Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Puppy, Obedience, Guard dog
Posted March 6, 2018
My first ever Sarplaninac was a rescue from a junk-yard, named Bruno, and second one, a female, was left by the neighbours when they moved, and I adopted her as well.
Bruno (in pictures) died in the meantime from old age (11), and the female (Baby) is still with us, but she undergo a ovariohysterectomy do to pyometra just a while back (7 years).
Both of these dogs were taken to be a guard dogs of a yard or a house in the overcrowded city.
Bruno was chained and not properly trained, and Beba was emotionally neglected and underfed.
First of all, these animals are big animals, made for pastures and spaciousness, to guard sheep from wolfs and other predators. They are not a family cuddle dog, and they are not to be static.
They are independent and intelligent breed, which makes them really hard to train. They will be very good behaved indoors, but energetic outside, which makes them very good herd dogs, but not great companion animals. They are also a dominant breed so every animal in the household will under their protective care. They are gentle with kids, but they don't trust no one.
I had to work very much with Bruno, he was very aggressive and bed-tempered, and Beba is a nice and happy dog who likes to be fondled, but still, I had incidents with her as well. A few times it had happened that she caught a bird and cut it in peaces (not eat it or anything) living peaces all over my front yard, and when I came to collect it, she was protecting the pray by growling at me and other types of aggressive attitude. I understand that, because they have very strong pray instinct and protection, and they must be socialized and learned from early age. One person should be a owner and the dog will be loyal to this person.
I have seen many cases of Sarplaninac in the city, where they are not properly trained, or socialized, with an aggression that is invoked by the owner, because that is (in their mind) what is Sarplaninac all about. It is so wrong. They make these dogs into wild beasts they can not control, and when they became borderline dangerous or sick, they just throw them out (like Bruno).
Sarplaninac is not a family dog. It is a working dog. It can be a great hunting dog as well, but do not take in something you can not handle.
Imagine that you are a beginner car driver and you are trying to drive a big motorcycle 250 km/h. If you are not familiar with behavioral management, breeding, free space, positive reinforcement, this is not a dog for you.