Bucovina Shepherd

60-110 lbs
25-28"
Romania
Ciobanesc Romanesc de Bucovina, Ciobanesc de Bucovina, Romanian Bukovina Shepherd, Bukovina Wolfdog, Buconvina Sheepdog, Southeastern European Shepherd
The Bucovina Shepherd is an impressive dog, being classified as a breed that is of the large to giant size. As  a livestock guardian from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, they have been developed over centuries and the result is a powerful, fearless dog but one who excels as a good companion, and who is surprisingly gentle and devoted to their owners. The  Bucovina Shepherd is the oldest of three Romanian shepherd dogs - the other two being the Mioritic and the Carpathian. The Bucovina has a very strong defensive instinct and while not aggressive, when faced with a threat they are bold and brave, not to mention formidable! They will bark to warn of any threat, a bark that is deep, loud and at a low tone that can be heard from long distances. Think about your neighbors here, you may be best in the country on a plot of land!  These dogs are used to making their own decisions, so they can be a handful to train, but respond well to consistent commands and instructions. They are ideal for guarding the family and home, often patrolling the boundaries at night. A gentle giant, they are devoted and kind to the family children, but can be wary of strangers. They are also playful and have energy and boundless enthusiasm. This large dog does require extra effort in coat maintenance, as their coat is quite dense although not too long, and they do drool fairly often. A dog with the nature and stature of the  Bucovina Shepherd needs lots of activity, plenty of mental stimulation, and good socialization. In return, you have a dog who is an excellent companion, good company, and a defender of you and your family
Purpose
Working, Herding, Guarding, Companion
Date of Origin
1700s
Ancestry
Mastiffs

Bucovina Shepherd Health

Average Size
Male Bucovina Shepherd size stats
Height: 27-30 inches Weight: 70-120 lbs
Female Bucovina Shepherd size stats
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 60-110 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Skeletal/Joint Conditions
  • Joint Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Eye Infections
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Bloat
  • Weight Gain
Occasional Tests
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Regular Full Physical Examination By Veterinarian
  • Ophthalmic Examination
  • Blood Work and Serum Chemistry Tests
  • Hearing and Ear Tests
  • X-rays of various parts of the skeletal system

Bucovina Shepherd Breed History

The Bucovina Shepherd dog was originally bred to protect the flocks of sheep and goats from various animals of prey including the bear, the lynx, wolves as well as the bandits who inhabited their homeland and who were always after a free meal. In modern times, the Bucovina has become more of a home dog and is often used to guard property and family members. This large gentle giant makes a lovable pet, one who gets on well with young children demonstrating the breed's mellow nature and kind, gentle ways. While the dog is popular in Romania, they have not achieved the same popularity outside the country and are quite rare. They are an ancient breed, although the exact date of their inception remains cloudy due to lack of records available. But they were well established by the 1700's when the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed the mountainous region of Romania. While most agree the breed is a descendant of the Mastiff, some claim it developed from the Dogues and Alaunts. The Mastiff spread across Europe during the times of the Roman Empire because the Romans always had dogs with them, mostly to protect the stock, but also to participate in battle. Therefore, the Bucovina is an ancient breed of dog and one who has seem many changes in their homeland over the centuries. The  Bucovina Shepherd is ideally suited to the rugged terrain of their homeland, with their thick, dense coat as a form of warmth and protection. As the numbers of Romanians who migrated from the countryside to the cities increased (taking their dogs with them), they discovered the Bucovina Shepherd was excellent for guarding the family and home. These dogs became particularly valuable when, in the 1990’s and early 2000's, a long period of social unrest after the demise of the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu reigned. The Bucovina Shepherd became the dedicated family guardian as well as the gentle giant who could be trusted with the young children of the family. In their homeland they are a valued dog, elsewhere they are sadly almost unknown.

Bucovina Shepherd Breed Appearance

The  Bucovina Shepherd is lighter in build than most other large or giant mountain breeds, but they have more coloring of the coat than most. Their coat is long, dense and almost harsh to touch. The coat is their greatest asset; the coat allows for the withstanding of the extreme cold in the rugged mountains of the Shepherd's homeland. Often the Bucovina is white with patches of black, brown, brindle or sand color. The face and head are large and powerful but is in proportion to their strong, sturdy body. Typically the Bucovina are longer than they are high, but they still make for an impressive dog! A tapering muzzle, black nose, and firm scissors bite describe the facial characteristics, and they have floppy lips that sometimes drool. Their eyes are quite small and round, often brown or hazel, with a kind expression. The ears are triangular but fold over and hang at the sides of the head. Speaking of the head, it is quite flat at the top, and their strong neck is surrounded by a ruff of thick longer hair. Their legs are solid and strong, ending in large padded paws that are tailored to their mountain environment. The tail is often straight, but can have a bit of a curl in it and is feathered, as are the legs.

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Bucovina Shepherd eyes
Hazel
brown Bucovina Shepherd eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Bucovina Shepherd nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle Bucovina Shepherd coat
Brindle
black Bucovina Shepherd coat
Black
brown Bucovina Shepherd coat
Brown
pied Bucovina Shepherd coat
Pied
white Bucovina Shepherd coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Bucovina Shepherd straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Bucovina Shepherd Breed Maintenance

With the Bucovina Shepherd's thick, long coat, there are maintenance issues such as keeping that lovely coat from matting. A daily thorough brushing each day or no longer than every second day should take care of this requirement. This dog does shed an impressive amount of hair, and that is not restricted to any time of the year, as they tend to shed continuously. If you don't like dog hair on furniture or your carpets, then this is not the dog for you.  A professional groom may be required to trim your dog if your summers are hot, although the  Bucovina Shepherd is very adaptable and can adjust to most temperatures. Bathing is on an 'as needed' basis, as they tend to keep themselves very clean. Be sure to use a special dog shampoo to avoid stripping the natural protective and waterproof oils from the dog's coat. As you can imagine, bathing this big dog can be a marathon, let alone getting them dried. But consider it valuable time spent bonding with your dog, and you can be sure they will enjoy all the attention you give. As with most dogs, check the eyes and ears for any signs of infection, and clip the nails once a month or when needed to ensure your dog is kept healthy. The final task is to clean your dog's teeth to prevent tooth decay. If you have trained them for this as a puppy, this practice  is just part of the normal maintenance routine.

Brushes for Bucovina Shepherd
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Brushing Frequency
Bucovina Shepherd requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Bucovina Shepherd Temperament

The  Bucovina Shepherd is famous for their calm and even temper, their ability to guard and protect either livestock or homes, and their reliability to be gentle and kind with young children in the family. In Romania, this giant of a dog is valued because of their loyalty and total dedication. The Bucovina is a dog with a strong personality as part of their job is to be alone and guarding; therefore, they often take the initiative and think for themselves. This ability can make them very dominant and highly protective which can be an issue with training. They need an experienced handler because of this nature. The  Bucovina Shepherd is very protective of their family and home and because of this can be reserved and aloof with strangers. Proper training will allow this dog to discern what is a threat and what is not. And although they can be trained to accept strangers coming onto the property, they will always remain somewhat aloof and wary towards them. The  Bucovina Shepherd has a very loud booming bark, which will alert you (and your neighbors) to intruders. They rarely attack unless provoked, but the breed has been known to fight bears and armed outlaws to the death, and they will give their life to protect their family. In regards to other animals, the  Bucovina Shepherd will consider other pets as members of their pack if they are raised with them, but they can be aggressive towards other animals. They will attack and kill smaller animals, presenting them to their owners as a 'gift'. Training and socialising will help, but will never replace that strong protective and dominant instinct. The  Bucovina Shepherd is best as the only dog in the family, or with a single member of the opposite sex. These gentle giants are very energetic and can walk for miles without tiring. They need plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep them mellow and happy and are ideal as pets for an active family who loves the great outdoors.

Bucovina Shepherd Activity Requirements

The  Bucovina Shepherd is an energetic dog for their size and was bred to roam the mountain passes for countless hours with their flock. Ideally, this dog needs about sixty minutes per day of vigorous exercise and in a perfect world, more time would be better. They adapt well to country living on a large estate or will be just at home in a house, but they do need a large well fenced yard. They are continually prowling about to check the boundaries, so they require a decent amount of room to do so. The  Bucovina Shepherd is too big and energetic for an apartment, and remember they do have a very loud, very audible booming bark which will not endear you to close neighbors. They are ideal companions if you jog, bike, or hike. Content to walk for miles, they will be a devoted and protective friend. The  Bucovina Shepherd is surprisingly playful and will enjoy being part of the family games. When they are puppies, they can be a bit boisterous and knock younger family members off their feet with their enthusiasm. But as they mature, they are more controlled and protective.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Bucovina Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$2.75 - $3.00
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00

Bucovina Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Bucovina Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 22 lbs
Female Bucovina Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 20 lbs
12 Months
Male Bucovina Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 39 lbs
Female Bucovina Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 37 lbs
18 Months
Male Bucovina Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 28 inches Weight: 95 lbs
Female Bucovina Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 85 lbs

Bucovina Shepherd Owner Experiences

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