Pedigree Database

Sarplaninac Kennel

by Sarplaninac Kennel on 24 December 2013 - 14:12


Original denotation of breed: YUGOSLAVIAN SHEPHERD DOG - SHARPLANINA
Country of origin: Serbia/Macedonia

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.

Section 2.2 Molossoid breeds, Mountain type.
Without working trial.


The shepherd dog of Sarplanina is Yugoslav dog breed from ancient times in all South-Eastern mountain regions of Yugoslavia. Most frequently found in the region of Sarplanina (Shara mountain), hence the name, now it is breed throughout the country The breed was registered with FCI in 1939., reg. No.41, under the name of Illyrian shepherd dog. In 1957., at the request of JKS , FCI accepted the change of name into Yugoslav Shepherd Dog - Sarplaninac. Its true origin can only be speculated upon. It had probably come from Asia to Europe and the Balkans, alongside the cattle herded by the peoples migrating that way. However, it has remained unchanged in type only in the previously mentioned regions, where extensive sheep herding is still the predominant type, with this dog as an irreplaceable herding dog and guard againts wild animals.

Doyen of Serbian and world kinology, Dr. Slobodan Pavlovic (1912-1994), wrote standard of Sarplaninac breed.

In 1928. Sarplaninci were first time taken from Sarplanina in need of King's army.

Defile of Serbian army with dogs of Sarplanina.

General appearance :

Strong, well-built dog, above the average height, of completely harmonious build. Covered with long, thick and rather rough coat, which presents the impression of compact build. Dog with strong constitution, calmly tempered, well-natured but very sharp. Devoted to his master and uncorruptible dog.

Average height of the male is 62 cm and 58 cm for females. Taller dogs are desirable. Males under 56 cm and females under 54 cm are eliminated from gaining a positive mark. Average weight of an adult male in working condition is between 35 and 45 kg, and of a female between 30 and 40 kg.

The body is slightly longer than its height (male 8-10% and female 10-12% longer of height).

Drawing of Sarplaninac, made by Janez Plestenjak, cynology judge of Skofja Loka


The head is proportional to body size and approximately 25 cm long (or 40% of the withers height). The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle, covering 58% of the total length of the head. The female has a slightly longer muzzle (57%:43%). Seen from the profile forehead topline is slightly convex, and muzzle topline is flat, slightly converged respectively.

The forehead is dry, wide, with an obvious central forehead line. Viewed from above and profile, skull is slightly convex and rounded. The eye-arcs are gently expressed.

The transition between the skull and the muzzle is moderately defined.

The muzzle is shorter than the skull, with wide and deep base, gradually and gently narrowing towards the tip. The nostril is straight and wide. The profile of the under jaw crossing from a slanting arc to a straight line, which diverges with the nostril line.

The nose is wide and black pigmented.

The lips are of the medium thickness, nestled, the upper lip slightly exceeding the lower one. The corners of the lips are closed.

The teeth meet in a scissors bite. Dentition must be complete

The eyes are almond-shaped, neither protruding nor falling in, dark or light brown, with a calm, but piercing and fearless expression. The eyelids, like all visible mucous tissues are black pigmented.

The ears are fixed into the imaginary line which connects the top of the nose and the inner eye-corners, or slightly lower. They are hanging, set by on the head in a "V" shape, medium long, reaching the inner corners of the eyes and covered with a short, dense coat.


Upper profile neck line is gently convex or straight in the upper part, and the bottom neck line is straight. The neck is medium long. Because of its dense coat, neck appears shorter, deep, wide and muscular. It is well linked with the head and body, without rapid transition between them. The neck is gently raised in relation to the line of back. The skin is tightly stretched, without loose folds of skin. The coat is dense, long and rough, creating a mane where the head meets the neck, which visually widens and deepens this part of the head.


General Appearance:
Upper line of the body is straight, or gently lets down from the withers to the hips. Back line where hips are higher than withers, is tolerable with dogs brought up in mountains. Body is slightly longer than the height.

The withers are gently expressed and broad. The neck and withers are strongly connected, with a gently transition between them.

The back is straight and broad, not too long. The loin is shorter, broad and muscular.

Hips are medium long, slanting backwards, broad and well muscled.

The thorax is deep, and its bottom line reaching at least until the elbows, medium long with gently rounded ribs. The breast is broad and muscular. The width of the thorax should be at least 20% larger than height.

The abdomen is tight and muscular. The bottom abdominal line is gently rising backwards. The loin is relatively short with expressed transitions.

The tail is long and reaches at least to the hock. The hip line continues following the upper line of the tail, without rapid transitions. The tail is powerful at its base, gradually becomes thinner towards the tip. Covered with thick hair which is longer on the bottom parts, giving a bunchy impression. The tail is saber-shaped, raised high when in action, and when anxious, carried in an arch over the back line.


Appearance :

Generally viewed, the forelegs have a proper posture, in proportion with the trunk, the height of the elbows comprising 55% of the ridge height. The individual parts of the forelegs are in proportion with one another as well as with the general appearance of the trunk.

Shoulder Blades:
Sufficiently long and wide, well connected to the thorax, slanting gently, making an angle of 65 degrees with the horizontal axis. The upper arm is muscular, more falling than the shoulder blades, making an angle of 55 degrees with the horizontal axis. The elbow angle (between upper arm and shank) is approximately 145 degrees. The elbow is broad, with a proper posture, set slightly closed to the thorax.

Vertical, with strong bones, long and muscular. The hind part of the shank is richly coated. The paw ankle is wide, with gradual lines of transition.

Gently slanted, strong and broad.

Powerful, with convex toes compactly closed together, spoon-shaped. Nails are strong, with black pigment, finger-tips and pads have dark or black pigment, strong but flexible.


Viewed from behind the posture of the hind legs is proper, slightly wider than the forelegs. The profile also shows proper leg posture, and angles being sufficiently closed. The thigh is well muscled, with strongly rounded muscle structure, slanted, forming similar angle with the horizontal axis as the shoulder blade. The angle of the knee is more open than the one of the shoulder (approximately 125 degrees). The knee is strong and wide. The shank is slanted and strong, with a sufficiently deep muscle structure and with expressive "flags" of coat.

Broad and enough open (with an angle of approximately 130 degrees).

Hind Upper Paw:
Strong, slightly more slanting than the front upper paw, with rare cases of dewclaws, which should be removed.


The step is rich, long and easy. It prefers the medium long, but high trot. When galloping it is somewhat heavier, but with long and rich jumps.


Medium thick, flexible and tightly stretched on the body, with no wrinkles. All visible mucous tissues have dark or black pigment.


The head, ears and front parts of the legs are covered in thick and short coat. The neck, body, the back parts of the limbs and tail are covered in long and slightly rougher, almost straight coat. Under the long outer coat, there is shorter, much finer and thicker undercoat. The length of coat on the withers is 10-12 cm, and should not be shorter than 7 cm.


The dog is self-colored. All shades ranging from white to dark gray, almost black, are acceptable. Most popular is the grayish-green and dark gray color. Multicolor is not allowed. In pigmented dogs, small white marks on the breast and toes are allowed, but not desirable. In all pigmented dogs the dominant color is most intensive on the upper parts of the head, neck and body. In the bottom body parts the pigment gradually fades into lighter shades of the bottom leg parts (dirty gray or yellowish). These transitions into lighter shades must not be sharp, or to avoid a multi-colored impression.


The male in working condition should weigh approximately 35-45 kg, and the female 30-40 kg.


Insufficiently wide head skull, slightly longer muzzle, insufficiently developed jaws, insufficiently wide and broad chest, too flat or too rounded ribs, light defects in leg posture, slightly shorter coat (while the hair on the rare parts of legs is still well expressed), white marks on the chest and paws, slightly shorter tail, "rabbit paws", as other lighter faults.

Serious Faults:
Too long (pointed) muzzle, too expressed stop, ears are set-on too high and insufficiently folded over, level bite, the back is saddle-like, the tail is carried sideways, lymphatic build as all other serious faults.

Absence of premolar teeth, greater disproportion between length and height, insufficient height at the withers, insufficiently long coat (under 7 cm), multicolored coat, tiger-like color, no pigment in the visible mucous tissues and eyes, degenerative phenomena overshot and undershot bite, obvious "O" and "X" leg posture, congenitally short tail, docked tail, very sagged back and other degenerative phenomena.










by ddr gsd on 24 December 2013 - 15:12

I sure wouldn't want to meet up with this guy in the alley!
This is very interesting, especially the concept of
'The dog is self-colored'.  All-in-all a very interesting


by Hundmutter on 24 December 2013 - 17:12

Would help matters if OP could decide whether the breed is spelt
with or without an 'H'.

The convention is normally without  (ie  Sar...).


by EduCanine on 24 December 2013 - 17:12

Yeah, because the entire post is ruined due to spelling one word differently.


by susie on 24 December 2013 - 17:12

Europe: Sarplaninac
USA: Sharplaninac

The OP did his best... I saw one in real, amazing breed.

by ddr gsd on 24 December 2013 - 18:12

Susie - Expound please.


by susie on 24 December 2013 - 18:12

It´s years ago, only one dog/male - I don´t know if this is representative for a whole breed.
I was impressed by the very thick coat, and by his calmness, but this dog was not very human-oriented, not "willing to please".
Originally they are used for herding and protection.
The police in former Yugoslavia is said to use some as protection dogs ( I´d love to see that, cause I really can´t imagine ).

by ddr gsd on 24 December 2013 - 18:12

Susie- Much appreciated.

S(h)arplaninac Kennel - How long have you been breeding
these canines?  Any other personal info. This inquiring
mind wants to seek knowledge among those who have
intimate knowledge of this captivating and imposing breed.


by SitasMom on 24 December 2013 - 22:12

Beautiful dog!
I'd like to learn more about the breed.


by VKGSDs on 24 December 2013 - 23:12

One of those "amazing dogs I will never own" breeds!


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