Sarplaninac - A Shepherd Dog

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog or Sarplaninac is a large, fluffy and cuddly kind of dog. The dog has got its name from Sar Mountains which is its native place. The dog has a naturally protective instinct and his primarily job was to protect, herd and guard livestock and cattle from wolf, lynx, bear and foxes.

Even being a hulk, it is domesticated by dog lovers because of its calm nerves and sweet disposition around family members. Children are safe around this dog and with strangers they are suspicious.


The dog has powerful senses and it will let you know of wrongful things by barking. At the time of danger or threatening situation the dog turns into a beast and encounters dreadful situation fearlessly.

Sarplaninac Puppy

It thrives in a countryside environment where it can run freely and get the opportunity to guard livestock.  These fierce and powerful giants are even employed in Yugoslavian army.

Sarplaninac Origin

The breed belongs to Sar Mountain which is in southeastern Yugoslavia. As the breed was developed in isolated place so much information about its origin is unknown. But according to experts, the breed shares the same bloodline as Tibetan Shepherd dogs. They are also said to be the oldest dog breeds in the world which is developed from Molosser breeds.


Sarplaninac Characteristics

  • The breed belongs to Yugoslavia and is a guard dog.
  • The dog’s primarily job was to protect farmers’ livestock.
  • They live around 11-13 years.
  • They are calm, reserved, protective and devoted dogs.
  • They are 22-24 inches tall.
  • They weigh around 55-88 pounds
  • They come in black, gray, sable, fawn and white color.
  • They give around 3-5 puppies.
  • Average cost of the puppy is around $800 - $1000 USD.
  • The dog is not meant for cozy apartment. It thrives well in a farm where it can run, live freely and protect livestock.
  • It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
  • It has enormous energy. It needs daily of vigorous exercise, if it is not working on farms.
  • It sheds moderately; infrequent grooming is required to keep its coat healthy.
  • With strangers they are suspicious and wary.
  • They make excellent watchdog as well as guard dog.


It is a hulk kind of dog with a strongly built up body. It is one of those flock guard breed which comes in solid colors other than white. Their eyes and nose are black in color. Eyes are almond shaped which looks keen and thoughtful.

Tail is bushy and curved towards upward direction gracefully. Their head is large and muzzle is bunt. Ears are flat and of medium size which hangs on side of its head.

Size and Weight

Ideal height of the male breed is 56–62 cm, and that of female breed is 54–60 cm. Weight of male breed is 35–45 kg and female weighs around 30–40 kg.


Coat and Color

They have double coat which is dense in structure. Their coat is 10 cm long and is slightly wiry. This kind of coat helps the dog to withstand extreme cold climate and rough terrain. Its coat can be smooth or rough.

They come in solid color of black, gray, sable, fawn and white color. The undercoat should have lighter shade of color than topcoat. Their coat should not possess large white markings.



  1. Personality - The dog has a gigantic personality. It is used on farms for herding and guarding flocks of sheep as well as other livestock. In the absence of livestock, it will consider humans as sheep and will protect them. It is dynamic in nature, inside home it remains calm and composed but once it gets a sign of dreadful situation, it instantly transforms into an invincible beast. It has one goal in life and that is to protect its territory from threat and danger. The dog takes its task of protection with full devotion and is extremely faithful towards its own family. They are far from being a brainless tail-wager; they have powerful senses which help them to take action within a blink of eyes.
  2. Behavior - The dog enjoys outside environment more than anything. It hates sitting idle and work keeps it happy. They are aloof with strangers. You need to provide early socialization lesson to the dog so that it can differentiate between foe and friendly. With family children, they are like their elder brother. They will protect them and be their guards for lifetime. They can be aggressive towards unknown face, which is normal for a guard dog. They are independent minded and do things according to their own will. They are not excessive barkers but if they bark incessantly, there’s high possibility that some trouble is about to begin.
  3. Activities Requirement - They are suitable to live in countryside where they can get the opportunity to guard flocks. If they are working on farms, there is no need to separately provide it physical and mental stimulation. But if they are devoid of that task then they should be given long hours of physical and mental stimulation.
  4. Trainability - Dog’s mind becomes active just after they are born. Do not get surprised when puppies show their chasing and hunting skills. It is important to start their training lessons as you bring it home. Socialization lesson and basic obedience lessons are must for them. A firm and experienced dog owner can train the dog to suit his needs.


Well-balanced diet is essential for optimum development of its health. It should be fed 250-300 grams of meat per day which should be supplemented with vegetables, flaxseed and fish oil. The dog loves fruit and considers it as a treat. Carrot, beans and cucumber are great for dogs. 


They live around 11-13 years.

Health Issues

It is not a hypoallergenic dog. As the dog is purebred, so there are no major health issues which the dog is prone to. Few minor health issues are hip dysplasia, thyroid, night blindness, dry skin etc.


This breed’s dog has dense coat that are prone to shedding. They are considered as average to high shedder. You should comb its coat daily so that dead hair remains in control and your dog’s coat will be free of debris and mats. Brushing is also advisable because it distributes the natural oil present on dog’s skin.

Hence making it look healthy and lustrous. While brushing its coat do check its ears for any built up wax and clean it with cotton bud. Bathing is advisable, only when the dog gets dirty. Do trim its nails if it doesn’t get withered naturally.


The dog is suitable for living in countryside. It can tolerate any climate but it prefers cooler temperature.

Pet Names

  1. Hulk
  2. Leo
  3. Max
  4. Lucy
  5. Millie

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. They are protective dogs which can even give their lives for property or human beings protection.
  2. There are easy to groom.
  3. They make reliable guard dogs and watchdogs.


  1. This is not a hypoallergenic breed.
  2. They tend to be aggressive with strangers. Early socialization lessons are necessary for the dogs.
  3. They are not suitable for urban lifestyle and apartments.