Fun Croatian Sheepdog Facts For Kids

Sonali Rawat
May 10, 2023 By Sonali Rawat
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Discover interesting Croatian Sheepdog facts about their feeding habits, appearance, diet, and history.

The Croatian Sheepdog, also called Hrvatski Ovcar or Papihuahuas, is a medium-sized dog with black curly fur and patches of white on its chest. As an energetic breed, they need frequent walks and plenty of exercise and they do well with dog sports, obedience training, tracking, or herding events.

Croatian sheepdogs are an ancient breed that is native to Croatia and the breed has a rich history.

They have been mentioned in a 14th-century journal by the name Canis pastoralis croaticus (Croatian shepherd dog). It is believed that in the past, they were used as herding dogs for sheep and cattle.

Full of energy, the Croatian Sheepdog is one of the most athletic breeds and excels in agility competitions. They are gentle and lovable, and can easily be trained with their high intelligence.

Although it is sometimes stubborn and the Croatian Sheepdog can be shy towards kids or wary of strangers. With some effort, they can become outgoing and friendly dogs.

If you love the Croatian Sheepdog, be sure to read more about the Greenland dog and the Chion here on Kidadl.

Croatian Sheepdog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Croatian Sheepdog?

The Croatian Sheepdog is an ancient breed of dog that is very energetic and excels at various dog sports. In history, the Croatian Sheepdog was a popular herding dog, used for herding sheep and cattle. They are known as the Hrvatski Ovcar in Croatian.

What class of animal does a Croatian Sheepdog belong to?

Like all other dog breeds, the Croatian Sheepdog belongs to the Mammalia class of mammals. They are from the Canis genus and the Canidae family from the kingdom of Animalia.

How many Croatian Sheepdogs are there in the world?

There is no accurate estimate of the number of Croatian Sheepdogs in the world. Despite this, the population of this herding dog breed is estimated to be stable and not in danger.

Where does a Croatian Sheepdog live?

They are a pet dog breed that is usually found in family homes or on farms. They are an adorable breed but they may be wary of strangers and shy around kids.

What is a Croatian Sheepdog's habitat?

The best place for a Croatian Sheepdog is a loving home. They might be a little shy around kids so it's best to give them some socialization training as young as possible.

When comfortable, they will make a loyal and exceptional furry friend for all ages. They are full of energy and need lots of exercise, which makes them a perfect play buddy.

Who do Croatian Sheepdogs live with?

Croatian Sheepdogs live with the families that adopt them. As they are an energetic breed that requires lots of stimulation and training, they are perfect for experienced owners.

They are also great for active owners or large families that will offer them lots of love and playtime. While they love being around people, the Croatian Sheepdog will not mind a few hours spent alone too.

How long does a Croatian Sheepdog live?

The average lifespan of a Croatian Sheepdog is 12-14 years. They may suffer from health conditions throughout their life including eye problems, bloating, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. Frequent vet visits are necessary to keep their health in check.

How do they reproduce?

Like other dogs, the Croatian Sheepdog breed reaches sexual maturity at six to 12 months of age. It has a heat cycle that lasts between 18 to 21 days every six months.

During the heat cycle, dogs mate and the female's pregnancy can last 58 to 68 days. Afterward, the mother gives birth to a litter of four to six puppies.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Croatian Sheepdog breed has not been listed yet. One study shows that their numbers fell sharply in the 20th century, but with the help of a selective breeding program by Professor Romic (a veterinarian), the population of this dog breed is now generally considered stable.

Professor Romic is considered to be the father of this breed due to his contributions.

Croatian Sheepdog Fun Facts

What do Croatian Sheepdogs look like?

The Croatian Sheepdog is a medium-sized dog with a black wavy or curly coat. They have patches of white fur on their chest and have triangular and erect ears. Puppies' ears might be droopy as it takes some time for them to stand up.

Males and females are the same height and weight and both have a somewhat athletic appearance. Because of their thick and curly coat, they do not need frequent bathing. Their fur sheds moderately and this breed only needs occasional maintenance to remove dead hair.

How cute are they?

Croatian Sheepdogs are very cute! They are loyal, friendly, and affectionate with a unique black curly coat that makes them stand out. They have perky ears which makes them look curious about everything. The Croatian Sheepdog is also very energetic and will love to play around with you all day long.

How do they communicate?

Like other dog breeds, the Croatian Sheepdog communicates by barking, whining, growling, and learning commands from its humans. They are very sensitive to the emotions of their owners. Apart from vocal communication, they also use smell and pheromones to communicate with each other.

How big is a Croatian Sheepdog?

The height of a Croatian Sheepdog is 16-21 in (40-53 cm) and this is the same for both males and females. An adult Croatian Sheepdog can be about twice the size of an average pug.

How fast can a Croatian Sheepdog run?

The Croatian Sheepdog is considered one of the fastest dog breeds and the breed has great agility, making it one of the top breeds at dog sports. Whilst an exact speed is yet to be measured, they are fast enough to outrun their owners!

How much does a Croatian Sheepdog weigh?

The Croatian Sheepdog breed weighs 29-43 lb (13-20 kg) on average. The weights of males and females are the same.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female Croatian Sheepdogs.

What would you call a baby Croatian Sheepdog?

A baby Croatian Sheepdog is called a Croatian Sheepdog puppy.

What do they eat?

Croatian sheepdogs are carnivores and love eating raw meat or good quality dog food. They can also eat cooked eggs, some fruits, cheese, and some vegetables.

Like other dogs, they need good quality dry food. This should be fed once a day for adults, twice a day for dogs below one year of age, thrice for dogs aged three to six months, and four times for those under three months.

Overfeeding this dog breed can cause obesity. It is important not to feed a Croatian Sheepdog too many treats throughout the day, or to give them a share of the meals you eat yourself, as this may lead to mineral imbalances and overeating.

Are they slobbery?

The Croatian Sheepdog is slightly slobbery. They do salivate, but the drooling tendencies of this breed are very low in comparison to some slobbery dog breeds.

If you don't like too much slobber dripping on your clothes every time you play with your dog, then the Croatian Sheepdog is a good choice! They might salivate a little to control their body temperature and owners should be aware that excessive drooling might be a symptom of a health condition in this breed.

Would they make a good pet?

Croatian Sheepdogs make amazing pets! They tend to get attached to one person in particular and are extremely loyal to them.

This breed is very gentle and loving, but it can be shy toward strangers or other dogs. Don't worry though, this can be overcome through training.

They are not recommended for novice owners as these dogs can be very stubborn and require a lot of exercise to complement their active nature. A Croatian Sheepdog has a low chance of biting people and is generally a very gentle, intelligent, and child-friendly dog.

Did you know...

The Croatian Sheepdog often barks when they are thinking about something. A little bit of social and obedience training will help them come out of such habits.

Getting your own Croatian Sheepdog

Croatian Sheepdogs are native to Croatia and are most commonly found in Croatia. If you do want to buy a Croatian Sheepdog, you can look for a specialized breeder.

If you plan on adopting from a breeder, it is important to make sure they are reputable so that you do not end up supporting the pet farming industry.

Sometimes a Croatian Sheepdog rescue can be found in adoption centers that take in abandoned herding dogs, but normally you will have to buy this breed from a breeder. An average Croatian Sheepdog will cost about $1000-$1200 from a reputable breeder.

What are sheepdogs known for?

The history of Croatian Sheepdogs date dates back to the seventh century when they were first settled in Croatia. In the 14th century, they were mentioned as an excellent herding dog breed and were referred to by the name Canis pastoralis croaticus.

Centuries later, in 1935, veterinarian Professor Romic began selectively breeding this species after a decline in their population. This dog breed was finally recognized by the Yugoslav Kennel Club in 1968 and by the Croatian Kennel Club in 1969.

Croatian Sheepdogs are very active and are known for their athletic capabilities. It is relatively easy to train them as they are intelligent, perceptive, and tend to love pleasing their owners.

The Croatian Sheepdog is usually wary of strangers and can be shy around children, but with some training and exercise, this can easily be overcome. They have a gentle, kind, and loving nature and show extreme loyalty to their owner. With a lot of exercise and love, they can be the most loving companion you can ask for.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Corgipoo, or the Lowchen.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Croatian Sheepdog coloring pages.  

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

Read full bio >