Save as favorite

Avg. Owner Satisfaction


(10 Reviews)

Is the Sarplaninac right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Šarplaninac; Šarplaninec; Yugoslav Shepherd Dog; Illyrian Sheepdog; Illyrian Shepherd Dog; Sharrplan

The basics:
The Sarplaninac is a sheep-guarding breed developed in the remote mountain regions of Serbia to protect livestock and personal property. Their history is murky but they appear to be a fairly ancient breed preserved unchanged for centuries thanks to shepherds who bred only those dogs with the right traits needed to protect their livestock efficiently. Make no mistake. These dogs are tough, smart, and independent. For centuries, they guarded the flocks all alone for several days at a time in the harsh mountains of Serbia filled with large predators like bears and wolves.

This breed isn't really a pet. It's a serious working dog that expects to be given an important job to do. If you don't have sheep on your ranch, you can train it to be an excellent guard dog. Don't choose this breed if you're an unconfident, careless, or inexperienced dog owner. A badly socialized dog capable of taking down a bear could pose a threat to your neighbors.

Appearance / health:
Sarplaninacs are strong, well-built dogs of above average height. The body is slightly longer than its height. The head is proportional to body size. The eyes are almond-shaped, dark or light brown, with a calm, but piercing and fearless expression. Ears are hanging, medium long, and covered with a short, dense coat. The tail is saber-shaped, raised high when in action.

A thorough brushing with a hard bristled brush once or twice a day is sufficient to remove dead hair. Nails can be trimmed once in two or three weeks. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. Teeth may require occasional brushing using special toothpaste and toothbrush available at pet stores.

Though they do not indulge in high-level energy activities, Sarplaninacs require lot of exercise. They need at least a long walk once or twice a day to be physically fine and mentally stimulated.

Sarplaninac are prone to hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease that eventually causes lameness and arthritis of joints).

Behavior / temperament:
They are highly territorial and do not tolerate any intruder in what they consider to be their territory. They need to be extensively socialized from an early age to prevent them being aggressive or shy.

Training may pose problems, as they have been used to take their own decisions while guarding sheep. This makes them independent minded. Basic obedience and household rules training without using harsh methods are necessary to ensure correct behavior from these large dogs. Positive reinforcement yields excellent results.

They are excessive barkers, which could be a nuisance in an urban setting. This tendency can be corrected by adequate training.


excellent livestock guardians, experienced dog owners, courageous dog, great guard, beautiful


strange dogs, aggression scare, apartment dog


large breed, medium energy companion, consistent socialization, rare breed

From shelters/rescues

We searched high and low but no shelter / rescue animals match your search.
Powered by Petfinder

Recommended Sarplaninac Products

Is Prime
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Mea...

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Mea...

$ 5249 ($0.15/Count) $53.99

View more >

Is Prime
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food,  Adult, Sensitiv...

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitiv...

$ 5299 ($0.15/Count) $52.99

View more >

Annamaet Food - 26% Extra Dog - 15 lb

$ 4799 ($0.15/Count) $35.99

View more >

Elevate Acadia Recipe Super Premium Dog Food (6 Po...

$ 2449 ($0.15/Count) $24.49

View more >

Member photos