Image Credit: Wiki

The Sarplaninac is also known as the Yugoslavian Shepherd and the Illyrian Shepherd Dog.

Country of Origin: Serbia and Macedonia

History : The Sarplaninac is believed to have originated from the Tibetan shepherd dogs that were brought the Balkans from Asia.The Sarplaninac were bred as guardian dogs  in Sarplanina, which is the mountainous areas of Serbia and Macedonia.Because of the isolation of their mountainous homes, the Sarplaninac breed was kept pure.This breed is still used as a  flock guardian dog and companion throughout Europe today.

The first Sarplaninacs to arrive in the U.S. was actually carried down from the mountains by mule. Many American and Canadian ranchers  have been successful in using Sarplaninacs for predator control.

Description: Sarplaninacs are large breeds, nonetheless well-proportioned and muscular dogs.This dog has a large head,dark, eyes and V-shaped drop ears.They have a long shepherd -like tail that is bushy and saber-like.Coats are heavy and sometimes rough, with coat colors ranging from white to a dark grey.A few Sarplaninacs have white markings on their chest and on their toes.

Height: 22.5 inches to 24 inches minimum

Weight: 66-99 pounds

Temperament:A great family dog that is wonderful with children ,nonetheless this breed is wary of strangers.They are intelligent, courageous and make fantastic guard dogs.However, these dogs are stubborn and independent minded.In the absence of a flock of sheep, the Sarplaninac will often treat its humans as sheep – herding them away from danger or undesirable areas. They are peaceful and playful , gentle with children and smaller dogs. They are also highly intelligent and bred to work without human supervision ,while guarding the flocks in the high pastures. Young puppies may try to hunt  small animals until trained not to hunt.

Activity Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy:  11-13 years

The Sarplaninac does best with lots of space and exercise.They need training, socialization and a fenced yard.

Health Concerns: None




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Woofs & Wags!


Copyright© 2012 Claudia Bensimoun


  1. Will and Eko
    October 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Cool breed – always love learning about new dogs, thanks.

  2. October 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    This was absolutely fascinating! I had never heard of this breed and I thought I knew rare dogs!

  3. October 13, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Thanks for this post, that was soooooo interesting!Wonderful dogs!!!!

  4. January 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm


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