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Homolian Sheepdog

A very old herder from the Homolje region of Eastern Serbia, the Homolian Sheepdog is believed to had remained virtually unchanged throughout the ages, thanks to the relative isolation of the area, but the influence of its Balkan cousins is evident. This sheepdog is related to other Molossers found in the Balkans, most notably the Aromunac, Sarplaninac, Carpatin, Sylvan, Shipka Shepherd and Bukovina Sheepdog, a breed considered to be a close cousin and even a variety of the Homolian dog by some fanciers of the region.

During the latter part of the 1990's, these wonderful dogs were being used in the breeding programme aimed at reviving the Serbian Tornjak, but reportedly those efforts have since been abandoned, although the Homoljski Ovcar is presently serving as a foundation for the establishment of a modern Serbian Shepherd breed. This is a resilient, smart and agile worker, much loved and highly valued by the Vlach population of Homolje. Still not as popular as the Sarplaninac or the Tornjak, the Homoljac is slowly finding its way into the Show Rings in its homeland, but this is still primarily a working Molosser. In recent years there has been an enthusiastic movement geared towards standardizing this beautiful Serbian breed and gaining international recognition.

Reasonably friendly towards people, attentive to its flock, devoted to its owner and fairly tolerant of other dogs, the Serbian Homoljac makes an amenable companion, although it requires responsible handling and early socialization. Broad-chested and strong-boned, the Homolian Sheepdog is of elegant and balanced molossoid type, comparatively smaller and leaner than most Balkan dogs. It is also a more versatile breed than its cousins, employed both as a herder and protector of its flock. The coat is harsh and rich, usualy longer in the winter months.

Due to the influx of other working Balkan breeds in the past, there is a variety of coat colours encountered today, from the commonly seen traditional solid fawn, brown and grey shades with or without small white markings, to the occasionally seen black-n-tan variety and the so-called Bukovinac type, which is either white-based with darker patches of orange, red, brown and black colours, or is mostly black with white markings. Dogs of the rare black-n-white Bukovinac type are believed to have sharper temperaments.

The average height is around 23 inches, but larger examples exist.

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