How to Train a Croatian Sheepdog 

The Croatian Sheepdog is an agile, helpful and humble shepherd dog, self-reliant to his owner, brave and trustworthy. He is the true master of his flock, often running through the back of the herd to get to the point of intervention as soon as possible.

Petar Horvat, the bishop of Djakovo, wrote in 1374 that Croats had brought a shepherd dog along on the move to their new land. He referred to the dog as Canis Pastoralis Croaticus’the Croatian Shepherd Dog. The bishop of Djakovo, Peter Bakic also wrote about the Croatian Sheepdog in his 1719 manuscript ‘On the Life of the People and Raising of Stock in Djakovo and it’s Surroundings in 1719’. He quoted the words written by Bishop Petar in 1374 and, providing his own description of the dog, stated that the Croatian Sheepdog had not changed since the record (from 1374 to 1719) and had not changed in appearance from that described by Bishop Petar in 1374. A systematic selection breeding program was started by the “father of the breed” – veterinarian Prof Dr Stjepan Romic in 1935 with dogs in the territory of Djakovo. After 34 years of work, the breed was recognized by the FCI in 1969.


The Croatian Sheepdog was developed over several centuries in the Republic of Croatia.  They are a working sheep and cattle dog.  The earliest written document about Croatian Sheepdogs, Canis pastoralis croaticus, found in the archives of the diocese of Djakovo by “father of the breed” – veterinarian Prof Dr Stjepan Romic – dates from 1374.

Quick Facts

Temperament: loyal / active / alert and intelligent

Height: 16-20 inches

Weight: 29-44 pounds

Life Expectancy: 13-14 years

Foundation Stock Service


The Croatian Sheepdog is an overall healthy breed.


The Croatian Sheepdog is an easily cared for breed. Occasional baths, a combing or bushing to remove dead hair, and regular nail care is sufficient for this wash-and-wear breed.


Croatian Sheepdogs are very energetic dogs. Though they are calm and relaxed in the house, once outside they appreciate a good run. Not surprisingly, a Croatian Sheepdog excels at flyball, obedience, herding, and frisbee. They are quite playful and can be mischievous, particularly when it comes to digging. They are also noted for their extraordinary jumping ability. A well-exercised Croatian Sheepdog is a Croatian Sheepdog who tends not to find trouble elsewhere.


The Croatian is alert, energetic, intelligent, biddable, adaptable and always enthusiastic about any job that needs to be done. Needless to say, these traits make them very trainable and eager-to-please. The Croatian Sheepdog is also sensibly suspicious and, therefore, an excellent watchdog.


Croatian Sheepdog fanciers provide a variety of diets depending on the needs of their dogs. Follow your breeder’s and/or veterinarian’s recommendations to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.