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Breed notes are published in Our Dogs - To be fully up to date, subscribe to Our Dogs

Written by Gill Douglas and Rebecca Roberts



I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas break. I’m just catching up with everything after having had a bad water leak at home caused by the icy weather, resulting in a lot of damage the week before Christmas! Thankfully all dogs were unharmed, although they’re not thrilled by the presence of tradespeople.

LKA was the final show of 2022, and the judge Cath Moffat awarded best dog and best of breed to Hall’s Estjak RioDouro at Kayarrach, his first BOB at champ level, so a wonderful result for Rosie and Kyle and Steff, who handled him. Reserve best dog was Dean’s Asterel Deeago, who was also best veteran. Best bitch was awarded to Dean’s Asterel a bit of Magic, a nice result for Trisha having just returned from Portugal after three years. Reserve best bitch was my own Milagre Ice Ice Baby.

We had a lovely day and a bench party, and secret Santa went down very well.

At Manchester champ show we had breed classes for the first time. Debbie Stansbury had an entry of 6 with 2 absent. The 4 present were all in open bitch. Best bitch and BOB was McKinlay’s Span Ch T'Safira Do Cabeco Do Seixo (Imp). Reserve was Bermingham and Kendrick’s Bamcwt first Edition.

Top dog awards for 2022 are as follows.

Top Estrela over all is Bermingham, Kendrick and Almeida’s NL Ch Rainha da Casa de Loas em Bamcwt (Imp Port)

Top puppy is Becky Willicombe and Hannah Mackenzie’s Milagre Revolution

Top Stud dog is Berry and Paul Wilson’s Moon River da Ponta da Pinta

Top brood is Reid’s Pt Ch Seia da Quinta Moinhos das Almas with Milagre

Well done to all

At National Working and Pastoral breeds open show on 18thFeb we have a breed specialist judge in Amy Kinsey. Please do support this entry if you can. Entries can be made on Higham Press until 2ndFeb.

Finally, I just received the sad news that Liz Snowdon has passed away. Liz held the BARKARINA affix along with Bill and Christine Robinson, and had been involved in the breed for many years. Many condolences to Bill and Christine.



Estrela Mountain dog breed notes 23/09/22

I have news from Sally McKinlay that she and Anthony Johnson travelled all the way to Romania with their girl Saffire, Span Ch D’Safira da Cabeco do Seixo, to the Dracula shows. There were 6 shows over 3 days. Friday was Mures, Saturday was Dracula and Sunday Transilvania. Saffire performed really well and received 2 Cacibs, one at Dracula and 1 at Transilvania. She was graded excellent 5 times and awarded 4 CACS over the course of the weekend. On Saturday she became a Romanian Champion and by end of Sunday she because a Romanian Grand Champion. I wonder if this is a first for the breed? Not sure but it’s certainly a great accolade.

At Darlington Show Fran Kaye awarded BB and BB to Bermingham, Kendrick and Almeida’s veteran bitch, NL Ch Rainha da Casa de Loas em Bamcwt. Reserve BB went to Tracey and Rebecca Robert’s Garreggdu Agua. Best dog and best puppy was Rebecca Willicombe and Hannah Mackenzie’s Milagre Revolution, bouncing back from Driffield in style.

Meanwhile Root, Bellalua Delta Milagre was having fun in the obedience ring at a training day, where she won the competitors round with a combination of heelwork, recall, retrieve and a sendaway. In other sporting news, Taz Robson’s ten year old Cato, Milagre Moves like Jagger, completed his first mantrailing session. This may not seem like a big deal, but Taz is partially sighted and usually relies on her working guide dog Hawk to get around, so to be able to put her trust in Cato to lead her on a long line was fantastic. Great teamwork guys.

There are still places on the BAD, hosted by the EMDC UK on Sunday 20th November at Bearley Village Hall, Snitterfield Rd, Bearley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0SR, starting at 10am. Speakers are Camille Lambert and Marcia Dovey. Spaces for the MCE/ hands on are limited to 20. Enquiries can be sent to

Have a nice week and stay safe.

Gill Douglas



I can finally catch up properly now I’ve moved to the new place. The dogs are enjoying the extra space and freedom and the quiet.

Yesterday was the annual EMDC-UK picnic held at Kingsbury Water Park. It was lovely to see owners coming together to socialise. We had some new faces and new dogs to welcome, with imports, rescues and UK bred youngsters, and a few dogs of other breeds too, which are always welcome at the events. I performed a short scentwork and obedience demo with my Root, who impressed a few who didn’t realise what the breed is capable of training wise, and we took the dogs for a group walk around the lake. The day was lots of fun and everyone had a great time.

Welsh Kennel had an entry of 7, but all 3 males were absent. Mark James foumd his best of breed in the veteran bitch winner, Bermingham, Kendrick and Almeida’s Nl Ch Rainha da Casa de Loas em Bamcwt (imp). Reserve best bitch went to her kennelmate Bamcwt first edition.

Driffield show was an interesting day. The judge decided to withhold the placing for the puppy male, stating he lacks promise. Luckily all the other judges who have assessed this puppy have disagreed, and placed him accordingly, and he is currently in the lead for top puppy in the breed this year. Sadly this judge is known for withholding without a genuinely good reason. If a dog cannot be assessed due to shyness or aggression, is lame or showing exaggeration which is detrimental to health, or simply doesn’t look like an Estrela I could fully understand the reasoning, but none of these apply to this growing and developing boy. I can’t imagine the judge will have a great entry next time. His comments regarding a champion female in open were also very odd, and many observers did note that the judge seemed to be putting extra pressure on dogs he did not want to place.

It really is a shame when judges don’t seem to know the standard or really care, and prefer to judge up the lead.

Another reminder for the EMDC UK BAD on Sunday 20th November at Bearley Village Hall, Snitterfield Rd, Bearley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0SR, starting at 10am. Speakers are Camille Lambert and Marcia Dovey. Spaces for the MCE/ hands on are limited to 20. Enquiries can be sent to

Gill Douglas



Apologies for the lack of notes of late, I’m currently in the middle of a house move so things have been rather hectic to say the least! Normal service shall resume shortly. There are quite a few shows to round up so here goes.

At a very cold and windy Blackpool show, Gary Gray awarded Best bitch and best of breed to Bermingham, Kendrick and Almeida’s Nl Ch Rainha Da Casa De Loas Em Bamcwt (Imp Port) Ejw'16. Best dog was Godderidge’s Essanelle The Red Musketeer. Reserve best dog went to his littermate Essanelle Dartagnan, and reserve best bitch to the bob winner’s kennelmate Bamcwt First Edition. Best puppy and best junior in breed was Willicombe and Mackenzie’s Milagre Revolution. Sadly the breed judging clashed with rare breeds so no Estrelas were represented there. Rainha was again best of breed at East of England under Ed Forsey, who had just 2 dogs entered. Reserve best bitch was awarded to McKinlay’s T'safira Do Cabeco Do Seixo. On to Leeds and it was Saffire’s day, where she claimed best of breed under Jane Paradise. Best dog and best puppy was my own Milagre’s Icon. Reserve best bitch went to Bamcwt first edition, and best veteran was awarded to my own homebred Milagre Ice Ice Baby who is 10 years old and came out of retirement for the day.

Away from conformation, I took my girl Root, Bellalua Delta Milagre RL2ex to Lune Valley DTC rally show, her first competition in a year, and was very pleased that she scored 201 out of a possible 210, giving her a win towards her level 3 excellent title. She needs two more qualifiers of 190 points or more, whether we get to another show this year though remains to be seen! I’ve also been mantrailing with two of the puppies from last year’s litter, Stryder and Ike, and I’m always impressed with how the breed does at this sport. They have amazing noses!

The EMDC-UK is holding a BAD on Sunday 20thNovember at Bearley Village Hall, Snitterfield Rd, Bearley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0SR, starting at 10am. The cost is as follows £15.00 (BAD Only) or £20.00 (BAD & MCE) - if booked by 31st July 2022, £20.00 (BAD Only) or £25.00 (BAD & MCE) - if booked by 31st October 2022. Speakers are Camille Lambert and Marcia Dovey. Spaces for the MCE/ hands on are limited to 20. Enquiries can be sent to

Another date for the diary is the EMDC-UK’s annual picnic on 11th September, starting at 11.30. This is held at Kingsbury water Park, where there is a large private space booked just for the event. It's a social day out, to enjoy with your Estrelas and their other 4 legged friends and kids are welcome too! We usually try to have a few games, maybe some demonstrations or have a go agility and a dog walk too! We will also have a practice ring for anyone who fancies having a go at dog showing.

Bring a picnic and there is a coffee shop on site. We will have a raffle as usual (funds to go to Estrela Rescue), so please bring a raffle donation if you can. The Club Shop will also be there for you to buy your club merchandise or other items that we have.

Take care, Gill Douglas.



Estrela breed notes 17th June 22

A little late but as promised, the show report for the EMDC UK limit show 22. Our judge was Nichola Marshall (Drimbea), who is a breed specialist with many years experience. The weather was very good to us and the venue at Bearley is always really nice, especially when the show takes place outside on the grass. The atmosphere was excellent and everyone was enjoying their day. It seemed to go by very quickly. I was proud to have 4 or the short haired litter I bred in the ring, all males, and all with wonderful temperaments. It was also really great to see some exciting Portuguese imports at the show, and people new to shows as well as more experienced exhibitors.

The best dog and BIS award went to Deb and Steve Payne’s Rico das Terras d’Cister, who was at his first show I believe. Reserve best dog was Shane Tychowski’s lovely brindle youngster Cossus d’Domus Stella. Best bitch was awarded to Shane’s Thaila, who is an import from Casa Malana kennels. I believe this was her first UK show. Reserve best bitch went to Tracey and Rebecca Robert’s Garregddu Agua. Best puppy in show was another pet dog at his first show, Milagre Skyforce, owned by Nicole Cooper and Matt Ralph. I hope to see him at more shows going forward. My own Milagre Ice Ice Baby took best veteran in show at the grand age of 10. Next year the EMDC UK will be eligible to put on an open show, so that’s something to look forward to.

At Bath championship show Jill Peak found her best bitch and best of breed in Bermingham, Kendrick and Almeida’s NL Ch Rainha da Casa de Loas em Bamcwt (Imp Port). She was also best veteran. Best dog was Godderidge’s Essanelle Dartagnan, with his kennelmate Essanelle The Red Musketeer taking reserve.

At Southern Counties the judge was Espen Engh, and he awarded best bitch and best of breed to McKinlay’s T'safira Do Cabeco Do Seixo (Imp Pt), With Nl Ch Rainha Da Casa De Loas Em Bamcwt taking the reserve bitch spot. There were no males present.

And at three counties champ show judge Sue Hewart Chambers awarded best bitch and best of breed to Reid’s Pt Ch Seia da Quinta Moinhos das Almas with Milagre. Best dog and best puppy went to her son Willicombe and Mackenzie’s Milagre Revolution. Reid’s Milagre’s Icon took the reserve dog spot, and Ogborn and Titman’s Asterel Tuppence was reserve best bitch and best veteran.

The EMDC UK are organising their annual picnic and get together this September, and also a Breed Appreciation day in November. Details of both of these events will be in the next breed notes.

Finally, the EMDWR are appealing for foster homes for two bitches. A 5 year old female who would like to be an only dog, and a 3 year old who would like a large breed male companion. Full details can be found on the Estrela Mountain dog welfare and Rescue facebook page.

Stay safe and enjoy the sunshine

Gill Douglas



The weekend of the 20th saw the return of another annual event in the calendar. Discover Dogs at the ExCel centre in London. This busy event brings together representatives of breeds, giving the public the opportunity to meet and learn about breeds they’ve likely never even heard of before. For a rare breed like Estrelas, this is always a great opportunity to showcase our dogs, and educate visitors on ‘all things Estrela’. The event wasn’t quite as populated as some years, likely down to COVID but never the less we had plenty of keen visitors to the stand.

Usually the stand is manned by our southern living owners and their dogs, but due to unforeseen events, there was a last minute change of plans. So on the Saturday morning I made the four hour journey down to London from Yorkshire with two dogs. Luckily, the stand was pre decorated by EMDC treasurer and London local; Ana. Thankyou for your help!

It was a tiring but worthwhile journey, as it resulted in an enjoyable weekend talking about my favourite subject! On Sunday-the second day, we were joined by Rosie and Kyle Hall with their 2 estrelas. They took on the majority of the day, allowing us to catch up on our sleep in the morning! It also gave us the opportunity to wander round the event a little, chatting to people in other breeds. It was interesting to compare the Estrelas to their other Livestock Guardian counterparts. It really gives confirmation that they are developed perfectly for their purpose, with similar traits shared.

All in all, a fabulous weekend. The estrelas were well represented by River, Linda, Sulley and Cindy. All were well behaved despite the intense environment. I think they gained quite a few admirers!

I hope to see you all soon. The next event is LKA show with an entry of 7 for Mr Barry Blunden. Stay safe in the winter weather forecast!

Rebecca & Gill.



The 12 of September was another good day for Estrela owners. The EMDC held their annual picnic at Kingsbury water park. We had a good attendance of owners and dogs and it was especially nice to see a ‘new’ face, as one of the dogs rehomed though our breed Rescue came to her first gathering.

The weather was kind to us, neither too hot nor too cold and the rain held off until we were packing up to leave. We started off the afternoon with a walk around one of the trails, which I’m certain was a sight to behold for other visitors, with many asking the usual question ‘what breed are they?’. A beautiful procession of large dogs.

The park was very busy, but with our pre-booked space we still had more than enough room to ourselves. It was a fun packed day that included several ‘have a go’ set ups like Rally and Agility, which inspired some excellent demonstrations as well as some hilarious attempts! Great to see how versatile our breed can really be (when they agree).

I look forwards to the next event, and I’m sure year on year they will only become even better!

Rebecca and Gill



Breed notes

Well the summer weather seems to be almost done, but the show season has only just begun this year. Better late than never! I hope with the cooler weather, shows will be slightly easier for our dogs.

The first quarter stats for Top dog have been released since our last notes were written and our Estrela in the lead so far this year is Garregddu Agua owned and bred by Misses T & R J Roberts, who currently sits on 9 points, having not been beaten this year.

At Bath Champ show the BOB winner was Kendrick, Birmingham and Almeida’s Rainha da Casa Loas em Bamcwt.


and Thankyou for making the journey to support breed classes.

Our breed classes at ch shows have been significantly reduced this year, loosing several of the southern shows like bournemouth and Paignton. This perhaps reflects both the shift in location of exhibitors more north/central, but also the effect of the pandemic on entries and struggling show societies. However I do hope with the quality and dedicated small following we have, we can keep the classes that remain.

The next show is Blackpool and our judge is Sue Bird. I hope we will have a nice turn out again.

Take care,

Rebecca and Gill.



In our first notes a few weeks back, I mentioned the prospect of having good things to share in the coming weeks and months. Despite the upcoming 1 year anniversary since the UK's first lockdown, I hope that the evenings becoming slowly lighter help you all envision a positive light at the end of this tunnel. I'm sure many of you are also looking forwards to the more enjoyable dog walks, that the lighter spring and summer evenings provide. I for one, am looking forwards to drier weather, whilst my dogs like the mud, my mop bucket doesn’t!

Speaking of things to look forwards to, I have a very exciting date to mark in your diaries (or Estrela rescue calendars). Sunday 23rd of May is earmarked for the Estrela Mountain Dog Club's first official limited show and AGMs. As club membership is required for entry into the show, now is a great time to join or renew your membership. Details of how to do so, can be found on the club website- The AGMs for 2020 and 2021 will be held on the morning of the show. These meetings provide the best opportunity for all members to have their say and influence on the breed's future. The EMDC prides it's self on being a friendly and welcoming community and we really hope to see some new enthusiastic faces amongst the regulars in our socially distanced crowd.

Another project that has kept me busy within the breed, has been the role of 'Puppy coordinator'. Previously, it was hard for people to find out how to get a puppy and what to look for in a responsible Estrela breeder. As a rare breed, it's also hard to find much accurate information, in order for people to determine if the breed is the ‘right fit’ for their lives. The EMDC would like to change that; the best owners are informed owners. Breed education and support has many benefits, including hopefully reducing the amount of dogs that pass through rescue. For this, I'd like to draw on the knowledge of our community. What advice would you give to a first time Estrela owner? What do you wish you had known when you first started out? What have you learnt from your experience of the breed, no matter how long or short?

If you have any ideas for this project, or have anything else that you'd like to be included in these notes, please get in touch. Your contribution to the breed will always be valued.

Rebecca Roberts and Gill Douglas






I hope everyone is coping with the restrictions right now. One of the things I’m relieved about this time around is that we can walk all the dogs. Having multiple dogs the once daily exercise rule was rather difficult. I have however found that there are lots more people outdoors these days, perhaps because they’re on furlough, and enjoying a peaceful walk does seem to be a thing of the past! I do hope those of you lucky enough to have snow are enjoying it with your dogs, Estrelas do enjoy the snow, even if their humans aren’t keen.

As a committee member for Estrela Mountain Dog Welfare and Rescue I do have some good news. The dog we currently have in our care, Jopa, now has two excellent potential homes. The difficulty will be choosing which one will suit him best. Jopa isn’t a purebred Estrela, he is crossed with a Rafeiro do Alentejo, and his previous owner’s circumstances were affected by the pandemic, which is sadly why he has found himself in need of a new home. I fear there may be a lot of dogs being very reluctantly rehomed due to job losses etc. as a direct result of Covid.

Another concern for the rescue is an advert that we’ve become aware of on Pets4homes, where a breeder is advertising 2 litters of Estrelas at £3000 each, and selling on a first come first served basis. Myself and other breeders have discussed the question of ‘Covid prices’ for puppies, and the EMDC UK committee have agreed that £1000-£1500 is the going rate in the UK for an Estrela pup, and that we won’t hike up prices that could make dogs unobtainable for many good homes. This breeder also produces doodles so we are hoping they won’t breed Estrela Doodles next, what a nightmare that could be! I do hope the people purchasing these Estrela pups reach out to other owners for support, as they’re not the easiest dog, especially when going through the terrible teens!

Some more excellent news is that EMDWR committee member Rebecca Roberts raised a whopping £564 for the breed rescue with her beautiful calendars which were printed to order. It was a lot of work for Rebecca to take on, but I do hope it will become an annual thing, it’s a lovely thing to look at whilst I’m working, and the funds will be invaluable for dogs in need.

The EMDC UK is planning on getting hold of several copies of Jeronimo Augusto’s book about the breed, so if anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, please contact Camille Lambert at

Gill Douglas and Rebecca Roberts



January is usually associated with new beginnings. A time for reflections and resolutions. Perhaps none more so than in 2021! This new year brings with it many developments, including these very breed notes; brought to you by a new team of writers with what we hope will be fresh and interesting perspectives.

But before we move forward into the new year it’s only fitting that we look back at the closing chapters of 2020. Despite the lack of dog shows, there has been far from a lack of interesting news.

Arguably one of the biggest developments of 2020 for our breed, was the recent Kennel Club recognition of ‘The Estrela Mountain Dog Club (UK)’. Although the club in it’s self is far from new (almost a decade in the making), it’s newly reformed committee are working hard for the benefit of its members and the breed.

The EMDC (UK) would like to take this opportunity to announce (Covid Pending) their AGM’s (2020 & 2021) & Limited Show to be held on Sunday 23rd May at Bearley Hall, nr Stratford on Avon. Further details will be made available on the club Website and Facebook page in the coming weeks.

I’m sure you will share our sentiments in looking forward to a potential return to showing and socialising safely with other breed enthusiasts and owners. With that being said the EMDC (UK) would also like to invite judges to contact the Secretary (Camille Lambert) if they wish to be added to their judges list ( or call 07958 549778).

We have so much to share in the coming week and months, but if you have any news or topics you would like to see featured, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Gill & Rebecca

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