The Karakachan Dog - a Loyal Bulgarian Shepherd and Guardian

EU Scoop    
By: Julia Baratta
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Original content from EU Scoop.

Sofia, Bulgaria - Today's dogs are often seen as pale shadows of their former selves, let alone their wolf ancestors. However, there is a dog breed that has been with us for hundreds, possibly thousands of years and stays strong to this day. A dog that will protect its territory, master, and herd, even if that means fighting men, wolves, and even bears. That dog is the Karakachan Shepherd.

Origins of the Karakachan dog

The breed is named after the Sarakatsani, called Karakachans in Bulgaria. Traditionally they were Balkan nomadic shepherds who lived off sheep husbandry. The Karakachan dogs were their loyal companions in that endeavour, forming a strong bond with their masters and the livestock. Some Bulgarian shepherds even argue that this bond is biological and Karakachans don't have to be trained in order to become excellent sheepdogs.

One theory of the origins of the Karakachan dogs is that they are a mix of the sheepdogs local to what is now Bulgaria and the dogs brought here by the Ancient Bulgars. Karakachans bear a striking resemblance to the Molosser of Ancient Greece as they were depicted in the Jennings dog sculpture of a Molossian hound from the 2nd century AD.

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