When thinking about European dogs, Romanian dogs are not the first that springs to our mind. While Romania does not boast many native breeds, the dogs they do have are impressive.
Romania has challenging terrains, like the Carpathian Mountains, hills, and plenty of plains. This makes their dog breeds adaptive, versatile, and able to perform many tasks. They're quite adaptable.
If you choose to own one, they may offer more than some of the most popular dogs in your neighborhood!
You may not have heard about Romanian dog breeds till today. But it's time you do; these four native ones never provide a dull moment.
Carpathian Shepherd Dog
Are you seeking a protector or a guardian for your household? If so, then you might like the Carpathian Shepherd. This mighty AKC-recognized breed comes from the Carpathian mountains itself.
Bred to guard livestock, they're great for defending and protecting family. The Carpathian Shepherd dog has a strong work ethic going out of their way to defend their territory. They're also a vigilant breed, doubling up as a good watchdog against strangers.
As they are hardworking and protective, they need an experienced owner. They must undergo extensive training to differentiate between everyday and dangerous threat-invoking situations.
When trained, this dog breed is loyal to its family. You should always supervise them around children because of their big size.
If you want to own one, you'll need a backyard for them to exercise their legs. They're a large breed boasting impressive strength and athleticism. On average, they can grow up to 29 inches and weigh between 32-45kg. You can identify them due to their well-muscled body and gray wolf-like appearance. Their thick double coat allows them to handle hot and cold temperatures.
Bucovina Shepherd Dog
Another large mountainous Romanian dog is the Bucovina Shepherd Dog. This dog breed has a protective and loyal personality. They were bred to help protect their surroundings and livestock in the mountains. Today, they're fantastic family dogs and go out of their way to defend members.
Their appearance is like a St Bernard, but they have subtle differences. The Bucovina Shepherd Dog stands tall at 25-29 inches and weighs between 50-90kg. They have a white coat that can have patches of grey, black, and or red. Sometimes they can have grey ticks on their legs.
Due to being from the mountains, they have a thick wavy weather resistant double coat. Because it's thick, it sheds often. So if you suffer from allergies, you might need to reconsider this dog. They need a lot of grooming to stop their fur from matting and falling all over your home.
As Bucovina Shepherds have a strong work ethic, you must train and socialize them well from an early age. It's essential you do this so they don't become reactive and aggressive with strangers. If trained well, the Bucovina Shepherd Dog can be affectionate. They're a charming companion for families with children.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
Originating from Brasov, the Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog herds livestock.
This large breed grows up to 25-29 inches, weighing 50-60 kg in size. They have a double coat in either gray, cream, or white. Their thick double coat helps protect them against harsh mountain weather. Their coat is prone to seasonal shedding.
These beautiful dogs can develop a strong attachment to their owner. So if you plan on owning one, you must socialize them early so they don't become too clingy. If trained well, they're a gentle giant to have in your home and develop a loving bond with children.
Because they are large, their living conditions should accommodate their size. They'll need a yard to stretch their legs and vigorous exercise daily. If possible, take them out for long slow-paced hikes. In parallel, they also need a lot of mental stimulation to stop them from becoming bored. They love to have agility-based tasks, herding, and undergo obedience training.
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog (also known as Corb Shepherd)
Out of all four Romanian dog breeds, the Corob Shepherd might be the toughest and the rarest. They were originally developed to protect livestock against predators like wolves and bears. Today you can still see this in their temperament. They're courageous and powerful. Because of their original purpose, they double up as excellent guard dogs.
Their black coats make them known as Corb, meaning Raven in English. They also have amber colored eyes and a massive rectangular and long muscular body. If looked after well, this dog can have a life expectancy of up to 14 years.
They're also easy to train but need an experienced dog owner to raise them. Sometimes they may display strong protective instincts and behavioral issues which need handling.
Because they're large, around 30 inches, they need a lot of exercise. They need at least 60 minutes a day, to curb boredom behaviors.If trained well, the Corb Shepherd is a family dog that is very loyal and affectionate.
Common Questions About Romanian Dog Breeds
What are the most popular Romanian dog breed?
The most popular Romanian dog breed is the Carpathian Shepherd..
What is the history of Romanian dogs?
Most Romanian dogs existed to undergo roles within the Carpathian Mountains. Many of them existed to guard livestock and protected the surrounding territory.
Are Romanian dog breeds suitable for families with children?
Even though a lot of Romanian dog breeds guard livestock, most of them double up as excellent family pets. But, they need an experienced owner and consistent training from an early age.
What are the common health issues in Romanian dogs?
Like other dogs, Romanian breeds can be prone to some health issues, but it's not always guaranteed. They are at risk of elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism and cataracts. But it's best to take them to a vet for regular checkups to rule any of these out.
Are there any rare or lesser-known Romanian dog breeds?
Out of all the dogs in Romania, the rarest to come by are the Romanian Raven Shepherd dog and the Romanian Sheepdog. Due to them coming from different parts of Romania, you might have to travel far to find them.
What kind of living environment is best for Romanian breeds?
With all Romanian dog breeds coming from the Carpathian mountains, they need space. These dogs need to be able to get outdoors and connect with nature. As most are medium to large, they need a space where they can run. They must undergo vigorous exercise for at least 60-90 minutes each day.
How can I find a reputable breeder or rescue for Romanian dog breeds?
The best way to find Romanian dog breeds is searching online for forums. Romanian dog breeds are not popular. You may have to travel to a different country to find a specialized breeder. If you can't travel, attend local dog shows and network with breeders.
Romanian dogs are pretty amazing to have in your life. Most of them are full of affection and double as hardworking guard dogs. Many of them love exercise, so if you're an outdoorsy person, they're a great companion.
Due to them being from the mountains, many of them have double coats. Thus they shed a lot and make them a breed that isn't best for allergy sufferers. They will also need training from a young age so their protective instinct is under control.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.