Breed Registries:

Note: The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.




24.5 inches (62 cm)


65 to 88 lbs (29.5-39 kg)

Breed Profile:

The Sarplaninac, formerly known as the Illyrian Shepherd Dog until 1957 when the F.C.I. changed the name to the Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog Sharplanina, is a flock guardian who works primarily in the mountain range he was named for. He is one of the oldest breeds native to the former Yugoslavia, and is still widely used in his homeland as a dependable flock guardian with good stamina and endurance. While his origin is not known, he is believed to be descended from the ancient Molossian dogs from Greece and the livestock guardian dogs of Turkey.

The Sarplaninac is still rare in North America and until 1970, the dogs could not legally be exported from Yogoslavia. Today, the numbers are growing in both the United States and Canada where ranchers have been successfully using Sarplaninacs to protect their livestock from predators.

The Sarplaninac, like many of the livestock guardian breeds, is highly intelligent, independent, devoted to his family, and wary of strangers. He has a calm and steady demeanor but is fearless and quick to react to any perceived threat.

He has a medium length, weather-resistant coat which is dense and can be either smooth or rough. Feathering on the legs and underbelly plus a bushy tail give him a stout appearance. His colours are tan, grey, white or black, and may be either one colour or a blend of these.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Sarplaninac puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
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Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More