Croatian Shepherd is an attentive, intelligent, sociable dog. Always has a need for communication with a person. Easy training and relative unpretentiousness in leaving do it by one of the most valuable among shepherds. The breed is rare in our country. What do future owners need to know before buying such a pet?
The breed belongs to the indigenous. It has long existed in this country and has recently been approved by dog handlers at the international level. It is known that the first mention of such a breed of dogs appeared in the XIV century. Even then, dogs were distinguished by their large size and ability to protect the territory.
Archival documents indicate that shepherds preferred this breed to others. This is probably explained by the presence of her highly developed hunting instincts. Systematic breeding of the breed was started only in the 30s of the last century.
Description of the croatian shepherd breed
This breed is intended for grazing and driving cattle. Its representatives are quick and energetic, therefore they are used in sports. The appearance of dogs has characteristic and recognizable features - long and wavy coat, smooth face. Wool mats, as a rule, are rarely formed.
Dogs of the Croatian Shepherd breed are friendly to their relatives. Sometimes, however, they can drive other animals - rabbits or cats. Although not averse to doing this with sheep and cows. The dog will be an excellent athlete, but only on condition that they will be regularly engaged with him. If the owner does not like walking and playing sports, then such an active four-legged friend will be a burden for him.
The appearance of the dog complies with this standard.
- The total length of the body relative to the height at the withers is 10% greater. If this indicator is higher, then the dog does not match the breed.
- The presence of a direct bite is not excluded.
- The head is light, elongated, 20 cm long. The cheekbones are rounded. If you look at the skull from above, it will be oval. The lower jaw corresponds to the normal structure.
- The back of the nose is straight, conical. The nose gives off a pigmented black lobe.
- Ears are triangular in shape, set correctly.
- The eyes are almond-shaped, black or dark brown. They are characterized by a lively look. The eyelids are dry, should have a clear pigmentation.
- The withers of such a dog are not expressed.
- The back is quite straight and muscular. The loin is shortened, with well-developed muscles.
- Croup inclined, wide, medium length.
- Chest of normal length.
- The limbs are parallel, have small paws, short and inclined metacarpals.
But there are also signs that disqualify the breed. These include the following:
- absence of more than two teeth;
- light shade of the eyes;
- a brown nose (or if it has a different shade);
- elongated or shaggy coat;
- the presence of light spots on the body, face or tail;
- the presence of shaggy wool on the face;
- unnatural hanging ears;
- undescended testicles;
- insufficient (less than 40 cm) or excessive (over 50 cm) growth.
Type of coat and possible colors
The coat is quite soft or medium in stiffness, can be straight, wavy or curl. The dog's face is covered with short outer hair, and the back of the paws, hips and tail are adorned with well-developed tows.
The standard allowed black color. Minor spots on the chest or fingers are possible. There should not be white marks under the throat. The breed refers to the breeding, if on the head, tail or body there are light areas of hair. Other coat color options are not allowed, as they are not signs of the breed.
Character and temper
Horvath is a very smart, cheerful and adapted for long work or sports activities dog. Shepherd dogs can accompany a herd of sheep for a long time, make sure that they do not run away. At the same time, the dog gently nibbles the wards by the legs, so they begin to go in the right direction.
Croatian Shepherd dog will perfectly guard the house, apartment. In addition, with pleasure will drive away any violator of the territory. She is hardy and unpretentious in domestic conditions, successfully lends itself to training. Such pets know how to make decisions correctly, and some of them may even remember the nicknames of the wards.
A distinctive feature of these animals is that they will defend their “herd” at all costs, displaying unenviable aggression, if necessary. If anyone dares to violate the inviolability of the territory, the dog will report this with a loud bark, without delay and hesitation, turning into an aggressive attack.
If the pet is brought up in the family circle, then he will be friendly and positive. He will be ready to frolic almost round the clock with the hosts. But even so, the dog will not forget about his duties.
The dog is a faithful and faithful friend. From an early age, attached to the owner. Taming a shepherd to another person will not work. Moreover, the animal may be frightened by some strangers. This can be avoided if the dog is socialized from an early age.
Training and education
Croats are able to learn all the necessary commands from puppyhood. Already at six-month-old puppies the instinct of the guard is clearly manifested. If the animal has a lot of energy, then its excess can be redirected from the pasture to sports.
The shepherd is attentive, hardy and does not cause trouble to the owner during training. But learning requires socialization and unenviable patience. A rude attitude towards the pet is strictly not allowed, otherwise it will not make contact with the owner.
Training a four-legged pet can turn into an exciting activity. He easily remembers all the commands and literally gathers all the necessary actions. At first, a dog can bark loudly and for a long time, but later on, with systematic education, it will learn to bark only at the moment necessary for this.
Care and Health
It’s easy to look after a Croatian shepherd. Ears are recommended to be examined weekly, and eyes - daily. If unnatural discharge appears from them, then the dog is shown to the veterinarian. This must be done with any suspicious change in the health status of the pet.
Wool periodically sheds, taking into account the changing season. You should not help the dog in any way during the change of coat - it performs all the necessary procedures on its own. It is only necessary to periodically comb the animal to remove dead tissue and skin cells, the undercoat. More abundantly the dog molts after winter.
In the conditions of apartment keeping, these shepherds molt constantly. They need to be combed 2 times during the week. Claws of animals usually grind on their own, but with excessive regrowth, special veterinary forceps should be used.
In accordance with the veterinary calendar, the pet must be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- plague (or plague);
- parvovirus enteritis;
- infectious inflammation of the liver;
In this case, vaccinations should take place sequentially:
- The first vaccine is given as early as two months of age . Small puppies can react painfully to such a serious intervention: they develop diarrhea, and their body temperature rises. The first 12 days after vaccination is the most critical time for a little puppy, because at this time there are the most formidable side effects.
- After 21 days, the vaccine is repeated . The animal feels much better, which means that it develops immunity.
- At the age of six months, the pet must be vaccinated against rabies, a complex vaccine . Such procedures cannot be performed during teething. When they completely change, only then they instill a pet.
- At the age of 1 year, the dog is given a comprehensive vaccination . It is recommended to do it annually.
You should carefully monitor the vaccination calendar so that puppies develop immunity. Usually dogs are in good health, and with proper care they rarely get sick.
Owners of females of this breed need to know about such features of estrus:
- the first estrus occurs at the age of 6 to 14 months;
- its duration is about 3 weeks;
- frequency - from 1 to 2 times during the year;
- at the beginning of estrus, swelling of the genitals, the appearance of secretions;
- urination becomes frequent, in connection with which the pet needs to be walked much more often;
- behavior changes;
- molting is activated;
- begins to actively lick the loop.
Mostly Croats are distinguished by excellent health, but they also have pedigree pathologies:
- cup slipping;
- joint inflammation;
- difficult birth;
- clouding of the lens;
- cryptorchidism in boys;
- hip dysplasia;
- twisting of the stomach.
However, this does not mean that the pet will necessarily get one of the listed diseases. With good care, most of them can be avoided or prevented.
Since the dog of this breed belongs to active animals, it requires a special diet. The feed should consist of a sufficient amount of protein, fat and essential vitamins. If the owners are going to feed the pet with prepared foods, then you should choose those that contain a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals and especially proteins. Older animals are selected feeds containing glucosamine and calcium. These components help keep your joints and bones in top shape.
Croatian shepherds quite often can be overweight. Therefore, you need to monitor the diet and try not to overfeed the pet. Dogs deprived of daily activity are especially prone to obesity. If you feed your pet with natural feed, then you need to consider that half of the total diet should be meat. The second half of the dog’s diet consists of cereals (buckwheat or rice), stewed vegetables. They add a little vegetable oil.
It is recommended to give offal, especially heart, fish and poultry dishes. It will be better if the meat is given raw. But if it has an unknown origin, it should be boiled, in order to avoid infection of the pet with helminths. Shepherd dogs also willingly eat vegetables and fruits. Therefore, they can be treated with apples or raspberries.
It is strictly forbidden to give the pet the following products:
- vermicelli, muffin and any products containing flour processing products;
- beans or peas;
- any sweets;
- tubular chicken bones;
- spices and spices;
- marinades and smoked meats.
After eating, do not immediately go for a walk with the shepherd. This can lead to inversion of the intestines; getting rid of such a condition can only be done with the help of surgical intervention.
Croats cannot comfortably be in a city apartment, here they will be very crowded and bored. It is recommended to keep the shepherd only in private houses where there is a corresponding territory. If the house area is small, then the animal will not have enough space, and this will negatively affect his well-being due to inactivity.
Such a dog will be happy to sleep near the shepherd. In a close aviary, she will feel very uncomfortable, because she will not be able to move enough. If animals of other breeds live in the enclosure, then shepherd dogs will feel best with active and cheerful companions.
In addition, this dog will not tolerate all kinds of fences and other devices that limit its mobility. Excellent physical characteristics and a striking mind will allow the dog to overcome barriers to free movement.
If the owner wants to engage in active sports with the dog, then it is necessary to provide for it a spacious and clean aviary. The cage should be comfortable so that after training the animal can relax.
In the country yard, the booth must be placed in the place where the dog can control and guard the territory. For the winter, the entrance to it must be insulated, and it is best to hang it with a warm blanket. In extreme cold, the dog should be taken home.
Puppies can be kept directly on the farm. So they can learn from the smell of sheep from early childhood. Croatian shepherd puppies are playful, have good contact with adult dogs. Learn the necessary commands early. Observing the mother and other brothers, they quickly acquire the necessary skills from them.
Keeping a puppy on a farm has a huge advantage: as an adult, he will never be aggressive towards his wards. If from early childhood a puppy tries to drive sheep, lambs, chickens, then they are rejected.
During estrus in bitches, the conditions of detention change slightly:
- you should walk with her only on a leash;
- categorically do not allow dog cages: at the beginning of coitus it is impossible to separate animals;
- during the walk you need to keep an eye on, excluding any contact with males;
- in the winter, shorten walks or use dog clothes;
- from the beginning of estrus, the female lives in the aviary.
Photo of croatian shepherd
The breed is rare and not widespread. Therefore, puppy prices are about 1000 euros. Before choosing a puppy, you need to ask in what condition his parents are. If they are aggressive or, conversely, too cowardly, then the puppy will be the same. The kid should be moderately well-fed and look like a peanut. Puppy choose one to which the heart lies most. This choice will be most successful.
There are no nurseries in Russia. A small number of puppies are imported from Croatia, Finland, Slovenia. All centers breeding dogs of this breed are located abroad. Therefore, if you want to purchase a Croatian, you will need to contact foreign nurseries and wait for your turn.
Croatian Shepherd Dog is alert and solid. It has a high degree of endurance, is excellent at training, adapts to living conditions. The animal will always obey the owner and become for him the most faithful and faithful friend.