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Karst Shepherd

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Karst Shepherd.jpg


Physical Characteristics

Breed Group:

Flock guardian group.


Females are approximately 25-37 kg while males are approximately 30-42 kg.


Females are approximately 54-60 cm while males are approximately 57-63 cm.


Karst Shepherds are iron grey in colour and often have dark markings on the face, head, withers, and abdomen.


The Karst Shepherd has a flat-lying coat that is typically short on the head and long over the rest of the body.



Karst Shepherds have wonderful personalities. Intelligent and loyal, these dogs are excellent working dogs as well as great companions.

Country of Origin:



The Karst Shepherd is the oldest indigenous Slovenian dog breed and has long been used for guarding flocks in the mountains of the Karst or Kras region. The oldest reference to this breed dates back to 1689 and the Karst Shepherd is now a Slovenian national treasure. This breed was officially recognized for the first time in 1939 as the Illyrian Sheepdog and became officially recognized as the Kraševec in 1968.


Alternative names for this breed include Karst Sheepdog, Istrian Sheepdog, Krasky Ovcar, and Kraševec.


Karst Shepherds are easy-going, generally non-aggressive dogs known for their stable temperaments. Courageous and wary of strangers, these animals are excellent guard dogs and sheepdogs. While they have an independent streak, Karst Shepherds are also very reliable.



Early and correct training is vital in order to develop Karst Shepherds into obedient dogs. These animals don't like subordination and prefer to work as equal partners with their handlers. Intelligent and patient training is crucial with this breed.


This breed is quite active and requires space and regular exercise.


Karst Shepherds are not suitable for apartment living and should ideally be kept by families with plenty of space surrounding their home. These dogs require regular daily exercise and should be taken on jogs or long, brisk walks. Due to their thick coats, Karst Shepherds are able to live outdoors as long as they have sufficient shelter. Potential owners should keep in mind that these dogs require patient and intelligent training at an early age. Karst Shepherds have an average life span of approximately 11 to 12 years and require regular brushing.


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