Very large and powerful, the rare Calabrian Shepherd is a valued livestock herder and guardian. Its heritage is unclear, due to the isolationist attitude of most breeders. One theory suggests that this is a result of introducing the Sarplaninac to Calabria, where it was crossed with local bully-type guard dogs and common rural herders. Said to be vicious and overly territorial, it makes an excellent watchdog. There are two main types, reportedly separated only by colour, commonly referred to as the Pastore Calabrese and the Pastore Silano. Some fanciers actually consider these to be separate breeds. There are also reports of a supposed Calabrian Wolfdog, but it is uncertain whether this is just an alternate name for the Pastore Calabrese or an actual breed.
Even though there is no official standard as of yet, the Pastore Silano variant must be a pure black dog, while the Calabrese comes in all solid colours, including brindles. The Pastore Silano Calabrese is a strongly built and agile Molosser, ranging from 24 to 30 inches in height, the larger specimens being preferred.