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Serbian Shepherd Dog

Although some efforts to establish an unified breed under this name have been reported in recent times, the "Serbian Shepherd Dog" actually represents the group of breeds still encountered in Serbia, some of which are nearly extinct. While rare old breeds such as the Homolian Sheepdog, Sylvan, Kopaonik Sheepdog, Neoplanta Belov, Serbian Tornjak, Aromun Sheepdog, Pannonian Herder and many others are forcefully being lumped under this name, this "umbrella" also includes a large population of working crossdogs employed for livestock herding and guarding duties. A number of proponents of this idea claim that by establishing an official Serbian Shepherd Dog breed, the salvation of endagered breeds, types and strains of the Balkans will be ensured, while the fanciers of some of those Molossers argue that the decision to lump the great variety of working Serbian breeds under the same Standard will not only further confuse people and lead to irresponsible crossbreeding, but will also result in the extinction of those very breeds, with the distinctions between them becoming even more blurred, before a desired degree of uniformity is achieved.

The breed reportedly designated to serve as a foundation for the modern Serbian Shepherd Dog is the Homolian Sheepdog, which still exists in modest numbers and has a fairly set type, unlike some of the other surviving representatives of their respective breeds from various regions. It is unclear whether the inspiration for this plan came from the old Caucasian Ovcharka and Central Asian Ovcharka "standardization efforts" undertaken by the Soviets in the past century, the Greek Sheepdog programme, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog fiasco or any similar projects from other countries aimed at eliminating distinct regional varieties for the sake of establishing a single breed, but the opposition to this decision is understandably strong, especially when the clear differences in temperament, drive, physical built and overall appearance between these traditional Serbian breeds is taken into consideration, not to mention the lack of respect for the cultural heritage and the strong historic connection between the Serbs and their dogs.

Apparently, those behind this project don't see anything wrong with creating a large population of mongrels to be registered as members of a new national "designer" breed, instead of trying to honour, promote, save, revive and reconstruct the famously rich and important stock of ancient Balkan Molossers, many of which are the key progenitors of a great number of modern and popular breeds from around the world.

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