They look just like our Great Pyranees! I didn't know that Sarplaninac could be white as well.
Hi MashaYes, the white colour in the Sarplaninac is called Merdjan. It is regarded under the shars as a "rare" colour. One of the first "founding" shars registered was a white one. The grey colour is more traditional, yet you see quite a few karabash coloured ones as well. We have seen that breeding a grey to a white you end up with the lighter karabash colours. We also get mixed litters with gryes and whites within the same litter.
Oh,most white LGD pups will look the same.. however when they grow up you can see that they are a different breed to the others. At least, thats what people have told me who have had white GP's and now have a white shar...
Thanks for the explanation - my ancestral family is from the Šar planina region and when my father did his military service in the former Jugoslavia, he had a regimental mascot that was a huge Šarplaninac. I would love to get some Shar/GP pups out of one of my lovely GP girls. Any thoughts on the cross? Or would that be considered a dilution of the Shar bloodlines?
I am sure your father will certainly have a deep respect for this breed of dog! I do not cross breed my dogs and do not let my males be used for creating crossbreeds. We are such a small group of dedicated breeders I do not believe this is the right way to go. I see too ofetn pups advertised as shar crosses and they turn out to be complete mixed breeds and I doubt even if their is any shar in these pups ancestory. There is a litter of a GPx Shar that I know of. It was an accidental litter. I do wonder why people would want to cross breed them, what do you think the advantage would be? What type of dog do you think would come from such a cross that would be better than either parent? I think the GP has a certain genetic make up and traits and so does the shar but by crossing them what would be the goal?
I understand your reticence. My father agrees that there's no good reason to cross the two. He's also a purist - to the extreme.. as in, he believes that Shar litters should still be thrown in a pen with a wolf and if they do not attack and best it, they should be destroyed (which is part of the bloodline's history on the continent). My thought initially was to get a Shar-lite (admittedly that sounds disrespectful of dedicated breeders) in which some of the aggression against other canines would be somewhat ameliorated and, hopefully, the people-pack tendency in the GP would come across in a dog that is as physically robust and loyal as a Shar. Mind you, my dogs are companions and not working dogs. Also, I'm sure you know that the very existence of Šarplaninac outside of Macedonia and Serbia is a contentious issue.
Yes, I know about the wolf tests with pups, most often it was the head of a dead wolf on a pole to provoke a reaction from the pups... However,a more negaitive side of their history was when the military got hold of these mountian dogs and started crossbreeding them with German Shepherds and other breeds. When crossbreeding you seldom get a pure blend of two breeds, usually they will take after either the father or the mother's breed. In a perfeact world a perfect mix may happen...Well, I must say, not to be rude, but many Balkan people have a lot of contentious issues about a whole bunch of things. I see a huge number of shars being used and abused in these countries, they are used for illegal dog fighting and provoked into being overly aggressive (just surf around you tube). I am not sure everyone there has the best interests of the breed at heart.
Please excuse all the typos...I am tired.
It's not rude to point out a basic, observable truth.. you are quite right about the balkans (I can never go home to the region of my birth because of the kosovo mess). I am also happy that these beautiful dogs have found such a staunch defender as yourself. I think I differ on the issue of crossbreeding - and probably on the issue of 'pure' breeds generally. My GPs are not pure but have a papered GP father and an Anatolian Shepherd/GP mother - perhaps I am informed more by my subjective experience than any imperical studies on the matter but I think that litter is, in fact, superior to either parent (as far as intelligence goes, certainly better than the pure GP father... and as morphological type, superior to the mother). In my mind, the initial comment that sparked all this made sense because you have a litter that is the result of unintentional line-breeding and as a farmer you must realize the potential genetic consequences ('good' and bad) which means that the subsequent generation may well benefit from an infusion of genetic diversity. And the Anatolian Shepherd genes may stand as a common ancestor? In any case, thank you for indulging my thoughts and verbal wanderings, I appreciate your candor and your time.All the very best to you and yours,Masha Petrovic-Anderson
oh, and yes, surfing youtube videos of Sarplaninac is a horrible experience... both for the presence of dog fighting and dogs chained up to some piece of equipment in the yard and most especially for the disgustingly acrimonious, ethnically-motivated comments below each and every video.