Estrela Mountain Dog vs Briard - Breed Comparison

Estrela Mountain Dog vs Briard - Breed ComparisonEstrela Mountain Dog is originated from Portugal but Briard is originated from France. Both Estrela Mountain Dog and Briard are having almost same height. Estrela Mountain Dog may weigh 10 kg / 23 pounds more than Briard. Both Estrela Mountain Dog and Briard has same life span. Both Estrela Mountain Dog and Briard has almost same litter size. Estrela Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Briard requires High maintenance


estrela mountain dog - historyAlso known as the Cao da Serra de Estrela, the large Estrela Mountain Dog from Portugal is an ancient breed, having been used for centuries to guard homesteads and livestock.

The Estrela, as a herding dog, has been developed over a long period of time because shepherds particularly wanted a dog that could survive in the mountains and be strong enough to guard livestock from predators.

The first official recorded breed standard was published in 1933, with an attempt to make the Estrela a distinct breed with a hooked tail and double dew claws.

Today the Estrela is a dog which can be found in other countries beyond Portugal, and in fact in 1973 pairs of the dogs were imported to the United States.

briard - historyThrough myth and legend, the Briard is thought to be a very ancient dog. A French herding breed, a Briard type of dog appears in writings as early as the end of the 14th century. According to legends the Briard was owned by Napoleon, Charlemagne, Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. As a cross between the Barbet and the Beauceron, the Briard came into popularity following its appearance in a Paris dog show in 1863. Bred originally to guard and herd sheep, these intelligent, independent dogs were often left on their own. Because they both guarded and herded, their size and structure as well as their personalities were different from other dogs that worked sheep. Those that herded only were fast, agile and smaller. Those that only guarded were heavier, bigger and stronger. The Briard was in-between these two types of breeds. He was well suited to any kind of farm work and guarded the crops from the sheep’s desire to eat them. They moved the sheep from one grazing area to another and then to their holding area at night. No humans had to assist the Briard in this work once they were trained.

During World War 1, the Briards were drafted into service as messengers, sentries and search dogs for lost or injured soldiers. In that time frame the breed served almost to the point of extinction. Breeding programs following the war brought them back. Today the Briard is a home companion, a police dog, as well as both military and civilian search and rescue dogs.


estrela mountain dog puppy - descriptionThe large Estrela Mountain Dog stands between 62 and 72cm and weighs between 30kg and 50kg.

The dog has 2 coat types – short and long but always coarse and thick. The coat is available in a number of colors, from fawn to gray to yellow and brindle and there can be white and black mixed throughout the coat.

The head of the dog is large and long, the neck fairly short and thick, he has dark brown eyes, a bright, intelligent expression with small, floppy ears which are set high on the skull, falling backwards against the side of the head. The tail is long and thick and the dog has a deep chest.


A large, athletic dog, the Estrela Mountain Dog is actually a calm dog, while still being protective towards his human family.

He is an intelligent dog who responds well to training and socialization. He is an independent dog, so this training and socialization is important - will be good for him, turning him into an obedient, relaxed pet who gets on well with other pets in the home as well as with children.

briard puppy - descriptionThe Briard is a powerful, intelligent and independent working dog. They have a straight topline and their height is almost the same as their length. They have long, large, rectangular heads with wide muzzles. Their noses are also square and jet black while their side set, large eyes can be black-brown or black. Their ears have traditionally been cropped but with more countries outlawing it, they can now have natural ears set high on the head. They have a tail that is feathered and low-cut. The feet of a Briard are round, compact and large.

The Briard is a double coated breed with a long beard and mustache. Their hair completely covers the head and the eyes so that they are not seen. They have prominent eyebrows as well.


estrela mountain dog dog - characteristicsThe Estrela Mountain Dog loves his human family and takes guarding them and protecting them seriously. He is a strong willed, independent dog that will require training and socialization. He makes an excellent pet, and is calm and gentle with children.

The Estrela Mountain Dog has so much going for him – he is beautiful to look at, he is loyal and protective with his human family, he is intelligent, loving and a healthy type of breed, and he is just waiting to become a member of your family.

briard dog - characteristicsAs mentioned previously the Briard is intelligent and independent. They are also loyal, rugged, protective and bond intensely with their humans. They are often aloof when it comes to strangers or even when new furniture is introduced into the household. They have to learn that anything new into the family environment is friendly and good. They are great with children and susceptible to separation anxiety because of their deep affection for their people. Socialization for puppies is a must. This will let them know that people and children, other dogs in general are not harmful to their families. They have great memories and once they learn something – right or wrong – it is almost impossible to change it. They were bred to be independent thinkers who acted on their own conclusions. This is still true of the breed today, making them appear to be stubborn.

They are great watchdogs, fearless and brave; willing to learn, eager to make you happy. They are basically gentle but that always runs up against their protective nature. A strong alpha leader is needed to handle this hard-working dog.

Health Problems

estrela mountain dog puppies - health problemsThe Estrela Mountain Dog can live to be between 10 and 14 years of age, but as with any large dog, he will have a tendency to suffer from hip- and elbow dysplasia.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is another common heart failure disease found particularly in large-breed dogs. The Estrela is prone to this disease and you’ll notice he has shortness of breath, abdominal swelling and coughing. The disease may not be curable, but there are certainly treatments for it.

briard puppies - health problemsBeing a large breed, the Briard shares many of the same health concerns as other large breeds. They have a few of their own as well. Typical issues for a Briard might include:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – bones don’t fit into joints.

Stationary Night Blindness – Congenital limited vision in the dark.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy/Degeneration –degeneration of the photoreceptors and retina.

Hypothyroidism – disorder of the thyroid.

Bloat (Gastric Torsion) – Stomach is distended and twists.

Cancer – Number 1 killer of all dogs.

Von Willebrand’s Disease – Blood clotting disorder.

Caring The Pet


estrela mountain dog dogs - caringThe Estrela Mountain Dog is a large dog and thankfully, when it comes to feeding him, experts in dog feeding have come up with commercially manufactured dog feeds that particularly cater for a dog’s age, his size and any illnesses he may have.

As a large dog, your Estrela Mountain Dog can suffer with joint problems such as hip dysplasia. For hip dysplasia you want to be looking at a dog food for large dogs which contains joint-health ingredients. An ingredient in the dog food such as glucosamine can work to reduce the damage brought about by hip dysplasia.

Mix in some cooked brown rice, vegetables and chicken into his kibble from time to time. You want your pet to live a long, healthy life and raw meat added in occasionally can increase your pets energy levels, reduce the risk of joint disease and ensure a shiny, soft coat. Raw meat can provide iron, zinc, vitamins, minerals and potassium.


The Estrela isn’t a huge shedder, but his beautiful, thick coat will require brushing twice a week. It’s your chance to check him over for fleas and ticks as well, and the entire grooming process – checking his ears, nails and teeth – is an excellent bonding experience for you and your canine friend.


The Estrela may be large, but he is fairly calm. He’ll love to join you on your daily walks or for a ball game in the garden. He can adapt to life in the city or the country, but his big size will mean he isn’t suited to a tiny property.


briard dogs - caringIt is best to feed the Briard smaller meals 2-3 times a day to prevent bloat. Feed 3-4 cups total for the day of a dry dog food that is high quality and made for large breeds.

Health issues

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Can cause painful arthritis and lameness

Stationary Night Blindness – Congenital limited vision in the dark can vary from slight difficulty moving to complete inability to see in the dark.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy/Degeneration – Can lead to night blindness, limited or total blindness. Puppies with the disease can be blind before their first birthday.

Hypothyroidism – disorder of the thyroid.

Bloat (Gastric Torsion) – Stomach is distended and twists. Fatal if not treated quickly. Caused by eating a large meal quickly and either exercise immediately or drink a large amount of water right after eating.

Cancer – Number 1 killer of all dogs. Various types.

Von Willebrand’s Disease – Blood clotting disorder leads to excessive bleeding. There is no cure, but it is manageable.

Exercise and games

The Briard is a working dog and as such needs a job. They excel at agility, flyball, herding, obedience, confirmation and tracking. They need exercise and make excellent service dogs for people with disabilities and therapy dogs for those in emotional need.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
65 - 72 cm
25 - 29 inches
61 - 69 cm
24 - 28 inches
Height Female:
62 - 70 cm
24 - 28 inches
58 - 65 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
30 - 40 kg
66 - 89 pounds
Weight Female:
30 - 50 kg
66 - 111 pounds
25 - 35 kg
55 - 78 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
8 - 10
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Cao da Serra de Estrela
Berger de Brie Berger Briard
Colors Available:
Fawn, gray, yellow, brindle
Uniform black, fawn, grey or blue.
Short or long - coarse and thick
Double, wavy, long, fine
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Courageous, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Stubborn, Sweet
Moderate maintenance
High maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

Comparison with other breeds

  1. Old English Sheepdog vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  2. Briard vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
  3. Briard vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
  4. Briard vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
  5. Briard vs Bouvier des Flandres - Breed Comparison
  6. Rough Collie vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  7. East German Shepherd vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  8. Saarlooswolfhond vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  9. Estrela Mountain Dog vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  10. Huntaway vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  11. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  12. Perro de Pastor Mallorquin vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  13. South Russian Ovcharka vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  14. Mioritic Sheepdog vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  15. Samoyed vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  16. Labradoodle vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  17. Mixed vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  18. Dogue De Bordeaux vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  19. German Shorthaired Pointer vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  20. Great Pyrenees vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  21. Presa Canario vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  22. Labrador Husky vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  23. Perro de Presa Canario vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  24. Chesapeake Bay Retriever vs Briard - Breed Comparison
  25. Old English Sheepdog vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  26. Rough Collie vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  27. Saarlooswolfhond vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  28. Estrela Mountain Dog vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
  29. Estrela Mountain Dog vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
  30. Estrela Mountain Dog vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
  31. Estrela Mountain Dog vs Bouvier des Flandres - Breed Comparison
  32. Estrela Mountain Dog vs East German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
  33. Estrela Mountain Dog vs Czechoslovakian Wolfdog - Breed Comparison
  34. Huntaway vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  35. Perro de Pastor Mallorquin vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  36. South Russian Ovcharka vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  37. Mioritic Sheepdog vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  38. Samoyed vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  39. Labradoodle vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  40. Mixed vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  41. German Shorthaired Pointer vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  42. Great Pyrenees vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  43. Presa Canario vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  44. Labrador Husky vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  45. Perro de Presa Canario vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  46. Irish Setter vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
  47. Rhodesian Ridgeback vs Estrela Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison

View/Compare Breeds

Popular Dog Breeds