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Karst Shepherd

Size: Large

Weight: 58 - 88 lbs.

Height: 20" - 24"

Life Span: 11 - 12 years

Health Problems: Excellent health record. No known hereditary conditions.

Origin: Balkans / Slovenia (Middle Ages)

Also Known As: Istrian Shepherd, Krasky Ovcar

Group: Guardian / Herding

Category: Companion Dog, Guard Dog

Exercise Needs

The Karst Shepherd usually attends to its own exercise needs if given a rural home with plenty of outdoor space. If kept in a suburban home, this breed will require daily walks, runs, romps and playtime. Due to its size and need for constant exercise, this breed is not recommended for apartment or city living.

Grooming Needs

No special grooming requirements.


This breed is independent, reliable and brave. The Karst Shepherd is a confident working breed that prefers to be considered an equal rather than a subordinate. This trait can make training difficult, but Karsts do respond well to patient, consistent trainers. A human's forceful nature will only result in the dog's rejection of both the training and the person. If the Karst feels it is on the same level as its owner (a partner), then it will be obedient. This breed prefers cool climates and a job to do, like herding.

Compatibility with Kids

Good with children.


The Karst Shepherd has been guarding flocks in the Karst region of the former Yugoslavia since the Middle Ages. Recent political and economic stability in Slovenia has caused locals to take a renewed interest in native dog breeds, and the Karst Shepherd is becoming more popular.

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