As the son of a devoted Sarplaninac breeder and the author of this comprehensive guide, I understand the importance of providing top-notch care for these magnificent Shepherd Dogs.
Sarplaninacs are remarkable dogs known for their unwavering loyalty and protective nature, making them the ideal companions for those who value both a furry friend and a guardian.
But to fully appreciate the incredible qualities of this breed, it’s crucial to ensure their well-being through proper care and attention.
In this guide, I’ll share my insights and Sarplaninac care tips to help you build a strong, loving, and lasting bond with your furry friend.
According to their diet, dogs belong to the group of carnivores. So, it’s logical that meat should prevail in the diet of an adult Sarplaninac.
My recommendation is as follows: fresh beef, cooked pork, boiled chicken, and, of course, bones (excluding fish and small bones).
Although other foods like cooked vegetables, rice, semolina, bread, eggs, etc., can be included, meat should be the mainstay of their meal for optimal growth and development.
If you choose to use granulated dog food, my advice is to mix it with yogurt.
During the puppy’s developmental period, up to around 12-15 months, it’s essential to ensure a well-balanced diet rich in all the nutrients necessary for their otherwise vigorous development.
It’s also crucial to spare them from strenuous activities during this period, allowing for ample playtime and rest.
Only then can they develop to their fullest potential, both physically and emotionally.
How Often Should a Sarplaninac Be Fed Per Day?
Drawing from our experience, I suggest providing three daily meals for Sarplaninac puppies aged 2 to 6 months.
As they mature, it’s advisable to cut back to two meals a day from 6 months to 1 year old.
When they reach their first birthday, a single daily meal, either in the morning or evening, should suffice for their nutritional requirements.
Providing Fresh Water
Portions of water and food should be placed outside your Sarplaninac’s play area (preferably in the shade).
Water should be changed 2-3 times a day, or even more frequently during the summer months, while during the winter months, it’s best not to leave water in the bowl after your dog has had a drink.
Shelter and Comfort
When it comes to providing shelter for your Sarplaninac, it’s important to distinguish between open and enclosed spaces.
Keep in mind that this breed has its roots in herding, so a house with a fenced yard is the ideal solution – a place where they can engage in physical activity and move about freely.
One common challenge for all indoor dog owners is dealing with a barking pet that can disturb neighbors, especially at night.
However, this can be easily addressed through socialization and training, along with the daily routine of at least 30-minute walks.
If you opt to keep your Sarplaninac in your yard, the best approach is to provide a fenced area with a doghouse reserved for their mobility.
This space should allow them to observe the main entrance and exit of your house, as it helps stimulate their defensive instincts, which are genetically ingrained, ensuring the safety of you and your family.
The doghouse should not be placed to the north or south so that the opening of the doghouse faces in that direction. Why? This is because of strong winds and storms that may occur, making the far better option to orient it to the southwest or southeast.
An enclosed space is a different matter, and it’s up to the owner to assess where their pet will be most comfortable: a fenced-off terrace with a doghouse, a room, or a part of the hallway, for instance.
Let’s see what the Sarplaninac breed FCI Standard N° 41 has to say about their coat.
The head, ears and front side of the legs are covered with short hair. Around the neck, on the rump, at the rear side of the legs and on the tail the hair is long, almost flat and somewhat coarse. Under the guard hair the abundant undercoat is short, dense and of fine texture. At the withers the hair should measure between 10 and 12cm; it should not be shorter than 7 cm.
Sarplaninacs boast a luxurious double-coated fur, characterized by a straight outer fur that offers a slightly rugged texture, while underneath lies a dense and insulating undercoat.
Frequent bathing is not advisable. It’s best to do it only a few times a year. If your dog is indoors (house or apartment), our recommendation is once a month or even weekly.
If you’re preparing your furry friends for a dog show and wish to give them a bathe, do so about a month in advance (although my advice would be to avoid it).
Avoid trimming the coat with scissors for cosmetic purposes, except in special cases, such as surgical procedures performed by a veterinarian or in the case of a visible injury.
If you notice that your Sarplaninac puppy has an extra fifth claw (dewclaw) on its rear feet, ensure its removal in consultation with a veterinarian. Why? It can grow irregularly and cause pain, including infections.
There’s no need to trim the other nails unless they are hindering the dog’s normal movement.
Finally, I must mention the importance of regular brushing for the Sarplaninac dog, as it accomplishes several crucial goals:
- Maintaining Healthy Skin and Coat: Brushing removes dead hair and sebum, which helps keep the skin and coat healthy. This prevents the formation of knots and tangles.
- Reducing Shedding: Regular brushing can significantly reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds around the house, which is especially important for long-haired or double-coated breeds.
- Promoting Circulation: Brushing enhances blood circulation beneath the skin’s surface, which can improve skin health and stimulate the growth of new hair.
- Enhancing the Bond Between Owner and Dog: The time you spend brushing your dog can strengthen the bond between you. Dogs typically enjoy the touch and attention they receive during this process.
- Early Problem Detection: While brushing, you may notice wounds, skin damage, or knots that could indicate potential health issues.
- Maintaining Hygiene: Brushing removes dirt, debris, and odors from the coat, leaving your dog clean and fresh.
During the spring shedding, the outer protective coat is renewed, and this is when regular brushing becomes particularly essential. In the autumn, the undercoat becomes denser …
Training and Socialization
We commence training with puppies, introducing new concepts through play, gradually progressing to the point where the Sarplaninac is proficient in the following commands: walking on a leash, heeling beside the owner, responding to “place” command, and even preparing for dog shows through ring training.
In this manner, we establish a strong foundation for successful socialization.
Our Sarplaninacs will be exposed to a wide range of experiences, including interactions with many people (city walks, events, etc.), visiting various places, and being around other dogs while they are still young (dog shows or dog parks).
Keep in mind that it’s not advisable for a Sarplaninac puppy to leave its home before the (re)vaccination process is successfully completed.
After that, we can gradually introduce them to walks …
To address any undesirable behavior in our pets, it is essential to draw their attention and take appropriate measures.
This can include ending play, clearly and firmly saying NO with assertive gestures, leaving the dog alone in a room for 15 minutes, or immediately returning them to their designated area (dog house).
Ensure your Sarplaninac receives the necessary vaccinations to protect against common canine diseases.
Implement a regular schedule for deworming and flea/tick prevention to keep your dog parasite-free.
Schedule routine veterinary visits to monitor your Sarplaninac’s overall health and address any potential issues early on.
When it comes to the topic of spaying/neutering, my response is a resounding “NO!” Why? Because the dog is no longer a Sarplaninac but merely a pet.
I like to think of them as lovely teddy bears, and nothing more.
While it may achieve the effect of “reducing aggressiveness,” the question is how many people can distinguish between a biting/aggressive/balanced dog.
Just because a Sarplaninac doesn’t allow strangers to get very close or play with them in the owner’s presence doesn’t mean they are aggressive!
During a female Sarplaninac’s heat cycle, the following measures can be taken: she must be kept in a fenced area for XY days or use dog diapers if indoors.
Perhaps one day, you might wish to have offspring from your beloved pets.
Love and Attention
Sarplanacs are incredibly loyal and affectionate dogs, and they deeply value the time spent with their owners.
Regular interaction and quality time are essential to their well-being.
Engage in activities your Sarplanac enjoys, whether it’s going for long walks or simply sitting together on the couch.
The more you invest in bonding, the stronger your connection will be!
Show them affection through gentle petting, cuddling, and verbal praise.
These dogs often seek constant companionship and will happily follow you around the house.
Embrace this loyalty and provide them with the social interaction they crave.
Thank you for your attention and time!
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API