My understanding of esto vs. este/esta is that esto substitutes the noun/pronoun whereas este/esta helps identify another noun/pronoun.
However, my intuition broke down in the following examples found on FluentU:
Este es mi perro.
Esta es mi casa.
Esto es un carro.
Does it have something to do with the possesive adjective mi?
If you could help me to build some intuition as to how I know which one to use, I would greatly appreciate it!