The Sarplaninac (pronounced sharplaneenetz), (Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina - Jugoslovenski Ovcarski PasSarplaninac) has been bred since time immemorial in the southeastern mountain regions of Yugoslavia. The breed is named after the Sharplanina Mountain Range, where it is most common. Today, Sarplaninacs are being bred all over the country. The breed had been registered with the FCI since 1939 under the designation "Illirski Ovcar" (Illyrian Shepherd Dog). In 1957, the General Assembly of the FCI 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 breed type has been maintained solely in the parts of the country where intense cattle breeding is still prevalent, where this dog can still play its original role of guardian and protector of cattle herds against predatory animals.
The Sarplaninac was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.
|GENERAL APPEARANCE &
The Sarplaninac is a robust, well-proportioned dog with plenty of bone. Well above average size, it has a thick, long, rather coarse coat that emphasizes the short-coupled appearance. The breed has a sturdy constitution, an even disposition, a good temperament, and is reliable and protective, but not snappy. It is incorruptible and devoted to its master.
Minor faults: Minor physical blemishes.
Serious faults: Lymphatic constitution. Any severe physical faults.
HEAD AND SKULL
The broad muzzle is shorter than the skull. It is deep at the root, slightly tapering towards the nose. The nasal bone is straight and broad. The underjaw, in profile, starts with a bend and then proceeds in a straight line, diverging from the profile of the nasal bone. The lines of the profiles of the topline of the skull and the muzzle are converging.
The lips are moderately thick and tight. The upper lip only slightly overhangs the under lip. The corners of the lips are clean without even a hint of a flew.
Minor faults: Insufficiently broad skull. Jaws too heavy.
Serious faults: Muzzle too long. Muzzle too snipey.
The skin is tight and without dewlaps. The coat of the neck is dense, long and coarse, with a marked frill at the nape (the junction of the head and the neck), broadening the width and depth of the neck.
The backline is horizontal or slightly sloping towards the croup. Dogs bred in the mountains may be allowed a croup that lies slightly higher than the withers, but this is not a desirable feature.
The withers are moderately developed and broad. Their connection with the neck is powerful, and the passage from the withers to the neck is hardly noticeable.
The straight, broad back is not too long. The loin is shorter, broad, and muscular. The medium length, sloping croup is well-muscled.
The chest is deep and of medium length, with slightly sprung ribs. The brisket reaches to the elbows. The forechest is broad and muscular. The girth of the rib cage should exceed the height by at least 20%.
The belly is tucked-up and muscled. The lower profile gently rises from the front to the rear. The flanks are rather short, and with a pronounced groove.
Minor faults: Chest lacking in width and depth. Flat-sided (slab-sided). Barrel-shaped ribs.
Serious fault: Sway back.
The stifle joint is slightly less angulated than the scapulahumerus joint (about 125 degrees). The stifle is strong and broad. The strong lower thigh is also obliquely placed. It has long muscles and very bushy feathering.
The broad hock displays a rather open angle (about 130 degrees). The rear pastern (metatarsals) slants less than the pastern. Dewclaws are rare and should be removed.
Minor faults: Any slight deviation of the limbs from the correct position.
COAT & SKIN
The moderately thick, elastic skin is tight all over the body, without dewlaps. All the visible mucous membranes are black and deeply pigmented.
Minor faults: Coat slightly shorter than desired, as long as the feathering is correct. White markings on the chest and feet.
The Sarplaninac is a solid-colored dog. All colors are acceptable from white to a dark brown that looks almost black. The preferred shades are iron gray (a greenish-gray) and dark gray. The upper part of the head, the neck, and the body are of a darker hue that fades out into a dirty white or a yellowish gray toward the extremities. The change must be very gradual and by no means give the impression of a spotted pattern or actually create a spotted coat. Spotting and white markings are not allowed. Pigmented dogs may show tiny white markings at the chest and toes, but they are not desirable.
HEIGHT & WEIGHT
Males in good working condition weigh between 77 and 99 pounds. (35 and 45 kg.) Females in good working condition weigh between 66 and 88 pounds (30 and 40 kg.).
Many thanks to Sarplaninac Kennel "The Canine's Club"