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Sarplaninac Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Sarplaninac so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Guard Dogs
Popularity Rank525
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OriginSerbia Macedonia
Other Names
What other names does the Sarplaninac have? The dog breed also known as...
Macedonian Shepherd, Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog, Illyrian Shepherd Dog, Jugoslovenski ovcarski pas-sarplaninac
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Sarplaninac recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Sarplaninac recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Sarplaninac breed?
American Canine RegistryContinental Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleNational Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubAmerican Canine Association, Inc.
How much does the Sarplaninac puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Sarplaninac price:
If you choose to purchase the Sarplaninac, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Sarplaninac for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Sarplaninac gets to a happy place.


The Šarplaninac is an ancient Molosser type breed, which can trace its origins back to the mountain region of the South-eastern parts of the Balkans, known as Roman as Illyria, today this region is known as Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania. The breed was originally bred to be a working dog, guarding the livestock, and shepherding the flocks for many centuries around the farms. Moreover, the dogs were often used to protect the livestock and fight off any predators like wolves, lynxes, and even bears.

The breed is known to be developed more or less naturally, without any serious planning and human intervention. According to some sources, the Šarplaninac is one of the oldest native breeds in the world. Thus, the Šarplaninac’s exact origins and ancestry are largely unknown due to the lack of documentation and records. Although, it is believed by most of the experts, that the Šarplaninac is descended from the ancient Molossian dogs from Greece, and the livestock guarding dogs against Turkey. Given the breed’s large size, their dominant appearance, and natural protective behavior, it is not shocking that the Šarplaninac have also been used by the military in various roles, including patrolling prisons and guarding important areas. Thanks to the breed’s impressive stamina and their tireless working nature, which fascinated their owners for centuries out in the fields, they began to be very popular in the Balkan region.

The FCI recognized the breed relatively early on, in 1939, they registered the Šarplaninac under its former name, Illyrian Shepherd Dog. Later, in 1957 their name was changed to Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina, after the Sharplanina mountain range, where the breed was most commonly found at that time. Captivatingly, the most recent breeding happened in the 1970s, when the process was completely controlled by the state, and every international export was prohibited for the dogs. This practice really limited the dogs’ possibility to become popular overseas. Many sources state that the first specimen of the Šarplaninac exported to the United States of America was brought down from its mountain on top of a mule, although it is difficult to prove, that this theory is true or not.

Nowadays it is still common for dogs to perform all kinds of activities around the farm, including shepherding and guarding roles in their native countries. In the USA and in Canada, the breed remains in rarity, nonetheless, there are some cases where the breed is used to fight off wolves and wild coyotes. Even though the breed is an ancient one, the AKC (American Kennel Club) did not recognize the breed yet, but the UKC (United Kennel Club) registered the Šarplaninac in 1995 and categorized them within their Guardian Dog group.

General Appearance

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Sarplaninac size:
How much does the Sarplaninac weigh? Sarplaninac weight:
Male: 55-80 pounds (25-36 kg), Female: 45-70 pounds (20-32 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Sarplaninac? Sarplaninac average weight:
Male: 67.5 pounds (30.5 kg), Female: 57.5 pounds (26 kg)
How tall is the Sarplaninac? Sarplaninac height:
Male: 22-24 inches (55-61 cm), Female: 21-23 inches (54-59 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Sarplaninac average height:
Male: 23 inches (58 cm), Female: 22 inches (56.5 cm)

Hair & Care

What type of coat does the Sarplaninac have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Sarplaninac's coat?
How to groom the Sarplaninac and how often?
Easy to groom: The Sarplaninac doesn't require a lot of grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Sarplaninac is a good choice if you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of a high maintenance dog. Recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Sarplaninac dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Macedonian Shepherd? Sarplaninac shedding level:
Sarplaninacs shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.


What kind of personality does the Sarplaninac have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Sarplaninac? Are they intelligent?
Average: Sarplaninac's has average obedience intelligence. Patience is needed for teaching this breed to any tricks and commands though, but it's worth the effort. They understand and memorize new commands in 25-40 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 50% of the time or better.
Are Sarplaninac dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Sarplaninacs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
Sarplaninacs are not the most playful dog breed. Sometimes they do like playing, but that's not their favorite activity.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Sarplaninac sensitivity:
Sarplaninacs have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed. Sometimes it's okay to change the daily routine, have guests and listen to loud music. Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. This breed is not affected emotionally for moderate punishment.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they?
Sarplaninacs are highly affectionate dogs. They like being involved in the family's life. This breed isn't considered as an aloof dog.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Macedonian Shepherd need? Sarplaninac social needs:
Sarplaninacs need for social interaction is average. This breed likes being around people or other animals, but they don't mind being left alone for a few hours either.
Do Sarplaninac dogs bark a lot? Why does my Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog bark?
Low to Average: The Sarplaninac rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Sarplaninac good as a watchdog?
Sarplaninacs are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Sarplaninacs will alert you if they sense something different.
Do Sarplaninac dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Sarplaninacs are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Sarplaninac can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Sarplaninac will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Sarplaninac bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Macedonian Shepherd? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Sarplaninac? Why do dog bites happen?
The Sarplaninac has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Sarplaninac do?
Sarplaninacs have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Sarplaninacs need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Sarplaninac to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Sarplaninac roam?
Wanderlust potential of the Sarplaninac is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Sarplaninac have high prey drive?
Sarplaninacs have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Sarplaninacs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Sarplaninac good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Sarplaninacs are not apartment-friendly dogs. If you don't have a garden, you may have to reconsider your choice for having a puppy from this breed.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Sarplaninacs adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner. With proper socialization and quality time with the dog can solve this problem.
Fighting Dog
Where Sarplaninac dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they friendly with strangers?
Sarplaninacs are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Sarplaninac dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Sarplaninac and children:
Sarplaninacs are average friendly dogs towards children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Sarplaninac dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Sarplaninacs are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Sarplaninac good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Sarplaninac dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Sarplaninacs are average friendly towards other dogs.
Office Friendly
Are Sarplaninacs good office dogs? Do Sarplaninacs make good office friendly dogs? Can Sarplaninacs be office dogs?
Sarplaninac is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Sarplaninac dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Macedonian Shepherd temperament with senior people? Are Sarplaninac dogs good for elderly owners?
Sarplaninacs are commonly okay with elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Sarplaninac dogs get along with other pets? Are Sarplaninac dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Sarplaninacs usually don’t get on well with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Sarplaninac breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Sarplaninacs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a service dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Sarplaninac is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a therapy dog?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Sarplaninac is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Sarplaninac is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Sarplaninac is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a boat dog?
Not really
Sarplaninac breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Sarplaninac be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Sarplaninac breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy breed? Do Sarplaninac dogs have health problems?
Sarplaninacs are commonly healthy dogs. Vet costs aren't expensive with this breed.
Health Problems
What health problems does the Sarplaninac breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Sarplaninac breed? Health risks of Sarplaninac:
BloatDrug SensitivityHip Dysplasia
Life Expectancy
How long do Sarplaninac dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Sarplaninac be?
12-13 years
Is the Sarplaninac breed hypoallergenic?
Sarplaninacs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Sarplaninac have?
Sarplaninacs are high energy dogs. Active lifestyle makes them happy.
Exercise Need
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Sarplaninac dogs require per day?
Sarplaninacs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Sarplaninacs don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Sarplaninac need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
2.5 to 3.5 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Sarplaninac risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Sarplaninac's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Sarplaninac's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Prefers cold weather
The Sarplaninac can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Sarplaninac has a low chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Sarplaninac drool?
The Sarplaninac drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool more than others, just like the Sarplaninac. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.


Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long is the Sarplaninac pregnant? How long does it take to have this dog puppies? Sarplaninac pregnancy time period:
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Sarplaninac: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Sarplaninac have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Sarplaninac have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
3-5 puppies

Pros & Cons of Sarplaninac

  • Health Issues: Sarplaninacs are commonly healthy dogs.
  • Grooming: Easy to groom: The Sarplaninac doesn't require a lot of grooming.
  • Stinkiness: The Sarplaninac has a low chance of bad smell.
  • Watchdog Ability: Sarplaninacs are good watchdogs.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Sarplaninacs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
  • Hypoallergenic: Sarplaninacs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Sarplaninacs are not apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Drooling tendency: The Sarplaninac drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust potential of the Sarplaninac is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Cat Friendly: Sarplaninacs are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Sarplaninac is not the best dog breed for office environment.

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  • steve k

    Jan 1, 2021, 8:47:58 PM:

    Fantastic dog. Would recommend. Especially to farmers/herders