Sarplaninac dog breed is an ancient flock guarding dog breed that takes work quite seriously and does not trust any one completely. The breed originated in Yugoslavia; to be specific, southwest part of Srbija and the northwest part of Macedonia. The breed was named after the mountains of Shar Planina.
Origin and Other Names
Sarplaninac dog breed was registered with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as Illyrian Shepherd Dog in 1939. The name was changed to Yugoslav Shepherd Dog-Sharplaninec in 1957 at the instigation of Yugoslav Cynological Association.
Apart from these, certain other names for these dogs are Sharrplaninatz, Charplaninatz, Yugoslav Mountain Dog, Sar Planina etc. These dogs are believed to have descended from Greek Molossian dogs and Turkish livestock-guarding dogs.
These medium sized dogs are characterized by well proportioned body and heavy bone structure. The body is slightly longer than tall. Head is large and in proportion with the body.
Tip of the nose is large but not protruding. The almond shaped eyes are dark in color and have a keen expression. The bushy tail is long and slightly curved in repose. There is feathering on the underbelly and legs.
Color: These dogs are mostly available in white, tan, grey or black color, in solid or blend colors.
Height: The average height of Sarplaninac dog breed is about 22 to 24 inches.
Weight: The average weight of male as well as female Sarplaninacs ranges between 55 to 88 pounds.
Sarplaninac Dog Health Problems
So far, no serious health issues have been reported in these dogs.
Life Expectancy: On an average, Sarplaninac breed dogs live to about 11 to 13 years.
Litter Size: 5-7 puppies
Sarplaninac Dog Grooming Requirements
The dense, weather proof and medium length hair coat of these dogs is easy to groom and need to be brushed occasionally, preferably on a weekly basis.
Other Sarplaninac grooming activities include trimming the toenails, checking and cleaning eyes and ears, brushing teeth and so on. These dogs need to be bathed only when necessary.
Sarplaninac Dog Breed Temperament
The temperament is calm, protective, fearless, reserved, stubborn, independent and highly intelligent. These versatile working dogs do best when kept as flock guardians as they tend to be highly devoted to their flock.
They are excellent at dealing with predator problems. Besides, they can also work cattle. Do not expect a Sarplaninac dog to be demonstrative even when keeping him/her as a family pet.
They remain calm as long as they do not perceive any threat. Sarplaninac dogs are usually gentle with kids and get along well with smaller pet dogs. However, they are naturally wary of strangers.
Sarplaninac puppies need to be trained and socialized in firm and consistent manner so as to avoid destructive behaviors. As these dogs are more likely to listen to their own natural guarding instincts, they do not accept owners’ commands readily. Therefore, they are difficult to train.
Dog Breed Pros and Cons
These sturdy and hard working shepherd dogs thrive on work and proper management. They should not be taken for granted.
Sarplaninac dogs require plenty of exercise and do best when they are allowed to run freely on a farm. In case you do not plan to engage your Sarplaninac in active farm work then make sure that he gets his daily long walks or jogs on a regular basis.
As these dogs enjoy working outdoors, they are more suitable for life on a farm rather than sedentary apartment life. The all weather hair coat offers adequate protection to the dog. Thus, the dog can also sleep outdoors without any trouble.
These dogs are usually not recommended for meek and inexperienced dog owners. Apart from their native region, Sarplaninac dogs are now gaining popularity in United States and Canada as well.