Male Height (typical): 56-61 cm. (22-24 inches)
Female Height (typical):
56-61 cm. (22-24 inches) Size: Small – Medium
Male Weight (typical): 25-39 kg. (55-88 pounds) Female Weight (typical): 25-39 kg. (55-88 pounds)
Country of Origin:
Macedonia (Illyria)
Exercise Required: Daily Brisk Jogs, Free Roaming Play
Expected Life Span: 11 – 13 Years Best suited as: Working Dog, Guard Dog
Other names: Charplaninatz, Illyrian Sheepdog, Sarpie

Description – The Sarplaninac is a medium to larger breed with a thick coat of shorter hair. Its colors can range from black, gray, white and tan with either a mixture of these present or a solid coat of one color. It has a muscular frame that allows it to protect its flock or defend an owner’s property. Its head sits above a shorter neck that adds to its somewhat imposing stature.

Origin & History – This breed originated in what is now known as Macedonia and was used for decades as a herding dog to help control sheep and other animals in a flock. Their name has changed several times over the years to better reflect the changing regional boarders of their homeland and today is still referred to by several different titles. It was originally called an Illyrian Sheepdog and was later renamed to Sarplaninac, which referred to the mountains it calls home. Since the collapse of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, the breeds name was once again changed to Macedonian-Yugoslav Shepherd Dog.

Temperament – This dog has one main mission in life and that is guarding whatever flock it has been tasked to protect. It is very tenacious in its dedication to its flock and will repel any threat presented, regardless of the size of the intruder. This breed does not bond easily with humans but can become a good pet once it learns to trust someone. Because of its native desire to guard, it also makes a great watchdog for a property or home. It is fine with children as long as they are introduced when the dog is younger. The key to training this dog is strong leadership and consistent rules for its behavior. Over time it can learn to adapt to most families and will make a great working dog.

Exercise & Grooming – The Sarplaninac is bred to be a working dog and as such it needs constant exercise to be happy. The perfect environment for this breed is a large yard or farm where they can roam free and guard a flock. If this dog is kept in a smaller home, daily long walks or jogs will supply most of the exercise they need to stay healthy. These walks can be combined with a few trips to the local dog park or backyard for off-leash playtime. The dog has a strong need to explore and will get all the exercise it requires if given enough room to run. The coat of the Sarplaninac is perfect for outdoor activities and requires very little maintenance. An occasional brushing with a stiff bristled brush a few times a month will help to remove any excess dirt or other debris that may accumulate from its roaming through the bush.

Health Concerns – This is a very hearty breed with no known heath concerns. The only issue this dog faces is the danger from injury when confronting threats to its flock. Because of its intense need to protect, the Sarplaninac will many times confront an intruder much larger than itself and may suffer injuries as a result. Other than this, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will ensure the dog lives a long and happy life.

Sarplaninac Organisations in Australia
 No club information listed

Sarplaninac Organisations in the UK
Sarplaninac Rescue Groups

Sarplaninac Organisations in the US
International Sarplaninac Club
American Rare Breed Association (ARBA)

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