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Balkan Terrier

The Balkan Terrier is believed to be extinct, even though some of its regional varieties have survived on their own, such as the Belgrade Rupar, Voivodina Tekin and the Bosnian Jamar. Believed to have roots in the Greek dogs like the Alopekis and the small hunters of the ancient Illyrian and Celtic tribes of the area, the Balkan Terrier was once a common and prized small game hunting dog and vermin destroyer. A number of breeds are thought to have either directly developed from this dog or have been enriched with its blood over the centuries, but the Balkan Terrier has unfortunately vanished in its pure form by the late 1800's, with the introduction of other hunting breeds to the region and the formation of specific strains and their subsequent establishment as separate breeds. It is believed that the Bosnian Jamar is the closest and purest descendant of the original Balkan Terrier, whereas the Voivodina Tekin has been formed through matings with the Pulin, the Dachshund and the Deutsche Jagdterrier, while the Serbian Rupar disappeared in its true form due to numerous crosses with a wide variety of imported companion breeds, such as the Beagle, Poodle and Cocker Spaniel before becoming the modern Belgrade Terrier.

The Bosnian Jamar has remained fairly unchanged since the Middle Ages, apart from occasional crossings with its taller cousin, the Bosnian Barak Hound, which itself has roots in the old Balkan Terrier population. Although a sufficient number of true Jamars existed in Bosnia, Herzegovina and some other parts of Yugoslavia, no standardization efforts were ever pursued, but instead the majority of these dogs were crossed into the aforementioned Barak breed, while becoming rare in their pure form. It was initially believed that the Bosnian Jamar didn't survive the WW2, but the breed resurfaced a few times in the 2nd half of the 20th century, before it finally disappeared during the Yugoslavian civil wars of the 1990's. Although some examples can still be seen in Bosnia, there have been no efforts to revive the breed as of yet.

A good watchdog and companion, the Bosnian Jamar was first and foremost a small game hunting dog, valued for its tenacity and willingness to follow the foxes, rabbits and other prey into their underground dens, as well as for the courage needed to confront wild boars on occasion. With the popularity of larger hounds growing in the country, the small Jamars were becoming more common as yard guardians and vermin killers, rarely taken to the fields with other dogs. As ratters, they were well-loved and celebrated in many parts of Bosnia, but also as playful and obedient family companions. The Bosnian Jamar is a squarely built dog, with a muscular body and sturdy legs. The head is small, with drop-ears, a strong muzzle and well-developed jaws, closely resembling the Bosnian Barak in facial features. Some examples could be seen with semi-pricked or fully erect ears, almost never cropped. The tail was docked in the past, but this practice was abandoned in the 20th century.

The rough coat is harsh, thick and fairly short, but with an obligatory "beard" on the face. The most common colouring is wheaten, fawn, red, grey or brown, with or without a black saddle on the back and small white markings on the paws and chest. Average height is around 15 inches.

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