Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog has many names like Šarplaninac or Sharplaninec, Macedonian Shepherd, and Illyrian Shepherd. It is a large-sized mountain dog used for herding sheep and guarding livestock. It is a loving breed that also does well as a family companion but needs a house with a yard for them to move. They are not at all suitable for an apartment.

The appearance of the Yugoslavian Shepherd is big with a strong and muscular body. The head is big and proportionate with the body that is built with a lot of bones. The coat is double with a soft, dense, weather-resistant undercoat and 3-5 inches outer coat that is longer around the neck, legs, and tail. The ears are V-shaped, folded and eyes are dark, almond-shaped.

Origin and History

The Yugoslavian Shepherd was originated in the Southeastern Mountain regions of Yugoslavia. It is believed to be descended from Tibetan shepherd dogs.

The exact date of its origin is not traced but the documentation about its existence dates back to the 19th century. It was famous as a shepherd dog that was used for herding and guarding livestock against predators.

ancient Yugoslavian Shepherd
Yugoslavian Shepherd is an ancient dog.
Image Source: pedegreedatabase

The first recognition Yugoslavian Shepherd got was from World Canine Organization (FCI) in 1939. They were named Illyrian Shepherd Dog at that time and later was changed to Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog or Šarplaninac. The United Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1995. However, the American Kennel Club has not registered this breed anywhere as of 2019.

Is Yugoslavian Shepherd Child-Friendly?

The Yugoslavian Shepherd is a large dog breed that is not at all recommended at home with toddlers. Their big size may fall on small children while playing and they might get hurt. However, they do well at a house with older children who know to behave and handle dogs.

Always supervise your dog and children interaction as to avoid any rough playing from either party.

Yugoslavian Shepherds do well with older children
Baby Boy with two Yugoslavian Shepherds.
Image Source: Instagram-@romcaolmerova

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of the Yugoslavian Shepherd is calm and easy going. They do well in a house where they get to do their required activity regularly. They are loyal to their people and are very loving towards them. It is a very dedicated guard dog that also guards the house of its people from intruders.

Behavior: The Yugoslavian Shepherd has a high herding instinct as a herding dog. If they do not get to herd livestock, they might even herd people. Therefore, it is necessary to provide your Yugoslavian Shepherd with enough activity to avoid any mischevious behavior.

Personality: The Yugoslavian Shepherd has a protecting personality. They are very protective of their flocks and the same goes with their family. If some threat is coming towards its people, they are ready to defend them.

Yugoslavian Shepherd herding sheep with its people
Yugoslavian Shepherd herding sheep with its people.
Image Source: predator-friendly-ranching.blogspot.com


Training Yugoslavian Shepherd is not for a first-time dog owner or an inexperienced dog owner. They need a leader who can train them with firmness and consistency. If the owner fails to do so, it will see itself as a leader and after that training will become hard.

Use positive methods of training with delicious treats and a lot of vocal praises to motivate them. Never use force hand or harsh words even if they make a mistake. This will only scare them or sometimes can even make them aggressive.


  • In the Macedonian currency, the Yugoslavian Shepherd has been put on the back of the 1 Denar coin as a symbol of national pride.
  • The Yugoslavian army was the first army to employ Yugoslavian Shepherd in the military in 1928.
  • It is also known to kill wolves while appearing in several dog fight.

Health Issues

The Yugoslavian Shepherd is generally a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 11-13 years. However, during these years, they are likely to face a few canine diseases.

  • Hip Dysplasia: It is a common condition in a large breed of dogs. The dislocation or the underdeveloped of the hip joints is called hip dysplasia. It causes sharp pain on the back and makes it difficult for your dog to move from one place to another. Therefore, consult and vet and start a proper treatment on time.
  • Bloat: Bloat is a condition that occurs when the abdomen of your dog balloons up. It is usually caused due to overfeeding your dog. It will make it hard for them to move and lameness will occur. Therefore, proper treatment and the right kind of diet in the right amount should be given.


The Yugoslavian Shepherd come in the following colors:

  • Fawn
  • White
  • Iron Gray
  • Sable
  • Black
  • Black and Gray


Height and Size: The average height of the male Yugoslavian Shepherd is between 24-26 inches and the female is between 22-24 inches. Whereas, the weight of the male is 77-99 lbs and the female is 66-88 lbs.

Cost: The average cost of the Yugoslavian puppy is between $1000-$1200 USD.

Similar Dog Breeds to the Yugoslavian Shepherd

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