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Kopaonik Watchdog

The present incarnation of the Kopaonik Watchdog is quite different than the ancient Kopaonik breed, which was believed to had been a regional colour variant of the great Sylvan Wolfdog, belonging to the original Serbian Tornjak and Illyrian Mountain Dog population. The breed existed in few varieties in the past, the two main types being the smaller, lighter group and the taller and more massive variant, which were used for different jobs. Generally accepted as extinct in its original form, today's Kopaonik Watchdog is a result of crossing the old Kopaonik sheepdogs with the Sarplaninac and the German Shepherd. Considered un-pure by most Serbian authorities, this is an increasingly rare breed, even in its home region. Presently, the Kopaonicki Pas is unfortunately a forgotten Serbian breed, unknown by the majority of Yugoslavians, mostly due to the lack of information, but also because of the general lack of interest in the breed's survival. Some historians blame the Yugoslavian Army for the demise of the Kopaonik Watchdog, because of their post-WW2 breeding programmes which were aimed at improving the trainability of the breed by introducing the German Shepherd blood, while others disregard the modern Kopaonik Mountain Dog altogether as just another regional variant of the popular Sarplaninac.

There were some efforts being reported in the late 1980's attempting to revive the old-type through selective breeding, but unfortunately that went nowhere during the difficult war times in the 1990's. In terms of temperament, today's dogs are not much different than the old-type Kopaonik Watchdog, apart from being more receptive to obedience training. Suspicious of strangers and very territorial, this rare Molosser makes an excellent guard dog. The Kopaonik Wolfdog is a strong and muscular breed, deep-chested and well-boned. The head is fairly broad, with lupoid facial features and drop ears.

The coat is harsh and rich with a dense undercoat, traditionally white with darker markings, but also found in solid shades of sable, red, brindle, black-n-tan and brown, although most dogs found today have the "saddle-back" German Shepherd-like colouring. There is still a variety of types to be found, but the average height is around 26 inches, with very few smaller dogs left.

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