Shar-Mountain Shepherd is definitely not a well-known dog breed, despite its long history. These noble guardians from Šar Mountains in the Balkans have been protecting vast lands and large flocks of sheep and cattle from wolves, lynxes and bears for more than 2,000 years. Unfortunately, in the last few hundred years these dogs, now mostly known as Šarplaninac, have halved in size and have lost their original temperament due to human misconduct and lack of awareness.
Not all of them came to us in such a poor state, though. Several traditional keepers and lovers of this breed from the Southern and Western Balkans kept the dog as pure as possible, both in size and character.
Now from these strains a new line has emerged in Serbia that has both the bear like stature of the Western Balkan Shar-Mountain Shepherd and the wolf-like cunning of the Southern Balkan dog.
The World Canine Organisation (FCI) standard states, that the Šarplaninac dog of Šar Mountains is around 40 kg (88 lbs) in weight and 62 cm (24,4 ins) in height, on average. This is absolutely nothing, compared to the mass and size of the revived original Shar-Mountain dog that goes up to 100 kg (220 lbs) in weight, and is around 80 cm (31,5 ins) tall.
A Facebook page "Mythic Shar-Mountain Shepherd", devoted to this gorgeous breed, explains: “The most important reason why they are so developed genetically and mentally is because in their most vulnerable time, when they are in their mother's womb, they are fed through their mother a special mixture of royal jelly and other natural nutrients up until they are two months old. On top of that they are provided the highest quality dog food plus additional special supplements.”
It is not uncommon that the elite of the Balkans uses these dogs as personal guards, like the former Yugoslavian leader Tito did in his mansion. This breed, employed as the Royal Yugoslav Army service dog and popular as a military dog in some other European countries, is "the number one choice of the person who has something to stand for".
“Sometimes these dogs are given as a gift to wealthy landowners to protect their estates if it is decided that the puppy has a special connection with that person’, the Facebook page adds.
Owning a Shar-Mountain Shepherd
Three things are necessary in order to enjoy these majestic dogs as your faithful guardians: environment, respect, and love.
Shar-Mountain Shepherds are not suited for leashes or small cages. They need to have a house and a lot of space outside. They are also not suited for hot climates.
The people who are reviving the ancient Shar-Mountain Shepherd seem to be proud of their work.
,,This is about raising the global awareness and quality of the breed while recovering our heritage, and giving a loyal and loving protector to serve the human kind again as they did in the old times!'' - "Mythic Shar-Mountain Shepherd" Facebook page concludes.
Learn about Russian rare and extinct dogs.