About Us

My name is Cindy, and this is my passion.

 

We began researching the Estrela Mountain Dog in 2000, and acquired our first Estrela Mountain Dog in 2001. Since our first two imports, we have been addicted. We have learned so much over the years, and to this day, my dogs teach me something almost every day. The biggest joy I get, is watching them interact with each other.

We have learned so many thing things the hard way. But our experiences are worth their weight in gold. We have imported over 2 dozen dogs. We have had to work through behaviour, trust , dominance and health issues. Being a breeder involves much more than bringing a male and female together. These dogs are our family. We have imported many adult dogs. You won’t find us breeding a female when she arrives. Sometimes it is two or three years before we breed her. This is not about just having a litter. Our first concern is our dogs, not being called a breeder or having a litter of puppies.

No Kennels.

 

Our dogs do not live in kennels! As with all dominant breeds, not all our dogs get along, (imagine that) so everyone has their own yard on our 5 acre fenced property. We do not believe in dogs running loose. We have learned from experience. Even our 800 acres in Oregon was not enough. These dogs will roam. We daily let everyone out of their yard to run in the woods and play in the pond. All the dogs rotate the different yards and spend time in all areas. We have the house yard, the goat yard, the kid yard, the bean patch and the pond yard. Providing daily stimulation is very important!

Health Testing.

 

We do NOT breed for color. We have our preference, of course, but we breed all colors of the Estrela. Breeding for color limits your genetic diversity and creates problems. That is NOT our job as a breeder.

Our dogs are all health tested.

The major health problem with the Estrela Mountain Dog is Hip Dysplasia. All our breeding stock, pass ofa or score low on Penn hip, or they are not bred from. Starting in 2009 we will be adding Cardio and Patella to our heath checks. This is not a common problem in the breed, but we want to monitor our breeding stock for carriers. As a breeder we understand we can not control everything, but we can do our best to health screen our breeding stock, and stand behind our puppy owners when a problem occurs. We also list the health problem on our health pages and the name of the dog affected. Many breeders hide or lie about health issues, that is never the answer. Many breeders also excuse BAD behaviour as temperament. A Guardian dog can behave in public.

Puppy Program.

 

Our goal is to produce the best puppies possible.

This includes temperament and type! We start exposing and socializing our puppies immediately.

From the first day they are handled by members of our family. We begin thunder and fireworks noise desensitization on day 8. The puppies cannot hear just yet, but we want this to be one of their first noises. We slowly increase the volume as they mature.

They don’t leave home until after 8 weeks.

All puppies are micro chipped and vaccinated to date.

We have built a puppy yard. This yard is a learn through play yard, featuring, pools, a bell, stairs, ladders, tunnels, teeter totter, hidey holes, even a slide! We believe you cannot expose them too much.

All puppies are started on raw, and quality kibble. We use Ultra, Solid Gold and Dick Van Pattens brands.

Our own dogs are on a three-year vaccination plan. We start the puppies according to this plan. We do not over vaccinate our dogs or puppies.

Puppies that have to fly are crate trained.

All puppies are covered under an independent pet warranty company.

All TE owners are given a gift membership to The Estrela Mountain Dog Association of America.

We do all we can to ensure your puppy is ready for life with you and your family.

 

Please see the ‘borrowed’ article on Puppy buyer etiquette, while it is not us 100% , it is rough idea.

 

Livestock Guardians:

 

First and Foremost: this is a guardian breed. We have placed dogs in pet homes, working homes, and show homes. Puppies are placed discriminately.

Some of our activities.

 

Our dogs have made us very proud.

We have Champions, Grand Champions, many have passed the Canine Good Citizen test, a few have passed the Therapy Dog International test also. (NOTE: not all Estrela are suitable for TDI work, in fact most are not) Some of our dogs like to pull a cart. This makes for great fun at Halloween. We have a few dogs that are conditioned to carry a pack. And of course all of our dogs live with our goats.

We are very proud of our dogs, and their hard work. Many, many of these achievements are the ‘first’ in the USA. I have a handful of dogs that regularly do K9 safety demos at local schools, camps, day care centers, and boys and girls clubs. Two of my children often help (and take over!) these demos. I don’t get much talking time now. On a person level, I belong to the Hanover Kennel Club. An AKC club in my area. I am also a founding member of the EMDAA and the current president. Please check out The Estrela Mountain Dog Association of America! Please see the Achievements pages for more…..

Ethics.

 

If we don’t have a litter or a puppy for you, we have (and WILL) recommend a few other breeders that meet our standards. There has been many times my next litter is a year + out and the new home is looking for now, we have NO problems recommending another ETHICAL breeder. We have helped people find other breeds, because the Estrela Mountain Dog was NOT right for them. We have helped re-home several Estrela Mountain Dogs, from other breeders, that were needing a home. Our first concern is the breed. Above and beyond everything else.

We have spayed dogs that would be beautiful show dogs because their temperament is not correct for the breed. (ALL our breeding dogs must be good representatives of the breed) We believe temperament is what makes up the dog,and we are not willing to breed dogs that are incorrect for the breed. This also goes along the same lines that if you don’t like your (this) breeds instincts, you have the wrong breed! This breed is NOT for everyone. As with every breed, you have the good, the bad and the ugly.

Learn about the breed.

 

Do your homework. Make a list of likes and dislikes. Again I will stress, this breed is NOT for everyone. Ask your breeder the pros and cons of the Estrela Mountain Dog before you buy. If they don’t’ know. or tell you they are wonderful, ‘everyone loves them,’ then find a new breeder!!