Croatian Sheepdog: Everything About this Breed

Although it isn't well known, the Croatian Sheepdog, in addition to being used for herding, can be a guardian or companion animal. Learn all about this lively and faithful breed here.
Croatian Sheepdog: Everything About this Breed

Last update: 25 August, 2021

The Croatian Sheepdog is a medium-sized dog that isn’t widely recognized except in its country of origin, Croatia. This rustic-looking canine has a head similar to a fox and, despite its size, it’s a brave animal that’s loyal and affectionate towards the people around it. In addition, it stands out for its balanced temperament and intelligence.

If you have a Croatian Sheepdog at home or are simply interested in learning more about this breed, this article will provide you with important information about it. Next up, discover the origin, behavior and characteristics that define this dog, as well as advice about the care it needs in order for it to have a healthy and happy life.

The origin of the Croatian Sheepdog

Although there’s not much information about the origin of this Croatian sheepdog, experts believe that it’s a very old dog, first recorded by Bishop Petar Bakic. Apparently, this character documented the arrival of the Croatian peoples accompanied by this breed of dog.

Nearly 200 years later, in 1935, a teacher by the name of Stjepan Romic began the systematic breeding of this dog. Then, in October 1949, in the middle of a state dog show in Zagreb, the Croatian Sheepdog was presented for the first time publicly. Just 2 years later, in 1951, Dr. Otto Rohr wrote the first official standard description of the race.


According to the International Cynological Federation, the Croatian Sheepdog is characterized by its black tone. However, it’s also allowed to have some white hairs evenly distributed over its basic color, as long as they’re barely visible. This dog is classified in the lower limit of medium-sized dogs.

This breed has a height at the withers of 40 to 50 centimeters (16 – 20 inches) and can weigh from 13 to 19 kilograms (around 30 – 40 pounds). On the other hand, it has a rectangular body and strong legs. Likewise, it has medium and oval eyes, triangular ears with slightly rounded tips, and a muscular neck.

Similarly, the Croatian Sheepdog has a relatively soft, good quality and dense coat. This is made up of an outer layer that is wavy or curly and an inner layer that is dense, compact, and smooth. This hair also varies in length, that is, it’s longer on the back and side on the face, and the front of the legs.

A Croatian sheepdog.


Regarding its character and temperament, this breed turns out to be very affectionate and faithful to its owner, as well as being lively, playful and obedient. In addition to this, it’s a herding dog by nature, with a great guardian instinct and ease of learning. In addition, it’s a calm dog that enjoys spending time with its family in outdoor activities and games.

However, this dog is quite suspicious of strangers, and so good socialization from puppyhood is important. In addition, it should be noted that it always needs a lot of love and company, otherwise it could become a destructive dog.


Now, when it comes to education, it’s essential to understand that the Croatian shepherd likes to be aware of the attitude of the people around it and the tasks assigned to it. This dog always tries to please its masters all the time. Even so, as we’ve alluded to, when it comes to other people and other pets, this breed can be suspicious and elusive.

Taking the above into account, socialization from puppyhood is vital so that the Croatian Sheepdog can get along with people and other pets. This dog has a great territorial instinct, and so you’ll need to provide it with correct training in order to avoid it getting into trouble when it’s in a different environment than the one it’s used to.

Croatian Sheepdog care

The way you care for your Croatian Sheepdog will influence their lifestyle. Remember that having a pet is a responsibility that involves offering them time and love. Therefore, it’s important to take into account the following recommendations to contribute to your pet’s well-being:

  • Veterinary check-up: Check-ups by a professional will help evaluate the development of your Croatian Sheepdog. Taking it to regular check-ups with a veterinarian will be essential in order to determine if the dog is healthy, whether it’s receiving a good diet, and if it has the ideal weight.
  • Hair brushing: This breed’s coat isn’t difficult to maintain. You can brush it once every two weeks. However, if you suffer from allergies, it isn’t recommended that you have a Croatian Sheepdog at home, as it constantly loses hair.
  • Good hygiene: Grooming your pet is important in order to prevent it from getting infections that can make it sick. Therefore, make sure you keep its ears and teeth clean. Also, bathe them when they need it, but not very often.
  • Food: It’s important to provide a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients this dog needs, ensuring that it doesn’t eat excessively. In this regard, consult a veterinarian about the best options for the animal’s diet. Don’t forget that the amounts of food should vary according to their size, weight, and age.
  • Physical activity: Keep in mind that this dog has a great need for physical activity and needs constant movement due to its herding nature. Make sure you have the necessary time to take them out for a walk and accompany them, carrying out different activities, exercises, and games.

The health of the Croatian Sheepdog

This breed usually enjoys good health and doesn’t have any particular hereditary diseases. However, you need to provide care to contribute to its quality of life. It’s always good to check the coat and ears of the dog after being outdoors to check that it doesn’t have any infections or parasites.

In addition, it’s important to train the canine correctly so that it doesn’t indulge in destructive behavior.

In conclusion, the Croatian Sheepdog needs love, attention, accompaniment, and good training to become an obedient companion animal. This brave and affectionate breed will adopt the lifestyle that you teach it. Therefore, train them from young so that they’ll always behave well and be able to socialize in different environments.

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