Croatian Sheepdog is an ancient breed well-known for its specialization in herding and livestock guarding. Its origin can be traced back to the end of the 14th century. Native to Croatia, they are rare to find. If anyone gets an opportunity to become their owner, they should consider themselves lucky. They are very affectionate and loyal to their owners. They would cross any boundaries to keep their owners happy. If provided with proper care and training, they make an extremely good pet. However, they are not suitable for beginners.
Also known by the name Hrvatski Ovcar, these dogs are very active, intelligent, hardworking, and enthusiastic by birth. Consequently, they require a good amount of physical exercise and training. They are not very demanding but if their basic requirements are not fulfilled, they can be a bit handful. Hence, they are only suitable for a household that is active enough to keep them well. They can get along with other humans and pets if trained and socialized well. They can be a little cautious towards strangers though.
In any case, the owners can manage well with a little experience, information and guidance. If any potential owner is interested in knowing more about their pet Croatian Sheepdog, keep reading!
Distinctive Features of Croatian Sheepdog
|Breed Name||Croatian Sheepdog|
|Lifespan||Up to 14 years|
|Size||Up to 21 inches|
|Coat||Medium-length, dense, and weather-resistant double coat|
|Color||Typically black, sometimes with white markings|
|Health risk||Moderate (may be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy)|
|Unique trait||Shaggy appearance and long, bushy tail|
|Famous for||Herding livestock and agility|
|Temperament||Intelligent, active, and loyal|
|Maintenance||Moderate (requires regular grooming and exercise)|
|Adaptability||Moderate to high (can adapt to various environments)|
|Behavior||Generally good with children|
|Personality||Energetic, protective, and trainable|
|Social||Usually gets along well with other dogs and pets if properly socialized|
Croatian Sheepdogs have a 'fox-like' appearance with a wavy black outer coat and erect ears. Based on the available evidence, it is believed that their appearance has remained almost the same compared to ancient times. The same goes for their characteristics. For instance, they have always belonged to the group of herders and still have the same instinct. This may reflect in their behavior with other pets and children at some point in time. There are several other features that are unique to this breed. However, before going deep into the same, here's a list of some of the basic characteristics.
Now, aside from this, they have a few other features knowing which should be helpful for the potential owners.
- An adult Croatian Sheepdog usually has a bushy tail but the puppies can sometimes be completely tailless at the time they are born. This is not a very unusual sight.
- Croatian Sheepdogs have an extraordinary jumping ability. For the same reason, the house they live in should have higher fences. Or else, they won't hesitate to jump out and have some fun!
- Though they are bushy, they don't shed a lot. Also, they don't need a lot of cleaning because their coats have a natural ability to repel dirt.
- Croatian Sheepdogs make a good family pet if socialized well. However, they always have more inclination towards a single human. And, this one individual means the world to them.
How to Take Care of a Pet Croatian Sheepdog?
Croatian Sheepdogs should only be adopted if the owner is ready to give them the treatment it requires. They are excessively energetic and need intense physical exercise and training to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. So, the first step to take good care of them is to give them enough physical work. They should be trained and socialized well from the beginning. They are quick learners and respond well to their masters. However, they should always be taught things with love and not force. Their grooming regime isn't very tough either. Brushing their outer coat once a week would be enough. Additionally, one should make sure to trim their nails and clean their ears regularly.
What to Feed a Pet Croatian Sheepdog?
A well-balanced diet is of utmost importance for a pet Croatian Sheepdog, especially considering that it is involved in high physical activity and needs more energy. Keeping the requirements of a pet Sheepdog in mind, the diet must include around 25% protein, 6-8% fat, and some amount of carbohydrates. For protein, the owners may use eggs, meat and different vegetables. If the pet is being fed dog food, then it must be ensured that the food is of high quality and is rich in nutrients.
The frequency of the meals depends on the age and the amount of workout done by the pet dog. If it's a 6-12 week old puppy, it should be fed 4 times a day. If it's 3 to 6 months old, the meals should be served 3 times a day. For adults, eating twice a day would be sufficient. Now, the amount of food they will be served depends upon their physical activity. The more exercise and training they do, the more they should eat. A healthy diet in the proper amount is important to ensure a healthy and long life.
What are the Health Concerns for a Pet Croatian Sheepdog?
Croatian Sheepdogs are hardy and fall sick only on rare occasions if well taken care of. They don't suffer from any inherited diseases specific to their breed. Due to their hardworking behavior, they have even developed resistance to a few diseases. However, there are still a few diseases or health problems one should keep a check on.
- Hip Dysplasia
- Dental Disease
- Muscle Injury
Apart from these physical conditions, their mental health is also something the owners need to take special care of. They have a lot of energy and it's difficult for them to keep it all inside them. If they are not provided with ways to channel their energy in the form of exercise and training, they can get easily frustrated. It will ultimately lead to aggressive and destructive behavior. That's exactly why they can only stay well in a home with a healthy lifestyle. Taking them to a vet for regular checkups is also highly recommended.
What is it Like to Keep a Pet Croatian Sheepdog?
Though difficult to acquire, having a pet Croatian Sheepdog is no less than a blessing. They make a perfect family pet that is highly dedicated to its owners. They are quite affectionate and keep trying to please the people they love. Dogs already have a great reputation for being loyal companions and this breed is on just another level. They will go to any extent to prove their loyalty to their favorite person. They would even disregard their own choices to keep their masters happy.
Croatian Sheepdogs also act as the ultimate protector for their owners. Having a pet Croatian Sheepdog at home implies that the owners can sleep peacefully. They possess all the skills to be a perfect watchdog. Not only would they bark on coming across someone suspicious but also fight for you if necessary. In the worst cases, they would even willingly give away their lives for protecting their beloved human. That's the kind of dog they are! One can see why they are a boon to have.
As already mentioned, these shepherds are physically very active and need a considerable amount of physical exercise, training and playtime. This makes it a perfect fitness buddy too. Since they are kid-friendly, the kids in the house would also have a great companion to play with. Besides, Croatian Sheepdogs get along with other pets as well provided they are well-acquainted. So, they are also well-suited for a home with other pets. Keeping a Croatian Sheepdog may need effort but it's all worth it in the end!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Croatian Sheepdog
Some of the generally asked questions about Croatian Sheepdog are answered below:
What is the temperament of a Croatian Sheepdog?
Croatian Sheepdogs are known to be intelligent, energetic, and highly trainable. They are loyal, affectionate, and make excellent family companions. They have a strong herding instinct and may try to herd people or other animals.
What is the biggest Sheepdog in the world?
Anatolian Sheepdog gets as big as 27 to 29 inches making it the biggest sheepdog in the world.
Do Croatian Sheepdogs shed a lot?
Croatian Sheepdogs have a double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer, wiry outer coat. They are considered moderate shedders. Regular brushing is required to keep their coat clean and free from mats. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be needed to manage the shedding.
Are Croatian Sheepdogs good with children and other pets?
Croatian Sheepdogs are generally good with children, especially when properly socialized from a young age. They can be gentle and patient with kids. However, as with any dog, supervision is important when interacting with children. They can also get along well with other pets if introduced and socialized properly.
How intelligent are Croatian Sheepdogs?
Croatian Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and excel in obedience training. Their intelligence and problem-solving skills make them versatile working dogs in various fields, including herding, search and rescue, and agility.
Are Croatian Sheepdogs easy to train?
Croatian Sheepdogs are highly trainable due to their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. They respond well to positive reinforcement methods and consistent, patient training. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and obedient dogs.