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Dinara Sheepdog

Thought to be extinct now, the number of the Dinara Sheepdogs began to dwindle after the WW2, but they still existed in the Western Krajina region of the former Yugoslavia prior to the wars in the 1990's. Serbian refugees are believed to have taken some of these great dogs with them to the East, so there might be a chance for the breed to make a comeback. An old mountain Molosser, the so-called Krajinac (Kra-Yee-Natz) or Krajisnik (Kra-Yeesh-Nick) is a dog of imposing size, great intelligence and a very sharp temperament. Not a herding breed, the Dinarac was used mainly as a protector of livestock and property. Said to be the favourite breed of old Kings of Krajina, it was highly valued by the Serb population of the region for centuries. The breed was most likely developed by crossing the old Ragusa Watchdogs and Bosnian Tornjaks with Sarplaninacs, Sylvans and the Herzeg Mastiff, but it is also believed by some to be a direct descendant of the ancient Naissus Molossus.

Described as a one-person dog, the Dinarian Sheepdog shows little tolerance for strangers and other dogs. Devoted to its master, it makes a good companion for people that keep to themselves, but it's not suited for urban life. Today this breed is, like many others, being lumped under the Tornjak name in Croatia, which is incorrect, seeing how the Dinarac is comparatively a shorter-haired dog, a true mastiff in head-type, taller and bulkier than any Croatian Tornjak and its tail is traditionally docked and its ears sometimes cropped, overall bearing resemblance to certain types of the Central Asian Sheepdogs.

While brindle, fawn and black-n-tan examples did exist, the preferred colour for the Dinarian Shepherd Dog is uniform wolf-grey, although white markings on the chest and legs are quite common. Ideal height is claimed to be around 32 inches, but this is said of the original variety from the past, with the majority of surviving specimens before the Yugoslavian wars measuring about 27 inches at the withers.

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