The Karst Shepherd Dog has existed for many centuries and refers to the group of Molos. It is assumed that these dogs have migrated along with the Illyrians from the Dalmatian islands and Istra. The first written traces date back to 1689 in a book of Baron Janez Vajkart Valvaso.
In fact, after the First World War the breed was saved from extinction, thanks to the deliberate breeding of Slovenian officer Theodore Drennik.
The breed standards have been officially recognized by the International Dog Federation in June 1939.
The Karst Shepherd Dog is rare outside the former Yugoslavia and puppies for sale can be found mainly in Slovenia, Slovakia and Serbia. It is an excellent shepherd dog, very good guard, and a fantastic family companion.
This is a medium sized dog, well built, with developed muscles and strong physique. The height of the male is 57 to 63 cm and its weight is 30 to 42 kg. The female is 54 to 60cm in height and weighs between 25 and 37 kg.
The dog's back is broad and muscular. The head is large with a strong jaw. The skull is well developed, muscular and slightly convex. The nose is black and broad. The neck is thick, the lips are thick and black.
The eyes are almond-shaped and brown or dark brown, almost black. The ears are set high on the head and fall down in the form of the letter "V". The tail is long and wide, and the tip is curved at the top hook. The coat is long and can reach 14 cm. In the upper part of the neck it is longer and forms a mane.
Coloration is steel gray, light gray or sandy.
Despite its size, the gait is elegant and flexible.
Character and behavior
The Karst Shepherd Dog is a gentle dog, that fearlessly defends its master. It is an excellent shepherd dog, because it can better steer herds and protect them, tirelessly and vigorously even with long and heavy hikes. These dogs are very strong and can easily cope with wolves.
It has an independent character and is suspicious of strangers, but it can be a good pet, unlike its cousin the Shar Mountain Shepherd. This breed does not like intruders on its territory.
Training and education
The Karst Shepherd Dog does not like rough treatment, but is an obedient dog. It will gladly perform commands related to the protection of the territory, which is in its nature. This breed is smart and never attacks without reason.
You must establish close contact with your dog. It must be clear who's in charge, otherwise it cannot comply with all commands. The hard training methods are not suitable for this breed. The dog must be motivated with incentives and with its favorite treats.
This is a healthy dog and does not suffer from specific health problems. It has a natural high immunity.
There may be rare cases of hip dysplasia or malignant hyperthermia.
The average life expectancy is 11 to 13 years.
Grooming and care
The Karst Shepherd Dog needs a lot of exercise, so it's better to live in a house with a large yard.
The hair is easy to maintain, it is sufficient to comb it once a week. Bathe your puppy only when necessary, because otherwise it will wash away the fat that covers the fur and the dog's skin and protects it from severe weather.
This breed is modest in regard to food. It can eat soup, bread, fruit and vegetables, but you should provide a daily portion of meat, preferably beef and lamb. For shiny and healthy hair it is better to give him eggs and vitamins.
Children and other pets
The Karst Shepherd Dog is suitable for families with children. Well-trained dogs exhibit patience and care to small kids. This dog can live peacefully with other pets if it grew up with them. Otherwise, it will try to dominate.
Until the 1968 in the former Yugoslavia, the Karst Shepherd Dog and the Shar Mountain Shepherd were accepted as one breed.
This is the oldest local breed in Slovenia and was designated a national treasure.
The fact that over 100 Karst Shepherds have won awards from national or international championships, proves the quality of this breed.