Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

Sharplanina Šarplaninac, Charplaninatz, Macedonian Sheepdog

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog
Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

This is a dog bred for work among the rugged and challenging Macedonian mountains. It has immense strength and stamina. It is a choice dog of Yugoslavian farmers who consider it a faithful companion as well as a strong and reliable worker. Unless they are trained not to hunt these dogs will enjoy chasing and killing other animals. 


Key facts about the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
  • Temperament : Calm, Intelligent
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Between £1100 and £1500

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs


Section 2 : Molossian type

Physical characteristics of the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 21 and 23 in
Male dog Between 22 and 24 in


Female dog Between 66 and 88 lb
Male dog Between 77 and 99 lb

Coat colour

These dogs are seen of iron grey, fawn or black.

Type of coat

A thick, coarse and long top coat lies above a dense and fine undercoat. 

Eye colour

Dark or light brown.


The Sarplaninac is a well-built, muscular and sturdy dog. The ears are not set too high on the skull and hang close to the dogs cheeks. The tail is long and abundantly feathered. 



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The Šarplaninac is an affectionate, even-tempered and well-mannered dog. 


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This dog is generally happy and playful. It enjoys playtime but will try to dominate playmates whenever it sees the chance to do so.   


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This is a calm dog; one that is not quick to anger. 


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The Šarplaninac is a quick learner. It is a very smart dog that prefers to make decisions by itself rather than obey the orders of its handler. 


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Although they are bred to herd, Šarplaninac Sheepdogs are instinctive hunters. They are also exceptionally territorial. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The Šarplaninac tends to be painfully shy around strangers. It takes one of these dogs quite a while to trust people who aren’t already in their ‘circle’. 


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This is a wilful dog that will test the boundaries of the household’s hierarchy whenever it can. Its independence cannot be stamped on. It must be harvested and used as a training aid. 

Behaviour of the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

Tolerates solitude

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The Šarplaninac tolerates a degree of solitude.  

Easy to train / obedience

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Training of this dog must be done right. Šarplaninacs will try to dominate proceedings. They are not the easiest of dogs to train. 


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This is a dog that enjoys barking but it will be quiet when told to be. The bark is heavy and loud. 

Tendency to run away

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A Šarplaninac will not respond to your recall command unless you have trained this dog exceedingly well.  


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If it is unhappy or stressed the Šarplaninac will be destructive.

Greedy / Gluttony

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This dog is not known to be greedy. 

Guard dog

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The Šarplaninac is an exceptionally alert and territorial dog. It makes an excellent watchdog. 

First dog

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A Šarplaninac must be exercised well and trained cleverly in order to stay out of trouble. It is unlikely that a first-time owner would successfully manage such a dog. 


Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog in a flat

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Bred to roam vast swathes of open countryside this dog will not be happy to live in a flat or to only have access to a small walled garden. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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An energetic dog is the Šarplaninac. It is far better suited to country living than it is urban living. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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Once trained, a Šarplaninac is comfortable travelling


Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog and cats

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This dog will tolerate a cat that it is familiar with but it may not be so tolerant of other cats. 

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog and dogs

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Due to its territorial nature, the Šarplaninac does not appreciate the company of other dogs

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog and children

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The Šarplaninac is careful and gentle around children but it can be boisterous and will try to assert its dominance. 

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog and the elderly

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Because of its sheer size and need for lots of exercise, the Šarplaninac may not be the perfect choice of dog for some of senior years.


You could pay anywhere between £1,100 - £1,500 for a Sarplaninac purebred puppy. It will cost £80 to £100 per month to care for this dog.


Brush this dog every day of the week to prevent its coat from becoming tangled and matted. 


The Šarplaninac sheds steadily throughout the year. 

Nutrition of the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

It is always worthwhile to feed a Šarplaninac a high-quality and specially formulated dog food rather than human food. The Šarplaninac’s diet should consist of good amounts of protein and fat. 

Health of the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog

Life expectancy

Having been successfully bred for centuries, the Šarplaninac is generally healthy and robust. It suffers only from ailments associated with large dogs. Its life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Strong / robust

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The Šarplaninac is strong and agile. It does not readily suffer with ailments. 

Withstand heat

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The Šarplaninac tolerates hot weather reasonably well. 

Withstand cold

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The double coat of the Šarplaninac keeps the dog warm in cold weather. 

Tendency to put on weight

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Weight gain is seen of any dog that is not exercised as regularly as it should be and is fed too much human or substandard food. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

The Šarplaninac is a quiet and unassuming dog when it is among its family. If not trained well, the dog’s wariness of strangers will become more challenging and may even cause the dog to adopt defensive aggression. The dog is banned in Denmark due to its size. 

Origins and history

This dog has been bred for centuries by farmers of land in the Yugoslavian mountains. Some experts of the breed suggest that it arrived in Europe during ancient societal migrations from Asia. The breed is named after the Šarplaninac mountain range, and dogs of the breed are still widely used here for guarding and herding cattle and sheep.


Kosta, Milo, Nika, Mila

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