Croatian Sheepdog

Canis lupus familiaris

Last updated: October 12, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit DanijelMarkovic/Shutterstock.com

They are an ancient breed dating back to the 7th century and made their way to Croatian lands giving them the name Croatian Sheep Dog.

Croatian Sheepdog Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Croatian Sheepdog Locations

Croatian Sheepdog Locations

Croatian Sheepdog Facts

Name Of Young
puppy
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
They are an ancient breed dating back to the 7th century and made their way to Croatian lands giving them the name Croatian Sheep Dog.
Gestation Period
58-68 days
Litter Size
4-6 puppies
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Common Name
Croatian Sheepdog
Origin
Croatia

Croatian Sheepdog Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Black
Skin Type
Fur
Height
16-20 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
6-12 months
Aggression
Low

Croatian Sheepdog as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
Moderate
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
Between $1000 to $1200
Dog group
Sporting
Male weight
29-43 lbs
Female weight
29-43 lbs

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The nimble-footed and skillful Croatian Sheepdog has a natural ability to crowd sheep, cattle, and even horses. However, once a task is given, their main focus is to make sure the herd of animals is in a secure area. In addition, they are responsible for keeping the animals in one group by not letting them wander off and get lost.

Even though the Croatian Sheepdog’s heritage is of ancient descent, they are still bred and used today to assist farmers with their livestock.

The Different Types of Croatian Sheepdog Mix Breeds

There is only one type of Croatian Sheepdog hybrid breed, called the Croatian Sheekspy. This dog has a mixture of a Croatian Sheepdog and a Siberian Husky.  

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Fun Facts about the Croatian Sheepdog

  • They are an ancient breed dating back to the 7th century and made their way to Croatian lands giving them the name Croatian Sheepdog.
  • These dogs are herding dogs used for their skillful and intelligent traits by moving livestock and keeping them safe.
  • Croatian Sheepdogs have a waterproof coat that is black in color and has a wavy hair texture.
  • They like to bark and whine as this is their way of communicating with their owners. But, unfortunately, their loud, bellowed bark can sometimes be a nuisance to others.
  • Puppies are known to be born without tails.

Pros and Cons Of Owning a Croatian SheepDog

ProsCons
Excellent watchdog: because they are very protective of their owners, they use their loud bark to keep strangers away.Very Vocal: they are always alert and protective, and their persistent bark can become annoying.
Trained easily: their focused minds allow them to take a command seriously, making training effortless.Shy around strangers: even though they are very protective of their owners, they make their bark known. They won’t show interest in meeting a new person, giving off an unfriendly feeling.
Grooming is manageable: their coats don’t require a lot of grooming as they don’t shed a lot of hair.High Energy: Being so active requires a lot of exercises as they have a lot of energy to burn.

The Best Dog Food for the Croatian Sheepdog

These dogs require a healthy and balanced diet to maintain their high energy levels. Their diet must include the following:

  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • And fiber

Their diet can have a combination of canned food and dry kibble. When incorporating wet or dry foods, ensure that the ingredients are of the highest quality. Containing whole-food ingredients such as:

They are a great way to add nutrients to their diets so their body can absorb all the nutritional value needed to maintain a healthy body and prevent weight gain.

Croatian Sheepdog Weight and Size

A croatian sheepdog in a field
Male and female Croatian Sheepdogs have the same average size and weight, between 29 and 43 pounds and 16 and 20 inches tall.

Damir Kutlesa/Shutterstock.com

Males and females are the same in size and weight. The only difference between these two genders is that females have longer bodies than males. The male’s weight is 29-43 pounds, and his height is 16-20 inches. The female’s weight is also 29-43 pounds, and her height is 16-20 inches.

Croatian Sheepdogs Health Issues

 The Croatian Sheepdog presents itself as a very healthy breed. They can experience minor health concerns such as:

Patellar luxation means that the kneecap shifts to the side of the knee bone. When this happens, the veterinarian will move the bone back into place so the dog can adequately function when walking or running.

Unfortunately, due to genetics, Croatian Sheepdogs are prone to dislocated knees. If your dog has experienced any dislocation, take them to the vet, who will assist with the injury and decide if surgery or medication is needed to ease the pain.

They can also experience arthritis, where their joints become inflamed. As they age, the cartilage decreases, causing the bones in the joints to rub together. If you notice your Croatian Sheepdog is struggling to walk properly and doesn’t want to engage in physical activity, get them examined so your dog can have a proper diagnosis. This will assist in knowing what exercise and diet to add to their daily routine and medications, so they don’t experience any pain or discomfort.

Croatian Sheepdog’s Temperament

Their energetic and loving nature makes them the perfect family dog. They are always looking for attention and like to be close to their owner. However, because they are not friendly towards strangers, they make their mutter known using their loud and persistent bark.

If you teach proper training techniques, they become friendlier towards meeting new people as long as they get a good amount of exercise and are well taken care of, they will always show a loyal and loving side.

How to Take Care of a Croatian Sheepdog

The Croatian Sheepdog will adapt happily to a family that can provide a large land area. However, because they are a very active breed, they require a lot of exercise and a well-balanced diet. The Croatian Sheepdog does not enjoy being left alone and enjoys human companionship. If the Croatian Sheepdog does not get enough physical and mental exercise, it can become very destructive and bark a lot.

Grooming

They have a thick undercoat that does not shed often, so brushing their fur once a week is essential to detangle knots and control the shedding. Although their double-layered coat protects the skin, especially from dust, a bath is needed once a month. Keep their nails trimmed, and don’t forget to brush those teeth. Brushing teeth every day will prevent dental issues.

Training

These dogs are highly knowledgeable, making them respond well to training. When training techniques are in motion, abstain from using repetition training techniques as they learn quickly and respond well to commands. Disciplined training and social interaction will teach them how to act around other dog breeds and family members.

Exercise

Croatian Sheepdogs require 15-30 minutes of physical activity at least twice daily. Their exercises can include walking, running, and even agility training. Exercise is essential as it keeps your sheep dog healthy and stimulated. Exercise will prevent

  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive barking
  • Behavioral issues 

Puppies

Sexual maturity can take place from 6-12 months of age. The female dog’s heat cycle happens every six months and lasts 18-21 days. Once mating is complete, the gestation phase takes place, allowing the puppy to develop in the mother’s womb.

Pregnancy can last up to 68 days and birth a litter of 4-6 puppies. Once the puppies are born, they will bond with the mother and stay close to her for the first two weeks, getting their nutrients through drinking milk.

 After the first two weeks after birth, these pups will start developing better eyesight and learning how to walk. The mother will guide them every step of the way so they can learn from her teachings.

Croatian Sheepdog and Children

This breed shows very gentle and loving characteristics, making them great pets for children. They are not aggressive dogs, so they will not attempt to bite or attack. Instead, they are loyal and will share a loving bond with your children and family.

Dogs Similar to the Croatian Sheepdog

The Mudi breed shares similar traits to the Croatian Sheepdog. They both have dark wavy textured coats. They are very energetic and share the same herding instincts. In addition, they love to play and interact in sporting activities. The only difference between the Mudi and the Croatian sheepdog is the shape of their bodies. The Mudi’s body is square, and the Croatian Sheepdog has more of a rectangular shape body.

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Croatian Sheepdog FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do Croatian Sheepdogs shed?

The Croatian Sheepdog has moderate shedding.

Are Croatian Sheepdogs rare?

Yes, they are not found in large numbers.

Are Croatian Sheepdogs aggressive?

The Croatian Sheepdog is not an aggressive breed. They are just wary of strangers.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/croatian-sheepdog/
  2. Dogtime, Available here: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/croatian-sheepdog#/slide/1
  3. Sprucepets, Available here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/croatian-sheepdog-breed-profile-4775762

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