Croatian Sheepdog – Complete Guide to the breed

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The Croatian Shepherd Dog is a medium breed with a rustic appearance and a fox-like head. The exact year in which its breeding began is uncertain, but since its appearance it has served as a sheepdog.

Agile, faithful and affectionate, the Croatian Shepherd is an excellent domestic dog, where he also stands out for the ease with which he retains what he has learned in training. Are you interested in knowing everything about the breed? Let’s go there.

Index of contents

  • 1 Croatian Shepherd History
  • 2 Croatian Shepherd physical characteristics
  • 3 Character and personality of the breed
  • 4 Necessary care of the Croatian Shepherd

Croatian Shepherd History

The first records of the Croatian Shepherd appear from the hand of Petar Horvat in 1374. Horvat was bishop of Djakovo and documented the arrival of Croatian peoples in the company of a dog of this breed. This canine variety is believed to be a descendant of an older one, called Pfahlbauhund.

Subsequently, the next written record of its existence dates from 1719. Apparently, during those centuries, the Croatian dog retained its characteristics.

Starting in 1935, Stjepan Romic, a veterinaryn and considered the father of the breed, began systematic breeding in the same area of ​​Djakovo. From its beginnings, the Croatian demonstrated herding and guard dog skills.

Croatian Shepherd physical characteristics

According to the standard of the International Cynological Federation (FCI), we are facing a medium-sized dog that stands out for the shape of its head, very similar to that of the fox. Their bodies are rectangular, they have a muscular torso and a broad chest. The legs, meanwhile, are proportionate and strong. The overall appearance is not heavy, but it is powerless and powerful.

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As for the head, it has a wedge-shaped snout with a strong jaw, the bite can be scissor or pincer. The nose, lips and eyelids are black, while the iris can be dark brown or also black, with oval eyes. The ears are triangular with a rounded tip.

The coat of this breed is dense, smooth and double. The inner mantle is soft and rich, while the outer one is curly. The length is medium, although it lengthens around the neck, near the ribs, on the tail and on the back of the legs. The coat is always black, it may have some isolated white strands, but never spots.


Height between 40 and 50 cm in males and between 43 and 48 cm in females


Weight between 13 and 19 kg in males and females


Curly, soft and black hair


Friendly and loyal character


Strong health


Estimated life expectancy of 14 years



Character and personality of the breed

If you are looking for a simple dog to train, faithful and affectionate, the Croatian Shepherd is for you. His vivacious, playful and obedient personality will enchant you. A product of centuries serving as a working dog, he is very intelligent and capable of making decisions; In addition, he enjoys being with family.

The breed does not have a tendency towards aggressiveness or fearful behavior, but as you know, this depends a lot on good socialization from puppy.

He enjoys outdoor activities and is an excellent companion for families with children, as he also knows how to behave when he is at home. It is recommended to adopt it if you live in a house with a garden or exercise, as it will love to accompany you in these activities.

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Likewise, it can be adopted by people with no experience in dog training, as they learn fast and like to please their masters. Further, he is an excellent watchdog, since he is reserved with strangers.

Necessary care of the Croatian Shepherd

Like any other breed, the Croatian Shepherd dog requires training and socialization from puppy to show off its excellent personality. You can easily train him at home, invite friends, and take him to parks to socialize with other people and pets.

The breed is used to doing tasks, so it will act as a watchdog, but it also needs other stimuli to stay balanced. For this reason, we recommend intelligence games Where you need to find prizes, track and test your decision making skills.

Thanks to his energetic personality, requires daily exercise, keep this in mind before adopting it. Away from home, he enjoys running, so he can accompany you on your walks without running or cycling.

Do you want to practice Agility? The Croatian Shepherd is ideal for this, since it is a good jumping dog; He also likes to chase the ball.

Curly coat does not give major problems, you can brush it once a week and bathe it a few times a month, this will be enough.

Regarding your health, it is very good, since you do not suffer from congenital diseases. With annual vet visits and proper exercise, your dog will be happy and healthy.