Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog - Sharplanina

(Jugoslovenski Ovcarski Pas - Sarplaninac)

Sarplaninac


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Serbia/Macedonia.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
24.11.1970.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.2Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
Without working trial

UKC
Guardian Dog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The Yugoslavian Dog Sharplanina has been bred since time immemorial in the south eastern mountain regions of Yugoslavia. The breed was named after the Sharplanina Mountain range where it is the most common. Today Sharplaninas are being bred all over the country. The breed is registered with the F.C.I. since 1939 under n° 41 under the designation “Illirski Ovcar” (Yllyrian Shepherd Dog). In 1957 the General Assembly of the F.C.I. accepted a motion proposed by the Yugoslavian Federation of Cynology to change the name of the breed to “Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina”.
The origin of the breed remains controversial. It seems likely that it came to Europe from Asia in the course of the prehistoric mass migrations. The original type of the breed has been maintained solely in such parts of the country where intense cattle breeding is still prevailing and where this dog still can play its original role of a guardian and protector of the cattle herds against predatory animals.
UKC
The Sarplaninac (pronounced shar-pla-nee-natz) is an ancient livestock guarding breed from the mountain region of southeastern Yugoslavia, known in Roman times as Illyria. This breed was formerly named the Illyrian Shepherd Dog when first recognized by the FCI in 1939. The name was changed in 1957 to Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina, after the Sharplanina mountain range where the breed is most common. Like all ancient breeds developed in isolated regions, the origin of the Sarplaninac cannot be determined. It is believed to be descended from the ancient Molossian dogs of Greece and the livestock guarding dogs of Turkey. Although little known in the United States, the Sarplaninac is still widely used in its homeland to protect flocks against predators. Until 1970, Sarplaninacs could not be legally exported from Yugoslavia. The first to arrive in the U.S. was actually carried down from the mountains by mule. Since then, growing numbers of American and Canadian ranchers have been successfully using Sarplaninacs for predator control. The Sarplaninac was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Sharplanina is a robust, well proportioned dog with plenty of bone, of a size that is well above the average and with a thick, long, rather coarse coat that emphasizes the short coupled appearance.
UKC
The Sarplaninac is a medium-sized dog who looks bigger than he is because of heavy bone and thick coat. Any solid color is acceptable but the most common is an iron gray. The length of body is slightly longer than its height at the withers, and the head is in proportion to the size of the body. Ears are drop and V-shaped and the tail is long and carried like a saber. The Sarplaninac should be evaluated as a working livestock guardian capable of protecting stock in mountainous terrain, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
The length of the body is slightly longer than its height at the withers; the relation is about 8 10 for dogs, 10 12 for bitches.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Of sturdy constitution, even disposition, good temperament, reliable, protective but not snappy; incorruptible and devoted to its master.
UKC
Despite being slightly smaller than many other livestock guarding breeds, the Sarplaninac is characterized by extraordinary strength and large teeth, making it a formidable adversary of predatory animals. This breed has a typical livestock guarding temperament: highly intelligent and independent; devoted to family members and wary of strangers; calm and steady but fearless and quick to react to perceived threats.

HEAD

:
FCI
The head is proportioned to the body. Its total length measures approximately 25 cm which corresponds to about 40% of the height at the withers. The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle (the relation being 57 43%). The skull has a slightly convex topline; the nasal bone is straight. The lines of the two profiles are converging.
UKC
The head length of a dog of average height is about 9¾ inches from occiput to tip of nose, but this length will vary in proportion to the size of the dog. In profile, the muzzle is slightly shorter in length, measured from stop to nose, than the skull, measured from stop to occiput. The stop is slight.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
(upper head) Is broad with a well marked groove. Seen in profile as well as from above, the skull should appear slightly convex and a little rounded. The eyebrows are only slightly marked. The occiput is invisible.
UKC
The skull is slightly domed and broad between the ears, tapering gradually toward the muzzle. The median furrow is distinct. The supraorbital ridges are only slightly developed and the occiput is not evident. Cheek muscles are well developed but the cheekbones are flat.

Stop

:
FCI
Slight.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Broad and black.
UKC
The nose is broad and black, projecting somewhat over the mouth and giving the impression that the upper jaw is longer than the lower. Viewed in profile, a line drawn from the tip of the nose to the chin slants downward and backward.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Is shorter than the skull, broad and deep at the root, slightly tapering towards the nose. The nasal bone is straight and broad. The underjaw, as seen in profile, starts with a bend and then proceeds in a straight line diverging from the profile of the nasal bone.
UKC
The muzzle is broad and deep at the base, tapering slightly toward the nose. The topline of the muzzle is straight except for the tip, which is unusually developed giving an aquiline appearance in profile. Lips are moderately thick, tight, and dry. The upper lip only slightly overhangs the lower lip.

Lips

:
FCI
Moderately thick and tight; the upper lip is only slightly overhanging over the under lip. The corners of the lips are clean without even a hint of a flew.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Scissor bite; full dentition.
UKC
The Sarplaninac has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Almond shaped, neither large nor deep set, dark or light brown in colour, with a quiet but piercing gaze that should never show fear. The lids and the visible connective tissues should be black.
UKC
Eyes are almond-shaped and of moderate size. Eye color ranges from dark brown to chestnut. The expression is piercing. Eye rims are black.

Ears

:
FCI
Are set on a line running from the tip of the nose through the inner corner of the eye or slightly underneath. They are V-shaped and dropping, hanging close to the cheeks, and covered with short, dense hair.
UKC
The ears are drop and V-shaped, hanging close to the cheeks, and covered with short, dense hair. When pulled forward, the tip of the ear should reach the inner corner of the eye. The ears are set on, or just below, a line running from the tip of the nose through the inner corner of the eye.

NECK

:
FCI
The crest is either slightly convex or straight. The throatline is straight. The neck is of medium length but because of the length and thickness of the coat it looks shorter than it really is. Broad, deep and muscled, it is merging smoothly into the head and the shoulders. To be carried slightly above the line of the back.
The skin is tight and without dewlaps. The coat is dense, long and coarse with a marked frill at the junction of head and neck (nape); this particularity is inbroadening the width and depth of this body part.
UKC
The neck is of medium length but appears shorter than it is because of the thickness of the coat. The neck is broad and well muscled, and blends smoothly into the head and shoulders. The skin is tight with no dewlap. The crest of the neck is straight or slightly arched. The head is carried slightly above the line of the back.

BODY

:
FCI
The topline is horizontal or slightly sloping towards the croup. Dogs bred in the mountains may be allowed a croup that is lying slightly higher than the withers but this is not a desirable feature. The total length of the body exceeds slightly the height at the withers.
UKC
A properly proportioned male Sarplaninac is 8 to 10 percent longer (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) than tall (measured from the withers to the ground), with a little more length of body allowed in bitches (10 to 12 percent longer). The withers are moderately developed and broad. Whether the dog is standing or moving, the line of the back is strong and level from the withers to the slightly sloping croup. A very slightly sloping topline is acceptable but not preferred. The loin is moderately short, muscular, and deep, with very little tuck-up. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine, forming a broad, strong back, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is broad and muscular.

Withers

:
FCI
Are moderately developed and broad. The connexion with the neck is powerful and the passage hardly noticeable.

Back

:
FCI
Is straight and broad, not too long. The loin is shorter, broad and muscular.

Croup

:
FCI
Of medium length, sloping and well muscled.

Chest

:
FCI
Is deep, the brisket reaching to the elbows, of medium length, with slightly sprung ribs. The forechest is broad and muscular. The girth of the ribcage should exceed the height at the withers by at least 20%.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Is tucked up and muscled. The lower profile is gently rising from the front to the rear. The flanks are rather short and with a pronounced groove.

TAIL

:
FCI
The tail is long and reaching at least the hock joint. The topline of the croup is sloping gradually and evenly into the tail. Strong at the root, tapering to the tip, with feathering along the lower side. Carried in a slight curve like a sabre; when the dog is excited, the curve is accentuated and the tail may be lifted above the line of the back.
UKC
The tail is a natural extension of the topline. It is thick and muscular at the base and tapers to the tip in a saber shape. A tail of the correct length extends at least to the hock. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs down naturally. When the dog is moving or alert, the tail is raised level with, or slightly above, the back. When very agitated, the tail may be raised over the back. Disqualification: Bobtail (including dogs born with a stump tail or no tail).

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
The front legs are straight and well proportioned to the body. The elbows are at about 55% of the total height at the withers. The different parts of the forequarters are well proportioned to each other and to the body. The shoulders are fairly long and broad, flat, sloping and forming an angle of 65° with a horizontal line. The upper arm (humerus) is more obliquely set than the shoulder blade, the angle with the horizontal line being of 55°. It joins the forearm at an angle of 145°. The elbow joint is broad, neither out-nor inturned and placed only very slightly off from the ribcage. The forearm is straight, long, with plenty of bone and well developed muscles and feathering along the rear side. The pasterns are broad and strong, slightly slanting. The feet are firm, oval shaped with well arched and closed toes. Nails strong and black. Soles tough but elastic, black.
UKC
The shoulder blades are long and wide and laid back at an angle of about 65 degrees from the horizontal. The upper arm is muscular and lies at an angle of about 55 degrees from the horizontal. The elbows are close to the body.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are straight, strong, and sturdy in bone, with strong, broad, slightly sloping pasterns. The length of the foreleg is slightly greater than one-half the distance from the withers to the elbow.

FEET

:
UKC
The feet are firm and oval-shaped, with well-arched and closed toes. The nails are strong and dark in color. The pads are tough, elastic, and darkly pigmented. Front dewclaws may be removed; rear dewclaws should be removed.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Viewed from behind the legs appear to stand evenly, slightly wider apart than the forelegs. Seen from the side, they also appear of even construction and fairly well angulated. The upper thigh is well muscled, rounded, obliquely placed, the angle with a horizontal line being similar to that of the shoulder. The stifle (joint between the upper and the lower thigh) is slightly less angulated than the scapula-humerus joint (about 125°). The stifle is strong and broad. The second thigh is also obliquely placed, strong, with long muscles and very bushy feathering. The hock is broad and displays a rather open angle (about 130°). The metatarsus should be less slanting than the pastern. Dewclaws are rare and should be removed.
UKC
The hindquarters are muscular, wide, and set somewhat wider apart than the forelegs. The rear angulation is slightly more open than the angulation of the forequarters, with the angle of the stifle about 125 degrees and the angle of the hock about 130 degrees. When the dog is standing, the broad rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
The stride is long and elastic. The most usual gait is the trot with a high and moderately outreaching action. At a gallop the dog appears to be somewhat clumsy but the jumps are long and covering plenty of ground.
UKC
At the trot, the Sarplaninac moves freely with strides of moderate length. The back and loin are elastic and springy. As speed increases, however, the width between the legs decreases and the tendency to single track increases until the dog breaks into a heavy, lumbering gallop. When alert, the Sarplaninac moves with determination and purpose toward the object of interest, often with the head slightly lowered and the tail raised above the back.

SKIN

:
FCI
The skin is moderately thick, elastic and tight all over the body. No dewlaps. All the visible mucous membranes are black or deeply pigmented.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
The head, ears and front side of the legs are covered with short hair. Around the neck, on the rump, at the rear side of the legs and on the tail the hair is long, almost flat and somewhat coarse. Under the guard hair the abundant undercoat is short, dense and of fine texture. At the withers the hair should measure between 10 and 12 cm; it should not be shorter than 7 cm.
UKC
The Sarplaninac is a double-coated breed with a long, straight, somewhat rough-textured outer coat, and a shorter, much finer and thicker undercoat. The coat on the head, ears, and front side of the legs is short. The hair on the neck, the buttocks, the tail, and the back side of the legs is longer. This variation in coat length results in a ruff at the neck, a distinct frill at the nape of the neck, breeches on the buttocks and backs of the legs, and a plume on the tail. At the withers, the outer coat should be 4 to 5 inches long and no shorter than 2¾ inches. Skin is moderately thick, elastic and tight all over the body.

COLOUR

:
FCI
The Sharplanina is a solid coloured dog. All colours are acceptable from white to dark brown that looks almost black. The preferred shade is a greenish grey (iron grey) and dark grey. Spotting and white markings are not allowed. Pigmented dogs may show tiny white markings at the chest and toes but they are undesirable. The upper part of the head, the neck and the body is of a darker hue that fades out into a dirty white or a yellowish grey toward the extremities. The change must be very gradual and by no means give the impression of a spotted pattern of actually create a spotted coat.
UKC
All solid colors are acceptable from white to a very dark brown that is nearly black. The most common color is an iron gray. The color may vary from a darker shade on the top of the head, neck, and body, to a lighter shade toward the extremities, but the change must be very gradual so as not to give the impression of spots or patches of color. The hairs of the outer coat may be tipped in black resulting in a sable color pattern. Tiny white markings on the chest and toes are allowed but not desirable.

SIZE

:
UKC
Height at maturity, measured at the withers is 24 inches or over for males and 22½ inches or over for females. Mature males in good working condition weigh between 77 and 99 pounds. Mature females in good working condition weigh between 66 and 88 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI
The average height at the withers is 62 cm for males and 58 cm for bitches. Males under 56 cm and bitches under 54 cm are not eligible for breeding.

Weight

:
FCI
Males in good working conditions between 35 and 45 kg, females between 30 and 40 kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
UKC
Muzzle: Insufficiently broad skull; muzzle too long.

MINOR FAULTS

:
FCI

Insufficiently broad skull.
Muzzle too long.
Jaws too heavy.
Chest lacking in width and depth.
Flatsidedness or exaggeratedly sprung ribs.
Any slight deviation of the limbs from the correct position.
Coat slightly shorter than desired as long as the feathering is alright.
White markings on chest and feet.
Tail slightly too short.
Hare-feet and other minor physical blemishes.
UKC

Coat: Coat slightly shorter than desired, as long as the feathering is correct.
Color: White markings on the chest and feet.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

Muzzle too long or snipy.
Ears set too high or standing off (not hanging close enough to the cheeks).
Pincer (level) bite.
Swayback.
Tail carried with a side bend.
Lympathic constitution and other severe physical faults.
UKC

Muzzle: Muzzle too snipey.
Teeth: Level bite.
Ears: Ears set too high; ears not hanging close to cheeks.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

Aggressive or overly shy.
Missing premolars.
A striking disproportion between the length of the body and the height at the withers.
Insufficient height at the withers.
Hair shorter than 7 cm.
Extended white markings (spotting) and brindle pattern.
Unpigmented visible mucous membranes and eyes.
Any future betraying a degeneration, severely cowlegged or cowhocked, like over- or undershot mouths, bobtails (dogs born with only a stump or not tail at all), severe swayback, etc.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.) Mature male under 22 inches; mature female under 21 inches.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme viciousness or shyness. Total lack of pigment in lips, nose, or eyerims. Undershot or overshot bite. Missing teeth. Bobtail (including dogs born with only a stump or no tail at all). Coat on the withers shorter than 2¾ inches. White spots or patches other than tiny white markings on chest or toes. Brindle. Albinism.
Muzzle: Total lack of pigment in lips.
Teeth: Undershot or overshot bite; missing teeth.
Nose: Total lack of pigment in nose.
Eyes: Total lack of pigment in eye rims.
Coat: Coat on the withers shorter than 2¾ inches.
Color: White spots or patches other than tiny white markings on chest or toes; brindle; albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.