Croatian Sheepsky

Home > Dog Breeds > Croatian Sheepsky
35-50 lbs
18-22"
Unknown
Croatian Sheep Husky

The Croatian Sheepsky is a small to medium sized dog, an intentional crossbreed between the Croatian Sheepdog, a capable sheep and cattle herding dog from Croatia and the Siberian Husky, an adept and athletic sled dog that hails from Russia. This crossbreed is a very intelligent and active animal which is at its happiest when it has a job to do. Sheepsky’s require a significant amount of exercise to burn off all of that energy and can do so with a number of suitable activities such as the pulling and herding activities enjoyed by the parent breeds, as well as agility training, flyball, and even free-form dance. They may also inherit the Croatian Sheepdog’s innate watchdog abilities and bark quite a bit, particularly if they are not exercised enough. Due to their high activity and noise level, these dogs are not well suited to apartment life. 

Purpose
Working, Herding, Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Croatian Sheepdog, Siberian Husky

Croatian Sheepsky Health

Average Size
Height: 18-22 inches Weight: 35-50 lbs
Height: 18-22 inches Weight: 35-50 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Bloat
  • Corneal Dystrophy
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Tests
  • Knee
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Croatian Sheepsky Breed History

The Croatian Sheepsky is a designer dog, an intentional cross between an exceptional herding dog from Croatia known as a Croatian Sheepdog and the Siberian Husky, an ancient breed from Russia. Written accounts describing the Croatian Sheepdog date back to the 14th century and although the breed has grown in size a bit since these original writings, it seems to have remained the same otherwise since that time. Writings detailing information about the Croatian Sheepdog, then known as Canis Pastoralis Croaticus, indicate that these canines excelled at herding and driving animals, including not only cows and sheep, but also pigs and horses. Although this breed has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club, they have been accepted by both the FCI in Belgium and more recently, the United Kennel Club in 2006. Siberian Huskies were developed by an indigenous native tribe in Russia known as the Chukchi people, at some point in prehistory. The original Siberian Huskies or their ancestors were probably used to hunt, and at some point, they began to pull the sleds of the nomadic people they lived with, allowing them to travel farther and more quickly. They were an integral part of the Chukchi people’s everyday lives and were bred to be not only energetic and enduring but also to be companionable. In the early 1900’s Siberian Huskies were imported into Alaska as sled dogs, where they excelled. Several of the teams made up of Siberian Huskies won the annual competitions before they were canceled due World War I. Then in 1925, a diphtheria epidemic hit the small town of Nome, an epidemic that put everyone in the region at risk, around 10,000 people. In order to deliver the Serum to villagers, twenty sled drivers and over one hundred dogs, the majority of them Siberian Huskies, undertook the grueling 658-mile trip to pick up the needed medicine in a town known as Nulato and bring it back to Nome. A trip that should have taken twenty-five days was made in just under six, and it was made in unbearable conditions. The last leg of the journey was driven by Gunnar Kaasen, but conditions made it impossible for him to see the lead dogs, let alone where they were going. It was the dogs that navigated the storm to bring the serum into Nome. It was shortly after this, in 1930, that the Siberian Husky was recognized by the AKC and they are the 12th most popular dog breed as of this writing.

Croatian Sheepsky Breed Appearance

The Croatian Sheepsky is a small to medium-sized dog with a rectangular silhouette and an athletic build. This hybrid’s head is generally wedge-shaped with a medium length muzzle that is frequently tapered. They have medium sized triangular ears that stand erect and may be pricked or not pricked, as well as almond-shaped eyes that are most frequently brown but may come in blue and parti-color as well, and typically have a lively, alert, and friendly expression. The Siberian Husky has a long straight tail that extends out behind it or hangs down when at rest but the Croatian Sheepsky is often born without a tail and those with one carry it above the back when alert. The double layered coat consists of a thick, dense undercoat with either a medium length coat of smooth, straight guard hairs or soft, wavy fur. This crossbreed can come in several different colors, but black is generally more predominant than other colors. White markings are commonly seen on both parent breeds, so are likely to occur on the Croatian Sheepsky as well.

Croatian Sheepsky Breed Maintenance

Although both of the parent dogs have a double layer coat that is made up of a thick, dense undercoat protected by a coat of more waterproof guard hairs, the texture of the undercoat is quite different. Although they both have medium length fur, the Siberian Husky’s outer layer will be stiff and straight whereas the Croatian Sheepdog has soft wavy or curly fur. This means that if your dog takes after their Croatian Sheepdog parent in coat types, they will require only occasional bathing and regular brushing with a pin or slicker brush. If your dog inherited a coat more reminiscent of the Husky line, bathing needs might still be infrequent, but brushing will be a daily requirement. Dogs with a more Husky type coat will also shed more and may have periods of significant shedding during the spring and fall.

Croatian Sheepsky Temperament

These dogs are typically high energy dog with a strong work drive. Both of the parent breeds are intelligent and able to quickly assess and respond to unexpected situations; part of the reason these breeds are able to do their jobs so well is their ability to work independently when needed. This dog can inherit some stubbornness, however, and training should begin at an early age for the best results. The Croatian Sheepsky is also an intelligent dog that may be reserved with strangers and due to the Croatian Sheepdog, they also serve well as watchdogs. These crossbreeds are also family animals, being much happier and healthier animals when they are fully integrated into the family unit. Croatian Sheepskies that are left on their own too long may develop separation anxiety. In most cases, this hybrid should get along with other dogs, however, there may be a tendency to chase other small animals.

Croatian Sheepsky Activity Requirements

Both the Siberian Husky and the Croatian Sheepdog were bred for their enthusiasm and their endurance. A double dose of energy from both parent breeds ensures that the Croatian Sheepsky is a very active animal, and they don’t slow down until they have decided they are done with what they are doing, be that herding livestock, training on agility courses, or chasing a ball. You want to ensure that your Croatian Sheepsky dog gets a minimum of one and a half to two hours a day of vigorous activity, although two would be even better. Although this breed is unlikely to scoff at a walk or run, they may also be well-suited to alternative exercises like flyball, frisbee, or dock jumping. Their high level of activity makes them much more suited to homes with yards than to apartment homes. 

Croatian Sheepsky Owner Experiences