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Bulgarian Shepherd Dog

Bulgarian Shepherd Dog

Country of origin:

Domestic, guard dog

Tri-colour, bi-colour

Intelligent, independent, proud, dominant, alert, courageous

60-75 cm

40-57 kg


Other names:
Karakachan, Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, Karakachan


Litter size:
From 5-10 puppies

The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is a relatively new breed name – previously these dogs were called Karakachans. It is an excellent guard dog with stamina and willingness to work. Bulgarian Shepherds have an independent character, but if the owner is persistent enough, and if the dog is properly motivated, the Bulgarian Shepherd can become a well-trained and obedient dog. Bulgarian Shepherds have a stable character and are not aggressive, but in certain situations the breed is very fiercely protective of its owner or his property.

History of the breed

Bulgarian Shepherds are descended from dogs that lived in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran. The breed belongs to the Molossian type, which is bred to protect livestock herds and the owner’s property. In the past, Bulgarian Shepherds were called Karakachans – these dogs are mentioned in classical Bulgarian literature (Yordan Yovkov, Georgi Raitchev and Yordan Radichkov wrote about these dogs). It is speculated that the breed may have existed as early as the third century BC, but at that time the breed was very different from the Bulgarian Shepherds of today. By 1940, the breed had been significantly reduced in numbers and a revival of the breed was undertaken. At that time, the breed had not yet been fully defined – the first breed standard for the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog was only proposed in 1970. A couple of decades later, the breed standard was updated and only in 2005 did it gain recognition. Since 2004, Bulgarian Shepherds have been imported to the USA, where they have been successfully bred to this day. The breed is not popular in Lithuania – few people have heard of it at all.

Bulgarian Shepherd Dog: appearance

The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is a large dog: males are 65-75 cm tall at the withers, females 60-72 cm. The males are usually not only taller, but also larger – their weight is 45-57 kg, and that of the females 40-52 kg. The body is muscular, the chest deep and broad, the abdomen retracted. The head is massive, the eyes appear small in relation to the size of the head, brown in colour. Ears small, kept down. Tail covered with dense fur, rather long, held tucked above the back. The top layer of fur is thick and dense, and may be up to about 12 cm long. The undercoat is dense and soft, providing protection even in very harsh weather. Permissible coat colours: white with brown, black with brown, tricolour also possible. It is preferable that the patches decorating the coat are large.

Bulgarian Shepherd Dog: character

The Bulgarian Shepherd is an energetic working dog that is at its best when it is able to carry out the tasks it is given. Today, this breed of dog is often used for home protection, as Bulgarian Shepherds have a very good guarding instinct. Bulgarian Shepherds do not always get along with other dogs, so it is very important to ensure that the pet is properly socialised at an early age. Bulgarian Shepherds get along with small children if they are brought up with them from a young age – children are loved and respected by this breed just like any other family member.

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