Karst Shepherd

The Karst Shepherd is bred to be a courageous guardian. With good training and early socialization, his virtues of devotion and loyalty shine, giving him the perfect balance of qualities that makes him a beloved family companion. The Karst Shepherd is a rare and ancient breed that is one of the oldest indigenous dog breeds of Slovenia. Utilized in the Karst region as a guardian of flock for centuries, the breed is a descendant of the Greek Molos and the German Shepherd. The herding dog made his way into the Karst region with the Illyrian shepherds who migrated from the Dalmatian Islands and Istria. When the Karst Shepherd was internationally recognized in 1939, the breed was registered as the Illyrian shepherd. In 1968, his name was changed to the Karst Shepherd. Although still at work as an exceptional flock herder and guardian today, the Karst Shepherd is now a friendly companion dog.

The medium-sized Karst Shepherd stands 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 58 to 88 pounds. His triangular ears hang down, and his bushy tail also hangs downward when he is relaxed. His dense double coat is long and lies flat along his body, feathering behind the rear legs and shoulders. The color of the coat comes in varying shades of iron gray. Darker shading covers the back and the also forms markings along the front of the legs. The abdomen, chest, the backside of the legs and the underside of the tail may be silver, sand or light fawn in color. The muzzle is covered with a dark mask. Personality: The Karst Shepherd maintains an even, reliable temperament. He is courageous, protective and distrustful of strangers, making him a good watchdog and guard dog. As a loyal and devoted pet, he gets along with children and other household pets as long as he is raised with them from puppyhood. Early socialization and obedience training are important for this breed. Training a Karst Shepherd can be challenging at times. The Karst Shepherd’s dominant and individual personality requires an experienced dog owner with a firm manner. The Karst Shepherd is intelligent and active. He will thrive best in a home with a large, enclosed yard where he can run hard and receive daily exercise. He also requires daily tasks to keep him mentally stimulated and prevent boredom, which can lead him toward destructive behavior.

Karst Shepherd image
Life Span
11 - 12 years
Other Names
Karst Sheepdog, Istrian Sheepdog, Krasky Ovcar, Krasevec., Karst Shepherd

Karst Shepherd Build Information

Size
Medium

The medium-sized Karst Shepherd stands 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 58 to 88 pounds. His triangular ears hang down, and his bushy tail also hangs downward when he is relaxed. His dense double coat is long and lies flat along his body, feathering behind the rear legs and shoulders. The color of the coat comes in varying shades of iron gray.

Darker shading covers the back and the also forms markings along the front of the legs.

The abdomen, chest, the backside of the legs and the underside of the tail may be silver, sand or light fawn in color. The muzzle is covered with a dark mask.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

The Karst Shepherd maintains an even, reliable temperament. He is courageous, protective and distrustful of strangers, making him a good watchdog and guard dog. As a loyal and devoted pet, he gets along with children and other household pets as long as he is raised with them from puppyhood. Early socialization and obedience training are important for this breed. Training a Karst Shepherd can be challenging at times.

The Karst Shepherd’s dominant and individual personality requires an experienced dog owner with a firm manner.

The Karst Shepherd is intelligent and active. He will thrive best in a home with a large, enclosed yard where he can run hard and receive daily exercise. He also requires daily tasks to keep him mentally stimulated and prevent boredom, which can lead him toward destructive behavior.

Appearance

Shedding
Heavy
Grooming
Moderate

A Karst Shepherd’s coat requires moderate grooming. Brushing his coat once or twice a week will remove dead hairs and maintain the coat’s healthy luster. Inspect his ears weekly and keep them clean to prevent ear infections. Brushing his teeth several times each week will promote good oral health and help to maintain overall health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy
  • The Karst Shepherd originated in Slovenia and is also called a Karst Sheepdog, an Istrian Sheepdog a Krasky Ovcar and a Krasevec
  • The Karst Shepherd is an independent and dominant dog with a stable temperament
  • He is an excellent watchdog and a devoted household companion
  • This dog breed stands 21 to 25 inches tall and weighs 58 to 88 pounds
  • Karst shepherds have a moderate energy level
  • The Karst shepherd requires moderate grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Karst Shepherd is 11 to 12 years

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Common Health Conditions in Karst Shepherds

The Karst Shepherd is a robust breed with very few known genetic health conditions, which include hip dysplasia and malignant hyperthermia. The Karst Shepherd lives an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years.

Karst Shepherd Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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