Croatian Sheepdog

About Croatian Sheepdog

Weight:
30-45 lb
Lifespan:
13-14 years
Group:
not applicable
Best Suited For:
active singles, active families, experienced dog owners, house with a yard
Temperament:
intelligent, high-energy, athletic, alert
Comparable Breeds:
Mudi, Berger Picard
Height:
16-21 inches
Croatian Sheepdog Basics


If you are looking for a hard-working, adaptable dog breed, you cannot do better than the Croatian Sheepdog. This breed has a beautiful black coat, an athletic build, and a strong work-ethic – they are also extremely talented herding dogs! Though the Croatian Sheepdog’s main talent is for herding, these dogs are also extremely healthy and can be trained for a variety of dog sports. Because they can be a little strong-willed at times, however, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners.


Though the Croatian Sheepdog’s main talent is for herding, these dogs are also extremely healthy and can be trained for a variety of dog sports.


Origin


The origins of the Croatian Sheepdog can be traced all the way back to 14th-century Croatia, though some believe the breed’s actual origins go back even further to the 7th century. Since its beginning, the Croatian Sheepdog has been exclusively bred in Croatia which may be why its appearance has remained largely unchanged for so many centuries. It is not commonly known which breeds serve as ancestors to the Croatian Sheepdog but it can be assumed that they were local herding and livestock guarding breeds. The first selective breeding program for the Croatian Sheepdog was started in 1935 and the breed finally received FCI recognition in 1969.


Pedigree

It is not commonly known which breeds serve as ancestors to the Croatian Sheepdog but it can be assumed that they were local herding and livestock guarding breeds.


Food/Diet


As a medium-sized dog breed, the Croatian Sheepdog should be fed a high-quality commercial dog food diet formulated for dogs of its size. Because this breed is a high-energy herding breed, however, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate to meet his needs.


The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert and active breed that has a seemingly endless reserve of energy.


Training


The Croatian Sheepdog was bred for vigorous work and they are an intelligent and high-energy breed. These dogs live to work and they require a firm and consistent hand in training due to their independent natures. Croatian Sheepdogs are easily frustrated (especially if they don’t get enough daily exercise) and they can be hard to manage at times – this means that they are generally not recommended for inexperienced dog owners. This breed does respond well to training for various dog sports and they can be good watchdogs as well.


Weight


The Croatian Sheepdog is a medium-sized dog breed which stands about 16 to 21 inches and weighs 30 to 45 pounds at maturity.


Temperament/Behavior

The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert and active breed that has a seemingly endless reserve of energy. These dogs are very intelligent and inquisitive, so mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise – especially if you want to prevent your dog from developing destructive behaviors. These dogs have a very strong need for human leadership and they need a lot of attention as well. This breed can develop destructive tendencies and they tend to bark a lot as well. Fortunately, this makes the Croatian Sheepdog a good watchdog, though it can be a problem if you have close neighbors.


Common Health Problems


As a very old breed, the Croatian Sheepdog is also a healthy and hardy breed – it has to be in order to do its herding work. Most of the health problems seen in this breed are work-related injuries, though these dogs can be prone to musculoskeletal issues such a patellar luxation and arthritis as well.


Life Expectancy


The average lifespan for the Croatian Sheepdog is between 13 and 14 years.


Exercise Requirements


Because the Croatian Sheepdog is a herding breed, these dogs have extremely high stamina and endurance as well as very high needs for exercise. This high-energy breed needs a lot of daily exercise to work of his energy – without adequate exercise there is a high risk for developing problem behaviors.


The Croatian Sheepdog was bred for vigorous work and they are an intelligent and high-energy breed.


AKC


The Croatian Sheepdog was only recognized by the FCI as recently as 1969 and it has yet to be recognized by the AKC or the United Kingdom Kennel Club.


Coat


Croatian Sheepdogs are an easy dog to recognize because it has a thick, wavy black coat. This breed is medium in size and its coat is always black, though some dogs do exhibit white patches on the chest or on the toes. The hair is a little bit shorter on the face and legs, though its tail is well-furred and carried curled over the back. These dogs are average shedders and regular brushing is recommended to keep shedding under control.


Puppies


Nothing is more adorable than a Croatian Sheepdog puppy. These puppies have thick, curly black coats and big puppy-dog eyes, not to mention boundless energy. The average litter size for the Croatian Sheepdog breed is 4 to 6 puppies. Because the Croatian Sheepdog is such an independent and intelligent breed, it is important that you start training and socialization as early as possible.


Photo credit: Damir Kutlesa/Shutterstock; Majchy/Depositphotos.com

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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