As the name suggest, the Croatian Sheepdog is dog from Croatia. And it is very old ancient dog breed. They were developed over the centuries in a region called Slavonia, which is in eastern Croatia where they served as herding, but also guard dogs. Because the breed is very old, no one can really be sure what are its ancestors, but most likely they are descendants from dogs that the original Croats had with them when they settled the land.
Again,as the name suggest, this is a sheepdog and herder. And they are excellent at it! According to some old historic records, these dogs were not only used to work with sheep and cattle, but also with pigs or horses. The Croatian Sheepdog is very skilled at gathering the livestock, but also at driving it. They are also known for being very sensitive, so when they nip the cattle, they will not injure it.
This is not only a great sheepdog. The Croatian Sheepdog is a versatile breed and they can also be good guards and of course, excellent companions. When guarding, these dogs are very alert, courageous and fearless. They have natural guarding instincts, because in the ancient times, they guarded their shepherds at night. But if they are socialized with strangers from the puppyhood, they will accept them with no problem, they might just be little bit reserved with them.
Today, the Croatian Sheepdog is commonly living the spoiled life of family companion dog. And they are great companions for active people and families. The Croatian Sheepdog is known as a lively, curious and devoted dog. They are loyal to extreme and they are very eager to please its owners. This is also pretty intense dog who often uses its voice and they are known for barking when excited.
Amazing fact about this breed is their high trainability. This is extremely smart dog and because they are also very eager to please they are highly and easily trainable. They respond very well to reward based training and they learn new tricks and commands very quickly.
If you are not using the Croatian Sheepdog for herding, than it is absolutelly essential to provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation, so they stay healthy and happy. Without enough exercise, they will become bored and they might possibly develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction or excessive barking. These dogs are always ready for a long walk, jog, vigorous and interactive playtime or good training session. Thanks to its high energy level and intelligence, this is also a good choice for various dog sports, such as agility, obedience, flyball, or of course herding events.
The Croatian Sheepdogs are nearly identical to their ancient appearance today. The first thing you will most likely notice about this breed is its the short black hair on the fox-like head and longer wavy coat on the rest of the body. The color is always black with few white hair allowed. These dogs are well muscled, they have deep chest, lively dark eyes, medium sized triangular ears, which are pricked or semi pricked and sickle or hook shaped tail. The tail is traditionally docked, but today, it is more and more common to see dogs with natural tail.
This is a medium sized dog breed with average height between 16-21 inches, which is 40-53 cm and weight is usually between 29-43 pounds, which is 13-20 kg. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
9) Living with
The Croatian Sheepdog is a very adaptable breed, which can happily live indoors if you will provide them with enough exercise, but thanks to their weatherproof coat they can also stay outside during the day. But they are social dogs and they need companionship, so they should not be left outside alone for long time. The maintenance is also extremely easy, only ocassional brush is needed to remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding.
The Croatian Sheepdog is usually a very healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 13-14 years. Ocassionaly they can suffer from bloating, arthritis or patellar luxation.