Some breeds are so well known that even non-dog owners know what they look like! But others are so rare, that even the most passionate of dog enthusiasts would struggle to name them.
This is indeed the case for the four dog breeds that hail from Romania! Bred for livestock guarding, these loyal and courageous dogs are very little known outside of their country of origin. Yet, they deserve recognition for their unique and authentic temperaments. Though they can make worthwhile family dogs, the following breeds are better suited to a guarding or livestock protection role. They’ll feel most at home in a rural setting, on a large property alongside an experienced owner. These dogs tend to bond with one member of the family in particular, and devote themselves heart and soul to this person.
So if you’re looking for a brave, loyal, and beautiful protection dog, check out this list of Romanian dog breeds!
Mioritic Shepherd Dog
The Mioritic Shepherd Dog is a large, tall dog with an abundant shaggy coat. It is a very old breed, whose origins can be traced back to Celtic tribes! In Romanian, its name can be roughly translated into “young sheep”, as it is a dog originally bred for guarding livestock.
Mioritic Shepherd Dogs can make wonderful family pets due to their friendly and loyal nature. They are, however, extremely protective of their “pack”, so need lots of training and socialisation to prevent the development of any behavioural issues. The Mioritic Shepherd is certainly a good choice for people who want an original and handsome-looking dog, but the coat requires a lot of care. It’ll pick up leaves and dirt during walks, and will need regular brushing and bathing to keep clean and healthy.
Bucovina Shepherd Dog
Bucovina Shepherd Dogs, also known as Southeastern European Shepherds, were originally developed in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. They are large, heavy-set mountain dogs who were bred to guard livestock.
These huge teddy bears are very affectionate and loving towards their owners, including children. They are, however, excellent guard dogs, who are not only wary of strangers, but who will also defend their pack and territory with fervour. Considering their size, it is of the utmost importance that these dogs be properly trained and socialised from an early age.
Carpathian Shepherds are large dogs who were originally bred to drive, guard, and protect livestock in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.
A healthy breed, they have the longest average life expectancy of all the Romanian dog breeds, at 12 to 14 years. These long-coated dogs are without a doubt the most intelligent of the Romanian breeds. Eager to please, they are easy to train and very obedient. They are also well-balanced and calm dogs who adapt well to indoor and family life. As with the other Romanian dog breeds, however, Carpathian Shepherds are wary of strangers and require careful introductions with people outside of their “pack”.
Corb Shepherd or Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog
Corb Shepherds, or Romanian Raven Shepherds, are affectionately called “crows” due to their black coats. These beautiful dogs were originally bred in the Arges, Brasov, Dambovita, and Prahova County regions of Romania to defend herds of livestock against predators such as bears and wolves.
They are therefore extremely courageous and powerful dogs, who of course make wonderful guard dogs. While, as a shepherd dog, they can be relatively easy to train, they need an experienced dog owner who will know how to prevent behavioural issues from arising from their protective instincts.
Romanian rescue dogs
Though not a breed, it would be impossible to speak of Romanian dogs without mentioning its thousands of street dogs. Unfortunately, stray dogs are a very big problem in Romania. Thousands of unneutered and homeless dogs roam the streets, constantly adding to the problem litter after litter. While some are caught and brought to dog pounds, the living conditions in these non-funded places are far from ideal.
Thankfully, there are organisations that rescue these stray dogs and try to find them loving homes. Thanks to social media, many of these dogs are discovered by owners abroad, such as in the UK, and travel to their new homes there. While many of these dogs are longer-lived than Pedigree dogs due to their being mainly mixed breeds, many Romanian rescue dogs suffer from behavioural issues due to traumatic pasts. It is therefore essential that anyone considering adoption of a Romanian street dog do a lot of research on their dog and the rescue it is being handled by beforehand.
Whether you go for a pure breed or a mixed breed, one thing’s for sure: choosing a Romanian dog is choosing a unique pet indeed!