Pet Advisor Blog

Sarplaninac – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium to Large
Weight: Males: 77 - 99 pounds; Frmales: 66 - 88 pounds
Height: Males: 24 inches; Fremales: 23 inches
Longevity: 13
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: High
Compatibility to other pets: Medium


The Sarplaninac dog breed is one of the oldest sheep herding dog breeds still existing today. It has for over 2,000 years and still in use as a herding dog across The Balkans.

This dog is a large, fluffy dog wearing a dark-colored coat. But don’t let their size fool you! They are good-natured dogs that will be a great companion dog!


Official Name

Other names: the Sar Planina, Charplaninatz, Ovcarski Pas Srbije, Sar planine, and the Crne Gore.


Date – over 2,000 years old
Country – Serbia and Macedonia
Family / Group – Herding, Flock Guardian

Recognized By:

Continental Kennel Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
National Kennel Club
USA Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.


Sarplaninac is a dog breed that can trace its origins to the old Yugoslavian region now called Serbia and Macedonia. The precise date of origin is unclear. But dog experts believe that these dogs were developed from the ancient Tibetan Shepherd dogs that were brought to the Balkans by Asian traders. However, these old Asian sheepdogs are very similar to the modern Sarplaninac breed and believed to be one and the same. Sarplaninac dogs were bred to be flock guardians in the mountainous region of Serbia and Macedonia known as Sar Planina. Therefore, this is where the dog breed got its traditional name. For several centuries, the Sarplaninac kept its very pure breeding line as they were bred in a very isolated area. Today, these dogs are still kept as flock guardians as well as companion dogs in Europe, United States, and Canada.


The Sarplaninac breed is naturally a livestock guardian breed. Therefore, it has strong protective instincts. In addition, these Balkan dogs make excellent guard dogs for their daring traits. In addition, these intelligent dogs are independent-minded and will be dominant. They will be wary of strangers but will show affection toward their family.

Bred For

These are dogs that were bred to be farmworkers and serious flock guardians.


These dogs are not recommended for apartment life. Since they have an all-weather coat they are very comfortable sleeping outside the house. To sum up, the ideal environment for Sarplaninac dogs would be a farm with a flock to protect.


These dogs do not require special attention when it comes to grooming. However, it is advisable to brush their coat occasionally to remove dead hair and keep it healthy.


Sarplaninac are dogs that are hard to train but possible to do so. They require dominant, firm trainers in order to learn a lesson. Sarplaninac dogs are natural farm workers and will learn their flock guardian duties even when not trained to do so.


Sarplaninac’s medical history shows no disturbing genetic diseases, genetic disorders or other health issues that may affect them. In other words, they are very healthy dogs in general.


The Sarplaninac dog breed needs lots of physical activity to satisfy their exercise requirements. They should be kept as farm dogs where they can naturally run free and work actively. Moreover, if not kept as farm dogs, they require long walks or jogging sessions every day. In conclusion, if you are looking for a very active companion that will always stick around, then Sarplaninac is a perfect dog for you!