Carpathian Shepherd

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70-90 lbs
23-26"
Carpathia
Ciobanesc Românesc Carpatin, Rumanian Sheepdog, Romanian Shepherd Dog

The Carpathian Shepherd is a large wolf-like dog breed with advanced guarding tendencies that has been helping to guard the flocks and families of people in the Carpathian mountains for hundreds of years. Their exact ancestry is unknown but there is speculation that there is at least some actual Carpathian wolf in their background, one of many predators that they still guard against on the remote mountains in Romania. While they are popular in their land of origin and they have been recognized by both the Federation Cynologique Internationale and the United Kennel Club, they are still extremely rare outside of their homeland. 

Purpose
Shepherd, Flock and Family Guardian
Date of Origin
Ancient Times
Ancestry
Unknown

Carpathian Shepherd Health

Average Size
Male Carpathian Shepherd size stats
Height: 26-29 inches Weight: 80-100 lbs
Female Carpathian Shepherd size stats
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat
  • Skeletal/Joint Conditions
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Arthritis
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Cataracts
Occasional Tests
  • Eye examination
  • Hip and Elbow X-rays

Carpathian Shepherd Breed History

The ancestry of the Carpathian Shepherd is not clearly understood, but we do know that these large canines have been guarding the homes and livestock for farmers in some of the wildest and least developed mountains in Europe for hundreds of years. Even today, the forests of the Carpathian mountains shelter large and effective predators, eagles, wolves, and bears, and the Carpathian Shepherd guards against these quite effectively. While even a single Carpathian Shepherd is a formidable animal, these flock guardians have typically been found in groups and will call in the pack if a threat is detected. Due to this trait, the Carpathian Shepherd is more amicable and cooperative with other dogs than many flock guardian breeds would be. Some experts theorize that the Carpathian Shepherd has had regular infusions of wolf DNA, and considering the similarities in their appearance, their proximity to the Carpathian Wolf, and their natural inclination to work in packs- the idea holds some merit. Beasts, however, were not the only predators in the Carpathian mountains, and these dogs were brought inside to guard the family and the home from thieves and criminals at night, therefore creating a breed that is gentler and more loving towards their human family than many other flock guardian breeds. Native Romanian dog breeds began to be popularized and standardized in the mid 19th century after Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, and a breed standard for the Carpathian Shepherd was drawn up in 1834 and published by the National Zoological Institute, and the breed was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 2003 and the United Kennel Club in 2006, but they have not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Carpathian Shepherd Breed Appearance

The Carpathian Shepherd is a large dog, between 70 and 100 pounds and around two feet tall or so at the shoulders. Both the male and female are heavily built, powerful animals but the male of the breed is typically both taller and broader than the female. While they are solid animals, they tend to be more lithe than bulky, and longer than they are tall with bushy, sickle-shaped tails. They have large, powerful heads with wide, slightly domed foreheads, long, well-defined frontal furrows, and powerful muzzles that are slightly shorter than the length of their skull. Their eyes are almond-shaped and come in varying shades of brown and their triangular ears fold down and are carried close to the cheek. This breed has developed a dense double-layered coat consisting of a soft insulating undercoat and a longer outer layer that is harsh and straight. They generally have similar coloration to the wolves of the area, most commonly a pale fawn color overlayed with grey or black fur in varying shades.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Carpathian Shepherd eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Carpathian Shepherd nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Carpathian Shepherd coat
Fawn
gray Carpathian Shepherd coat
Gray
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Carpathian Shepherd straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Carpathian Shepherd Breed Maintenance

Although this breed has a dense and abundant coat, their grooming requirements aren’t particularly arduous. The Carpathian Shepherd should only be bathed on an occasional basis as bathing that is too frequent can remove the natural oils from the coat and leave the dog more vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. For most of the year, this dog breed will do just fine with a brushing every few days to remove dirt, debris, and tangles from the coat but they do shed more heavily during the change of seasons and may require additional brushing sessions. The Carpathian Shepherd’s ears fold over, making them somewhat more prone to ear infections; this can often be avoided simply by checking the ears on a regular basis and by ensuring that the ears remain clean and dry. Brush the teeth a few times a week and trim the nails each month.

Brushes for Carpathian Shepherd
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Carpathian Shepherd requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Carpathian Shepherd Temperament

These are intelligent and independent animals who are still primarily used as working dogs in Romania even today. While they are extremely devoted and loyal to their family, they have a tendency to be polite but standoffish to outsiders. Although interactions with young children and dogs should always be closely supervised, properly socialized Carpathian Shepherds are known to be very patient with children. If this dog perceives a threat to their family or flock they will deter it, whatever the cost. Their independent natures and strong wills can make them a challenge to train so they are not usually recommended for first-time or novice dog owners. They are on average more conducive to social interaction with other canines than the majority of  independent herd guardians, but some individuals may tend towards shyness or aggression. Early and extensive socialization can often help to prevent negative personality traits like these from becoming a problem. 

Carpathian Shepherd Activity Requirements

While these dogs are quite large, they were also developed for their skill and athleticism and they require at least an hour or so of exercise per day, preferably in the form of a long walk or jog. As these are large dogs, care should be given to their diet, particularly when they are in their growth stages. The bones of larger dogs are more susceptible to skeletal and joint problems caused by diets that are either too high or too low in calcium. This dog is happiest if it has a large yard or property to patrol and is much too large and active to make a good apartment dweller. 

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

Carpathian Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Carpathian Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Carpathian Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 63 lbs
Female Carpathian Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 56 lbs
12 Months
Male Carpathian Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 81 lbs
Female Carpathian Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 72 lbs
18 Months
Male Carpathian Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Female Carpathian Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 80 lbs

Carpathian Shepherd Owner Experiences

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