This mellow breed is medium-large sized but usually appears larger due to its thick, double layer, weather-resistant coat; the coat is notably thicker around the neck and can be almost any solid color. Sarplaninacs are sturdy looking dogs, overall, with straight, strong backs and deep chests. Males are often noticeably larger than females but, in general, individuals weigh 66-100 pounds and stand 22-28 inches at the shoulders; even 125 pounds in not unusual for this breed. Sarplaninacs have broad heads tapering into relatively short muzzles. The ears are dropped and V-shaped and the eyes, described by the breed standard as "piercing", are chestnut to dark brown. Consider the following Sarplaninac info to decide if this breed is right for you.
- Intelligence- This breed needs little to no training to perform its natural guardian duties such as tending to flocks or handling cattle, however, they will need early training and socialization to be a family pet so as not to become over protective. Certainly, they are intelligent but usually appear stubborn since they are very independent and nonreactive often choosing to make their own decisions. If you are not an experienced owner or at least capable of being extremely firm, clear and consistent then this is not the breed for you.
- Kids, Pets, Strangers- Once again, early training and socialization is key. Although they may show a natural love and fondness for your children, unfamiliar ones (and any strangers, for that matter) will be regarded with suspicion or aloofness. Sarplaninacs are likely to become more dog aggressive as they reach maturity so they may do best in an only pet household unless they have been around the dog since puppy-hood; food aggression is also common and should not be tolerated. They are typically fine with other pets and (in the absence of a herding "job") will consider their household their flock to guard.
- Exercise- Unlike high energy herding breeds, the Sarplaninac is a laid-back fellow that will do well with a few daily walks and some outdoor time in a fenced area (large yard or pasture) and, yes, fenced is necessary to prevent them roaming too far. This is not the type to take to the dog park.