by Lucas Marcos McCallum Suarez
Who Let the Dogs Out
“The dog is man’s best friend.
He has a tail on one end.
Up in front he has teeth.
And four legs underneath.”
“Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job.” – Franklin P. Jones
Dog’s are indeed man’s best friend, they love unconditionally and stay true. Their loyalty is unquestionable and without contest. A faithful guardian that will fight to protect and love to serve. They will remain by your side in the ups and downs that are the waves of life and there is no greater need for a companion in these trying times.
The following article covers four of Romania’s best and goodest of good boys, four breeds that have evolved over time to serve man’s greatest needs be that in the sheepfolds or at home.
We begin with the Carpathian Shepherd. This particular breed is widely spread throughout Romania, and has evolved through natural processes in the Danube region. It unsurprisingly gets its name from the shepherds of the Carpathian Mountains who have chosen this breed for safe-guarding their herds and protecting their homes.
It is a robust and imposing wolf-like dog with a wide and tall chest. It has dark, slanting, almond-shaped eyes and rounded drooping V-shaped ears. The fur usually takes on a sandy hue, that is lighter on the belly and sides, and darker on the back. Its coat is double-layered, with a thick, short inner layer, draped with a flat, rough, and thick outer layer.
The Carpathian Shepherd likes to play. It is very active, with a jolly character and a keen intelligence. It is brave in the face of potential predators, and remains a loyal and calm companion. Moreover, it is child-friendly and can be easily trained with a gentle, and consistent approach.
The Corb Shepherd is another naturally formed Romanian breed, that took shape in the Meridional and Subcarpathian areas, used predominantly as a watchdog for herds and houses. Its name translates to Raven in homage to the colour of its jet-black fur.
It shares similar physical traits with the Carpathian Shepherd, with a strong skeleton that supports a large and sturdy body. Its large cambered head is paired with a conical snout and small amber-coloured eyes. The neck is thick and strong, draped with a bushy mane. Its fur is double-coated which needs a good brush from time to time, and can even obtain a reddish hue if taken sun-bathing.
The Corb, also a sheepfold dog, relishes all weather and loves large open spaces. It prides itself on its courage and intelligence, and is utterly devoted to its master and family. Playful and friendly by nature, it has a well-balanced character. However don’t let its calm demeanor fool you. Its well developed guard instinct is attuned to be wary of strangers and can ward them off effectively with its strong bark that can be heard far and wide.
If you are inclined to adopt either of these breeds, it should be noted that they feel best outdoors in a well-fenced yard, however they can adapt to a flat supposing they get their daily walks and runs.
The following two breeds are amongst the oldest, and have served some of the greatest cultures. It goes without saying that time has tested these dogs and they have evolved into very good guard dogs.
The Bucovina Shepherd is a powerful rustic livestock guardian dog, a breed that evolved naturally in the North-East of Romania, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains in Bucovina, where it gets its name. It is said to have been used by the Dacians and the Romans in Dacia and Moesia to hunt game and guard their flocks.
This breed is a result of meticulous selections and careful crossbreeding. It is thoroughly appreciated for watch keeping and protecting properties by virtue of its physical traits. The body is massive and sturdy with strong bones. The head is strong and brawny, with an infundibulum, well-developed muzzle. The eyes are comparably small, slanting almond-shaped and dark, with highly pigmented eyelids. Its bushy tail is set high, when at rest it is carried low, with a slightly bent tip, when alert it is carried high, sickle-shaped and sometimes over the backline. The fur is double-layered, with a short, thick and lighter inner layer and a straight, thick, rough outer layer. The most common combination of colours is white with black or sand-coloured patches.
It is a strong, independent dog that values its privacy. Brave, proud, sensible and calm, it is child-friendly and devoted to its master and family, but suspicious of strangers. It patrols the property at night and barks loudly if other animals or strangers get close to its territory, sounding with a low tone that can be heard at long distances.
Like the Corb it is resistant to weather changes, and feels best in a fenced yard. The Bucovina needs lots of space to feel secure because of its playful and independent character. It needs gentle and consistent training and socialization.
Finally we have Romania’s oldest breed, the Mioritic Shepherd. It is widely spread in Sibiu and the Brasov regions. The predecessors of this breed accompanied Celtic tribes during migrations and were brought by Tartars to the North of the Black Sea and around the Caspian Sea, from there it spread to Moldavia. Due to its imposing look and magnificent courage, it is considered by some the only dog that can survive when attacked by a bear.
Despite its large size, it is not heavy. It has a well-developed body, with a wide chest and a strong head, with the muzzle slightly shorter than the skull. The eyes are medium-sized, coloured either brown or hazel. The drooped ears are set high and round ended. The fur needs constant care, and needs frequent weekly brushing. The magnificent coat is double-layered with a thick and soft inner layer. The outer layer is luscious and long (8-16 cm) and water resistant. The colours vary from pure white, pure grey and white with well-defined grey or black patches.
The Mioritic is peaceful and relaxed by nature, it doesn’t require an owner with too much experience in raising dogs and has a pretty flexible character, being friendly with almost everyone, especially children. It is highly devoted to its master and their family and will accept the family friends and other animals. The Mioritic Shepherd is a one-master dog and is cautious with strangers.
If you feel inclined to add a furry friend to your family, please first consider adopting a rescue. As more often than not, many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already house-trained, which means you won’t only be saving a pet’s life, you may be saving your carpet. Adopting a mature pet not only gives older animals a second chance, it often means introducing them to your family will be much easier.
For more information about these particular breeds please visit: http://www.infodogs.co.uk/dog-breeds/country/romania
For more information on local rescue shelters:
For more information on how to properly care for an adopted dog: