This old breed is very rare today, often seen as a variant of the Croatian Tornjak, even though it is a much older dog. Lighter and leaner than most Balkan Molossers, the Grobnik Sheepdog is a rustic working breed, employed as a herder and guardian. It is related to the Dinara Sheepdog, Velebit Dog, the Karst Sheepdog, the South-Istrian Cattledog, the Aromun Banzov and other breeds of the region, but is believed to had remained pure for many centuries, thanks to the relative isolation of the area.
Quite common in the past, today the Grobnik Shepherd is nearing extinction, due in part to the revival efforts of the Croatian Tornjak breeders, who have reportedly crossed a number of rare breeds of the region into their stock, resulting in the disappearance of many old indigenous dogs.
The Grobnik Sheepdog is an intelligent and independent Molosser, suspicious of strangers and fairly aggressive towards dogs. This alert working breed makes a good property protector, thanks to its strong territorial instincts. Broad-shouldered and muscular, it is a very handsome and impressive mountain dog. The chest is deep, the back is strong and the head is moderately broad, with high-set ears and a powerful muzzle. The ears are always left in their natural state, while the tail can be either docked or unaltered. The medium-length coat is slightly wavy, densely undercoated and noticeably longer during the winter months.
The rugged Grobnicki Ovcar can be seen in a variety of colourings, with the majority of dogs being predominantly white with darker patches, while some of them may be mostly grey or fawn with small white markings, but they aren't as valued as the white-based examples.
Average height is around 23 inches, but it is said that much larger specimens were common in the past.