Croatian Sheepdog

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Herding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 29-43 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Curly    Fur Color: Black, Black & White


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Croatian Sheepdog is the native breed of Croatia that has changed very little since its origination. It is a low to medium high dog with excellent herding skills. The dog has a history that goes back to several centuries. The earliest written document about Croatian Sheepdogs, named 'Canis pastoralis croaticus', found in the archives of diocese of akovo by "father of the breed" – veterinarian Prof Dr Stjepan Romi' – is from 1374. It is written in this document that these dogs were brought in Croatia by Croats from their original native land while migrating in 7th century. Description of the dog in those documents and then documents from later century and years (1719, 1737,1742,1752) depict the dog exactly as we see it today. This dog has undergone very little changes, if any, and is still the same dog that is described in centuries old documents.

The Croatian Sheepdog is an adaptable and weatherproof breed that always come in black base colour. It stands between 16-21 inches and weighs between 29-43 pounds.

The head is wedge-shaped with oval skull. Muzzle is strong and lean with a straight nose bridge and always black nose. Almond shaped eyes with lively expression come in black or brown colour. Medium size ears are pricked or semi-pricked and set slightly to the side. Neck is deep, moderately long and rounded but not too strong. The body is rectangular in shape with deep and broad chest and slightly tucked up belly. Dense and bushy tail is set high. It is carried low when the dog is at rest and carried high above backline when the dog is alert. The movement is trot like with moderate strides. The dog has a curly coat that is always black with hair length between 7-14 cm.

The Croatian Sheepdog is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by UKC and FCI.


The Croatian Sheepdog always comes in black colour. Some white markings on chest, below the chest and under throat is permissible.


The coat is relatively soft, wavy to curly but must not be wooly. It is short on head and ears but long on other body parts with pronounced feathering on hindlegs and tail.


The Croatian Sheepdog is an obedient, loyal and devoted breed that is excellent in herding the flock. History tells us that this dog has been used not only to herd, drive and gather flocks of sheep but also pigs and even horses. It has retained excellent herding, droving and gathering skills since its creation. It is very alert, keen, agile and intelligent dog with lots of energy. It can work tirelessly throughout the day. Considered one man dog, the Croatian Sheepdog is very docile and well mannered with all family members with proper training and socialization. It is very alert dog and wary of strangers. It makes an excellent watchdog. The dog needs early socialization to minimize and overcome its aggressive tendencies. It barks a lot as a puppy but will settle down with age. The dog is easy to train with firm but sensitive training. It can fit into apartment life as long as it is provided with plenty of exercise. The dog gets along well with children and other dogs and pets in the family. It can get bored and even become destructive with nothing to do. The Croatian Sheepdog makes an excellent watch, family and companion dog besides being a herding dog par excellence.


It has a low maintenance coat that is easy to take care of. Once a week brushing will do with this dog. Bathe only when necessary. It is a healthy dog with no known genetic health problems.


It is very trainable dog breed that will thrive on firm but sensitive and gentle training routines. The dog is very intelligent and can be trained easily using proper leadership skills and positive training methods.


A highly energetic dog, the Croatian Sheepdog will need lots of exercise and work to do to keep its energy levels under control. A daily walk is must along with ample playing time. It is a very talented dog and can take part in different dog sports like dog agility, obedience, showmanship, fly ball, tracking and herding skills.

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