The Croatian Shepherd Dog is also called Hrvatski ovčar in his homeland. In Germany, he belongs to the lesser known dog breeds. He is characterized by his family-friendliness and human-centeredness. However, like other shepherd dogs, he also needs meaningful tasks and a lot of exercise.
The Croatian Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog recognized by the FCI. It grows up to 50 cm tall and weighs up to 16 kg. Its coat is completely black, soft and of medium length. Occasionally, small white spots can appear. The pointed head shape and his muscular build make him a very attractive dog.
Often the Croatian Shepherd Dog is used as a companion dog. For this he is suitable by his docility and his adaptability. In addition, he is very people-oriented.
Since he is very fond of children, you can also keep him well as a family dog. However, he has a high protective instinct. He always wants to keep his herd, his family, together. In Croatia, he is therefore mainly used as a herding dog.
To keep the Hrvatski as an uncomplicated family dog, a consistent education is necessary from the beginning. Ideally, you should visit a good dog school from the beginning. There your dog will be well socialized and you will learn to get along with each other. Besides physical exercise, mental exercise is also very important. The Croatian Shepherd is very intelligent. Therefore he understands new commands quickly and implements them without any problems.
Moreover, he is extremely loyal and wants to fulfill his owner's every wish. Not like other sheepdogs, he carries out orders even if he does not see the point. Towards strangers, the Croatian Shepherd is rather distant, but builds a close bond when trusted. He is also usually quick to accept other dogs and cats into his pack.
The right food
The Croatian Shepherd is not picky about food. A special type of food is not usually necessary for a healthy representative. If your dog is particularly active, food for active dogs is a good choice. These satisfy the increased nutritional needs of demanding sports such as agility.
Otherwise, you should generally look at the ingredients. So you can make sure that the dog is supplied with all important nutrients. High quality food contains a lot of meat and no sugar. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fiber and proteins in the right composition help your dog to stay fit and active for a long time.
Health & Care
Coat care is an important issue with the Croatian Shepherd. His coat of medium length should be brushed regularly to avoid matting. You should also remove dirt and branches from the coat after every walk. In addition to coat care, there is ear care and claw trimming.
Normally, the Hrvatski rarely needs to go to the vet. The dog breed is considered very healthy and without breed-typical diseases. Vaccinations and preventive examinations should always be carried out with your dog.
A currycomb is suitable for grooming the coat of a Croatian shepherd dog. Grooming removes dead hair that does not fall out by itself. You should use this once or twice a week. For bathing, a mild fragrance-free dog shampoo is suitable. However, you should only bathe your dog in emergencies and in the case of heavy soiling.
A good claw scissors is worthwhile especially for dogs that run little on asphalt. Too long claws should always be cut. For winter months, special dog shoes can be purchased that protect the sensitive paws from road salt and cold.
In addition, the normal accessories such as leash, collar and harness should be present. Also bowls, toys and sleeping place belong to the basic equipment.
Origin & History
The Croatian Shepherd Dog, as the name suggests, comes from Croatia. There he lives mainly near the Hungarian border. The dog breed Hrvatski ovčar, as it is called in Croatia, has been known for over 1000 years. Classically it is used as a herding dog, but it is becoming more and more popular as a guard, family and companion dog.
In 1951, breed standards were introduced for the first time. However, an official recognition of the breed followed only later. In 1968, the Hrvatski ovčar was officially accepted by the FCI in the category of sheepdogs. Nevertheless, the Croatian Shepherd Dog has so far hardly established itself outside the Balkans.