Bulgarian Shepherd Dog (BSD)Note: This standard has been prepared by Mr. Nicholay Atanassov, based on his own researches over the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog breed. Till now (March, 2006) this breed is not officially recognized from none of the international organizations, so it is impossible to speak about some kind of official internationally valid standard. For preparation of this standard are used exterior measurements of more than 200 dogs. All received data are mathematically processed.ORIGIN: Untill now the genesis of the molossoides dogs in our country is undetermined. From time to time in different printed materials appear publications, which in big degree are emotionally ornate, commonly close to the intrigue and authors self-prove, without serious well-founded statements. For this not small group of dogs, assimilated to sheep breeding traditions of the Balkan Peninsula population there aren't any complex scientific researches. The several more-detailed publications based their seriousness on small excerpts, which when variation-statistically processed remain mathematically doubtful.

FUNCTION: BSD is not home companion, who may lie on the sofa, go for walks in the noisy town among people and cars, running joyfully in parks together with fellows from every kind and sort of breeds.

BSD has to possess strictly tangible working properties/characteristics, combined with stabilized exterior appearance. This dog defends pets, guards the farm, and looks for his master and family safety. It is inadmissible to be without guarding instinct, even worse is if the dog is afraid of the farm animals or to be aggressive against them and to attack them. During ages this dog was selected in order to guard without command - it is difficult to predict his attack and biting.

SCIENTIFIC, SYSTEMATIC AND ECONOMIC (USEFUL) CLASSIFICATION: When trying to scientifically classify the breed Bulgarian Shepherd Dog have to proceed from the fact are there, if any, differences in their genome map compared to the phenotype similar to them breeds, widespread in other regions of The Balkan Peninsula. Unfortunately till now there aren't any researches done in our country and every statement would have hypothetic, but not scientific character.

In its economic or useful direction Bulgarian Shepherd Dog undoubtedly refers to the category "Dogs Guards". Its selection, position and work nature define it as "Livestock Guarding Dogs".

BREEDING: This dog is breed in its natural environment - sheep flock, under the influence of natural and climate factors.

TEMPERAMENT: Prevailing defense reaction is active. Aggressiveness is not strongly expressed, but at the same time the dogs are reserved in their attitude towards strangers and demonstrate distance by warning growling and eventual attack. Towards predatory animals (often even toward dogs) aggressiveness increases. Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is alert, easily adapted to the environment, adequately reacting in situations in which is involved. Towards its master or handler demonstrates devotion and fidelity. Its basic sensuousness via sense of smell, hearing and sight is very well developed

CONSTITUTION AND TYPE OF HIGH NEUROUS ACTIVITY: Constitutionally the dog is with prevailing combined rough-robust type. Its bones are rough, robust and massive. Its muscles are well-developed and expressed. Hide is thick, stick close to the body, slightly dangled around the neck.


HEADThe head of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is typically molossoidal. There is neither rough oval of the mastiff type dogs, nor strongly manifested check-bone arcs. Massive, broad and rounded with slightly oval form on the pate. Cerebral part of the skull, seen from above, as a shape is similar to a square with slight narrowing at the muzzle. Slightly prevails at length the facial part.
The muzzle is massive, broad, medium at length, slightly obtuse.
The nose is black, well shaped with broad nostrils. The teeth are strong and white to ivory on color
The bite is a scissors type.
The eyes are deep placed, not protruding, dark at color and expressive. When white pigment of the skull part of the head is prevailing is possible to be slightly pale.
The ears
The ears are normally placed, often even high placed. Also individuals with low placed years can be observed which is not typical for the breed.

As a whole, Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is compact and symmetrical, with slightly prolonged body format.
For males proportion between length and height of the body is at about 8-10 %. For females it is 10-12 %.

SIZEHeight: The highest males Bulgarian Shepherd Dog vary in broader ranges. They are at about 65-75 cm. for females - 63-72 cm.
Weight: it is in the boundaries between 45 to 57 kg for male dogs. For females it is between 40 to 52 kg.
Note: When proportions in the body are preserved, when there isn't clumsiness in the movements and any deviations from the guarding properties of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, then it is admissible representatives of this breed to be with larger size and weight. This shouldn't affect the sexual dimorphism, which, in all cases, should preserve its visible features.NECKThe neck is strong and broad with slight folds of the skin, without forming so called "collar". Its length is approximately as long as is the head. It is placed at angles 400 in relation to the imaginary extension of the back.

CHESTThe chest is broad and deep (capacious).The sternum is a little bit below the elbows. The ribs are moderately sprung, neither barrel-shaped nor too flat.
The shoulder is well marked. It is moderately connected to the neck as well as to the back. Viewed from front side, breasts are well build, which makes the setting of the front legs broad, but not deployed.

BACK, GIRDLE AND STOOKThe back is strong, straight and broad. The girdle is middle length, the stook - short. They are tightly connected with each other without being protruding or drooping.

CROUP AND TAILThe stook together with the pelvis bones form broad croup with good setting and musculature. The tail reaches to the jumping joints or is slightly below them. In most of the cases it is sickle curved or ring-shaped over the back line.

FORELEGSThe shoulder-blade is long and broad, tightly connected with the trunk, closely to the chest, with well marked arch. The humeral bones are middle length and neat to the body. Elbows close to the chest. The under-shoulder bones are vertically placed with slight oval form. The metacarpus's are firm and springy.

HINDLEGSThe thighs are long, broad and muscular. The lower thighs are long, at right angles to the thighs. The spring joints are well marked, firm, parallel each other. The metatarsuses (the unit between the hock joint and the foot) are firm and springy.

As the forelegs, the hind legs are straight, parallel each other, vertically to the earth.

The paws are broad, slightly oval in shape. The pads are firm, but elastic. The nails are sturdy, long, gathered in the paws

MOVEMENTS Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is moving slowly. The movements are seemingly heavily in broad jog-trot. It is due to the relatively big joint angles, mainly at the hind legs.

COATThe coat is of medium length to long. The foreface is covered with short hair. Some of the dogs have short hair at ears also. Shorter is the hair at the dorsal part of the forelegs and at under-shoulder to the paws. The lower tights from the middle and below and metatarsus's are also covered with short hair. The volar part of the under-shoulder and plantar part of the tights are covered by long awned hair. The fluff layer is thick and covers the whole body except the regions with short hair.
The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog varies in coat color. In the shepherds' way of life the prevailing white color with big, asymmetric black spots established as a coat cover of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, but it could not be taken as a breed standard. Wholly black coat dogs are serious fault, and wholly white arouses suspicion for mix with breeds distant from the natural area of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog.

The sexual dimorphism is strongly marked.

DISQUALIFICATIONSAs a defect is accepted every deviation from pointed out in the standard in case that it changes above described exterior, is an obstacle for fulfillment of dogs' obligations and deprives the dog from possibility of normal reproduction.

Submitted to Molosser Dogs ( by
Nicholay Atanassov´┐Ż
Cynologist, Regular member of The Union of the Scientists in Bulgaria, since 1988.
7, Hadji Dimitar St.
8900 Nova Zagora

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