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Karst Shepherd
Eslovenia FCI 278 - Molossoid . Mountain

Karst Shepherd

The Karst Shepherd a typical guard dog. 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 general assembly of the F.C.I. in stockholm. During the F.C.I general assembly. in Bled-Slovenia in 1948, the standard was completed and the breed recognized again. But, 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 withers 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. Las orejas están insertadas moderadamente altas y caen planas en forma de «V». The tail, wide at the base, takes the form of a saber, drawing a light hook with the tip should reach the hock.
Fur: 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 to 63 cm. (ideal 60 cm.); females, of 54 to 60 cm. (ideal 57 cm.).

Character and skills

The Karst Shepherd he 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 development, 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 is 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, ya que a menudo se les deja a su aire en su «hábitat natural» y protegen los rebaños de forma independiente. 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 problems of the breed. On average, they reach an age of 10 to 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!!
Like 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.

Characteristics "Karst Shepherd"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Karst Shepherd" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

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friendly dog ​​ⓘ

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hair loss ⓘ

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Affection level ⓘ

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Need for exercise ⓘ

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Social need ⓘ

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Home ⓘ

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Toilet ⓘ

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Friendly with strangers ⓘ

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barking ⓘ

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Health ⓘ

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Territorial ⓘ

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Cat friendly ⓘ

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Intelligence ⓘ

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Versatility ⓘ

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Child friendly ⓘ

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Surveillance ⓘ

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joy ⓘ

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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 and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
  • Section 2.2: Molossoid, mountain type. Without working trial.


  • FCI – Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid type dogs – Swiss Mountain Dogs and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid, mountain type.
  • UKC – Watchdog

FCI breed standard "Karst Shepherd"


Date of publication of the valid original standard:


The Shepherd of the Karst massif is a shepherd dog par excellence and a good guardian. In the news, increasingly used as a guard and defense dog. Si bien es cierto que en los últimos tiempos es sobre todo un perro de familia, It does not stop being, in essence, a perfect shepherd dog.

General appearance:

This is a medium-sized dog, harmonious, robust, endowed with well-developed muscles and a strong constitution. La cola y las orejas son caídas. The hair, steel gray, it is long and abundant.


  • Trunk length: height at the withers = 9 : 8 at least. A little longer in females.
  • Skull a little longer (13 to 14 cm.) that the muzzle (11 to 12 cm.).
  • Skull width (13 to 14 cm.) equal to its length.

Behavior / temperament:

Of good character, is brave and courageous without being too aggressive. It is dedicated to its master and moderately energetic temperament. Good incorruptible guardian, be wary of strangers. Es un perro de compañía agradable y obediente, although it always retains a strong individuality.


Nice looking, although proportionally large relative to the body; it should not be fine, in tosca. The upper profiles of the skull and nasal canal are slightly convergent.. View from the top, it is wide in the region of the ears and decreases towards the region of the nose. Profile view, it is tall and rounded. Head length, from the occipital protuberance to the tip of the nose, is of 24 to 26 cm.. The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle.

Cranial region:
  • Skull: Pretty developed, muscular, delgado. Since its profile is slightly convex, seen from all sides it is rounded. The amplitude of the skull in the region of the ears is equal to its length. Zygomatic arcades are not accented, the front groove is moderate, the median ridge is slightly convex, without accentuating the occiput.
  • Depression links (Stop): It is a little marked, no sharp transition.

facial region:

  • Truffle: Black. Wide, well developed, sobrepasa un poco la línea frontal.
  • Snout: Medium length. Width and height at its base, progressively decreases towards the nose area. The nasal helm is straight and wide.
  • Lips: They are thick, stretched, tight, without forming bags. They are black.
  • Jaws / Teeth: Teething is complete. Teeth are strong, especially the incisors. The bite is scissor-shaped.
  • Cheeks: laterally, they are somewhat bulky; they are plump, but not too developed, molding a fairly flat face.
  • Eyes: They are presented a little apart, no bumps, nor sunk in the orbits. Almond shaped. Its color ranges from light brown to dark brown. They are frank in expression, calm and firm, almost melancholic, because of the black color of the eyelids.
  • Ears: Moderately high implantation, its length is medium and its extremity extends to the outer corner of the eye. Caen a todo lo largo de las mejillas en forma de « V » y los bordes anteriores están doblados hacia afuera.


Width, thick, good muscular, oval cross section. El perfil superior es rectilíneo o ligeramente arqueado; el perfil inferior es rectilíneo. Medium length (a few 25 cm.), it is deeply embedded between the shoulders and attached to the head by strong musculature. The skin is thick, well attached to the body, no dewlap. The coat is abundant with long hairs that form a very thick collar and mane, which makes the neck look beefier and shorter than it actually is. The bearing is haughty and slightly raised.


  • General appearance: It is well developed, medium length. The thoracic cavity is long.
  • top line: It is straight, horizontal or slightly oblique.
  • Cross: Long, not very high, of adequate width and well applied to the body.
  • Back: Straight, muscular and broad. Medium length.
  • Pork loin: The lumbar region is a little short, very muscular and broad. Rump: Medium length, broad and well muscled. The tail is slightly inclined at the birth.
  • Breast : It is well developed, bulky in length and breadth; the ribs are wide, flat and moderately arched. The front of the chest is well developed and the tip of the sternum is quite rounded. With a length of 25 to 28 cm., its circumference is 70 to 78 cm..
  • Bottom line and belly: The belly is slightly raised and tucked up, rígido. The flanks are short, moderately shortened.


It is solidly attached to the body; it is wide at its base. In its normal position, it is shaped like a saber and the extremity often traces a light hook. Medium length, must reach at least to the hock. It has abundant fur, with long hairs, but without forming a plume. When the dog is alert or on the move, the tail rises to or slightly above the back region. When the dog is at rest, the tail comes down.



  • General appearance: They are straight when viewed from the front or in profile. In all its parts they unite very harmoniously with each other.
  • Shoulder: The shoulder blade is of medium length, width, oblique, well muscled and firmly attached to the body. The scapular angle- humeral is close to the right angle.
  • Arms: Relatively long, more oblique than the shoulder blade, endowed with strong musculature. They are well applied to the body.
  • Elbows: El ángulo húmero-radial no es muy abierto. Well applied to the body, the elbows must be at least at the level of the sternum.
  • forearms: Of adequate length, straight. Los huesos y los músculos son fuertes.
  • Carpi: Strong, bien aplicados al antebrazo así como al metacarpo. Metacarpus: Widths, medium length, slightly oblique.
  • Previous feet: Of well proportioned dimensions to the trunk, its shape goes from oval to round. Fingers are well together and arched, nails are darkly pigmented. Central bearing and digital tubers are strong, black or darkly pigmented.


  • General appearance: From behind, they are well proportioned and harmonize with the other parts of the body. Profile views, the angulations are closed enough.
  • Thighs: In the coxofemoral angle it is closed; thighs are long, widths, well muscled and solid.
  • Knee: Femoro-tibial angle slightly open, shapely knees. The kneecap is solid.
  • Legs: They are moderately long, inclined, robust. Hocks: Solid and moderately open.
  • Metatarsals: Massifs, short and straight. In the event that spurs appear, these must be removed.
  • Hind feet: With the same characteristics as the front feet.


Harmonious, elastic, well coordinated steps. The favorite and most elegant movement is the trot. Galloping with long strides is less elegant


SKIN: It's thick, compact, elastic, adheres well to the body and has no wrinkles; dark pigmentation; black pigmented lip and eyelid edge.

  • Fur: Well bushy, long, smooth; the inner layer of hairs is abundant. The head, the front edge of the ears and the front of the limbs are covered by short hair. The back edge of the ears features longer, softer hair. The upper part of the neck is covered by long hair, stretched and abundant that forms a mane. On the bottom, the hair is longer and softer, forming a collar that widens in the ligament of the neck. The trunk and belly have longer hair that becomes less hard on the belly. The tail, is usually bushy, but it doesn't form a plume. On the posterior aspect of the forelimbs, long soft hair forms bangs. On the posterior aspect of the posterior extremities, el pelo es aún largo y tupido y forma pantalón. The length of the outer layer of hairs is about 10 cm..
  • Color: Steel gray. Especially on the cross, a dark shade is preferred. Towards the belly and feet region, color changes without visible transition to light gray or sand color, with dark gray specks on the front of the limbs. The dark mask of the head is surrounded by light brown-gray hair.

Size and weight:

Height to the cross:

  • In males, is of 57 to 63 (ideal size, 60 cm.),
  • In females, is of 54 to 60 cm. (ideal size, 57 cm.).
  • A tolerance of 2 cm others, but this will have a negative effect on the overall appreciation of the dog.

Weight: In the males of 30 to 42 kg, In the females of 25 to 37 kg.


Any deviation from the aforementioned criteria is considered as a fault and the severity of this is considered to the degree of the deviation to the standard and its consequences on the health and well-being of the dog..


  • Small flaws in the general constitution.
  • Somewhat small head, close, long or not high enough.
  • Indefinite naso-frontal depression.
  • Pronounced zygomatic arches.
  • Too plump or too plump cheeks.
  • Mandíbulas poco desarrolladas.
  • Loose lips.
  • Very high or very low implantation ears; not close enough to the cheeks.
  • Eyes too wide, too clear, little apart.
  • Chin presence.
  • Slightly sunken back, grupa ligeramente sobresaliente o caída.
  • Narrow chest, low tilt or barrel-shaped.
  • Narrow chest.
  • Tail too short.
  • Slightly defective limbs, fingers apart, hare foot.
  • Wrinkled or lightly pigmented skin. Absence of wrinkles on the forehead.
  • Insufficient pigmentation of the lip edge, of the eyelids and nose.
  • Hair that is not long enough.
  • Small white mark on the front of the chest, absence of mask.


  • Serious offenses in the general constitution.
  • Square body silhouette.
  • Narrow head, too light or too coarse.
  • Very marked nasal-frontal depression.
  • Snout very pointed or very long.
  • Teeth: pincer bite, irregular alignment of incisors, lower canines that appear in front of the upper canines.
  • Clear eye.
  • erect ears.
  • Sunken back, rump visibly very raised.
  • Corkscrew or twisted tail.
  • The hind limbs are visibly separated when the dog walks.
  • Clumsy movement, especially in the hind limbs.
  • Soft and wavy hair.
  • Clear pigmentation of the mucosa, of the nose, and of the eyelids. White spot on the front of the greater chest of 2 cm wide and 10 cm length.


  • Aggressiveness or extreme shyness.
  • Any dog ​​showing clear signs of physical or behavioral abnormalities must be disqualified..
  • Exaggerated disproportion between different parts of the body.
  • Tamaño por debajo del mínimo autorizado por el estándar.
  • Head too large in relation to the body.
  • Incomplete teeth. Prognathism or enognatismo.
  • Visibly narrow or wide standing position (barrel-shaped).
  • Tail very short or stump.
  • Depigmentation of the mucosa, of the nose or eyelids.
  • Any color other than gray, which must be at least clear. Two-color or multi-colored copies.
  • Well marked boundary between shades of gray. White markings on the chest or on the neck greater than 2 cm wide or 10 cm long.


Males should have two normal-appearing testicles fully descended into the scrotum..

Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with the typical conformation of the breed, should be used for parenting.

TRANSLATION: IRIS Carrillo (Federation Canófila de Puerto).

Source: F.C.I - International Cynological Federation

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 (español).

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