The Karakachan Dog - A Rare Gentle Giant

The Karakachan Dog - A Rare Gentle Giant

There are many lovely dogs on the planet with some breeds being more popular than others, but there are a few rarer lesser known breeds that make wonderful family pets andone of them is the Karakachan. These lovely large dogs when well socialised from a young age are known to be gentle giants and great companion dogs.

The breed is native to Bulgaria where they are bred as working dogs, herding flocks and keeping them safe from predators. In short, they are extremely good guard dogs. It's thought the Karakachan which is also known as the Bulgarian Shepherd Dog, boasts an interesting ancestry with breeds found in Afganistan and Iran being in their bloodlines. However, certain breeds seen in the Balkan Peninsula are also very similar looking to the Karakachan too.

Lovely, Kind Temperament

As long as the Karakachan is well socialised from a young age, they are a wonderful choice as family pets with the bonus being they generally get on with other pets in a household too and this includes smaller animals. However, if they are bred as working dogs, they excel at their job which they carry out with relish. As such, a working Karakachan would not find it that easy to make the transition from a working environment to being a family pet.

Although very good with the people they love, these gentle giants tend to be very wary ofstrangers which is why they make such good watch dogs. They will not let a stranger anywhere near their territory and will even keep other animals out of a back garden. The Karakachan is also a very independent character although they don't like to be left to theirown devices for great lengths of time which could result in them developing a few behavioural problems.

Courageous and Loyal

The Karakachan is known to be incredibly loyal to their owners, they are alert and extremely courageous dogs. Once they have formed a bond with a family, this remains extremely strong for the rest of their lives. With this said, they can be a little too protective and their territory which means you have to keep an eye on things when there are strangers about and this even includes when a dog has been well socialised from a young age because their instinct to protect is fiercely embedded in their natures.

Training a Karakachan

Because the Karakachan was originally bred as a working dog, they are highly intelligent and learn things very quickly which means they pick up both the good and bad things. As such, they need to be well trained from a young age and their education needs to continuethroughout their lives. A Karakachan needs to know who is the Alpha Dog in a householdor they may become unruly and pick up some unwanted dominant behaviours which could prove hard to correct later in their lives. These dogs are definitely not the best
choice for first time owners, but for people who know how to train a dog with a firm, yet gente hand, the Karakachan would make a splendid companion or family pet.

Larger Than Life Characters

The Karakachan is a large dog with males standing at anything between 26 and 30 inches at the shoulder. Their female counterparts are just a couple of inches shorter. Male dogs can weigh in at around 100 to 125 lbs and females tend to be slightly lighter weighing from 90 to 114 lbs.

Strong, Robust Dogs

The breed is known to be strong and robust, they suffer very few known hereditary or congenital health issues. However, not a lot of research has been carried out as the breed is one of the lesser known around. With this said, for a Karakachan to remain healthy both physically and mentally, they need to be given lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. They also need to be fed a good quality, nutritious diet to suit their ages and different stages of their lives. The average lifespan for such large dogs is longer than mostgiant breeds being anything from 12 to 14 years when well cared for.

Coat Care

When it comes to keeping their coats in good condition, the Karakachan needs to be regularly brushed to avoid their hair from becoming tangled and matted which is particularly true of dogs with longer coats. It's during the spring and then again in the autumn that dogs tend to shed more hair which means more frequent grooming sessions are needed not only to keep their coats looking good, but to keep any shed hair off the furniture and from being left around the home too.


The Karakachan is a giant breed and one of the lesser known dogs around. They were originally bred as working dogs in Bulgaria and proved themselves to be extremely good at their jobs. However, when well socialised these dogs are true gentle giants although they always tend to be wary of strangers simply because being protective is so deeply embedded in their nature. Although the Karakachan is not recognised as a pure breed by the Kennel Club, they are registered with the Dog Registry of America and as guard dogs in their native Bulgaria.



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