Originally just a working cross-dog used as a small game hunter in Croatia's Zagorje region and parts of Slavonia, the Zagreb Terrier is now reportedly being bred true to type and slowly gaining acceptance outside the hunting circles in the Balkans. Although it is said to had been developed in the 1960's by crossing the Croatian Sheepdog with the German Hunting Terrier, some fanciers also acknowledge the influence of the Alopekis, Taurunum Dogge, English Bullterrier, Bosnian Jamar, Staffordshire Terrier, Welsh Corgi and even the Belgrade Terrier in some bloodlines.
This is a highly intelligent dog, easy to train and valued for its drive, resilience and devotion to its master. Fearless and tenacious, it seems to truly combine the best qualities of its parent breeds. On top of its fantastic hunting abilities, this rugged little dog is also said to make a capable herder and cattledog. While gentle with children and tolerant of strangers, the Zagreb Terrier can be very territorial and dog-aggressive, even being used as a fighting dog in some areas. This is an alert and intuitive breed, making an excellent watchdog and amenable companion, when socialized and trained properly. Still relatively unknown even in Croatia, the Zagorac is rarely seen in urban environments and isn't likely to gain official recognition in the foreseeable future.
A healthy and long-lived dog, it can reportedly reach well over 17 years of age. Some have described it as a miniaturized shepherd with the personality of a bully, which seems very fitting, considering its appearance and temperament. Very agile and athletic, the Zagreb Terrier is a remarkably fast dog and a good climber.
This is a strong-boned and powerful breed, with short sturdy legs and a straight back. The neck is well-developed, with a fairly broad head, powerful muzzle and strong jaws. The ears are erect and the tail is curled over the back when in its natural state, but some working examples have docked tails. The coat is thick, hard and densely undercoated. The length of the top coat can vary from fairly short to moderately long and rich, but never too long, as it would interfere with the dog's mobility when working. Occasionally, some rough-coated bearded specimens can be encountered, but aren't preferred by the breed enthusiasts.
Regardless of coat type, the Zagreb Terrier comes in a variety of colours, from solid black, fawn, wheaten, red and grey shades, to brindle, black-n-tan and tricolour specimens. White markings are allowed on the chest, stomach, feet and the tip of a dog's tail, but solid white, piebald and poorly pigmented examples aren't accepted.
Average height is around 13 inches.