The Carpathian Shepherd is a dog whose roots lie in the Romanian tradition of the Carpathian and Danube region. Being one of the most frequent grazing breeds and one of the most valued and prestigious in the region, Carpathian Shepherd dogs have been grazing and monitoring land and herds for centuries.
However, it is not just a sheepdog. The Captain, as it is called in its native region, is a truly fascinating dog. In him, there is a combination of overwhelming strength and courage, together with a kind, affable, and very faithful character. Its docility stands out, and although it can be very territorial and too overprotective, there is nothing that good training cannot solve.
Origin And History of the Carpathian Shepherd
The first existing records on the origin of the Carpathian Shepherd breed date back to the 15th century, although it is believed to be earlier than this date. The Shepherd of the Carpathians or Romanian shepherd of the Carpathians is a dog that for centuries has been exerted as a herding dog and as a guardian of lands and herds. In fact, it is still considered one of the best sheepdog breeds today. This breed is endemic to the Carpathian-Danube region, highly valued by the Romanian shepherds of that region.
It was not until 1934 that the first breed standard was drafted, something the National Zootechnich Institute of Romania did. Despite being the first standard, there were many updates to it, so it was updated in 1982, 1999, and 2001. In 2005 the first official standard was published by the International Cynological Federation, which was modified and, therefore, the final version of the standard was published in 2015.
Characteristics of the Carpathian Shepherd
The Romanian Carpathian Shepherd is a large dog that belongs to the Mastiff family. Its dimensions are between 59 and 67 centimeters in height at the withers in females and 65 to 73 centimeters. The weight varies significantly depending on the size, is in a wide range between 35 and 50 kilograms of body weight. The average life expectancy of a Romanian Carpathian Shepherd ranges from 12 to 14 years.
The body of these dogs is robust. However, these characteristics do not stop it from being very agile and with a long shoulder, a feature that also allows it to appear larger than it is due to the width that its chest gives it. In this breed of dog, there is a marked sexual dimorphism since the males are much taller and larger than the females. They all have a rectangular body, with a tail that looks droopy or straight and has a sword shape, lifting it when alert.
The head is broad and tapers towards the muzzle area, giving it a rather wolfish appearance. It is a mesocephalic breed. Also, its nose is wide, and its muzzle is just as long as the skull or somewhat shorter. Her brown eyes are almond-shaped. The ears are triangular, medium in size, and glued to the cheeks.
Continuing with the characteristics of the Carpathian Shepherd, the coat is of a two-layer structure, the lower layer is dense and soft, and the outer coat somewhat longer and rougher. This coat is smooth and covers its entire body, although it is somewhat longer on the neck, the back of the limbs, and the tail and shorter on the head and the inside of the legs.
Colors of the Carpathian Shepherd
The colors of the Carpathian Shepherd dog collected by its official standard is a dark bay, also called carbon sand, in different shades. Specifically, it is lighter on the sides of the body and darker on the rump. It can also have white markings, which the body must little expand.
Carpathian Shepherd puppy
A Carpathian Shepherd puppy is normally a very friendly puppy, but a large one. Their instinct makes them dogs that get along with other animals from a very young age, as they are used as a breed to deal with different types of herds and live in a pack.
They are very gregarious animals, kind to each other, and quite obedient, responding well to the most basic training. They are usually recommended to stay starting. They are just a few puppies, as results are obtained more quickly and effectively.
Carpathian Shepherd Personality
The Carpathian Shepherd is appreciated not only for his grazing skills but also for his fierceness and courage in defending the flocks he has to keep. However, they are not aggressive dogs at all. On the contrary, they stand out for their affability and unconditional love that they show to everything and everyone, being faithful and obedient as well as affectionate and noble. They only attack to defend themselves and their flock, which they care for with care and dedication.
As a family, they are just as loving, although sometimes somewhat protective, they are not usually suspicious unless they see potential danger. They are very calm dogs with a balanced and attentive character. They adapt well to family life with children or animals, but they usually need some space to move, or they can get a little overwhelmed, so it is recommended to have them in houses with gardens or land, although they can get used to living in flats.
They are quite active, as they are used to guarding the herds and guiding them, sometimes traveling long distances on quite a difficult terrain. This task of safeguarding leads them to be quite territorial, something that we will consider when talking about their training.
Carpathian Shepherd Care
The Carpathian Shepherd is not a really demanding dog in terms of attention or care. In general, the maintenance of one of these dogs is summarized in a good diet, hydration, and daily exercise. Of course, weekly brushing is also recommended to prevent hair loss throughout the home.
Starting with feeding, the important thing is to provide him with a diet adapted to his size, daily activity, and specific nutritional needs, which vary according to aspects such as the activity level or the animal’s age. Now, what type of food is best for this dog? It will depend on your preferences and theirs, so you can choose to offer feed or homemade food. In the first case, we recommend opting for natural dog food, much better for the quality of its ingredients. In the second case, you can follow the BARF diet for dogs or lightly cooked food. Finally, of course, the animal must always have fresh, clean water available to stay hydrated.
Regarding the physical activity recommended for the Carpathian Shepherd, it is recommended that you take long walks, play games, or do some sport since the breed is quite active and requires daily physical activity to stay healthy and emotionally balanced.
Finally, it should be noted that, as in all dogs, attention is a factor to take into account. Feeding it properly and offering it the activity it needs is not enough. All animals need to receive attention from their humans. If you offer all the care that the Carpathian Shepherd needs, you will have a faithful and very loving companion at your side.
Carpathian Shepherd Education
The Carpathian Shepherd is a very territorial dog, so it is important to dedicate part of the training to this aspect. His protective instincts sometimes make him aggressive if he considers that there is an intruder in his territory. This does not mean that the breed is aggressive since it is done as a defense, but it can be a problem if you learn to control it. Therefore, it usually requires enough attention to get the dog used to receiving unexpected visitors, seeing strangers, and interactions with people and animals that it did not know. Thus, the socialization of the puppy and the adult dog is something fundamental in this breed, and it must be worked very well to habituate it to these situations.
It is also interesting to train the Carpathian Shepherd in sports activities, such as agility circuits or intelligence games, which keep him physically active, make him learn to respond to the most basic commands, and then go on to others each time. More complex.
As for the type of education and training, as in all breeds and mongrel dogs, it is best to opt for positive reinforcement, as it is the most effective.
Carpathian Shepherd Health
The breed of Carpathian Shepherd has a long tradition and development, which has led to the survival of the specimens most adapted to the inclement weather and terrain of the area from which they originate. This has caused the specimens found today to have solid and very stable health, rarely presenting serious alterations.
However, no matter how good genetics they may have, they are not exempt from suffering alterations such as hip dysplasia, widespread in large dogs. This disease can become severe and impede the correct mobility of the animal, causing pain and discomfort. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out radiological tests to detect any possible joint alteration, as they may also suffer patellar dislocation.
Apart from the above, the only thing that is more worrying about the health of the Carpathian Shepherd is the possibility of gastric torsion, which is really dangerous. But if regular veterinary check-ups are performed, including routine diagnostic tests, vaccinations, and deworming, the Carpathian Shepherd is sure to be in solid health until the end of his life.
Where to adopt a Carpathian shepherd
The Carpathian Shepherd is a breed of dog that until recently was only frequent in the Carpathian region. However, due to globalization, examples of the Carpathian Shepherd can be seen in more and more places in the world. Despite this, finding a specimen can be quite complicated, so we recommend patience and resort to different associations, kennels, and shelters, thus increasing the chances of finding one of these dogs for adoption.
Apart from the possibilities of finding the breed, the most important thing is to consider the characteristics of the Carpathian Shepherd and his particular needs before even considering having one of them in our home. In this case, one of the most notable requirements is that they have enough space to be able to move, in addition to a constant and respectful education to work on their territoriality and overprotection.