Croatian Sheepdog: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

The Croats began using Croatian sheepdogs as herding dogs as early as the seventh century CE, giving rise to this historic breed. The breed is renowned for its intelligence and vivacity and has maintained its original look over the years.

It is not advised for new owners or those without prior training or obedience expertise to get a Croatian Sheepdog. They are excellent watchdogs since they have a strong feeling of protection and become extremely close to their owners; however, they occasionally bark at outsiders.

They are most suitable for those who are single or seasoned pet owners who want a dog that will follow them around and act as a devoted guardian.

Other herding breeds, like the Croatian Sheepdog, have comparable personality features, such as high demand for action, quick thinking, and a sense of purpose.

The breed flourishes with strong leadership from its owners and becomes a loving and loyal companion when taught and cared for appropriately.

Croatian Sheepdog

About The Breed

The Croatian Sheepdog has a waterproof, curly, wavy black coat with white spots on certain individuals’ chests and feet. These dogs shed somewhat, so they need to have their coats brushed once a week and occasionally bathed.

Due to their high energy level, Croatian Sheepdogs require a lot of physical activity, such as regular walks and playtime. They are excellent family pets for kids of all ages since they are quite trainable; however, socialization training might be required to make certain kids feel more at ease around them. It is crucial to monitor playtime, though.

Croatian Sheepdogs usually don’t bite or chase after cats, but because of their basic herding tendencies, they may do so.

Even though some members of this breed could be leery of strangers, with the right socialization, they are extremely trainable and can be made to be gregarious and friendly.

Due to their busy minds, they have the propensity to bark constantly, but regular exercise and training can help control this habit.

Croatian Sheepdog Breed History

The Croatian Sheepdog breed is thought to have been introduced to Croatia by the ancestors of the Croatian people when they arrived there in the seventh century.

According to Bishop Petar of Dakovo, who wrote about the Canis Pastoralis Croaticus, commonly known as the Croatian Sheepdog, seven centuries later, this breed is supposed to have stayed constant for generations.

Croatian Sheepdog Breed Job Card/Overview

Dog BreedCroatian Sheepdog
Type of Dog BreedHerding Dogs
Height Black all the time, however, the breast may have white patterns.
WeightTwenty-nine to forty-five pounds
Expected lifespanTwelve to fourteen years
Coat TypeHaving a double coat, the topcoat is soft, thick, and curly (or wavy).
Usual HuesBlack all the time, however the breast may have white patterns.
Needs for groomingLow
TemperamentIntelligent, aware, vivacious, sociable, attentive, and active
Living in an apartmentFor apartment living, not recommended
Animal FriendlyYes
Requirements for ExerciseHigh
Propensity to droolLow 
Level of IntelligenceModerate
Level of StrengthHigh
What To Know
• Croatian Sheepdogs are a friendly and intelligent breed, perfect for families. They’re medium-sized with a distinctive curly coat that needs regular grooming to stay healthy and beautiful.
• These dogs love to be active and need daily exercise to stay happy. Long walks, playtime, and mental challenges like puzzles are great for them.
• Training is essential from an early age to ensure they become well-behaved pets. They’re eager to please and learn quickly.
• Socializing your Croatian Sheepdog with other dogs and people is crucial for their well-being. They can be a bit reserved, so early socialization helps them be more confident.
• Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for keeping your Croatian Sheepdog healthy and happy. They’re generally a healthy breed, but regular care ensures a long and joyful life.


Croatian Sheepdog


Croatian Sheepdogs are adaptable breeds. They can be found in various locations, such as the countryside or the city. 

They can be adapted to smaller homes or larger ones. They are happy with families or singles. 

They’re tolerant of different weather conditions, however they prefer cooler temperatures. They love being with their families, so they could be sad if they are left alone for a long period. 

However, with love and care they will be able to adapt to a variety of situations and become affectionate, loving pets.


Adaptive to Apartment Living

Suitable for New Owners

Sensitivity Scale

Comfortable Being Alone

Comfortable with Cold Weather

Comfortable with Hot Weather


They are friendly and like to be around people as well as other pets. They make wonderful family pets as they are gentle and affectionate. They are generally good with children and love having fun with them. 

They are also very social with dogs of other breeds, which makes them great companions at the dog park. Their friendly nature means that they aren’t aggressive, however, they can be a bit protective when necessary.

All About Friendliness

Lovable with Family



Frank with strangers


The Croatian Sheepdog hasn’t needed to adapt much since its herding heyday in the fourteenth century because of its intense loyalty and energy.

As they do tend to attach to one person, just as their predecessors tended to stick to one shepherd as herding dogs centuries ago, Croatian Sheepdog lovers of today sometimes characterize their loyal friends as being a little reserved with new people.

Your Croatian Sheepdog can feel the urge to protect you or the primary caregiver in the home, much as ancient Croatian Sheepdogs used to defend their shepherds at night.

This herding breed may be a little uneasy around strangers and guests, but they won’t necessarily be hostile with other members of the home or family.

Fortunately, the Croatian Sheepdog is a breed that may be easily trained. With appropriate and regular socialization, they can learn to be outgoing and friendly to everyone.

Additionally, Croatian Sheepdogs regularly bark anytime they have something on their minds. One of the reasons Croatian Sheepdogs must receive enough exercise is that they will also create noise only to amuse themselves if they feel pent up or bored.

Exercise together with regular training will help keep your Croatian Sheepdog content without yapping all the time.


Friendly with Children

Croatian Sheepdogs are well-known for their sociability with children. They are gentle and patient, which makes them great family companions. They are fun and love children’s company however, it’s vital to monitor interactions to ensure the safety of everyone. They are also guardians and can keep an eye on the children and make them feel safe.

Amicable to Other Pets

Croatian Sheepdogs can be friendly to pets of other breeds if properly introduced. Socialization at a young stage is essential to help them befriend other animals and dogs. With the proper instruction and good experiences, they will be able to live peacefully with any pets you have in the house.

Barking Tendencies

Croatian Sheepdogs have a moderate tendency to bark. They might bark to warn you of something strange or to show their excitement. It is important to offer them appropriate instruction to limit excessive barking. With constant discipline and positive reinforcement, it is possible to control their barking behaviors effectively.

Possibilities of Staying Alone

Croatian Sheepdogs may struggle with being left on their own for long periods. They’re animals who enjoy humans. 

To avoid separation anxiety, it is important to gradually introduce them to being left alone, starting with small periods and then gradually increasing the amount of time. 

Offering them toys and a cozy area can help keep them entertained while you’re away. Think about hiring a dog sitter or daycare when you’re away for a prolonged period.

Pros And Cons Of The Croatian Sheepdog Breed 


  • Loyal, loving family companion.
  • Energetic and agile for active lifestyles.
  • Excellent herding and guarding abilities.
  • Low grooming needs with a natural coat.
  • Friendly and good with children.


  • Requires regular exercise and mental stimulation.
  • May be reserved or protective with strangers.
  • Shedding can be a challenge for some.
  • Prone to hereditary health issues.
  • Training can be stubborn at times.

Male Vs. Female Attitude

Male and female behavior are different. Males tend to be more assertive and may even like to play the role of “boss” sometimes. 

They can be territorial. Females however tend to be more tolerant and gentle. They are generally more tolerant of training and getting along with other dogs. 

However, every dog is unique and the differences in their personalities may not apply to all dogs. It is important to take into consideration your dog’s personality and offer equal love and attention regardless of gender.


Croatian Sheepdog

General Appearance

The Croatian Sheepdog appears to be an average-sized, friendly, and soft dog. They have a distinct curly coat, which can be different colors, such as gray, black, or brown. They have sweet eyes and a bouncy ear. Their tails are typically fluffy and are carried low. 

They have an energetic and agile appearance. They appear at ease for work and play. They’re well-built and well-balanced, with a confident posture.

Coat Color And Grooming

The black coat of the Croatian Sheepdog is waterproof and wavy to curling. While most have a solid coat, some may have white patches on their toes and across their chest.

Despite not being allowed in the show ring, Croatian Sheepdogs with white patches nonetheless make wonderful, lively companions.

Croatian Sheepdogs moderately shed; thus, maintaining their coats is not too difficult. Along with routine bathing, a decent brushing once a week should be enough.

Even though Croatian Sheepdogs have waterproof coats, you shouldn’t let them out in really bad weather. Due to their thick coats, they may be able to withstand colder weather, but they shouldn’t be kept outside in the winter.


The Croatian Sheepdog typically weighs between twenty-nine and forty-five pounds and is sixteen to twenty-one inches tall at the shoulder.


The following are a few of the more widespread health issues Croatian Sheepdogs experience:

  • Retained Testicles In Males
  • Bloat
  • Whelping Issues
  • Patella Luxation and other issues related to knee

Health And Grooming Requirements

Shedding Quantity

Drooling Capability

Effortless to Groom

Overall Health

Capable of Gaining Weight


Maintenance And Care

Making sure your Croatian Sheepdog gets the right amount of exercise should be your priority when taking care of them. The Croats originally domesticated Croatian Sheepdogs in the seventh century, and they served a variety of purposes.

They served as security dogs for their shepherds as well as helpers in the herding of cattle, sheep, and other animals. The habits of dog owners have changed, but the Croatian Sheepdog has not.

Make sure your Croatian Sheepdog receives two or three nice, energetic play sessions and shorter walks every day in addition to two or three half-hour to hour-long walks.

Food And Nutrition

This breed customarily needs between two and a half and four and a half cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, depending on the age and degree of activity of your Sheepdog, this may be distinguishable.

Exercise And Activity Level 

Croatian sheepdogs are energetic dogs who require plenty of exercise to remain healthy and happy. They love running, playing, and taking long walks. They are energetic and thrive on physically and mentally demanding activities. 

It is essential to engage them in their play and offer mental challenges, such as puzzle toys. If they don’t get sufficient exercise, they could be anxious or bored. Regular physical activity and exercise are crucial for maintaining your Croatian Sheepdog in top shape and making sure they’re a happy pet.

Physical Requirements

Energy range


Exercise Requirements

Capable for Playfulness


Croatian Sheepdogs are intelligent and trainable dogs that are trainable and smart. They are eager to learn new skills and delight their owners. 

It is possible to teach them tricks, obey instructions, or even assist with farm chores. They require regular training from an early age to be a good-mannered child. 

Positive reinforcement, such as praise and treats, works most effectively for children. They can get bored by repetition, so keep it exciting and engaging. 

Croatian Sheepdogs are extremely adept at training and can make excellent companions if they are trained properly and have a lot of patience.


Effortless to Train


Capable for Mouthiness

Tendency to Attack Prey

Urge to Howl or Bark

Wanderlust Ability

Children And Other Pets

The Croatian Sheepdog is a great family pet for children of all ages since it is so trainable. Your Croatian Sheepdog could stay closer to an adult’s side, striking their carer, and avoid youngsters even if they may not be violent toward children. If you and your children properly train your dog, the Croatian Sheepdog is a wonderful family companion for zestful, cordial youngsters.

Croatian Sheepdogs are generally non-aggressive with other canines. With cats, their herding proclivities may surface, causing them to nip or chase. Of course, as long as you socialize your Croatian Sheepdog with other pets in a secure setting and perennially teach them, your pets may live in harmony.

Rescue Groups

Given that Croatian Sheepdogs are a rather uncommon breed, finding rescues that specialize in them may be challenging. You can always check with your neighborhood shelter, though, and you might want to consider contacting a rescue that accepts all breeds of dogs. Here are some things to look at:

  • Wright-Way Rescue
  • Angels Among Us Pet Rescue


Croatian Sheepdog is a sociable and smart dog that is a wonderful pet for the family. They require frequent grooming, exercises, and early-on training to make sure that they are happy and well-behaved. 

Socialization is crucial to help them feel comfortable with other dogs and humans. Maintaining regular health check-ups with the vet and ensuring healthy and balanced food will ensure they are healthy. 

With proper care and focus and care, the Croatian Sheepdog will become a faithful and affectionate pet for a long time and bring happiness to the family.

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Croatian sheepdogs: suitable abode pets?

No, larger homes with a backyard where they may exercise are better for Croatian sheepdogs. Due to their tremendous level of activity, they require a large amount of space to keep them intellectually and physically occupied. If you do keep a dog in an apartment, make sure to take it out for walks and visits to the dog park multiple times each day.

Are sheepdogs from Croatia hostile?

A. Croatian sheepdogs are not thought to be a vicious breed. They may be suspicious of strangers (or unfamiliar animals), but they rarely defend themselves or bark viciously. Instead, they frequently maintain a safe distance and keep an eye out.

Are there a few Croatian sheepdogs?

A. Yes. Particularly in the United States, Croatian sheepdogs are regarded as an uncommon breed. Since the AKC still does not fully recognize the breed, finding a puppy from a reputable breeder or rescue may require you to travel a great distance.

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