Sarplaninac Unmasked – Are They Truly Dangerous?

I believe that this question is of utmost interest to prospective Sarplaninac dog owners.

After gathering valuable data on the breed’s history and its intended purpose, a logical query arises: Is the Sarplaninac a dangerous dog?

My response is a resounding NO, for I firmly adhere to the age-old adage, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners!”

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a future owner, my first step would be to explore online forums frequented by Sarplaninac dog owners (facebook groups).

Subsequently, I would peruse newspaper articles and, last but not least, attentively listen to the opinions of breeders.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that there are situations where a Sarplaninac may exhibit hostile behavior.

This primarily concerns unfamiliar individuals and potential threats encroaching upon its territory due to their innate guardian instinct.

Fearful vs Overly Aggressive Dog

Difference between a fearful and overly aggressive dog …

Fearful Dog – A fearful dog exhibits aggression or hostile behavior as a response to fear, insecurity, or anxiety (shows its teeth when barking).

  • Behavior: Timid dogs often attempt to defend themselves or escape from situations that cause them stress or discomfort. A fearful dog may react aggressively only when feeling threatened.
  • Possible Reasons: Fear of unfamiliar people, other dogs, loud noises, abuse (pain), or unpredictable situations can be the root cause of fearful behavior.

Overly Aggressive Dog – An overly aggressive dog displays inappropriate and excessive aggression towards people, other animals, or objects without an apparent reason or as a disproportionate reaction to circumstances.

  • Behavior: Such a dog may attack without warning, without evident provocation or reason. Aggressiveness in these dogs is often not directed at a specific fear but is generalized and excessive.
  • Possible Reasons: Excessive dog aggression can result from poor socialization, abuse, genetic factors (mixed breeds), or inadequate training.

An overly aggressive dog is not only a danger to its surroundings but also to the family itself because the owner has no control over it. In most cases, the solution is euthanasia.

I have nothing against mixed dog breeds as long as they have undergone the socialization process (stable character and they can only be pets).

As for Sarplaninacs, I suggest you take a look at the following pictures to see how it looks.

The most risky combinations: Caucasian Shepherd – Kangal – Alabai.

Reasons: height, bigger skeleton, and color.

The biggest problem is that such pets sometimes win valuable prizes and titles at dog shows.

As a result, prospective owners are under the impression that they have an authentic Sarplaninac in their home (“purebred”).

The Guardian Instinct

Sarplaninacs are famous for their guardian instincts.

They have an innate protective nature, which is deeply rooted in their history as working dogs.

This instinct makes them fiercely loyal to their owners and their territory, making them excellent guard dogs.

In the presence of the owner, an unknown person (a friend) must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters for a regular conversation, and if they make a sudden move, the dog may perceive it as an attack on their owner, leading to a potential response.

Many people misconstrue this as a lack of socialization or a form of aggression. It’s a normal and desirable reaction in that situation!

My message to them: Choose a different dog breed.

Socialization and Training

As with any dog breed, socialization and training play a significant role in shaping a Sarplaninac’s behavior.

Early socialization helps them become well-adjusted dogs, comfortable around people and other animals.

Our kennel is deeply committed to this cause, and every puppy/dog undergoes rigorous training under the guidance of my father.

We have created an extensive collection of video content on this subject, which you can easily access on our YouTube channel and social media platforms.

Sarplaninac Behavior Around Family and Strangers

Sarplaninacs are known for being affectionate and gentle with their families.

They form strong bonds and are good with children and other pets, provided they have been socialized appropriately.

While they can be wary of strangers, their behavior is typically reserved and not aggressive without provocation.

Common Misconceptions

One of the most significant misconceptions about Sarplaninacs is that they are inherently dangerous.

This notion often arises due to their imposing appearance.

It’s essential to understand that their protective behavior is not a sign of inherent aggression but a demonstration of their loyalty to their family and territory.


The point of this article is not whether Sarplaninacs are dangerous or not, but to emphasize that we must avoid generalizing and hastily drawing conclusions based on individual cases.

In many instances, we lack information about the dog’s origin, its breeder, whether it has suffered abuse, endured hunger, or if it’s a mixed breed, among other factors.

When an unfortunate event occurs, the tendency is to label all dogs and their owners!

Therefore, it is far better to understand the distinction between a fearful, aggressive, and balanced dog.

Whether you choose to acquire a purebred dog or adopt a pet from a shelter is entirely your decision.

However, please refrain from forming a negative opinion about any dog breed solely based on one newspaper article or (suspicious) statistical data.

In conclusion, I can only say this – Sarplaninac never barks without reason and does not attack those weaker than itself.

Are They Truly Dangerous? – No!

Thank you for your attention and valuable time.

Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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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