Note: This standard has been prepared by Mr. Nicholay Atanassov, based on his own researches over the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog breed. Till now (March, 2006) this breed is not officially recognized from none of the international organizations, so it is impossible to speak about some kind of official internationally valid standard. For preparation of this standard are used exterior measurements of more than 200 dogs. All received data are mathematically processed.
The head of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is typically molossoidal. There is neither rough oval of the mastiff type dogs, nor strongly manifested check-bone arcs. Massive, broad and rounded with slightly oval form on the pate. Cerebral part of the skull, seen from above, as a shape is similar to a square with slight narrowing at the muzzle. Slightly prevails at length the facial part.
The muzzle is massive, broad, medium at length, slightly obtuse.
The nose is black, well shaped with broad nostrils. The teeth are strong and white to ivory on color
The bite is a scissors type.
The eyes are deep placed, not protruding, dark at color and expressive. When white pigment of the skull part of the head is prevailing is possible to be slightly pale.
The ears are normally placed, often even high placed. Also individuals with low placed years can be observed which is not typical for the breed.
As a whole Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is compact and symmetrical, with slightly prolonged body format.
For males proportion between length and height of the body is at about 8-10 %. For females it is 10-12 %.
The neck is strong and broad with slight folds of the skin, without forming so called “collar”. Its length is approximately as long as is the head. It is placed at angles 400 in relation to the imaginary extension of the back.
The chest is broad and deep (capacious). The sternum is a little bit below the elbows. The ribs are moderately sprung, neither barrel-shaped nor too flat.
The shoulder is well marked. It is moderately connected to the neck as well as to the back. Viewed from front side, breasts are well build, which makes the setting of the front legs broad, but not deployed.
BACK, GIRDLE AND STOOK
The back is strong, straight and broad. The girdle is middle length, the stook – short. They are tightly connected with each other without being protruding or drooping.
CROUP AND TAIL
The stoke together with the pelvis bones form broad croup with good setting and musculature. The tail reaches to the jumping joints or is slightly below them. In most of the cases it is sickle curved or ring-shaped over the back line.
The shoulder-blade is long and broad, tightly connected with the trunk, closely to the chest, with well marked arch. The humeral bones are middle length and neat to the body. Elbows close to the chest. The under-shoulder bones are vertically placed with slight oval form. The metacarpus’s are firm and springy.
The thighs are long, broad and muscular. The lower thighs are long, at right angles to the thighs. The spring joints are well marked, firm, parallel each other. The metatarsuses (the unit between the hock joint and the foot) are firm and springy.
As the forelegs, the hind legs are straight, parallel each other, vertically to the earth.
The paws are broad, slightly oval in shape. The pads are firm, but elastic. The nails are sturdy, long, gathered in the paws
Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is moving slowly. The movements are seemingly heavily in broad jog-trot. It is due to the relatively big joint angles, mainly at the hind legs.
The coat is of medium length to long. The foreface is covered with short hair. Some of the dogs have short hair at ears also. Shorter is the hair at the dorsal part of the forelegs and at under-shoulder to the paws. The lower tights from the middle and below and metatarsus’s are also covered with short hair. The volar part of the under-shoulder and plantar part of the tights are covered by long awned hair. The fluff layer is thick and covers the whole body except the regions with short hair.
The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog varies in coat color. In the shepherds’ way of life the prevailing white color with big, asymmetric black spots established as a coat cover of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, but it could not be taken as a breed standard. Wholly black coat dogs are serious fault, and wholly white arouses suspicion for mix with breeds distant from the natural area of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog.
The sexual dimorphism is strongly marked.
As a defect is accepted every deviation from pointed out in the standard in case that it changes above described exterior, is an obstacle for fulfillment of dogs’ obligations and deprives the dog from possibility of normal reproduction.
TemperamentThe Bulgarian Shepherd dog is an independent working guard dog. Aggressiveness is not strongly expressed, but at the same time the dogs are reserved in their attitude towards strangers and demonstrate distance by warning growling and eventual attack. Towards predatory animals (often even toward dogs) aggressiveness increases. The Bulgarian Shepherd Dog is alert, easily adapted to the environment, adequately reacting in situations in which is involved. Towards its master or handler demonstrates devotion and fidelity. Its basic sensuousness via sense of smell, hearing and sight is very well developed. Usually tolerant to the children they have been raised with, they love and bond with all people and children within their own family. The BSD is not a home companion, who will lie on the sofa all day, go for walks in the noisy town among people and cars, and run joyfully in parks together with other dogs. The BSD is a true working dog with great working characteristics, combined with stabilized exterior appearance. This dog defends pets, guards the farm, and looks for his master and family's safety. It is inadmissible to be without guarding instinct, even worse is if the dog is afraid of the farm animals or to be aggressive against them and to attack them. For centuries this dog was bred as an independent guarder who makes his own decisions out in the field – if the dog feels he is protecting his property, it is difficult to predict whether or not he will attack. This is a serious guard dog, very loyal to this owners. Bulgarian Shepherd Dog will keep themselves in distance of strangers. They growl and bark. If the person infringes their perimeter dogs will bite him. If the dog is good socialized from the time of its puppyhod with other animals it is not dangerous to live together, especially – rabbits, cats, chicken, lambs, etc.
Height: Males 26-30 inches (65-75 cm.). Females 25-28 inches (63-72 cm.)
Weight: Males 99-125 pounds (45 to 57 kg.) Females 88-114 pounds (40 - 52 kg.)
Health ProblemsNone currently known, there has not been a lot of research with this breed regarding health issues
Living conditionsThis dog does best in a clean country environment where he can receive extensive daily exercise and a job to do.
ExerciseThis breed needs plenty of daily exercises and a job to do.
Life expectancyAbout 12 - 14 years. They can work as active Livestock Guarding Dogs for about 7 to 9 years.
GroomingCoats should be brushed about every 2-3 days. Bathe only when necessary.
OriginAncestors of the Bulgarian Shepherd Dogs are the dogs of Central Asia – Afghanistan and Iran area, it is there where the migration process of the ancient Bulgarians began. These dogs are very similar to dogs found in the land of the Balkan Peninsula, which are in the group of the Molossoides. Today the dogs possess the typical makeup characteristics of today's Bulgarian Shepherd Dog.
RecognitionBulgarian Republican Federation of Cynology (national cynological organization, member of FCI)
BRFC = Bulgarian Republican Federation of Cynology