The Croatian Sheepdog is a herding dog that was developed in Croatia as far back as the fourteenth century. They are an alert and agile breed with strong herding instincts and a keen mind which requires a great deal of both physical and mental exercise to keep from becoming bored, noisy, and destructive. These dogs are happiest with a job to do, and if training is neglected, these dogs have a tendency to become overly vocal and strong-willed.
Flyball is a fast-paced dog sport that was developed in the 1950s and 60s which takes fetch to an all new level. Teams of four dogs race relay-style down the flyball track, jumping over hurdles, then they activate a box that pops a tennis ball out for them to retrieve. While herding dogs, like the Croatian Sheepdog, and retrieving dogs are often viewed as the stars of the show, small dogs can also be valuable to the team as the height of the hurdles is based on the height of the shortest member of the team. Croatian Sheepdogs are quick dogs who often show a talent for jumping, making them excellent candidates for this activity.
Croatian Sheepdogs were developed as herding dogs and they tend to retain a strong herding instinct. While they were originally developed to herd sheep specifically they will find another target if not given an outlet, resorting to herding other household pets, stuffed animals, and sometimes even the kids that live in the house or neighborhood. Many pet parents do not have herds of sheep or goats in their backyard for these dogs to herd, but fortunately there are now ranches and farms that specialize in raising animals such as sheep, cattle, ducks, and geese, in order to properly train herding dogs to herd who would otherwise not have access to this kind of livestock.
Many beloved pets amass a large quantity of fetch toys, chew toys, stuffed animals designed for canines, and rope toys which they generally leave scattered around the house and yard for you to step on and even trip over. While we love our pets we may not love the stubbed toes and twisted ankles that are left in the wake of their toys. Like most herding dogs, Croatian Sheepdogs have a natural desire to gather things together; this trait, combined with the intelligence of this breed, can often be put to good use by teaching your dog how to pick up after themselves and gather their toys to a specified box or bin.
It is important to ensure that you give your Croatian Shepherd enough physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis in order to avoid problematic behaviors from developing, such as excessive barking and destructive chewing. Fortunately, these dogs are both agile and intelligent which makes them great candidates for many different types of dog sports and activities.