Croatian Sheepdog (Hrvatski Ovcar) FCI Standard
The most passionate populariser of the Croatian Sheepdog was Professor Stjeapan Romic who discovered its thorough descriptions in the archival document of 1374. It was put together by Petar, the Bishop of Djakovo and stored in the diocese of Djakov. The breed was portrayed to be approximately 46 cm tall with lavish curly hair, upright eared and mentioned for being an outstanding sheepherder. This historical record also contained the indication that the dog found its way to Croatia during the Great Migrations.
Other archives of the Djakovo diocese from years 1719, 1737, 1742 and 1752 included mentioning of the Croatian Sheepdog. In all written sources of that time the breed is referred as Canis Pastoralis Croaticus and its image perfectly matches its modern-day appearance. In 1935, Professo Romic initiated a purposeful breeding program in which he used the dogs from the Djakovo region. He spent approximately 34 years on the development and enhancement of the breed’s qualities and eventually he attained its recognition by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1969.
The Croatian Sheepdog is marked by a strong herding instinct and it remains a popular working dog in its native land. Nonetheless it has very scarce population in other countries of the world.
The Croatian Sheepdog tends to behave itself warily in the company of unfamiliar people. It is usually very serious about defending its territory and masters from any unwelcomed guests. At the same time its sensitive nature allows it to act with discretion so it will never charge at an innocent person. This makes this breed a highly efficient watchdog as well as a very reliable guardian.
The well-socialised Croatian Sheepdog is commonly friendly with other dogs. However, it has a dominant character and prefers to take an alpha status among other canines. This peculiarity may become the reason of serious confrontations between unfamiliar dogs. The master should always supervise the interaction of his pet with other canines. Since this breed has never been used for killing other animals it’s usually quite accepting of other pets in the household. However early socialisation is a must if you plan to keep your Croatian Sheepdog together with cats and other non-canine creatures.
• patellar luxation;
• difficulty in birthing;
• gastric torsion.
Frequent bathing should be avoided since aggressive shampoos may wash off the natural oils, which give the dog’s coat its weather-proof qualities. Other maintenance procedures include regular nail trimming (usually every 10-14 days) and systematic teeth brushing. The Croatian Sheepdog sheds average amount of hair.
The Croatian Sheepdog is marked by quick-wittedness and inquisitive mind so it’s capable of mastering very advanced tricks. This lithe and fast dog can perform with flying colours in various sorts of dog’s sports. Take into account though that yelling and physical enforcement doesn’t work with this breed and only induce in it defiant behaviour.
This breed may be really noisy as it’s prone to react to any sudden change in its environment with vigorous barking. So choose this dog only if you have very patient and tolerant neighbours.
Remember that such behavioural tendencies as on-going barking, destructiveness, over excitability and even unmotivated aggressiveness are rather common for those specimens of the Croatian Sheepdog who aren’t provided with proper outlets for their boundless energy.