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Written by Gill Douglas and Rebecca Roberts
ESTRELA MOUNTAIN DOG BREED NOTES
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- www.emdc-uk.com. 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
ESTRELA MOUNTAIN DOG BREED NOTES
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
ESTRELA MOUNTAIN DOG BREED NOTES
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 (Secretary@emdc-uk.com 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.