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Croatian Sheepdog
A Croatian Sheepdog doing dog agility
Other namesHrvatski ovčar
Kroatischer Schäferhund
Kennel club standards
Croatian Kennel Club standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Croatian Sheepdog is a dog breed from Croatia.



The Croatian sheepdog is of low to medium height and the base color is always black, although there may be very small patches of white on its chest and/or toes.[citation needed] A characteristic is the short hairs on its somewhat fox-like head and legs. The remainder of the coat is longer and wavy or curly. The height at the withers in both sexes is between 16 and 21 inches and the length exceeds the height by approximately 10%. Traditionally the tail is docked very short but, if undocked, it is carried curled over the dog's back.[citation needed]

Croatian Sheepdog puppy


This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (December 2010)
An adult Croatian Sheepdog

The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert, agile, keen and intelligent dog with enormous energy and with a strong need for human companionship. It is healthy, resistant to disease and not expensive to keep. It possesses a well-developed herding instinct and is an excellent watchdog. [1]

The breed possesses an hereditary predisposition for working cattle. Some farmers affirm that their Croatian Sheepdog knows and will single out every head of cattle by hearing its name.

In the past, the dog was often used to drive herds of pigs to oak woods in autumn, and, in one old document, it states that this versatile breed even herded the horses from Đakovo's stables. It is both a driving and a gathering dog and, depending on whether it comes from a show or working line, its desire to work stock varies. Its approach to the flock may be closer and harder than some other breeds, but is very effective. It may grip but seldom causes any damage thereby.[citation needed]


Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Croatian Sheepdogs exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.[2]


The Croatian Sheepdog probably originates from dogs which the Croats brought with them in the Migration Period. The oldest found record of a Croatian Sheepdog dates from 1374, in which the Bishop of Đakovo, Peter calls him "Canis pastoralis croaticus".[3] This breed was most probably developed over several centuries out of the descendants of the so-called “Pfahlbauhund” in Slavonia, Croatia. Professor Stjepan Romić developed the Croatian Shepherd Dog as a breed in the year 1935. The breed was first publicly presented at the first state dog show in Zagreb in 1949. Dr. Otto Rohr wrote the first breed standard in the year 1951, which was then published by the FCI in 1969.[4]


  1. ^ Fogle, Bruce (2000). The Encyclopedia of the Dog. USA: Dorling Kindersley. p. 319. ISBN 0-7894-6130-7.
  2. ^ Hartnagle-Taylor, Jeanne Joy; Taylor, Ty (2010). Stockdog Savvy. Alpine Publications. ISBN 978-1-57779-106-5.
  3. ^ Croatian Kennel Club; Hrvatski Ovčar, Canis pastoralis croaticus, izmjere i analize DNA hrvatskih ovčara (DNA measurements and analyzes of Croatian Sheepdogs) p. 6-7 [1]
  4. ^ FCI Breed Standard