Karakachan Information

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(Bulgarian Shepherd) The Bulgarian Shepherd, officially known as the Karakachan, is a massively large dog, very muscular. The dark eyes are deeply placed, and can be quite expressive. The muzzle is medium in length, also massive and broad. The nose is black, with broad nostrils, the teeth strong, with a scissors type of bite. The ears are highly placed on the head. The chest is broad and deep. The tail has a sickle curve. Even more than its appearance, the Bulgarian Shepherd is noted for its slow movement.  The coat is medium long to long, although the face itself has short hair, as do the legs and feet.. The coat color varies, mostly white with large, asymmetrical black or brown spots on the face and at the base of the tail. Although some Bulgarian Shepherds have all white or all black coats - these are not considered to be pure bred dogs. Females are smaller and much lighter than the males.

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The Karakachan Dog is one of Europe's oldest breeds. A typical Mollos, created for guarding its owner's flock and property, it does not hesitate to fight wolves or bears to defend its owner and his family in case of danger. Its ancestors started forming as early as the third millennium BC. The Karakachan Dog is a descendant of the dogs of the Thracians - the oldest inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula, renowned as stock-breeders, whom Herodotus describes as the most numerous people after the Indian one. The Proto-Bulgarians also played an essential part in the formation of the Karakachan Dog as they brought their dogs with them at the time of their migration from Pamir and Hindukush.The dog is named after the Karakachan's - nomadic shepherds of Thracian origin. Due to their conservative stock-breeding traditions, they managed to preserve some of the oldest breeds of domestic animals in Europe - the Karakachan sheep, the Karakachan horse, and, of course, the Karakachan Dog. It is with this name that the Karakachan Dog appears in the works of some of the classics of Bulgarian literature, namely Yordan Yovkov, Georgi Raitchev and Yordan Radichkov. In 1938 H.B. Peters wrote about it in the German cinologycal magazine. The first researcher of the breed was Todor Gajtandjiev, who proposed the standardization of the breed in the 1970s. The Karakachan Dog's bravery and dignity, together with its incredible loyalty, make this dog an invaluable friend and helper.

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The Karakachan is an independent working guard dog, and is not happy when it is not working. It will become devoted to its master, and will usually bond with any children in the family as well. However, it is not a home dog - it simply must be on a farm, where it may attack intruders. The Bulgarian Shepherd, if socialized from a young age, will get along well with any smaller pets in the family, from rabbits, to cats to chickens.

Its temperament is proud, domineering, weary to strangers, brave and intelligent. This dog is tough, steady and has independent character. Its bark is deep and solid.

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25‑30 inches
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88‑125 pounds
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General Health

No chronic health problems for the Bulgarian Shepherd are known. With proper care, this breed can live up to 14 years.

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The ancient Bulgarians migrated from what is now Afghanistan and Iran, bringing their dogs with them..

The Karakachan Dog is one of Europe's oldest breeds. The Karakachan Dog is a descendant of the dogs of the Thracians.

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The coat of the Bulgarian Shepherd should be brushed on a regular basis - about every two to three days. It needs to be bathed only when necessary.

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Ideal Environment

The Bulgarian Shepherd is totally unsuited to life in an apartment. It must have a large farm to roam, or at the very least a very large yard.

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