Bulgarian Shepherd

The Bulgarian Shepherd or Karakachan is a robust working dog breed of Bulgarian origin, known for its great endurance and loyalty to its owner. Physically, its large head and abundant coat stand out.

General details

The average weight of the members of this breed can reach values between 60 and 70 kg. The average height at the shoulder is 65-70 centimeters for males, and 60-65 centimeters for females. The average life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 12 years.

Breed history in brief

The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog or Karakachan breed is one of the oldest breeds in the world, originating in Bulgaria. It is believed that this breed was developed from a cross between the Turkish Shepherd Dog, the Italian Shepherd Dog and the German Shepherd Dog. It is also believed that the first specimens were brought to Bulgaria by itinerant shepherds from the Balkans, who moved with their herds of cattle in search of better pastures. These shepherds used the Karakachan as a guard and companion dog, to protect their animals and to carry loads. During World War I, Karakachan dogs were employed by Bulgarian troops as guards, equipment carriers and messengers. This use was also extended during World War II, when Karakachan were used as military dogs.

Breed characteristics

The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog has a stocky, muscular build, with a strong medium-sized head and relatively low set ears. The eyes are of medium size and intelligent expression, and the tail is carried low at rest, but if the dog is in motion or alert, it may be raised with a slight upward curve. Its coat is short, harsh and dense, with a variety of colors ranging from black to brown, with white and gray, and some specimens may have white patches on the face. The Bulgarian Shepherd is a very intelligent breed of dog, with a great instinct for protection and a great resistance to cold. It is very alert and very loyal to its owner, which makes it an excellent companion. This breed is known for its great energy and agility, which allows it to perform a variety of tasks, such as guarding and searching for objects.

Common health problems

The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, with optimal care and attention, can enjoy a long healthy life, although it shows a predisposition to suffer from certain health problems. Among the most common diseases or disorders are hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, cataracts and atopic dermatitis.

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