PIES MAGAZINE 06-2015 EN

 

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He whom wolves dread, Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog

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BREED ON REQUEST ROMANIAN CARPATHIAN SHEPHERD DOG The dogs of ‘De Pe Somes’ are known in the entire region To protect sheep grazing in the Carpathian Meadows, Carpathian Shepherd Dogs still need to confront bears and wolves. These working dogs learn to be responsible for their herds from early age by living among their charges. Independent and self confident, they require firm leadership, and are not suited to city life . The Romanian Carpathian Sheepdog or Carpatin, is one of the many descendants of the Tibetan Mastiff. Several breeds of this type have been preserved in Europe and are still guarding flocks of sheep and goats that graze during summer on high mountains pastures. People had rather small influence on shaping these breeds, with geographic isolation and natural selection being the main shaping factors. Early middle ages brought to Europe migration of Huns and Avars, and with them the above mentioned dogs. Hun and Avar people settled in Southern Carpathian Mountains, present time Romania, and were eventually assimilated by local daco-roman people. One of these peoples were Vallachians, where sheep husbandry was common. In XIII century Vallachans were granted the privilege to graze their sheep in the Carpathian Mountains, and that was most likely when the shaping of local shepherding dogs began. Dogs that had to work in the mountains guarding sheep from wolves had to be large and strong, but at the same time couldn’t be heavy. The Carpatin is just such a breed. The breed standard describing Carpatin stresses that the dog cannot be heavily built and may not be of a Molosser type. Most likely that characteristic, that differentiates Carpatins' from Molossers, led to Carpatins' be classified in FCI group 1 and not group 2. ween the two world wars. The first description of the Carpatins' was published in the periodical Carpatii in 1937. In his description, Dr. Moldoveanu wrote: “Carpatin dogs are big, strong with a temperament similar to a wolf. This is most visible when the dog is mad, and his eyes are burning like those of a wild beast. That can be due to the fact that these dogs live far away from human settlements and dealing with predators is their daily duty. Only shepherds know how brave these dogs are, how attached and loving they are towards those who care for them." The same year, periodical Canis brings a mention about a The history of the breed litter of Carpatin puppies born in TiDogs that were working out in the misoara and another article in a veterimountains, had to wait a long time to narian periodical, penned by Dr. Raattract any interest from kynolodulescu, postulating that Carpatins' gists. In Romania, that happened bet- should be recognized as National

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Sheepdog. None of the above mentioned articles, led to any solid breeding activity. That had to wait for change in the political system. The Bistrita region has a long and cherished sheep husbandry tradition. One of the most experienced and respected sheep farmers is Vasile Iclenzian. In 1994, he established a foundation tasked with restoring the headcount and popularization of the native Romanian sheep dogs, Carpatin and Mioritic Shepherd. The former was supposed to resemble dogs first described by Dr. Moldoveanu. Searching the areas near and far revealed that the dogs kept by shepherds varied a lot. One dominant type was heavy set, with a spotted coat. Those who bred them were of course convinced that those were the “right” Carpatins, and that these dogs were of course better than dogs described by Dr. Moldoveanu. That led to the escalation of conflict between supporters of each type. Following the specialized dog show in Bistrița, during which both types were presented, an agreement was reached that the Carpatin dogs were only those that met the standard described by Moldoveanu, the lighter built, grey dogs. The heavier set, spotted dogs were given a different name and standard: Bucovina Sheep Dogs. The full agreement wasn’t reached until four years later, when a third breed was recognized, the Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog. Until today, Vasile Inclenzan retains the post of the deputy president of the Carpatin Breed Club, in charge of breeding activities. He is also the undisputed authority Pack of Carpatins belonging to Vasile Vostinar GROUP: FCI 1 Shepherd’s Dogs and Herding Dogs, Section 1 Shepherd’s Dogs GENERAL IMPRESSION: EARS: Not too big, trian- Relatively large-sized dog, agile, never heavy, the general appearance being that of a vigorous dog. The body is rectangular, the croup is broad, slightly sloping, the chest is large and deep, the shoulder (Based on FCI standard) 59 -67 cm ID CARD gular, little higher than eye line, tip slightly rounded, close to the cheek. LIMBS: Moderately angular TAIL: Set on relatively high, bushy, with abundant coat. In activity carried upwards, often higher than the topline. COAT: harsh, dense and straight. HEIGHT: Males: 65 -73, Females: HEAD: Lupoid type (wolf-like). Undercoat dense and soft. On head and front limbs short and flat. The Carpathian Shepherd Dog is of the meso- Overall moderate length, abundant cephalic type, with a powerful but not heavy all over the body. COLOR: Pale head. The forehead is wide and slightly domed; fawn with different tones black wider between the ears and narrowing progres- (wolf-grey). White markings on sively towards the stop. The frontal furrow is muzzle, forehead, neck, chest, relatively long and sufficiently well defined. limbs and tail are permissible. For shepherds, the color of the dogs is not important

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BREED ON REQUEST ROMANIAN CARPATHIAN SHEPHERD DOG CARPATIN RELATIVES KNOWN IN POLAND: Two relatives of Carpatins known in Poland are: TORNJAK (photo 1)and ŠARPANINAC (Photo 2). The first comes from the former Yugoslavia, and is now under official patronage of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. The name Tornjak is derived from the word ‘tor’ which describes a sheep pen. The earliest, but brief mention of Tornjak goes back to the XI century. Registration of Tornjaks started in 1981, and the present standard was defined in 1990, with subsequent changes. Height in withers varies from 65 – 70 cm for males, and 60 – 65 cm for females. The first female of this breed was brought to Poland less than 20 years ago. More dogs were brought in recently, but the proper breeding is just beginning. Šarplaninac is another breed originating from the former Yugoslavia. Today, Šarplaninac is under patronage of Serbian and Macedonian kynologists. This breed was first recognized in 1939, and originally was known as Illyrian Shepherd. In 1959, the Šarplaninac breed was subdivided in two: dogs from Sar Mountains and shepherds from Kras. Šarplaninac is the most popular breed from FCI group 1, and is bred almost in entire Europe and in USA. It is well built, with slightly elongated silhouette. Height in withers is from 58 cm for females and 62 cm for males. Šarplaninac is solid in color: fawn, iron grey, white or almost black; usually sable or gray with darker "overalls" on the head and back, the undercoat being paler, with white being rare. While Šarplaninac was first brought to Poland in XIX century, this breed is not well known. on all issues related to the Carpatin breed. Despite being recognized by FCI, Carpatins still remain virtually unknown outside Romania, and most likely that will continue. The demand for such dogs remains low, as they do not fit the lifestyles of city dwellers.They also face substantial competition from sheepdog breeds introduced earlier, like Šarplaninac and Caucasian Ovcharka. Carpatins still remain virtually unknown in Poland, with only few of these dogs residing in Poland. Despite one or two litters of puppies already born, one can hardly consider that to be an organized breeding. Usefulness of this breed At the present time Carpatin dogs are still used on high mountain summer pastures, protecting flocks of sheep from wolves and bears, which are quite numerous in the southern Carpathian Mountains. A small group of these dogs can stop a bear attack, but wolves are more difficult to deal with. Wolves have a more elaborate set of tricks, which they employ when dealing with sheep dogs. It is very important that the livestock protection dogs dealing with wolves do not get lured away from the sheep herd. Working Carpatin dogs are now part of the Canine Efficiency program initiated by Ray Dorgelo from Holland. Canine Efficiency brings together sheep farmers, members of the Carpatin Breed Club and the protectors of the natural environment and wildlife. It has been proven, that where sheep flocks are protected by livestock protec- tion dogs, attacks by predators are significantly decreased. It should be stressed that Carpatin dogs are not herding dogs, and calling them shepherds does not reflect their proper utility. On expositions The majority of Carpatins are working dogs and not registered anywhere, Romanian Kennel Club is trying to promote this breed. Annually there are few Carpatin shows in Romania. Also, more and more Carpatins appear in all breed shows. Carpatins are very much the livestock protection dogs. Carpatins require virtually no training. Beginning from puppyhood, they should be raised with and spend time among sheep to consider them as their own herd. In this natural environment puppies learn from older dogs how to deal with threatening situations. In every day life Carpatins, like many other mountain dogs used to guard sheep, are not suited to city life. They will be happiest living on a farm, out in the country, or on large property with acreage and perhaps some garden. In this kind of environment Carpatin will prove itself as a quiet, reliable and a formidable guardian. This breed is quite independent and self confident, and requires a strong and decisive person to live with. Carpatin is totally devoted to his family, but distrustful of strangers. While Carpatins are very caring around children, one should not assume that kids should be left alone with these dogs without any supervision. Carpatins have a very strong pack instinct, hence it is possible to manage and keep several of them. In larger groups they maintain strict hierarchy, and one should not try to change that. Carpatin is considered to be a “primitive breed” and continues to be a subject of natural selection. They do not have special dietary or grooming requirements. The dogs that are kept outside year round will molt once a year, in the spring, and can use a good brushing. Since the breed is nearly exclusively used as a working dog, information about health problems and genetic issues is lacking. In the opinion of Romanian veterinarians, Carpatin is a healthy and robust breed that does not require special care.

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