Sharplaninsky Shepherd Dog

Sharplaninskaya shepherd, or other names - Yugoslav sharplaninets, Macedonian or Illyrian shepherd - an amazing dog. Her story is closely connected with the Yugoslav people from Macedonia, who used these pets as guards and defenders. Moreover, even then the sharplaninets showed himself as an excellent family dog, capable of giving life for its owners.

Origin of breed

Archaeologists have been able to find out that these large dogs first appeared in the Balkans, although there is a theory that the ancestors of the "Illyrians" were Tibetan mastiffs or ancient dogs native to the North. In Macedonia, there is a tradition that local shepherds are descendants of wolves raised and raised by a hunter.

The Illyrian shepherd was officially recognized in 39 g of the last century, and after WWII in the Macedonian territory mono-breed kennels began to breed these dogs.

For a long time, only puppies received in the kennel of the village of Gary were considered purebred, and when it closed in the 60s, the cost of shepherds increased several times. Dogs brought attention to the breeding and training of service dogs. And until the 90s, the Charplanters actively entered the service of the Yugoslav army.

The proliferation of these unique dogs was hindered by the ban on the export of representatives of this breed outside the homeland, but in the 70s it was canceled, and Illyrian shepherds began to appear in the USA, European countries and Russia.

Description of the breed sharplaninskaya shepherd

Even in ancient times, dogs served as livestock guards, and they did an excellent job even in harsh climatic conditions. Due to the isolation of the mountainous area, only this type of dog was mated, which allowed them to maintain their working qualities and strengthen pedigree features. The appearance of the shepherd dogs has not changed much since that period.

"Illyrian" is a strong dog, strong, large, proportionately folded. Externally and in size, it resembles a Caucasian shepherd and is a representative of giant breeds. Since this is a working dog, designed to live in harsh areas, it is covered with a thick, dense coat with plenty of undercoat.

At first glance, the differences between the male and the female are visible - the females have a more elongated body and are noticeably inferior in size. However, this does not affect their performance and strength. Height males reaches 62 cm, weight - from 35 to 45 kg, in bitches - up to 58 cm, with a weight of 30 to 40 kg.

The proportions and external data, in accordance with the standard characteristics, for Sharplanin shepherd dogs are as follows:

  1. Head rather large, proportional to the body, with an elongated frontal part, the muzzle is elongated, but without sharpening. The occiput is moderate, the stop is smoothed. The frontal part is wide, with a deep dividing groove. The muzzle is covered with flat muscles, expanded at the base, slightly tapering towards the nose.
  2. The lips are flattened, but without dampness, tightly pressed, completely pigmented. The upper lip almost completely covers the lower lip.
  3. The teeth are quite large, with elongated fangs, make up a row without gaps in the scissor bite.
  4. The lobe is large, pigmented in black, with dilated, directly located nostrils.
  5. Eyes - rounded in shape, placed in the middle, not recessed, harmonious, give the dog an expression of calm. Look smart, confident. Iris brown or slightly lighter.
  6. The ears medium size, low setting, rise at the base on the cartilage, in adults they are decorated with hairs.
  7. Body strong, in the format of a square or rectangle, with an oval neck and a smooth transition to the withers, on the front part without folds. The neck looks wider and more powerful than it really is, due to the elongated, thick coat that forms the collar.
  8. The withers are wide, clearly visible, the sternum descends to the elbow joints, has the form of an elongated oval. Ribs with good roundness, back line descending, starting from the withers to the croup. Although for dogs from the mountains, raised croup is not a drawback and is even considered a positive quality.
  9. The back is straight, wide, passes into a shortened lower back, is covered with developed muscles, the croup is beveled. The inguinal line is shortened, tightened.
  10. Limbs proportional size, harmonious, are located in parallel, with well-developed shoulder blades pressed against the body and muscular, elongated shoulders. Metacarpus large, inclined. The hind limbs are slightly wider than the front. The hips are covered with relief muscles, the joints of the knees are large, the legs are well muscled. Large-sized brushes, in the form of elongated ovals, are assembled, with thick, strong claws and elastic, black pads. There should be no dewclaws on the hind limbs.
  11. Tail it reaches the hock joint or lower in length, located on the back line or slightly higher. The base is thick, towards the end goes to narrow. It is set freely when it rises, takes the form of a saber. In an adult shepherd, he is covered with a magnificent fleece.

Quality of coat and possible colors

The head, ears and front of the limbs of the Illyrian Shepherd are covered with short hair. On the cervical region, croup, posterior surface of the limbs and tail, it is elongated, straight, rough. Under the awn, the dog has an undercoat - it is shorter than the remaining hair, thick, with a softer, thinner structure. At the withers, the length of the spine is 10-12 cm, it can be shorter, but not less than 7 cm.

Yugoslav shepherd dogs have a solid color - any colors are allowed, ranging from white to dark brown, almost black tones. Two colors are preferred — gray-gray or dark gray wool. The presence of spots or white marks is not acceptable, the standard only allows small white marks on the sternum and fingers, but they are undesirable.

On the upper part of the head and body, the coat is darker than in other areas, the color turns into a dirty whitish or yellowish-gray tone closer to the ends. The transition is very smooth, so the coat does not look spotty.

Character and temper

The Illyrian Shepherd is a calm, balanced dog, good-natured and obedient. She adores being with the family and appreciates the attention of all members with gratitude. But such a pet can have only one owner, whose pet will obey unquestioningly. Naturally, provided that a person proves his authority and immediately takes a leadership position.

They treat strangers indifferently, but keep an eye on them, constantly watching what is happening. If help is needed, the dog will certainly render it, showing courage and courage.

Sharplaninets - in fact, a shepherd, so he will look after the younger shuttles of the family, perceiving them as unreasonable creatures in need of a protective attitude. Yes, that’s how this dog sees children, therefore it behaves neatly, even during active games, forgives them any pranks, and even if it is accidentally hurt, it suffers. Such a pet is an ideal companion for games, hardy and friendly.

The dog belongs to domestic animals without aggression, and sometimes very friendly. But we are talking about a socially adapted pet, educated and balanced. To the alien animals, the Illyrians are not so loyal.

But the relations with the breeds of these dogs are not so rosy, there are often conflicts between males - over the female, the territory, and simply to show their superiority. If several dogs are required for protection, it is better to start females or a heterosexual couple.

Another nuance - the shepherd is straightforward - when it invades its territory, it does not matter whether the attacker is an adult or a child - almost the same reaction will follow. Therefore, the owner should be aware of the responsibility that he assumes with this difficult four-legged friend.

The shepherd is a companion, the dog will always be there, and not imposing his society. He does not need to be looked after, called or forced - he is quite independent and confident in himself. The Sharplaninsky shepherd does not suit beginners, such a strong and independent dog needs a strong hand and compulsory training. The owner will have to have patience and determination to become the head, mentor, friend for the pet.

Training and education

The Macedonian Shepherd should be socialized as early as possible, since, at the genetic level, she is used to living in solitude. Livestock, landlords and mountains - these are the things that have surrounded these harsh, serious dogs for a long time. If the puppy is not taken outside, not acquainted with new places, people, animals, it can grow up too distrustful and aggressive, the dog will be afraid of strangers and will respond inadequately.

An important aspect of training is trust, the owner must not be subordinated to the dog by force or exert psychological pressure. The pet will refuse not only to obey, but also to interact. Since ancient times, it so happened that the four-legged shepherd had to make decisions independently. Once they could fulfill two important functions - to guard and herd cattle. This made the dog independent and decisive, so the owner will have to prove that his opinion should not cause questions or doubts.

Care and Health of the Macedonian Shepherd Dog

This pet does not require complicated care. During molting, his thick coat will have to be combed out at least once every 2-3 days, and preferably daily. The rest of the time, it is enough to brush it weekly. Without this, the dog’s coat will collapse and look dull and untidy.

If the dog’s eyes turn sour, they can be wiped with a damp cloth or a cotton pad soaked in tea leaves or chamomile tea. Regular treatment will help to avoid the accumulation of pathogenic microorganisms in the eyes and prevent the development of various infections.

Ears are also inspected constantly, if necessary, dirt or excess sulfur is removed with a damp cloth. If this is not done, an unpleasant putrefactive odor will appear, indicating the spread of the infectious process.

The teeth of the shepherd are strong and remain snow-white until old. To maintain them in good condition, it is enough to give the pet solid food or dentological goodies.

Twice a year, the pet should be treated for external (ticks, fleas, etc.) and internal (helminths) parasites. Be sure to visit a veterinarian in a timely manner for examinations and vaccinations.

Breed diseases

On average, Macedonian Shepherds live 11-13 years. Thanks to the natural selection and habitat in the highlands, the breed representatives became hardened and acquired strong immunity. And besides, they are not prone to most hereditary diseases that develop in dogs of giant breeds.

However, with inadequate care, the pet may show signs of dermatological diseases - dermatitis, eczema, seborrhea, etc. In dogs of advanced age, dysplasia of large articular joints often occurs, almost this fourth pathology is diagnosed in every fourth representative of the breed.

Eyes - another weak spot of these grains - high risks of developing cataracts, glaucoma, inversion of the eyelids and other ophthalmic diseases. That is why they require more thorough care and constant inspection.


Since most of the diseases of these herding dogs are associated with malnutrition, the owner should pay more attention to this aspect. With natural feeding, the dog should receive the right amount of food containing animal protein - lean meat and offal, they should be at least 50% of the total diet.

The menu should also include vegetables, a couple of times a week you can give the dog eggs, sour-milk products (cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt). Sheepdog can also be fed with cereals, but they should not make up more than 20% of the total amount of food. Confectionery, chocolate, marinades, pickles, spices are subject to prohibition.

It is mandatory to introduce additional feed in the form of preparations based on vitamins and minerals, since they cannot be obtained from conventional products in the proper amount.

If the owner decides to feed the pet with industrial diets, then this should be a quality product suitable for dogs of giant breeds with a heavy skeleton. In addition, with this type of feeding, it is necessary to provide the pet with round-the-clock access to drinking water.

Dog keeping

Sharplaninets - exclusively street dog, which is not suitable for apartment maintenance. He needs fresh air and freedom - in four walls the pet will be cramped, and given their rich coat, it’s hot. It is advisable to equip your pet with a spacious aviary.

Walking with the shepherd should be daily - morning and evening, the first walk can be short - 30-40 minutes, but in the evening you will have to spend at least an hour and a half on it. Moreover, they must be active - with jogging, activities, games.

Photo of sharplanin shepherd

Sharplanin Shepherd Dog Video

Puppy cost

If the future owner decides that such an independent, independent and large pet suits him, he begins to search for a suitable pet. But a person may encounter certain difficulties - the breed is not so common in Russia.

The price of representatives of this breed varies from 15,000 to 30,000 rubles, of course, a puppy with a pedigree costs more from titled parents. But saving and buying a baby from random sellers is not recommended, there are high risks of getting a puppy with an unstable psyche, genetic abnormalities.

Sharplaninskaya Shepherd - a serious, large working dog, which is a friend to the family and a thunderstorm for attackers. The puppy will demand attention, and the adult dog will need regular, active classes, therefore, if there is no free time, it is better to choose a dog of a different breed, less demanding and more compliant.