Can Sarplaninacs Reach 85 cm and Stay Purebred?

The height and weight of Sarplaninac dogs make for an intriguing topic of discussion, appealing to both owners and breeders alike.

Frequently, in various Facebook groups, I come across questions from users wondering how tall a Sarplaninac puppy should be at a certain age.

There’s probably some kind of “magic formula” out there, right?

On the flip side, some breeders are determined to stand out from the crowd.

They’ll go to great lengths to make their Sarplaninacs reach a towering 85 cm, even if it means crossing them with another breed.

Their main argument is that Sarplaninac isn’t a fox with thin legs, and their champions, with robust builds and impressive height, are true representatives of the breed, capable of successfully facing off against wolves and other predators.

This situation is a mixture of both amusing and disheartening, and such breeders, in my eyes, are amateurs, (un)knowingly causing significant harm to this wonderful dog breed!

I have deep respect for the owners of their dogs, as these loyal companions are their world.


The average height at the withers is 62 cm for males and 58 cm for bitches.

Males under 56 cm and bitches under 54 cm are not eligible for breeding.

Higher dogs with the following catches are preferred:

The length of a Sarplaninac’s body accounts for 8-10% in males and 10-12% in females, more than the height at the withers!

The head is proportioned to the body. Its total length measures approximately 25 cm which corresponds to about 40% of the height at the withers.

The girth of the ribcage should exceed the height at the withers by at least 20%.

Front legs – the height of the elbow is approximately 55% of the withers’ measured height!

The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle (the relation being 57:43%). The skull has a slightly convex topline; the nasal bone is straight.

Now we will apply this mathematics to the height of a Sarplaninac at 85 cm:

  • girth of the ribcage 102 cm;
  • length of a dog’s body 93,5 cm;
  • front legs 47 cm;
  • length of a dog’s head 34 cm.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to see such a “purebred” Sarplaninac in person.

In the following, I will explain the flaws in most of these dogs that cannot be hidden, which automatically categorize them into the following category: not in line with the breed standard.


The weight of an adult Sarplaninac dog should ideally be around 60% of their measured height at the withers.

In other words, a dog with a height of 85 cm should weigh approximately 51 kg.

If we’re discussing the ideal height range for Sarplaninacs, which is 68-73 cm, their weight should fall between 41-44 kg.

Sarplaninac Bux 80 cm

Now, I’ll introduce you to a dog from our breeding kennel named Bux, who stands tall at 80 cm.

He has undergone rigorous training under my father’s guidance, including a special dietary regimen and moderate physical activity throughout the day.

In a word, Bux is a true VIP when I consider the entire situation, turning heads wherever he goes and drawing immense attention.

As a result, we’ve taken extra security measures.

What’s interesting here is his height and constitution.

He doesn’t have a slack lower jaw or, as I like to call them, “pockets,” excess skin folds on the neck, a sunken back, or poor posture in his front and hind legs.

These are traits you won’t find in Bux!

He’s the kind of dog that, when he pulls you forward, sets all your white and red blood cells in your body dancing.

Robust constitution and indescribable strength for a dog!

However, Sarplaninacs like him are a rarity …

That’s why I refer to Bux as an “exception” when it comes to height, as our other dogs typically range between 70-73 cm.

Sarplaninac Amor 80 cm and Above

Amor was initially acquired as a puppy from another breeding kennel.

My father assessed his potential and we closely monitored the situation over the next year.

We arrived at some intriguing conclusions…

An unwritten rule states that when you first see a Sarplaninac, you observe two things: the head and the tail.

Through careful observation, you can clearly determine whether a dog is a Sarplaninac or not.

Amor’s head exhibits certain distinctive imperfections that clearly indicate he is not a purebred Sarplaninac: loose skin on the lower jaw (pockets), the eye arch follows a round shape, large ears, excess “meat” on the muzzle (not taut), and an overly pronounced forehead.

A melancholic dog with little interest in its surroundings, and when it barks, it usually does so without a clear reason in most cases.

So, it exhibits several severe flaws that are unacceptable for a Sarplaninac, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great pet!

My father managed to find a new home for him, and most importantly, we ensured that Amor doesn’t have any offspring.

Unfortunately, some breeders would take such dogs to dog shows, win prestigious awards, and very likely have a champion litter from Amor.

This way, significant harm is done to this breed, making it increasingly difficult for people to distinguish between Sarplaninacs and Caucasian Shepherds due to their striking similarities.


Can Sarplaninacs Reach 85 cm and Stay Purebred? Based on my experience – NO!

There is no set upper height limit for Sarplaninacs, but the mathematical guidelines mentioned at the beginning of this text, as well as the breed standard, must be respected.

These were formulated by much wiser individuals than myself, who possess an in-depth understanding of canine anatomy down to the finest details!

So, when someone inquires about the height and weight of our dogs, I explain that such data is relatively insignificant and that attention is better directed towards other factors: the correlation between the front and rear portions, the necessity of a short, broad, and muscular loin, the dog’s temperament, and more.

The term “purebred” should be used with caution, especially when discussing Sarplaninacs with an 85 cm height.

I’m not saying such a dog doesn’t exist, but I haven’t personally encountered one yet.

The moment I come across such a dog, I’ll gladly share it here, provided it adheres to both the mathematical criteria and the breed standard.

Thank you for your attention and your time.


My name is Alen Stefanovic, and I am the founder and administrator of the website "Awesome Sarplaninac". As an economist-trade manager, and web designer, I have a passion for the Sarplaninac breed (number 1 dogs for me). My father has been breeding these dogs since 1990, and through the website, I aim to share valuable information about nutrition, care, and training for both puppies and adult dogs. Whether you're a new or experienced owner, you'll find plenty of helpful tips and resources on the site. Welcome to "Sarplaninac FCI 4302", and I wish you a pleasant stay.

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