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Karst Shepherd

I have a wonderful karst sheperd (or krasevec) Cajka... antique breed but not very known outside Slovenia. Are there any owners of Karst shepherds in USA or elsewere? For those who are not familiar with this breed maybe its enough to say that its probably the closest cousin of Sarplaninec, which you might know better. They used to belong to one breed, but their difernces are still significant. Krasevec can be bit easier adopted to the modern society, but is still tipical watchdog with indepedent thinking and souverignity. Cajka is my first dog ... she is 20 moths old, and sweetest creature one can imagine. :D Just for curiosity sake, I'm also ataching poll to see if you heard about this breed before.
Hello EBRANKA, I'm sure that many members of this forum are aware of Slovenian Karst Shepherd. On this site there are many breed profiles, among them the profile of Karst Shepherd too, with official standard but I guess you didn't find it yet. See our profile of the Karst Shepherd Dog Your Cajka is very nice dog. Cheers! :D
Aleksa thanks for your reply... I found Karst Shepherd description on this site and I liked it. I think it is very good, thats also one of the resons to join. I quickly find out that there are many experts on rare antique molloser breeds which was very nice surprise. As you can imagine, on many other dog sites it is not even mentioned, or when it is, often with false information... even many dog book (enciclopedias) often give wrong info. However, im curiose also to see how other visitors of this site will vote. And having this dog myself I can always give an answer to anybody who is cuoris about any aspect of how life with this dog is. I'm not saying I'm an expert or long time breeder ... I'm just willing to share my enthusiasm about the breed with likemined people.
Hi Branka, Thank you for the kinds words about MD. We do try hard to cover a wide range of subjects. Your offer to share and help others understand the Karst Shepherd is very kind and it is because of enthusiastic and kind members like you that we learn and get different perspectives on the breeds. Thank you. :)
Gary reading variouse MD topics one can see how many simmilarities exists among mollosers, specialy about their character. But for me even more fascinating are little differences that are giving the final touch to a breed. For me the question is, in what ways Karst Shepards are simmilar and different from other mollosers (specialy guardian dogs), why that's so, and how this can help me to better understend my dog. Knowing the best characteristic is also important so that they could be preserved in future dogs. Profile about Karst Shepherd was interesting for me also because I read some new things that I was not aware of. Strangly enougf, even being a libraran does not help me to find much information on breed in Slovenia. I read all that is available and published in Slovenia about them. In the profile possible mix breedings with German Shepherd are mentioned, but from what I read (Zidars book on Krasevec) only few sarplaninec were mentioned and two Newfedlands. But not GSD. Could this happened ouside Slovenia? Well, I can see from a poll that there are quite some MD members who knew the breed. If you have any interesting information or some source of literature that could be interesting for me, I would appritiate it a lot. bye from winterland
Wolf thanks for your reply and information... it makes lots of sense, cause GSD is still very popular and many people in Slovenia are unfortunatly somehow fascinating with socalled "pure" dogs without papers who can have all sorts of mixbreeding. I heard rummors (but nothing proven) that one even mixed his karst shepherd with boxer ... oficialy father was karst shepherd, but lattter on one could find boxer in a breed. I still hope this is not truth, as there are many responsible breeders otherwise and there is some control. I would only like to see more obligatory health chekings for dogs intended for reproduction, but thats anotther story. About Newfoundland I read in Miroslav Zidar book O krasevcu that they crossbreed two smaller males to get back some tipical tratis that were lost by crossbreads with Sarplaninec. In the afternoon, when I get home, I can look in the book, and tell you dates when this was done. They were happy with the results, as they got more tipical head, and supposdly no other wrong influences. However, I talked with one breeder recently who was unhappy with this combination.. he said that dogs from this mix does not have the same character, their hair is longer (which is good), but also softer (which is not so good), and they often have striped legs or other parts. As I said, this is just opinion from one breeder, but since he is a breeder for more then 20 years, maybe he is right.
Uau Wolf I was not aware of this history but it makes much sense to me, too. In Zidars book I read that from this new Foundland combination dogs are darknig till the age of four and that dark coat is very desirable. However dogs that are completly black are not allowed by the standard. my neigbur has a karst shepherd which is completly black, but his dog is without papers, hovever he claims she is purebreed. He said all her sisters and brothers were irongrey. She is also higher and stronger then my dog. I will go to dog show next sunday and I can bring some pictures of karst shepherds. I can also upload picture of international champion Vik, who is also very dark. So that defenitly a trend!
Very interesting discussion! I'm not so familar with many details about the Krasevec (other than what is relevant to the Shar history) so I enjoy reading about it from the "Kraski perspective". :D Dan
DanTX thanks for your nice reply :) , if you are interseted in any aspect of this breed you can always ask me. As you can see, most of the information I have are from one book of Slovenian kinologist Miroslav Zidar, but I can see Wolf has many information about the history that I wasn't aware of before. Wolf if you could reffer to me any book or other source about mollos history of Istria, Karst and broader area, that might be relevant to karst sheperd history I would be very happy. :D My sister made some pictures yesterday at the Dogs Show but unfortunatly they are all too dark, so I have nothing to upload yet.:cry: But we were still very happily surpirsed cause Cajka got her first CACIB (this was her second show).
[size=12][/size] I I am sorry my friend but what is Karst? I think it should be KARS. There is a turkish-caucassien breed. named KAR SHEAPPERD. But I never heard about KARST. KARS is a region at northest of türkiye near to the Armenian and georgian border, Near to caucassia. And these dogs are a sort of Caucassian Ovcharka. They are very selden and very good as sheapperds andwatching. I had one, he died last year, after he served 12 years excellent as a watch dog. Please correct the name of the breed.
Hi, There is no mistake with a name... two breeds exists with very simmilar name... Karst shepherd is a recognized FCI breed from Slovenia, named after region Karst. By coincidance, there are some simmilarities with Kars shepherds that exists in Turkey... Karst shepherd was also originaly known as livestock guardin dog, but is now mostly used as family and guardian dog. However, in Slovenia we started with a project last year to reintroduce karst shepards to this original function, and we are in a process of negotiatin with state to subsides shepherds whou would buy puppies for a LGD function.
Thank you very much, But as an cultur historian in orijin, now I am interested in two topics. 1- The historical root of the breed. 2- The history of the region, specially about the name I would like to search this two topics. But as I have heard the name KARST for the first time, would you like to help me for this search as you are at the location. Sincerely Yours, İbrahim karamemet

Hi Ibrahim,

Region Karst is locatated in the western part of Slovenia, and in Slovenian it is called Kras. We were thought in school that the name of this region gave name for very specific landscape that is also found in other parts of the world. Since rocks and stones in Karst are made from material that is not "waterprof" water made many huge underground caves. Soil is in kind of red coloure and vegetation is mostly made of bush and some pine trees. Since this kind of terrain and vegetaion does not give much space for traditional agriculture, it was mostly used by shepherds and their herds of sheep.

These sheperds used for protection of their sheep karst shepherds. In the past these dogs were called by different names, e.g , chich (čič) or krasevec ... and the breed was first recognized oin 1939 under the name Ilirian shepherd. Few years latter they also included thier cousine sarplaninenc under the same name and only in 70ies these two breeds became differently recognized by FCI (there are some important differences in character and apparence). Shephereds in this part of Slovenia were half nomads since every year men left their families and left with sheep and their dogs in the search of fresh grass (in summer this region was too dry, so they traveled to the Podnanos region (also in Slovenia) and in winter they escaped heavy winds and cold of this region by traveling to the southern parts near the seaside (in Croatia) or to the Furlani region in Italy. In the year 1947 this tradiotion (also called transhumance) came to the end, mainly because of the illnes that reduced sheeps havily, and also closere of the borderş with Italy contributed to end of this kind of tradion.

All remaining karst shepherds were given to farmers and mostly chaind, but luckly later on some enthusiasts save them from this sad fate and give tham a new chance as a family dogs. Karst shepherds are very devted to their family and also good guarding dogs... their quality is also that if raised properly (agressivity should not be encouraged) they first bark and not bite when intruder comes to the land. For origin of this breed it is difficult to be 100% sure (not much written sources), but they are very likely related to sarplaninec breed and other balkani breeds who are most likly ancestors of tibetan mastif.

Last year we contacted Biotechnology University in Slovenia and started with a projcet of DNK reserch so in few years we might be able to find out something more about relation with other breeds (we will also use results to imporve our breedeng practices).

Hi Ebranka,

Thank you very much for your instant reply. As the both breed looks alike I was trying to find a trace on if possible a relation between KARS and KARST. Jeologicaly, I understud where the name comes. But at the etno-social point the relation is more intresting. Because alike the same reasons the peple of KARS region they are also not ground farmers, but sheep keepers. Not because it is very dry over there. In countrary it is very cold at KARS. The average altitute is over 2000 m. and in winter the average wheather heat is about -15 degrees Celcius. And the winter is long. So they cannot make good ground agricalture. They ara sheapperds. And they are also nomadik, because traditional sheep keeping needs to be nomad. On the other hand the turkish people are nomads in origin. And the population of KARs regionis mostly casparian turks.Azeriies.

Ano about the dog. We all new that all ovcharkas are coming from tibetian mastiff and Central Asien breed or synomly ALABAY. Even Gran Priene and St. Bernhard. But there is an interesting relation between Prienne dogs and their owners, the people of BASK Region. Bask are in origin caucassien people, immigrated or invationed to theIberian Bask Region. And Prienne dog is also a sorte of caucassien ovcharka. On the other hand the roots of almost all sheaperd dogs are the mixture of Tibetian mastiff and Central Asien Alabay. Including Armenian, Georgian and Azerbeijan Ovcharka, Anatolien Kangal, Karabash and Akbash. Hungarien Kuartz, Balkan dogs, Priennien and eve St Bernhard an now I heard about KARST. I am not a nationalis. Not make your mind about the flag at my name. And as a historian I am at the group, wich consider that the Ottoman eporeship is not a turkishemporarship, but it is thethird Roman Emporarship after Rome and East Rome (Byzantion). Because the Ottomans were not nationalist. They were over nations, and the name is a family name. Incountrary turks were the lovest and the most unliked nation in Ottoman period after Arabs. The declaration of being turk in this country starded after freedomswar, by Atatürk about 1920.

Anyway I am thinking of a trace of the Ottoman period. It is just a thinking. Because Turks, not only the turk all Anatolien orijined nations, Anatolien Romans, Anatolien armenians, Assuriens, are sheaperds. They mostly keep sheep, nhot cows anda bulls. As they cloose to a nomadic life and going an coming throug Albanien andKosava. May be they are also immigrates, like their owner. Is this possible?.. Sincierly, İbrahim.

Hi Ibrahim

I'm also fascinated by the historical, ethografical and socilogical background of the use of shepherds dogs. Unfortunatly I did not found much written materials about this topic, only I can make some speculations from some other sources. I found out that shephards who used to live in Cicaria (western-sauthern part of Slovenia) were culturaly and linguisticaly very much connected to the Balkan region of Bosnia and northern-western Croatia and area of Dalmatinska zagora. Nowdays there is still ongoing tradition in Bosnia and Croatia of keeping sheep. Last summer we traveled to mountain Vlasic in Bosnia and to Gospic in Croatia to found what are the practicies of local shepherds of using dogs (tornjaks) for guarding sheep. As you know this is also a region where Otomman empire left some influences, but I do not know if tradition of keeping sheep also existed before that with other nations. Nowadays shepherds in Bosnia are of all major nationalities and religions.

Our host in Vlasic was muslim Bosnian who keeps family tradition alive. Before the 1991 (war in Yugoslavia) there were many occasions that shepherds from Bosnia would travel long distances in a search of fresh grass ( all the way to pastures in Slovenia), but after the war borders were closed and so this kind of traveling. I also found out in literature that few familiies from Cicarija (on Slovenian side) left with app. 1000 sheep the country in 1947 and traveled all the way to Furlani and northern Italy, keeping the tradition of transhumance by traveling in the summer to Swiss mountains. I'm very curious also where these fammilies are now and if by any chance there are still some who are keeping this tradition. After the 2nd world war tradition of keeping the sheep in Slovenia almost disappeared. Goats were completely prohibited and only in some parts few farmers would still keep sheep, but not in the traditional way.

Last two decades it new farmers started to keep sheep, but most of them are using electrical fences for protection against wild predators (Bear, wolf and lynx) and only some are also using different LG dogs. Unfortanately Slovenians are often more fascinated with exotic breeds instead of using indigenous ones, that are much more adapted to the local environment.

In our asocciation we want to change that attitude so that's why we started promoting the re-introduction of karst shepherds to this function.

Hi Ebranka,

The historical subject is this; Sheep keepeng needs beeing nomad. This nomad beeing may be local or global. At least local; even in satteled down people(the villagers or burgeues)regional nomadity is necessary because sheeps needs to be transferred during the seasons. Sheeps cannot afford hot weather. And when its summer they must be transferred to the plato. Otherwise you cannot get enough long wool. And not only the wool, sheep cannot survive in hot weather. So whatever you are Turk, Turkeman, Greek, NewZeelander or Slovenian you must move if it is summer. It may be a long way or a short climb about 10 km. to the plato. For example the Turkemans in Persia, they move every season about 650km. every season.

In Turkey there are still some Turkeman tribes, which moove some about 50-100 km. some moore about 400 km. to the mountains, to the plato. And in autumn downway to the valley. Near or far, they must move. and when you moove with a sheepheard you need dogs. And when you are on mountain you need also brave dogs against wolfes. And sheep, dog and shhepkeper are unseperatebl triple. And they are concretly or relatifly nomads even in modern life, even if they are transported motorised, wich are selden. They prefeer moving by walk. Because also this is necessary for sheep and dog. On the other hand the historical global mooving is an another phenomene.

First Turks an Mongolic tribes attaced to the East, to China, to rob them, to survive. Because it was difficult to feed the increasing population. And this created the Great Chine Wall. At he other side Turks and Turkemans started to move from Pamir platos to the West from Central Asia, at the beginning not for military purposes, just in search of green grass. Military and political purpose was a secondary need in the beginning. All Turkish orijin tribes are sheepkeepers. Thats why they are nomads, and that was the cause they began to fight, towards West. and than they became military power. And at the beginning of the middle age they became orginised states.

In West Asia, Casparian Sea, Persia, Iraq, East Anatolia. And during the Middle Age in Anatolia etc. And in Middle Age they became big organised and civilised emperorships, like "Seldjuk" and "Ottoman" in Middle East, Asia Minor, Balkans and than sprited until Austria. And of caurse during all this period (2000 years) the most important, almost the only food was sheepmeat. That is the cause, that the Turks have the highest collestrol in their blood, than ever other nations. This is a genetic evolution. The most tandenced nation to heartattac.

Anyway our topic is the dogs. That is the reason that all sheaperddogs, All ovcharkas ancestry goes to the Tibetian Mastift and Central Asien Ovcharka. And they mooved to West with their ovners leaving their sperms as Caucasien, Persian, Casparian, Georgian, Kars, Kurd, Ovcharkas and Anatolian dogs; Akbash, Karabash and magnicifent Kangal. And ofcaurse after conquest of Balkans by Ottomans in XIV and XV century they jumped to the Balkans. On the other hand other Turkish orijined Central Asien tribes like Iskit, Avar, Gagavus, etc. They were away from Arab influence and became Christian and during Hun invation they also brouht their similar or alike dogs from the north of Black Sea to the Balkans towards Hungary an Romania. Hungarien Quartz must be a result of this event.

Ottoman family were turkish origin, and at the beginning (in l300s) they react as turkis. But with time they lost their turkis origin. Non of the Sultans wifes were Turkis. Even not Muslim origin. They mostly were Serbians, Bosnians, Caucasiens, some Russian, French Romanians and one of them was a gypsy woman. And they even did not speaked propper Turkish. It was an another dielect the Official language called Ottoman language, which had a very few sence of turkish, more a mixture of persian and arabic, not only in vocabulary, also in grammer. Their army was not turkish orijin, not even the commanders and adminstrators. But the ordinary people was mostly turks. But the forced immigration to the west, to the Balkans were made of turkish tribes by the sultan.. So they are in the front. They should be frontiers. If there is a rebel, first the most unliked and most brave nation must die. the turks.

In Ottoman Empire Balkans were more turkish then other regions. And of caurse turkish style of living came to Balkans, and also to Bosnia, though they are not turkish. And of caurse their sheeps and their dogs also came along. Certainly there were sheeps bat the reagon, before turks. But for example I know about Greece. They kept goats mostly. In ancient world in all written material we read about goats and cows always. Sheep very selden, even none. Anyway certanly there vere heards sheep or goat, and also dogs. But it is certain that during the ottoman period, and far before during the Hun invation central Asien orijin dogs came to the reagon. This is the historical, culturel path.

Of caurse the Genetecial searc and DNA will tell us moore. But about Kart dog. I think that it is not only a change meeting of the name. Though the name has a jeological base, than a culturel base. But the dogs are alike. That may have a historical background as I explaned above. That kind of historical explanations we can make easyly about, caucasien and anatolien dogs, because their shape is considarably alike to the tibetian mastift and central asien alabay. But fodr Karst dog, I heard for the first time, we beter wait for the Genetic tests. But their shape is, as far as I see from the pictures very alike to the turkish Kars dog.

It was a very interesting and rich conversation. You were very kind. I thank you very much for your attention. And I would like to hear from you moore in future, if you don't mind. And if there is any new event and news about our friend Karst Dog I would be interested. Not only for about a dogs breed, but it is a path of history and culture. And more of all it is about a livcing art of past. Thank you. Sincerely, İbrahim

<div class="quote_post">All ovcharkas ancestry goes to the Tibetian Mastift and Central Asien Ovcharka. And they mooved to West with their ovners leaving their sperms as Caucasien, Persian, Casparian, Georgian, Kars, Kurd, Ovcharkas and Anatolian dogs; Akbash, Karabash and magnicifent Kangal. And ofcaurse after conquest of Balkans by Ottomans in XIV and XV century they jumped to the Balkans.</div>

I am very sorry, but this is simply not true! Transhumance and livestock guarding dogs of the ovcharka type have existed in the Balkans long before the Greek Era, the Roman Era and most certainly before the Ottoman Empire. Some regions there have been continuously inhabited by people and sheep for over 7000 years. There is plenty of archeological evidence that sheep farming has existed in the Balkans since Neolithic times. As a simple counter example, here's a small antique bronze amulet that has been found in Macedonia and is dated around 100 B.C. So it is about 1400 (!) years older than when your Ottoman Empire even began to exist (1299 A.D.). Clearly these dogs have NOT "jumped to the Balkans in XIV and XV"! Maybe you simply have the direction wrong! :wink: 8) And by the way, the Tibetan Mastiff theory is a nice fairytale, invented by western interest groups to mystify their newly discovered dog breeds. There is really no scientific merit to that version of canine "history". Respectfully, Dan


You may be right. It depends how you perceive the topic. And if I explaned myself wrong, I appoligise. What we were talking was about a special domination of life style and culture. And through this we tried to find the road and base of some special dogs breeds. Certainly nothing is secure until the DNA tests of all breeds are finished. But the cultural history is in our hand. Ofcaurse, there were sheepheards before Ottaman invation in Balkans. And ofcaurse there were also sheapdogs. And we historians nominate the ancient Greek Kings, as sheapheard kings. But goat was more important at that day. Also today, until it is forbidden due to the ekological causes.

What we were discussing was the dominant style of living among the turkish people and turkish tribes, and their possible effect. [u]What I was trying to do was, to compair and try to find the similarities [u][/u]among two alike dog breeds[/u]. Today we have a very secure science about genetics. The DNA band. But until this serie is finished we may speak about the event we have in hand. In the histıory there is noting important for a turk origin people or tribe than sheep. Their life bound to sheep, their economy bound to sheep, their history bound to sheep, their kitchen bound to sheep.

Remember kebaps, white cheese. yogurt and kephir.And if they were not so involved with sheep, may be they would never started mooving from Pamirs. and ofcaurse this style of living effected Balkans during the Ottoman invation. And ofcaurse this invation effected also the dogs And it was not only the Ottoman invation. Move to the west from Central Aisia is an event started more then 2000 years before. And before Ottomans there it have been the invation of Attilas Hun tribes with Avars, Iskits Hungary and Romanien. The Gagavus still live at the border region of Romenia and Moldavia and they still speak turkish better than Azerians and turkish state citizens living in preferia.. And the Hungarian Academy accepted after a search of hundert years, that 6 of the 12 tribes which formed Magyar is Central Asien Turkish origin tribe. To things are scientific very clear:

1. Turks and Central Asien tribes are the most envolved nations in the world with sheep. Number 1, even today.

2. The midstation of all best known big and also protecting against wolfe seepdogs is Caucasien and Casparien Region. And they are very alike to the Central Asien and Alabay.

And if we consider the historical immigration roads both from south and north of Black See it coincides the discassion. Anyway nothing is secure in the historical comments until technologie proofs it. Today we have this technologie and it is stardet with the search of it. but it will take years, and we have to wait. Wait and see what will come out from DNA testes I thank you very much for your attention Sincerely, İbrahim Karamemet

Dear Ibrahim,

Thank you for your detailed response. When I replied to your post, I did not question everything you wrote, just the part which I quoted and respectfully disagree with. Nobody questions the substantial influence of the Ottoman Empire on the Balkan region. It is obvious in everyday's life. But again, this is not and has never been a one way street.

Every empire in history took the best from their conquered territories back home (Isn't that the purpose of conquering other territories in the first place?!). For example, when you walk through London, you will find many statues depicting tigers and lions. Tea (from their colonies) remains a huge tradition in England. Even one of their car brands is called "Jaguar", etc, etc. I think you get my point. We can safely assume that the same applies to the Ottoman Empire and its conquered territories. Since you mentioned food, you also have to mention a turkish dish called Iskender Kebab (transl. "[u]Alexander[/u]´s Kebab") which originates in a city called Bursa, capitol to the Ottoman Empire, founded by king Philip V of Macedon in 202 BC. This in itself happened centuries after Aristotle himself described the famous and ferocious molossian sheep dogs, after which by the way all of our modern Molossers are named. Bursa was furthermore an important city and gateway to the west of the famous Silk Road.

What I am trying to say is that it is easy to ignore cultural influences in the opposite direction, of what we would consider the "official" (or "desired") one. Great Britain undoubtedly has had great influence on India, but so does India on the British Empire. The Ottoman Empire has had enormous influence on Europe in the 13th to 20th century. Unquestionably! Nevertheless, they likely took the best from their territories home. And lets not underestimate the impact of the fact that the region of modern Turkey itself was previously shaped by other Empires, too, as it was preceded by many great empires with their own cultural achievements.

The same likely applies to their respective dogs.

Regards, Dan

HI! I also have a karst shepherd named Vesta - she is 8 yrs now. She has a pedigree, but I must say, that she is not what she should be, and she was bought from a reputable breeder... Often people ask me if she is sarplaninac or newfie mix :roll: well I do not really care, cause I never attended the dog shows but it is kind of frustrating... Oh and although she is not like karst shepherd shoul be - she has a permission to breed (4)...
Hello! I am interested in Kraski ovcar because we do not have any here in Finland and because it is very much like my favourite - sarplaninac. What are differences between these two breeds? Could anyone tell? Is here in MD people who own both: kraski and sar? :?: Paw-paw: do you have any photos of Vesta?
HI! If you want to know about differences in temperament... Sarplaninac dogs are usually more reserved with strangers and tend to be more dominant. I have a friend who owns a sarplanina dog and he is very very brave dog - he will protect his owners to death! when he wants to warn people not to touch him he just holds their arm (he does not bite - just holds) - he never bites, he never has to :) His sheer aperence is enough. he lets people touch him, just not for too long. He is really friendly towards people he knows, he also likes the owners childreen, cats, chickens and also gets along with a neighbors dog. He cant go to a dog park though, because he wants to dominate every dog of his size. I also know some breeders of karst shepherd. Karst shepherd are more friendly, less reserved and not as dominant. But they do need a lot of socialization and can be stubborn (sarplaninec too) - they are more suitable for urban settings, although they are not friends with everybody either! They are not as brave as sarplanonec, that is a fact and I do not know if that is because the breed originates from 44 dogs or because the some other breeds were used to prevent the karst shepherd to become extinct. I also have a karst shepherd female, but she really is not what she shoulkd be.She is lazy (OK - sarplaninac dogs are lazy), she is way too big , has bear type muzzle and long very dark hair - but she is mine and I would not give her away for anything...I also have a karst shephered mix - he actually looks more like a karst shepherd than Vesta :roll: there are some physical differences between those two breeds, the obvious difference is the size and coloration, but there are also other, less apparent differences. Yes, I have photos of Vesta and Sammy (mix), but I do not know how to post it... :oops: But I coul send you e - mail and then maybe you could post it here?
Thanks for your answer! I tried to send you PM, hope it succes... :roll:
huh...I didn't get any message...
I trid again... :oops: But hey members, is there anyone who has sarplaninac and kraski ovcar too?
Hi! well i can see that this topic didn't get a reply for a very long time now...But I just wanted to upload a photo of Vesta - she was a pure breed (pedigree) karst shepherd, tho she was taller and had a lot more hair than the majority of male karst shepherd I ever met...And she was a female....She is the darker dog. oh - in the second photo you may think she is fat, but that was really all just her hair...
Welcome back paw-paw! Do you have any photos of Vesta's parents?
Thank you :) I know i wasn't on this forum for a very long time... I have a photo of her mother - but I would have to scan it to get it on computer...Will have to do that... I think I have seen a photo of her father on the net somewhere, will try to find it again.
Paw Paw it is great that you posted recent pictures of Vesta... she does not look bad, and her "faults" from standard are also not so big. Imoprtant it is, that she is still in such a good health. She still looks like karst shepherd to me, even if she is very dark. Her hair is great and also her strong constitution is something, that is preferable for karst shepherds (KO). From last week you can find Information system for Karst Shepherds at, where you can also see picture of Vesta when she was younger. Her mother was Runa (she died this year) and father was Sven. Genetic research for KO is also done for two years by prof. Dovc and his team from Biotehnical University, so we have new tool to determine best mating combinations from the wiepoint of keeping genetic diversity. Unfortunatly this is a problem, since few years ago number of puppies were in decline and population is almost very small.
HI! Yeah, I know who her parents are... :) I just don't have any photos of sven, tho I have some of Runa... Well unfortunately Vesta is not alive anymore :( (she got ehrlichiosis). She died in september... I really didn't know there was a photo of her on dlvkos, it just brings back so much memories...Well everyone said she wasn't up to the standard when we went to dog shows - they always said she was sarplaninac so we kind of lost our will to visit shows with her...But she was ours and despite of her reputation (because of her breed) she never bit anyone in her entire life, not even when she was very sick and in pain... With all her faults, being to tall, too dark and according to some having too short muzle and some other mistakes, she was still ours and she was the most beautiful dog, tho stubborn as hell sometimes :)
paw-paw, I am so sorry for Vesta:`( Ebranka and paw-paw, is there many kraskies outside of Slovenia? Is there any website, where I can find some information about the breed in English? How many breeders you have in Slovenia? Is there any breeders/owners who have both: kraski and sarplaninac? And please, send more photos!
no, there are not many karst shepherd out of Slovenia, tho there are some in Austria, Italia...and I believe there is even a pair in Holland. But this breed is endangered even in its home country... i don't know of any breeders who own both sarplaninec and kraski ovcar, but i know some that had Å¡arplaninac and than KO :) Here is some info about KO in english: You can see a lot of photos of KOs here:*&o=0 (of course some are not about dogs, but you can see that imediately :) )
Thanks paw-paw!
I think I recall reading somewhere that Karst Shepherd have been proven to be good service dogs? Can anyone tell me if this is true? Also I am wondering if anyone think this breed might be related to the Durmitor and Montenegro Sheepdog. To me they look similar. Thank you Scarlette
This interesting topic stopped in April 2007. I just wanted to bump it just in case anyone is interested in the Karst Shepherd Dog and the Kars Shepherd Dog

Both sides of my family were Slovenian although I am a second generation United States citizen. I have only very recently come upon information regarding the Karst Shepherd breed and I would very much like to see and possibly "adopt" one. Has anyone any information on breeders with the United States?  Thanks in advance.




I am not able to locate any Karst Shepherd in the USA at this time.  Would you consider importing a pup from their native land.  That may be a good choice and at least you have a better idea of what you are getting.

Gary Sicard

That may be the only way I would be able to "adopt" this breed dog but, I have compassion for a puppy being caged andf flown for many hors and, what result the flight trauma may have upon him/her.

Actually, we have flown 7 puppies from Eastern Europe and Italy over the years and they all made it with no problems at all. Puppies are very resilient and bounce back quickly. I suggest that a flight will not harm the pup unless the plane crashes.  :)

I believe our dog, Bella, is part Karst. She was adopted in Pennsylvania, USA in May 2011 after been given up in December 2010. The shelter told us that she was approximately 4 years old, so our dear girl is probably around 11 years old now. She's starting to get a little arthritic, but is otherwise in good spirits.

I say that she is part Karst, but not full, because she is slightly smaller than the standard for the breed (42-45lbs would be her ideal weight; she's more like 50+ these days) and she has a spotted tongue.

I'm sad that there aren't breeders in the US, or even a larger population of this breed, for us to interact with!

Thank you for keeping up with this thread. We love learning more about our girl's history.



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She is a nice looking old girl - Looks like a Karst to me. Wish you knew more about her background in particular. Wonder how she got to PA?

Gary Sicard