Height: 16-21 inches
Weight: 29-43 pounds
Coat Type: Soft, wavy to curly
The Croatian Sheepdog, hailing from Croatia, has a distinct feature of a fox-like head. Also known as Hrvatski Ovcar and Kroatischer Schaferhund, this breed is both a driving and gathering dog. Since its origin, the dog has been used to herd horses from the Djakovo stables and pigs to oak woods in autumn. Due to its natural herding instinct, it is used for taming and herding the cattle and sheep. It is an alert and intelligent dog with enormous energy. The breed is well established in Croatia and equally appreciated, though it is still not known in other countries of the world. Read through the following lines to know more about the Croatian Sheepdog breed.
Though nothing much is known about the origin of Croatian Sheepdogs, it is certain that they were brought by the Croats from their original land and settled in Croatia in the 7th century. Since then, the breed has been extensively bred in the fertile plains of Slavonia. Information about these dogs, dating back to 1374, was found by veterinarian Prof Dr. Stjepan Romic, who later came to be known as the “father of the breed”. In 1935, Prof. Romic started a systematic selective breeding program from the dogs found in the Djakovo territory. After 34 years of dedicated work, the breed was finally recognized by FCI in 1969.
Croatian Sheepdog is a medium-sized breed with a black coat, though some dogs can be found having small white patches on the chest and toes. The dog has a fox-like head, covered with hair that is shorter than the hair all over the body. It has an oval-shaped skull and conical-shaped muzzle, giving the dog a lean wedge shaped head. The dog has a black nose. It has medium size almond shaped eyes that are chestnut brown or black in color. The medium sized triangular ears are semi erect or erect. The tail is set at a medium height and covered with dense, long hair. The Croatian Sheepdog has a dense undercoat, while the top coat is soft and curly or wavy.
The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert, agile, keen and energetic breed, with a strong need for human leadership. The intelligent dog has a strong herding instinct, due to which it is used as an excellent shepherd as well as watchdog. It has a strong stamina and easily understands its task. The dog socializes well with other dogs and children, if socialized from an early age. The dog requires obedient training; else, it can become timid and destructive. It can adapt to an apartment or small household easily, provided it is given sufficient exercise. The dog should be taken for daily long walks or allowed to play with kids in the park, in case it has to live in the city.
Croatian Sheepdog is a healthy breed and no health problems have been diagnosed so far.
The Croatian Sheepdog does not require extensive grooming routine, as it is an average shedder. However, the dog should be groomed occasionally by brushing, to remove dead hair. Also, the dog should not be bathed too often, since doing so can remove the natural oils that weatherproof the coat.