The Croatian Sheepdog has lived in the fields of Slavonia for more than 600 years. According to archival documents, the local shepherds preferred this breed, probably due to its developed pastoral instinct. The selection of the breed was largely spontaneous, but managed to survive through centuries. In the earliest document, in which the breed was mentioned as "Canis pastoralis croaticus", is dated 1374 and was discovered in the Archives of the Archdiocese of the city of Dzhyakovo by professor of veterinary science Romich Stepan in the first half of XX century. In this document, Bishop Peter Hrvat wrote that the dog is about 45 cm high, with medium length hair, which is short on the head and legs and is often used to guard domesticated pigs. Dr. Romich also found in local archives other documents about the breed, dated from the XVIII century. The description of Bishop Peter Hrvat and the today standard are almost the same. In the other documents this dog is called "Canis pastoralis croaticus" or "Hrvatski ovčar".
In 1969 the breed was recognized by the FCI.
The coloration is almost completely black with a little white on the belly and toes of the paws. The breed is characterized by short hair on the head, which can be seen also on the lower part of the legs, especially on the paws. On the rest of the body the hair is much longer and wavy. Height and weight of specimens of both sexes are almost identical: 40-50 cm high and 13-20 kg heavy. The body length exceeds the height by about 10%, giving a rectangular general appearance. Today, there are higher representatives who reveal the entire genetic potential of the breed. The tail of the Croatian Shepherd is cut short.
Character and behavior
Croatian Shepherds are very smart, active and loyal to their owners. They are strongly attached to all of the family to which they belong. These dogs are very vigilant towards strangers, which is dictated by their strong protective instincts.
Training and education
The Croatian Sheepdog needs an active life and can participate in all kinds of dog sports and competitions. Furthermore, he is careful and unpretentious shepherd, strongly devoted to his master.
At the beginning of the dressage your puppy will bark a lot, but later this behavior almost disappears and barking usually occurs in large open spaces such as fields. The Croatian Shepherd is usually attached to only one person and adult dogs can barely survive a change of owner. 3-4 monthly puppies can be introduced among people, but you should wait until your pet reaches 6 months of age to socialize it among other dogs.
The Croatian Sheepdog always walks right next to its master and immediately execute his commands. Often the dog stares into the eyes of his owner, as if to ask "What else?".
These Shepherds have a good general health and the average lifespan is about 13-14 years.
Grooming and care
Representatives of this breed can easily be grown in small houses or apartments, but need regular and long walks. Their fur needs only combing, but relatively rare. The Croatian Shepherd can withstand any weather and adapt to all conditions.
Children and other pets
This dog is suspicious of strangers. With proper socialization at an early age you could avoid behavioral problems like shyness or barking.
Nowadays, the number of specimens of this breed, which are used as intended, are increasingly irrelevant, mainly because rearing pigs in the fields of Slavonia decreases. However the number of puppies for sale in the cities increases. The Croatian Shepherd tolerates the new conditions very well because of its good adaptability.
According to many shepherds, the Croatian Sheepdog is able to remember nicknames and to recognize sheep or cows in the herd by name.