instinctivly love children, the breed seem to be drawn to kids. In their native Portugal they are known as the guardians of the child. They will protect who they consider to be their own children, an Estrela bitch would attack to protect 'it's' child. This said, not matter how good any dog is with children, no matter the breed, no dog should EVER be left alone with a child.
Q14: Bet he needs loads of exercise?
A14: As an adult, I doubt you'd ever wear one out. The breed is designed to work all day at a steady pace. As pups you must be very careful how you exercise, you need to be aware of young joints and rapid growth, two elements which if not treated properly can lead to problems when adult. Advice from the breeder is probably your best course of action. Usually 5 minutes for every month old they are is advised.
Q15: Do they slobber?
A15: No, unlike allot of bigger breeds, the Estrela is not a slobbery dog. As they have quite tight lips, you will not usually get a full scale bath of drool from one.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the committee.