Dalmatian dogs are named for what


The Croatian Shepherd Dog, which is still very unknown beyond the Balkans, has long been a popular working and companion dog in its home country. No wonder, after all, the Hrvatski has everything that people expect from their four-legged friends and helpers. Originally bred as a herding dog that was only satisfied when his herd was together, he is now a very sociable and people-oriented family dog ​​who likes to play with children and enjoys being with the extended family to the full. He is also very intelligent and quick to grasp. He implements tasks and commands from his master at lightning speed.

A dog to steal horses

His will to do everything right and his willingness to adapt to a wide variety of situations make him a reliable and trainable partner. Unlike many other German Shepherds, he does not tend to question the sense of a task, but usually obeys his owner unconditionally. Even for apparently pointless exercises, such as jumping through a hoop, which many other herding dogs proudly refuse, this pedigree dog is not too good for itself. The Croatian Sheepdog is a dog "to steal horses", which is loyal, active and protective of its humans in every situation.

Trust is good, control is better

As close as its relationship with its caregiver is, the Croatian Shepherd Dog behaves at a distance towards strangers. After all, the herding dog naturally has a strong protective instinct. According to the motto "Trust is good, control is better", he is initially suspicious of strangers and observes them very closely despite his lively temperament. So people first have to earn his trust and loyalty. When children are born into his family or another animal moves in, he soon accepts them as new members of his “herd” that he has to protect and keep together.

Parenting tips

His strong instinct for herding, which he does not shed even as a family dog, should be steered in a sensible way with a consistent upbringing. Otherwise he runs the risk of acting too protective and frightening not only strangers but also his own family by barking excessively in supposedly dangerous situations. Good socialization and a owner who demonstrates his leadership position through competence and reliability from the start are just as important for the Croatian Shepherd as it is for almost all dog breeds. In addition, the spirited and hard-working dog absolutely needs a job as a family dog. Shepherds that are underused physically and mentally often develop bad habits out of boredom that are difficult to get used to again. With enough exercise and activity, however, the Croat quickly proves to be a very grateful and unconditionally loyal dog partner who proves his talents not only in everyday life, but also on the dog sports field.


The Croatian Shepherd Dog impresses not only with its amiable and loyal nature, but also with its attractive appearance. The thick black and medium-length fur, its muscular body and its pointed head shape, which is reminiscent of that of the fox, give it a noble expression. With a height at the withers of around 50 cm and a weight that varies between 13 and 20 kg depending on gender, this pedigree dog has a pleasant format that does not appear too small or too large.

Robust outdoorsman and talented athlete

The black fur, which is rarely provided with white spots, feels very soft in contrast to the coarse and robust fur of many other herding dogs. Nevertheless, it is weatherproof and easy to care for. So there are no excuses why you can't pursue your dog's urge to move outdoors in the fresh air. On the contrary: with its muscular legs, with which it is not only very fast, but also very agile, this dog simply belongs out in nature, where it can really let off steam on long walks, bike rides or dog sports.


Despite its excellent characteristics and appealing appearance, the Croatian Shepherd Dog is still very unknown outside of its homeland. Even proven dog lovers may not be familiar with the name "Hrvatski ovčar".

Whatever the reasons for the low distribution - a history that is too young cannot be the cause, because this pedigree dog has been around in his home country Croatia for more than 1,000 years.

Versatile herding dog

As a herding dog for cattle, he has always looked after cattle, sheep and horses, but also pigs and poultry. He drove them reliably from pasture to pasture, tending them and making sure that the whole herd stayed together. Nothing escaped the attentive gaze of the Croatian herding dog and every runaway was brought back in a flash. In the case of very large herds that were densely packed in a pasture, the skillful Croat even ran over their backs in order to quickly get to another end of the herd. In addition, the Croatian farmers valued him as an excellent guard dog who was very vigilant and courageous, but at the same time loyal to his master and his family.

Struggle for recognition

Although the Hrvatski is mentioned for the first time in a manuscript by Bishop Petar in 1374, the dog was bred for its usefulness for a long time. A standard that described not only its nature and its performance but also its exterior was not set up until 1951. Although some Croatian breeders tried to get the dog breed officially recognized, the political turmoil in the former Yugoslavia and the related disputes over the word “Croatian” in the breed name represented insurmountable hurdles for a long time "Yugoslav Cynologists Association" officially recognized. The FCI followed suit a year later and recorded the Hrvatski ovčar under number 277.

Where can I find a suitable breeder?

Today the Croatian Shepherd Dog is a popular family dog ​​in its homeland, proving to be a very adaptable and level-headed companion and protector. Outside the Balkan borders, however, it is largely unknown and even if you are convinced that you have found the right pedigree dog for you and your family in the Croatian Shepherd, that does not mean that you will find a suitable breeder of these rare dogs. So it takes a lot of patience, persistence and, last but not least, time and money to take a trip to Croatia if necessary to fulfill the wish for a thoroughbred Hrvatski. If you are willing to take on this trouble, the Croatian Shepherd Dog is certainly a good choice for families with children who want to be active and close to nature with their dog.

Health and care

If you are one of the few people who can call a Croatian Shepherd dog their own, you will surely spend a lot of time outside in the fresh air - however, you rarely have to go to the vet and if so, then only for the recommended check-ups and vaccinations. Because the agile Croat is a very robust guy who is not known to have any diseases typical of the breed. However, to support his or her healthy development, you should ensure that your loved one has enough exercise, adequate care and a balanced diet. In addition to clipping the claws and cleaning the ears, regular brushing of the fur in order to remove dirt and avoid matting is part of the care.


In general, the Croatian Shepherd Dog is considered to be very frugal. Due to his good constitution, special food is usually not necessary. Nevertheless, you should ensure that your dog is supplied with all the necessary nutrients through the food. Proteins, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and fiber will keep your dog healthy and active. Since dogs need different amounts and compositions depending on their age, gender, weight and level of activity, a closer look at food tables or a conversation with the veterinarian can prove to be worthwhile.

What should and shouldn't be in the feed

Regardless of whether you prefer to feed your dog with wet or dry food, self-cooked food or the BARF method, you should make sure that the food consists of at least 70 to 90 percent high-quality meat. A proportion of vegetables of around 20 to 30 percent is also recommended to provide your dog with the necessary vitamins and carbohydrates. Our four-legged friends, on the other hand, need little or no grain. Sugar, preservatives or artificial flavor enhancers should also be avoided in dog food.

In addition to the correct composition of the food, hydration is also extremely important for the health of your dog. While it is best to only offer your dog two fixed meals a day, fresh drinking water should be available at all times. It is especially important when using dry food that your dog drinks a lot.


Correct posture for the Croatian Shepherd is even more important than preoccupation with nutrition and care. The breed representatives are considered to be very frugal, but when it comes to their movement, these dogs know no limits. Owners of this breed should bring a large plot of land and the willingness to spend a lot of time outside each day. Although they are relatively small sheepdogs with a maximum shoulder height of approx. 50 cm, they need all the more space in order to be able to move around freely and let off steam. Understandably, the Hrvatski feels most at home in the country and in close proximity to nature. In a city or in a small apartment, this freedom-loving nature boy will certainly not be happy.

Perfect sports partner

The Croatian Shepherd is not a "sofa dog" and certainly not a "lap dog": As a former herding and working dog, this dog wants to work. Dog sports such as agility, tournament dog sports or mantrailing are therefore ideally suited to physically and mentally exhaust them in the role of the family dog. Thanks to their speed, agility and quick comprehension, Croatian Shepherds regularly achieve very good results in skill tests or at special shepherd dog events. If you are looking for a dog for dog sports, this pedigree dog is sure to be the perfect sports partner by your side.