Breeding group : Working
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GENERALBreed group: Working Type: Pure Breed
Talent: Guarding, Watchdog
PHYSICALSize: Large Weight: 58-88 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: Black & Brown, Black & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Gray / Salt & Pepper
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 12-14 years Rarity: Common Availability: Easily available
Climate: Good for every climate
The Karst Shepherd is a live stock guardian dog originating in Slovania where it is considered the oldest indigenous breed. It is a medium size dog with a compact, well balanced and robust appearance. This dog has been present for centuries and is now primarily used for guarding purposes. There are different theories regarding development of this breed, none exclusive and conclusive. Some fanciers of this dog believe that this dog descended from Caucasian Shepherd dogs. Others believe that this dog is somehow connected to Pompeii dog breed due to resemblance in body structure. However, it is most likely that the ancestors of this breed were the Greek Molos that the Illyrians brought to the Krast region with their herds of sheep. This compact dog stands between 22-25 inches and weighs between 58-88 lbs. It comes with proportionately large and broad head with broad and slightly convex skull. Deep and broad muzzle tapers slightly to the broad, black nose and comes with a straight nasal bridge. Almond shaped eyes are set well apart and deep. They come in chestnut or dark brown colour, holding frank and calm expression. V-shaped medium length ears are set moderately high and fall flat against the cheeks. The neck is broad, thick, well muscled with tight skin and without any dewlaps. This breed has a slightly longer than tall body. The topline is level and straight. The broad back is muscular and the well developed chest is well let down. The ribs are moderately sprung. The belly is slightly tucked up. The wide based tail is normally carried saber fashion with a slight hook at the tip. The medium length tail is covered with bushy hair that forms a plume. On the move the tail is raised level or slightly above the back. At rest the tail is carried low. The coat is long and flat and comes with abundant undercoat. Coat colour is predominantly iron gray. This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and UKC.
Coat is iron grey; especially on the back, a dark shade is preferred; towards the belly and the limbs, the colour turns without visible transition to a light grey or sandy colour, with a dark streak on the front parts of the limbs. The dark mask on the muzzle spreads on to the skull. On the back part of the head it is bordered with grey or sandy or pale fawn hair overlaid with black.
The dog comes in a double coat. The top coat is long, well furnished and flat and comes with dense and abundant under coat. It is shorter on head, ears and front of the legs while longer on ears, neck and belly. It form a mane on the neck with stiff and bushy hair while a ruff is formed in lower neck part by longer and more supple hair.
Courageous and valiant, the Karst Shepherd is bred to be a guard dog and it shows just the right temperament to be an excellent protector of its flock, family and possessions. The dog is brave, independent, prudent and reliable. It is distrustful and wary of strangers and can be territorial towards unfamiliar dogs. It is an excellent guardian of the sheep that will work tirelessly to make sure that its flock is safe and sound from predators. As a family pet, the dog is very loyal and devoted to its master. It gets along well with children and other dogs and pets specially if raised with them from puppyhood. It forms an strong bond with its human family, making a very loving and devoted family pet. Socialization and training should start from a very young age to make the dog compatible to live with other dogs, be gentle to children and not being unnecessarily aggressive towards strangers, specially if they are welcomed in the house by the owner. With proper training and socialization, the Karst dog makes an excellent watch/guard dog, an exceptional flock guardian and a lovely family companion.
The longish coat of this breed is easy to take care of with weekly brushing. Bathing is needed only when necessary.
The dog is trainable but will need a firm yet gentle handler who can use positive training methods to train this dog. Training should start from a very young age and should be consistent and reward based.
This is not a breed for lazy owners. The dog will need to be taken for long walks and provided with ample playing time in a large, open and secure area. It may not fit into an apartment life as this dog is used to working in open spaces.