Believed by many to be extinct today, the Velebit Sheepdog was one of the breeds used in the Croatian Tornjak revival programme. This is a very old working breed, related to other Molossers of the Balkans, most notably the Sylvans and Pannonian Herders. In appearance it is similar to the Grobnik Sheepdog, except for the noticeable difference in size, colour and temperament. Unlike the Grobnik dog, the Velebit Sheepdog is not a herder, but rather exclusively a flock defender. Although the breed is generally viewed as extinct, some specimens can still be found in rural parts of the Lika region of modern Croatia.
Extremely territorial and aggressive, this breed makes an excellent guard dog. Males are very dominant and unfriendly towards other dogs, while the females tend to be more even-tempered. The Velebit Sheepdog is well-muscled and compact, not as bulky as most mastiffs. The head is moderately broad, with a nice balance between lupoid and molossoid features. Agile and resilient, this breed is valued for its stamina and drive.
The rough coat is wavy, but never curly. Most dogs are tricoloured, usually black and tan with white markings. The average height is around 27 inches.
Also known as:
Velebit Mountain Dog, Velebitski Pastirski Pas, Mt.Velebit Mastiff, Velebitaner, Velebitski Ovcar