Karst Shepherd
Eslovenia FCI 278 - Molossoid . Mountain

Karst Shepherd

The Karst Shepherd a typical watchdog. Acts largely independently, which is also essential for the protection of the herd.



The Karst Shepherd It is a breed that has existed for several centuries and belongs to the group of molosoids. Probably, This dog followed the Illyrian tribe in their migration through Styria and the Dalmatian islands and settled in the Slovenian region of the Karst Massif.. The first time that race is referred to in writing is in 1689, in the book of Baron Janez Vajkart Valvasor entitled «The glory of the Duchy of Carniole». The breed and its standard were officially recognized on 2 in June of 1939 with the name of " Iliria Shepherd »During the F.C.I general assembly. in stockholm. During the F.C.I general assembly. in Bled-Slovenia in 1948, the standard was completed and the breed recognized again. However, to 16 in March of 1968, the Iliria Shepherd from the Karst massif, bore the same name as the Shepherd of the Sarplanina massif. In front of two shepherd dogs with the same name, The Yugoslav Central Society decided to name the one from the Karst region "Shepherd of the Karst massif" and the other " Sarplaninac ». Since then, these two races are totally independent.

Physical characteristics

Externally, the Karst Shepherd they are hardly distinguishable from those of Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina. They are on average slightly smaller than their relatives who live further south, but the height at the cross accepted for breeding is the same for both breeds.

It is a dog's size medium, harmoniously built, robust, with well-developed muscles and a strong constitution.

The head is big, with powerful teeth. The eyes are almendrados, brown or almost black. The ears are inserted moderately high and fall flat in the form of “V”. The tail, wide at the base, takes the form of a saber, drawing a light hook with the tip should reach the hock.
Hair: quite long, reaches the 14 cm.; the undercoat is well developed.

  • Color: grey iron. A dark shade is preferable on the cross; towards the abdomen and feet the color changes without visible transition to light gray or even sand color, with a dark gray band across the lower extremities. The dark mask on the head surrounded by beige gray hair.
  • Size: males, of 57 - 63 cm. (ideal 60 cm.); females, of 54 - 60 cm. (ideal 57 cm.).

Character and skills

The Karst Shepherd is a typical watchdog. Acts largely independently, which is also essential for the protection of the herd. It is very territorial, brave and vigilant, but without biting. He is distrustful and even hostile to strangers, but a loyal and devoted companion of his master and his family.

The born Guardian needs early and careful socialization and loving but consistent education. He only submits to clear leadership.
Like all guard dogs, the Karst Shepherd is late developing, reaches mental maturity only at 3-4 years.

He loves country life and being outdoors. Its ideal habitat is a house with a large parcel of land that it can monitor. With a close family relationship and a task that fits your natural waking instinct. The Karst Shepherd he's a nice companion dog, kind and also obedient, but he will never completely detach himself from his strong independence.

Overall Karst Shepherd It:

  • Incorruptible guard in the house
  • Does not get along with other dogs.
  • Patient, but still affectionate
  • Forgiving with children

Karst Shepherd Education and Maintenance

Only conditionally suitable for the city.
Outside the mountainous regions of Slovenia, these dogs are very rarely found. This is because, on the one hand, to his great need to move and, on the other hand, to the high demands of their education. The Karst Shepherd are more individual than other sheepdog breeds, since they are often left to their own devices in their “natural habitat” and protect herds independently. An experienced owner with a lot of patience and a sense of mind for your dog will have little trouble educating his Karst Shepherd towards an obedient and calm companion.

Karst Shepherd Health

The Karst Shepherd it's quite healthy for a sheepdog, but suffers from some typical breed problems. On average, they reach an age of 10 - 12 years and therefore become significantly older than most German shepherds. The Karst Shepherd, living in a family environment, they are less susceptible to disease than animals that have to sleep in kennels and are permanently exposed to the weather. Boredom is also a stressor and affects the mind and health of dogs..

Its claws must be shortened regularly.
They have sensitive ears that swell quickly.
Very long-growing dogs suffer more often from so-called dachshund paralysis (intervertebral disc disorders).
Dysplasia of the elbow and hip joints are also more common in these dogs..

Buy a Karst Shepherd

Several breeders of the Karst Shepherd they are members of the Dog Club of Southern and Eastern Europe.
Some Slovenian breeders offer their dogs for export.
Pay attention to good breeding conditions!
As the Karst Shepherd they are very rare outside of Slovenia, you will hardly be able to visit the breeder before buying. If you have the possibility, Combine buying a puppy with a multi-week vacation in Slovenia. If your puppy already knows you, you will feel much less stress during the transfer and during the first adaptation phase. You can also check the conservation conditions during a visit to the breeder.

Images "Karst Shepherd"


1 – Owczarek_kraski en el World Dog Show en Poznan by Wikipedia
2 – Owczarek_kraski en el World Dog Show en Poznan by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA
3 – Owczarek_kraski en el World Dog Show en Poznan by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA
4 – Owczarek_kraski en el World Dog Show en Poznan by Wikipedia
5 – Owczarek_kraski en el World Dog Show en Poznan by Pleple2000 / CC BY-SA

Videos "Karst Shepherd"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
  • Section 2.2: Molossian, Mountain type. Without working trial.
  • Federations:
    • FCI – Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid type dogs – Swiss Mountain Dogs and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid, mountain type.
    • UKC – Guard dog

    FCI breed standard "Karst Shepherd"


    Alternative names:

      1. KARST SHEPHERD DOG, kraški ovčar, kraševec (English).
      2. Kraski Ovcar (French).
      3. Illyrischer Schäferhund (German).
      4. Pastor da Ístria (Portuguese).
      5. kraški ovčar (Spanish).
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