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Sarplaninac Temperment

[quote1319819456=Astibus] [quote1318795984=Paco] The primitiveness and independent stubborn nature of the breed which is also similar to wolves and wolfdogs is largely what has drawn me to this breed. Unless you've owned a Sar or a wolfdog, the bond they have with you is almost unexplainable when compared to other breeds of dogs. They also seem to possess a cognitive intelligence and sense of awareness of what is going on in their surroundings [/quote1318795984]Perfect description! [/quote1319819456]

Yes, but that is something that can be and has been said about many a breed. Not to take away anything from the Shar or how the handful of us here feel about the breed, just noticing the common thread with "deep" fans of any given breed. Also, for the sake of fairness (and so I can be a d*ck) we should point out that the individual dog is more likely to carry the spirit we're drawn to than a flimsy construct such as a "breed" can be expected to as a whole. Especially when considering that the Shar (like many others) as a breed is barely a breed to begin with, not because of its convoluted "landrace" side of things but chiefly in its official or cynological aspects. A breed with no bloodlines, no set type and no usable standard? Not even touching the crossbreeding... So, apart from going by a loosely envisioned correct type and banking on the remote possibility of the pedigree being more or less accurate - the only distinguishing factor to search for when evaluating and/or getting a Shar is its personality.

The spark, the sharpness and the simplicity associated with Shars are traits which haven't been seriously (or at least appropriately) selected for and their emergence in individual dogs is luck of the draw more than anything, so we should always point out when listing amazing breed qualities that an [u]ideal[/u] is being commented on, rather than the default "setting" inherently present in the breed as a whole.

Personal experience with a dog is fine and carries specific value, but will the next of the same breed be the same as that default benchmark imagined by the owner? Will a better specimen be characterized as a crappy one if it's different from the one we feed and take care of? Is the opinion of an owner informed without personal bias or based on a prideful projection?

Most people fall in love with their dog and then assume that a) their dog is correct and that the rest of the breed is or should be like that dog.

And that leads to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Especially when a single Shar trait or only a couple of them are observable in a specimen, while many other equally defining characteristics are absent. Intense (above the "normal dog" kind of) bonding with the owner? It's an LGD trait, not a Shar trait. That doesn't make the Shar special at all.

What makes the Shar (and the CO, for that matter) different than most other LGD and quasi-LGD breeds is what they're willing and determined to do for that bond. Sure, all dogs and especially so-called "guard" breeds are supposed to protect... But do they? And when they do, are they confident and forward in action? Or are they panicking and just reacting?

Besides, mountain dogs are pretty much the same everywhere you go. Not just in appearance, I'd go as far to say that they're all one "breed" or at least a landrace. The actual breeds developed and distinguished from that greater family are [u]not[/u] those mountain dogs, regardless of some name attached to them and the desires of boastful hillbillies to have the "purest" aboriginal kind of any such "breed"... I don't like the Shar because it's an LGD, but because it's MORE than that.

Without the extra, it's just a furry mutt which can be found wherever people bugger sheep and fight dogs, nothing special at all. No, the Shar as defined by the Standard, at least in the temperament/character section gives a perfectly clear description of what makes this breed special. You can have a Shar that has the right look, perfect colour and overall phenotype, with a wonderful, loving and noble personality, intensely bonded to its owner and super-smart for a furry - but if the sharpness isn't there...

This is the part where I pull out some hardcore dismissively absolutist and insufficiently tactful canned touché like "...then you don't have a Shar" type of response, but I'm too tired of my own thoughts to commit to an attitude. The point is that if one hasn't seen if not the best the breed has to offer, then at least the pure animal in its most basic form - how can their judgment be informed?

And that is where the situation with the Shar gets tricky since most folks, including owners and breeders, haven't seen a Sharplaninetz unless they've had the opportunity to encounter the breed before 1990. Dogs that kinda look like it and some that kinda act like it, sure. But the Shar everyone imagines is gone, if it even ever existed. All we have to go by is the Standard description and the Shar "package" of spark, sharpness and simplicity - so breeding for the Shar [u]ideal[/u] is the closest to getting a glimpse of what the breed once was and ought to be.

Replies (88)
    • [quote1320448583=Astibus] Because they are the best and most reliable protectors. [/quote1320448583] And you try to suggest I make big claims. LOL.
      • [quote1320448874=LeeRobinson] [quote1320448583=Astibus] Because they are the best and most reliable protectors. [/quote1320448583] And you try to suggest I make big claims. LOL. [/quote1320448874] No, that was actually an understatement. ;)
        • Lee, Don't go there here. Save us all a ton of sh!t and go back to your dogs, forget you ever heard of this or any other LGD.
          • [quote1320448966=LeeRobinson] but I am curious, does anyone here work their shars? [/quote1320448966] As in PP work? It's not recommended, they don't like sleeves but go for your face. ;)
            • [quote1320449371=Astibus]It all depends on what you define as "must have" criteria for a breed. For me, Shars MUST exhibit the [u]most protective[/u] behavior - the rest is extra. So a dog fighting champion that couldn't care less for its master is disqualified. A dog that bonds with sheep and believes it is one itself, but runs from wolves as if it were a sheep is equally disqualified. A good citizen dog, that is more obedient than protective.... is disqualified. ... But they must have that critical ingredient "most protective". So, a female Shar that pulls a child off the street to avoid a collision with a car (and if necessary jump on the hood and attack the car), a Shar that herds cows back to safety, a Shar that barks at birds of prey, a Shar that kills wolves, coyotes, dogs, or bears, a Shar that will readily attack humans in order to protect its family, that to me is a true Shar spirit. In other words, a lion heart. [/quote1320449371] I'm curious...do you actually test your dogs in protection and expect them to pick up kids off the street and attack cars that drive by? Too much hype and theory. Have I ever seen a dog that would attack a vehicle...yes. Did they do it as a protective behavior? I could see that dog using prey, defense and fight...so yes sure...but Does your working experience of real protection testing only come from history books because who in their right mind would refer to pulling a kid off a street and then attacking the car as protective behavior? What kind of tests do you actually DO to test "most protective" or "the heart of a lion?" (BTW, most lions will cur out rather quickly when put on their back). It just sounds like too much Disney.
              • [quote1320450942=Astibus] [quote1320448966=LeeRobinson] but I am curious, does anyone here work their shars? [/quote1320448966] As in PP work? It's not recommended, they don't like sleeves but go for your face. ; [/quote1320450942] Do you know why they do that? LOL. It's a fear behavior...and a lack of balance. That is why they vocalize so stressed. Of course to know this, you would have to be able to read a dog.
                • [quote1320451305=Astibus] [quote1320448874=LeeRobinson] [quote1320448583=Astibus] Because they are the best and most reliable protectors. [/quote1320448583] And you try to suggest I make big claims. LOL. [/quote1320448874] No, that was actually an understatement. ;) [/quote1320451305] Sorry, my boots aren't that deep.
                  • Lee, do yourself a favor and leave this topic here to adults. You're behaving like a little child now. Really, you have not a faint trace of a clue now when it comes to eastern LGDs. I really must have hurt your feelings earlier, haven't I.
                    • Dan, Don't respond to the moron. He is clearly out of his element and doesn't know piss all about this breed to think them going for the face is fear based in unbalanced animals. Please, just let this fool go back to stroking his ego on morons who will buy his brand. Please, let it go. He is disrespecting 1000 years of hsitory because he was shown to be an imbicile.
                      • I don't want to take sides, and if I did it probably wouldn't be with Lee, but come on guys, there's a bit of hyping going on in here. I really think we should all work towards moving away from the hyping of any breed (this would include lee's sentinel k9s as well). That's my opinion anyway, just telling you I get turned off and extra unimpressed with a breed when I read impressive stuff about it. Been around the block a few too many times.
                        • This is not about hype or not, it's about Lee being hurt emotionally. So he goes around and starts trolling. I'm just having a little fun with that boy. lol So how many working Shars have you witnessed in Australia? ;)
                          • I agree with you, Tonedog. But when you've seen it in action, you don't need to hype it. I haven't seen a dog pull a kid from traffic, but I have seen the ugly side of Eastern LGD, it doesn't need hyping. I'm sick of the hyping, and I'm not hyping breeds. I'm telling of examples of LGD I had personal experience with, 1 of which lived with me for over a year. Literally, and not a single elevated word here, but like nothing I've ever owned before or since. Like I said before, it is about the individual and not the breed in these type's. Lee is shitting on many peoples family histories(many families are intertwined with these dogs) out of knee jerk reaction to another thread. That's what offends me.
                            • Mike is absolutely right. Once you actually experience an "incident", it will blow your mind. And I have been previously working as a decoy with a variety of breeds. As with every breed, there is always a range, in the Shar it goes from catastrophic all the way to phenomenal. I am speaking of those specimens above average, I thought that goes without saying.
                              • [quote1320454154=Astibus] Mike is absolutely right. Once you actually experience an "incident", it will blow your mind. And I have been previously working as a decoy with a variety of breeds. As with every breed, there is always a range, in the Shar it goes from catastrophic all the way to phenomenal. I am speaking of those specimens above average, I thought that goes without saying. [/quote1320454154] Do you have any footage of you doing any work. Anyone can decoy...but can you train. I would LOVE to see some footage of your decoy work. I won't be holding my breath.
                                • [quote1320453973=Astibus] So how many working Shars have you witnessed in Australia? ;) [/quote1320453973] None. Just maremmas, akbash, pyranees and anatolians that I know of. Farmers here yet to get their hands on the secret stash of phenomenal LGDs I suppose. Probably true, we're not big on LGDs here. Have seen an ovcharka pp dog. Meh.
                                  • Lee, you really don't know what you are talking about. At all. You have no experience with Shars, nothing more to say. If you weren't so annoying now, I'd actually explain it to you. I too worked GSDs, Mals, Rotts, APBT, Doberman etc. So f-ing what? NONE OF THAT TRANSLATES TO EASTERN LGDS! Capice? I know you don't get it, because you never made it out of Mississippi - that's the world you know. And I really don't know where you get the idea that I am a dog show person.
                                    • I don't care if you apologize. I don't care if you don't take offense to jokes. You are offending more than just Dan with your Disney comments, and are derailing a thread started by another member to get dialogue between Sar owners started. That should be enough for you to go and delete your foolish posts in this thread.
                                      • You know...back in 1988 I was in Australia. Didn't notice any protective shars. My guess is they weren't attacking any cars when I was there. Nonsense is nonsense...and here it is VERY DEEP. NO ONE CAN CLAIM PERFORMANCE WITHOUT TESTING IT.
                                        • [quote1320454584=Lee] Do you have any footage of you doing any work. Anyone can decoy...but can you train. I would LOVE to see some footage of your decoy work. I won't be holding my breath. [/quote1320454584] Dude, that was two decades ago in Germany for an actual K9-unit (no, I don't mean "domestic dogs"). Even if I had videos and would go through the trouble to digitize them from PAL on VHS, I sure wouldn't put them on the internet just to prove something to a troll.
                                          • Were you in every single farmstead in every single territory in the entire Australian continent? No, you weren't, so again you show your ignorance with a big stars and bars flag flying in the wind.
                                            • [quote1320454991=LeeRobinson]You know...back in 1988 I was in Australia. Didn't notice any protective shars.[/quote1320454991]You just disqualified yourself. I told you you should stay out of this thread, didn't I. Nothing more to say here.
                                              • Overall this has been an interesting and informative thread.

                                                Al, I really like your explanation and distinction between sharpness and aggression. It's quite profound in it's simplicity and yet it is probably too complex a concept for some self proclaimed experts to grasp. I'll share a couple of observations about working Shars in PP based on an experiences I had in Pozarevac with one particular Sarplaninac out of Niz kennel lines. The particular dog was owned by a former Serb special ops military guy who worked at our steel mill in Smederevo as part of the contracted security company.

                                                I got to go to his house to meet his Sarplaninacs. He had one dog that he said was his "best protection dog" and from meeting the dog in person you would never know it at first glance. The dog appeared to be laid back bordering on soft but when you really observed him it was a quiet calm assertiveness and at the same time you could see that he was "taking everything in and calculating" the whole time. What really surprised me was that the owner told me that the dog would not do bite work at all or react to it because he knew it was a game. Any presence of a bite sleeve or a bite suit worn by somebody the dog either knew or did not know and he just did not react. I watched the dog be non-responsive to another of my coworkers who put on the bite suit and the dog just looked at him when the agitation work was ongoing. I thought it may have been because the dog knew this guy so I personally tried to agitate the dog in full bite suit and the dog just stood there and looked at me like I was an idiot.

                                                There was neither fear nor aggression in his posture or behavior. Just the look of WTF are you doing dude!!! I am not claiming to be a professional decoy by any means but I have been around Schutzhund for 25 years and have agitated a dog or two in my time so I was astonished by this. I did not otherwise see the dog put in a situation where he would need to display his protection traits as I have no reason not to believe the guy. What I think it does show is the cognitive intelligence that many LGDs seem to have that just does not seem to exist in other breeds of dogs. It is somewhat similar to other Sars that I have seen that will do bite work and will immediately and go back to attack the decoy when he lets the sleeve drop after the dog has grabbed it. I've never seen this behavior occur instinctively in dogs other than COs, CAOs, and Sars when they catch the sleeve and the decoy drops it.

                                                Lastly, it's also too bad that we have to put up with individuals who become "legends in their own mind" when it comes to what they think their grasp of knowledge of dog behavior is and what the superiority of their dogs are. Yet as just one example they show their lack of true understanding of dog behavior (notice I was nice and didn't say ignorance) when they define multiple drives in dog behavior that do not even exist and are merely in a few cases are just subsets of prey drive and defense drive.

                                                John Bayard Swinford is probably rolling in his grave. But I digress some people are just not coachable.

                                                • [quote1320459724=Paco] they define multiple drives in dog behavior that do not even exist and are merely in a few cases are just subsets of prey drive and defense drive [/quote1320459724]Probably one of the best statements of the last dozens of posts on this site.
                                                  • Paco, funny...I have received more documents on the Swinford program than ANYONE you know...and I don't care who you know...because the truth is this stuff was sent to me by those closest to his heart. Now, I think I will take their impression of my work over yours. It is easy to make nonsense statements...but few actually have facts. Here is one picture that was sent to me from John's own back yard. I have dozens of such photos with his dogs and personal friends...letters, documents, news articles, etc...stuff even your "friend" doesn't know about and misrepresented. Shame shame. Peace.
                                                    • Hello all, Please allow me to offer a different perspective. First of all, I do not breed, train or work dogs, nor have I done it in the past. I am certainly no expert in dog or animal behavior, and my formal education in dogs and animals, other than humans, is nonexistent. That said, I do take my responsibility as a dog owner seriously. As my 115 lb sarplaninac (the master observer) is watching everything, I am watching him and I have learned a lot about him just by watching him. He was a cute, adorable, fluffy, happy-go-lucky puppy, until one day he decided he had a serious guarding job to do. His hardwiring just kicked in. No training, no decoys, no commands needed. I almost feel sorry for the lousy bastard that decides to break into my house and gets personally acquainted with my dog's teeth. Almost. Anyway, my point is that he instinctively knows what his job is and how to do it. It is truly amazing. This is just my personal experience, nothing else, no hype. Cheers, Sue
                                                      • Thank you, Sue. Its nice to hear some owners input on that side of the dogs.
                                                        • [quote1320468601=Shar-mama]His [u]hardwiring[/u] just kicked in. No training, no decoys, no commands needed.[/quote1320468601]Precisely. This is a concept that most PP dog trainers cannot process in their world view.
                                                          • Natural instinct exists in MANY protective breeds ...but if you want to claim to BREED FOR IT, you have to test for it to confirm the natural response has the heart to not to just engage a short battle, but will follow though with the heart to REMAIN in battle even when pressured. Anything other than confirming via testing is wishful thinking.
                                                            • And you can say that based on what? How many working Sarplaninci have you seen? In which situations? Which predators involved, how many times outnumbered, what climate? Oh wait, you have NO credibility in providing an opinion on this subject, but are spitting out nonsense based on your absolute ignorance. Thanks for once again showing yourself, Harold. Every once in a while the members here need a reminder of what you really are.
                                                              • Lee, you are trying to explain to me why a plane can't possibly fly because you have extensive experience with a variety of different cars. And we are telling you that we are talking about planes here. Unless you climb into a cockpit and fly around the world, you may never get it. Sorry.
                                                                • Not only PP trainers but companion dog obedience trainers are also befuddled by LGDs and just don't understand how to work with them.
                                                                  • Parker, you are absolutely right. I have experienced that, too.
                                                                    • [quote1320471780=Astibus] Lee, you are trying to explain to me why a plane can't possibly fly because you have extensive experience with a variety of different cars. And we are telling you that we are talking about planes here. Unless you climb into a cockpit and fly around the world, you may never get it. Sorry. [/quote1320471780] I have a secrete. I have a new "mostest ostest protective dog here" that no one could possibly understand until they see it. LOL. That is how you sound. Complete nonsense.
                                                                      • These dogs and other LGDs even puzzle guys like Michael Ellis and Kevin Behan with their behavior not that you'd know who they are anyway. As such, it's not surprising that you're not grasping what we are telling you. Because of your own arrogance and you're belief in what you think is your superior knowledge of dog behavior over the rest of us, especially with a breed and breed type which you know less than nothing about and have no experience with it's perfectly understandable that you've resorted to an infantile response.
                                                                        • [quote1320472921=Astibus] OK, fair enough. Now let me ask you (or anyone else really), what if I take a certified Sarplaninac and declare it a "Deltari Ilir" - as this undeniably HAS happened in the past. What, if years later that "Deltari Ilir" is sold to someone else and becomes a Sarplaninac again? What is or was this dog? What are his offspring considered? If they create their own isolated (and modified) breed, then I guess noone can stop the insanity. But if this turns into some sort of hostile takeover, than I am going to fight tooth and nail to expose this revisionist crap. [/quote1320472921]

                                                                          Basically, nothing will change except that instead of one breed benefiting from the "aboriginal" LGD population there will be two. Then three. And likely more. They're all equally pure and equally mixed, now it's up to the breeders of each breed variety to actually select for distinguishing traits and prove their breeds are breeds. In the process of selection there will be mutually beneficial "incorrect for us, but maybe good for you" examples to be exchanged between sides. The brindle Yugo-Shars will go to Kosovo, the smaller "army greens" will go to Serbia and the bigger ones to Montenegro, the black ones to Macedonia for the 3rd breed in waiting, piebald ones will become some dubious Tornjak variety and everyone will have the same big yellow dog that belongs to all and so on. There will be all kinds of "crossbreeding" within the family, of course.

                                                                          Hustlers will continue doing what they've always done - wheeling and dealing and selling/buying/trading/stealing dogs with the blessing of their clique leaders. A dancing champ is a dancing champ and everything has a price, pedigrees be damned... With fancy names or without them, these are all the same dogs in the hands of the same people who will continue taking care of the same old business by finding ways around technicalities. New mess, old dump. One could argue that while this new mess is indeed messy, at least the hybridizing craze has been brought to an end. Instead of crossing in Kangals, CAOs and COs, a Shar breeder can "cross" a D.I. into his line and say that it's not really crossbreeding. Instead of a St.Bernard, English Mastiff and Great Dane, a Deltari Ilir breeder can just get one the Macedonian dancers and "cross" it into his so very very different breed. Why bother with Newfies when we got Karamans? And such...

                                                                          These grim predictions of mine might not be the worst that could happen. It can be positive... from certain angles, at least. By condensing all that variety into a single genepool from which 2, 3 or more breeds can be extracted and chiseled out of, the value of that entire family will go up in autochthonous aspects, for lack of a precise wording. It may have influences from elsewhere, but that has always been the case, yet this would be a multigenerational autochthonous population of dogs, separated only by their Standards. Many key, however subtle, differences in temperament and "math" between the Standards should be quite helpful in efficiently establishing some cynological order and preserving the various types previously ignored, neglected and/or eliminated in favour of the one breed which could never be one breed. What paperz ya fit, that's who you are.

                                                                          The "paper" should be representative of the animal shaped by its job(s) and selective breeding for its ideal form, instead of claiming the whole population, of course. Since every standard [u]will[/u] claim the entire population anyway, then the "biometric" information and the "math" within the individual/separate/whatever breed standards should decide to which breed any given example belongs instead of what "nationality" the poor critter was unfortunate enough to be born as. And nobody HAS to play by the rules. Do we ever?

                                                                          The point is that one can have a separate outlook on, and the relationship with, the Sharplaninetz ideal (or just the idea) that doesn't follow any definitions except those of a much broader perspective, seeing dogs where others see breeds and recognizing the essence instead of packaging. But it will be a whole lot easier to get what you want if it has a name by which you can ask for it and offers a set of characteristics which can be used to identify it even without an ID tag. We don't HAVE to participate.

                                                                          Breeds, registries and all that official silliness are for suckers anyway.

                                                                          • Identifying different "specific" populations within a larger broader population"category" and using that to benefit both...sounds familiar. Very familiar. Almost like someone developing specific bandog lines that fit their preferences and differentiating those dogs from a larger/broader and therefore less specific general bandog population. Interesting. :O
                                                                            • Lee, when the day comes that your bandogs are revered as and officially declared a national symbol, are printed on money, pictured on post stamps, have confronted and taken down wolves or bears, equip an entire army and have proven themselves successfully as military dogs in war, as official police and farm working dogs in real world situations (not just games), that'll be the day when any Shar enthusiast will take you and your dogs even remotely seriously. Until such time, you're just producing a toy breed. So who are you to question whether these dogs are being worked? You want cold facts, well fact is that the Shar has done more for humans than your dogs ever will. The same btw goes for the GSD, that everyone seems to spit on these days. If we consider their respective track record, then there's nothing left for you but envy. And that quite frankly is what's showing right now.
                                                                              • I would argue with that, lee's specific dogs have perhaps done very little for anybody, but you're not comparing them to one guy's dogs so it's not fair. "Bandogs", their lineage (the ancestors of lee's dogs) have done a hell of a lot for people. They're actually responsible for civilisation, because they tamed the aurochs and the boar for us, allowing us to settle down well fed and focus on creating the modern world. They also have been war and police dogs, have confronted bears, wolves, lions, leopards, cougars. They haven't been printed on money to my knowledge, but that's more a case of shame on us for our lack of gratitude.
                                                                                • Every pariah can assist in hunt.
                                                                                  • You know Tonedog, I won't take anything away from the lineage of the concept of "bandogs". Throughout history, mongrels have worked their butts off for humans. And so did LGDs since ancient times. But if we're talking about working Shars vs modern bandogs, bandogs often aren't anything more than a macho's "toy" breed of choice, something to show off like the assault rifle in the attic, kept around for a post-apocalyptic fantasy to come true. Or maybe they are occasionally used for the weekend "hunt", i.e. mostly tailgating on a pickup truck with a keg of beer around. Hardly a necessity to survive, but merely a hobby. Meanwhile, Shars have done real work in the mountains, in the military, in the police, as border patrols. I'll respect and acknowledge the historical contributions of working mongrels, but modern bandogs? Let's be real here for a moment, their contribution to humans too often is just being a tough pet.
                                                                                    • It's not about LGDs vs. mongrels. It's LGD mongrels vs. hunting/fighting mongrels. They all are and were mongrels. That's why we have specific breeds to keep discussions on point. The Shar didn't get to be all that by being a friggin' LGD. The Shar was more like a bandog/herder in that you can actually work them, unlike typical LGDs. You know what I mean by "work" here and it's not sitting pretty next to a lamb until wolves swoop in, but is about actually being useful for a variety of tasks. Any dog that you can [u]send[/u] to go bite something or someone is not an LGD. That's the line. It can still be an LGD as well, but if that's all the Shar was, then it would've never been on any currency or in people's hearts, period. Same goes for bandogs and breeds "descended" from bandogs. As long as there's no work propelling the selection forward, we're just talking about mutts that work. That isn't special. But if what started as a bandog ends up the elite specific purpose-bred worker, with a set set of traits and ability to reproduce itself... All I'm saying is that equating bandog with "mongrel" tends to cloud the historical perspective and confuse 3 separate definitions of what is discussed. The word gets in the way. Just like the word "breed"... LGDs suck. The Shar rules. Bandogs suck. The Pit rules. And such.
                                                                                      • Al, as you can see above, I haven't limited the Shar's contribution to humanity solely to their hard work in the mountains. I (intentionally) mentioned military, police, border patrol etc. So we agree that they are more than ordinary LGDs. You may see them as a refined extract of a loose population of working LGD mongrels, and I wouldn't even categorically disagree. What I would add however is that historically the foundation of those regional "LGD mongrels" was already above average "LGD mongrels" to begin with. This was not some GP-sitting-pretty-next-to-a-lamb-type of genepool, this was already a kick-ass version proto-Shar genepool that was molded into one breed. Just like one wouldn't take just any farm dogs to form the APBT, you need the right mongrel-ingredients in the first place. The Yugos knew that they were sitting on the right type of ore to hammer out a phenomenon. That is why export was prohibited for the longest time, that is why the Shar to this day is so revered throughout the entire nation(s). So, if I am forced to stay within formal breeds derived from their respective working mongrel-backgrounds, then I guess it would be only fair to compare the Shar to the APBT instead. So before anyone jumps on me, I will acknowledge that the APBT is a phenomenal breed, no doubt whatsoever. But technically speaking and from the perspective of actual contribution to humanity, the designated niche of an APBT IMO won't quite hold up with the historic contribution of the Sarplaninac breed. Fighting and catching rats just doesn't cut it. So my original shot at Lee would still be legitimate, I suppose. But then again I will be the first to admit that such a comparison is wrong and signifies a classic apples-oranges-comparison. Instead I will simply agree with your previous notion that Shars rule and that Pits rule. My original point was anyway that Lee's dogs to my knowledge haven't contributed to humanity that much yet, other than being tough pets maybe. So he is in no position to ridicule a working breed that he has zero clue about.
                                                                                        • Agreed, which is why I'm not bothered by his unqualified contributions. It's just noise. I also happen to agree that the Balkan "nucleus" was different to other LGD-friendly areas, if for no other reason, then the simple fact that the very region is a remarkably interesting place itself, especially for adventurous historians and independent thinkers. The crossroads. Whereas many other mountaintops in Europe had overgrown collies at the foundation for the mastiff infusion to make them mountain mastiffs, the proto-Shar and its cousins from the 'hood were mountain mastiffs already. But that is also a word that causes problems, since technically only the English Mastiff is a mastiff...But whatever, we use terms like dogmen, not like showies do. Anymutt, one would benefit from seeing history [u]in waves[/u] instead of retracing unreliable steps for neatly precise clues. Trends and migrations are what has influenced history and our understanding of it without most of us even realizing that because we have OUR times and OUR troubles tainting our perspective. And those things always come in waves. If we leave out, as we probably should, the inhuman/national aspects and focus on dogs as types, families and breeds as they relate to historical trends and migration patterns, some things ought to become clearer. A region is hit with a wave of people escaping from (or being transplanted from) some other region, they establish a society of theirs, thrive for a few decades or centuries and then another wave hits that same region and this brings a completely different culture with it, turning the area into a literal breeding ground for "the 3rd option", as it were. Then the region is hit with a trend which promotes one thing while annihilating all else, affecting every layer of society and each walk of life. And then another trend, another tragedy, another migration, another new beginning and so on and so forth. Where are the dogs in this picture? What are the dogs in this picture? When and who? If you want to know what had really happened or what was likely the case when data doesn't match up, occupy yourself with studying history in its broadest sense and waves of migrations and trends in the narrowest. Interested in a region?Learn that region's history, not just the national histories of the "tenants" and all that drivel. Follow the trends of invasions and migrations while looking at a map. Then "zoom in" on the specifics, understand them in context and zoom back out and follow logic. Too many get stuck on details which, while not always irrelevant, are almost exclusively growth-stoppers in terms of learning. Go fractal.
                                                                                          • People often ask me what kind of dog I have. I just say a mountain sheep guarding dog sharplaninatz. Thay say "What? Sharp nuts?" I say "Yeah, that's it" and move on.
                                                                                            • Sharp + nuts pretty much sums it up. Why didn't I ever think of that.
                                                                                              • OK, Here a few hardcore working pictures of Shars in rural Montana. But please open these links with care. WARNING! Viewer Discretion is Advised! These images are very graphic in nature and not for everyone ...! ************************************************************************************ http://sharplaninec.com/MD/worknshp2.jpg http://sharplaninec.com/MD/worknshp.jpg ************************************************************************************
                                                                                                • lol cool photos astibus here and in the bandog thread thanks for sharing..
                                                                                                  • Those hardcore pics remind me of this hardcore pic of a rare unknown australian LGD breed- J/K - bull arab pups learning what not to hunt.
                                                                                                    • LOL @ the last two posts.
                                                                                                      • Actually NO , @ Dan and Tonedog's post, LOL
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