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Carpathian Shepherd - Discover the nobility and versatility of the fascinating breed

Pastor de los Cárpatos - Descubre la nobleza y versatilidad de la fascinante raza

Lobo Azul |

Sheepdogs are distributed throughout Europe and this is the case of the Carpathian Shepherd, which is also known as the Romanian Carpathian Shepherd and is native to the lands that today make up Romania.

  • Weight : 35 to 50 kilos
  • Hair type : straight and hard. Medium length
  • Character : balanced and docile
  • Health : very solid
  • Life expectancy : 12 to 14 years


We already have records of the existence of the Carpathian Shepherd in the 15th century, although it is assumed that these dogs or some very similar ones have been in the region for longer.

In fact, it is said that the shepherd dogs in the Carpathian Mountains may come from mountain herdsmen, who in turn descended from dogs domesticated nine millennia ago in Mesopotamia, just when goats and sheep became farm animals. .

For centuries it has been used as a guard dog and as a shepherd dog , although the truth is that due to its size it is more the former than the latter. It is considered one of the best breeds of sheepdogs, and is still used today.

The first contemporary and scientific news dates back to the 19th century, when we see that the breed appears in the magazine Veterinary Science Magazine , year XV, No. 2.

We have to wait more than a hundred years, specifically in 1998, for the breed club to be founded, which worked hard until provisional approval was achieved in 2005 by the International Cynological Federation.

In 2015, its standard was reviewed and the definitive version was published, which is the one in force today.

Main features

This is a large dog that belongs to the mastiff family. Thus, females measure 59 to 67 cm at the withers, while males range from 65 to 73.

Its weight has a very wide range from 35 to 50 kilos, which depends greatly on the size of the specimen and its sex, since it is one of the dog breeds with the most marked sexual dimorphism .

The males are much larger than the females, these make better herding dogs as they are lighter, but the truth is that both sexes are agile despite their robustness and size.

The head is quite large and the snout is thin, so that it resembles that of a wolf. The nose is wide, the eyes are brown and the ears are triangular, always attached to the cheeks.

Living in such a cold area, with intense and abundant snowfall, the mantle is two-layered . The exterior is rough and a little longer than the interior, short, dense and very soft.

There is not much variety in the coat tones that are allowed, since the dogs must be a carbon sand color, and may have slightly expanded white markings along the body.

Character of the Carpathian Shepherd

This Carpathian Shepherd seems to have two personalities. One when he has to defend his flock and another with his owners, similar to that of other shepherd dogs.

If he is with the animals he guards, he is a fierce dog that stands out for defending them at all costs . He knows it's his job and he does it, but that doesn't mean he's an aggressive dog.

In fact, he never attacks for no reason, since he will only do so if he or the flock is in danger.

They can be somewhat territorial

With their family they change completely, and are faithful and affectionate. This is something common to sheepdogs, since they have developed a very special bond with man over several millennia.

They are calm if there is no flock to care for, although sometimes they protect their family excessively, always without distrust unless they detect danger very close.

His behavior with children and other animals is good, but on the condition that he has space when moving. He can live in an apartment, although it is certainly not his favorite habitat and he will be happier in the countryside.

Sometimes they become somewhat territorial , which comes from their work with flocks, but this can be solved with training and good education.

To do this, you have to socialize him from a puppy, with work that should be aimed at getting him used to receiving unexpected visitors. The idea is for you to understand that you don't have to always be alert.

Here, positive reinforcement will be our ally, which we can combine with sports such as Agility, which will teach the dog to obey commands while burning energy and having fun with us.


The Carpathian Shepherd is not a very demanding dog with care. On the contrary, we are faced with a very rustic animal that will ask very little of us.

We are not going to have problems with the hair, because it is enough to brush it once a week if it lives with us inside the house, always thinking about not leaving everything full of hair. This frequency will have to be increased when it molts.

Yes, it will require something more from us in terms of exits. As a sheepdog that he is, he has the habit of exercising and you will have to take very long walks with him, in addition to playing sports.

In other words, it is an animal that will ask us for time to go outside , otherwise both its mental and physical health will end up suffering.

It is not a good dog to leave alone all day or keep in a kennel in the garden. It requires attention, so if we are not going to give it to it, we will have to choose another breed.


In its “natural habitat” the Carpathian Shepherd feeds on almost anything, such as bread with milk or the water left over when making cheese.

He has few problems in this regard, but when he is with us it is advisable that we put that diet aside and give him a higher quality one, which can be humid without any problem.

We usually opt for dry feed because it is more comfortable for us and here we will find many options, always opting for brands that are sold in specialized centers.

The idea is that our dog feeds on quality feed , with a high amount of highly available protein, the kind that is assimilated because it comes from meat suitable for human consumption, and not from by-products.

Furthermore, it is advisable that their feed does not contain grains , choosing it carefully when the Carpathian Shepherd is a puppy, since it is a large breed dog that will need a high amount of nutrients to grow healthily.

As always, if we have doubts we can rely on the veterinarian, although the truth is that by choosing a brand that is considered premium we will not make a mistake when feeding our dog.

Carpathian Shepherd Health

When dogs are used for centuries for work, their health is usually iron. This is because only the fittest have been reproduced, since care was conspicuous by its absence.

In this way, it is one of the few breeds that do not have their own diseases or to which they are prone due to genetics, something that is very rarely seen right now.

Of course, it can suffer from diseases that have to do with its size , which, as in all large dogs, are hip dysplasia , patellar dislocation and stomach torsion.

Dysplasia is common in large dogs and is diagnosed through x-rays, which show how the head of the femur fits into the hip. Depending on the deviation, the symptoms will be milder or more severe, preventing the animal from walking normally.

You may also suffer from patellar dislocation, which occurs when the bone in this joint moves. There are different degrees and if it is serious you have to operate, although sometimes it is cured with medication and rest.

Beware of stomach torsion

For last we leave the dreaded stomach torsion, an acute and very dangerous problem . It occurs when the stomach dilates due to the accumulation of gases, food or liquids. In this case, the ligaments do not hold it and it rotates on its axis.

One of the consequences is that the veins and blood vessels are compressed, so blood does not reach the organs and they stop functioning.

If the dog does not receive treatment immediately, it dies and hence its severity , especially when the causes are not yet well known.

It is believed that one way to avoid it is to not let the dog binge eat, especially before exercising and also after.

Thus, what we can do is distribute the ration in three feedings and try not to stress the animal while it eats.

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