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Karst Shepherd – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Large
Weight: 58 - 88 pounds
Height: 21 - 25 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Medium to High
Compatibility to other pets: Medium to High

Adopt a Karst Shepherd, Dog Breed Guide


The Karst Shepherd dog breed is so impressive in guarding livestock in rugged mountain conditions that they quickly became the mountain dog of choice of various eastern and northeastern European countries! They are considered to be rare outside of their native country. They are officially the national treasure of Slovenia and are considered one of the older indigenous breeds still in existence today.

Official Name

Karst Shepherd
Other Name: Krasevec, Kraski ovčar, Karst Sheepdog, Istrian Sheepdog


Date -17th Century / Country – Slovenia
Family / Group – Mollosoid, Guardian, Flock Guard

Recognized By

Fédération Cynologique Internationale
United Kennel Club
Slovenian Kennel Club


Originating from the country of Slovenia, the Karst Shepherd is a guardian mountain dog by nature. They were bred to guard livestock along the mountainous landscape region of Slovenia and some areas of the Italian border known as the Karst Plateau. In the mid 17th century they reached neighboring Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and eventually reached the Gulf of Trieste and as far as the Dinaric Alps. Their traits on being excellent guard dog that is hardly enough to guard and protect livestock in rugged mountain terrain are the main reason for this breed’s area of expansion. Although used in the vast areas of eastern and northeastern Europe, these dogs were mostly bred out of Slovenia and the region of Istria in Croatia.


Karst Shepherds are dogs that possess sharp temperament and high sense of individuality. They do not trust any stranger and makes excellent guard dogs. When used as sheepdogs they will show independence and bravery. But all in all, they are dogs that have a very stable temperament.

Bred For

The Karst Shepherd dogs were developed to be reliable and independent guard dogs and excellent sheepdogs.


The Karst Shepherds are quite large dogs and having them as apartment type pets just won’t do. Ample space is vital for these large shepherd dogs. Home with least a large yard where they can move about will make them well balanced.


No grooming required.


Training should be done in a firm, confident and authorities manner.


They are one of the healthiest dog breeds around today.

This breed of dog is best suited to a rural lifestyle. These large shepherds should be taken on daily walks that are done briskly and for long periods of time.