Training Serra da Estrela dogs | Caninus Original Obedience Course
Over the years, Serra da Estrelas were acquired for their guard, defence and protection qualities and capacities and as companions for people living in more “secluded” places in the country.
The idea to have a Serra da Estrela is based on its corpulence and natural capacity to intimidate. Their very presence dissuades the most adventurous criminals and, in Portugal, they are very often used to guard facilities and properties.
The Serra da Estrela puppy looks like a ball of fur, a sweet plaything for cuddling. Then it grows up, maintaining all its splendour, into an extremely strong and quick bodyguard, capable of outrunning German Shepherds and other theoretically quicker dogs, which is an unknown feature of this breed.
The Serra da Estrela is often not understood and sometimes treated and taught in the wrong way, producing negative effects and aggressive behaviour that can be avoided.
Due to its very Portuguese temperament, the Serra da Estrela will not easily accept shouted orders, aggressive attitudes, violent training methods, with prong collars, electric shocks and other absurd objects, which will sooner or later turn the owner and dog’s lives into a real nightmare and end up producing a disobedient, tense and often aggressive dog.
The Serra da Estrela is a genuinely Portuguese “product” that must be respected, cared for and developed to improve its physical and intellectual traits.
The idea is for the dog not to remain so “rural”, wary and isolated. Think that it may live in a rural or urban setting and must behave in a civil way.
The Serra da Estrela has been progressing into a more modern breed through keen and selective work done by the best breeders, who have done such a lot to develop the breed in Portugal and abroad.
The Serra da Estrela is a powerful, agile and quick dog that is extremely resistant, reminding us of the Portuguese fighting and surrendering spirit along with a very stubborn nature.
It is not very organised and finds it difficult to concentrate. It is wary in the presence of strangers and has no fear of using its teeth if pestered a lot.
There are two versions for the owner. The Serra da Estrela can forget it has grown up, that it is heavy, powerful and plays as if it were a puppy, jumping onto the owner’s lap or it can be unpleasant, irritable, quarrelsome and disobedient, showing its dislike of the most incorrect way it was treated in the past. I wouldn’t say it was vengeful, I don0t believe it is, but it has the memory of an elephant and doesn’t find it easy to forgive those who disrespected it.
When it arrives at Caninus Hotel e Instrução Canina, the Serra da Estrela is usually fully grown and already misbehaves, often serious and repeated mess ups.
We would like Serra da Estrela owners to start training when their dogs are still puppies so it would be easier and progress would be quicker and quicker.