Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dog
Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dogs are courageous working dogs with a soft spot for children. They have a calm, protective nature and are incredibly loyal to their human pack.
Middle Eastern and African
Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dog Traits
The Bucovina Shepherd Dog is a large dog with a proud, commanding appearance. Male dogs are typically taller and stronger than females.
Coat and Coloring
The Bucovina's body is covered in long, abundant, straight hair. They also have a short, dense undercoat and a thick mane around the neck. The hair on their legs forms fringes, and they have thick, bushy tails.
Typically, Bucovinas have clear white coats with patches of gray, black, or dark sable. Some dogs have black or gray ticking on their legs. Though not encouraged, solid-colored white, beige, gray, or black coats are acceptable within the breed standard.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Recognizable breed traits include a massive head, relatively small almond-shaped eyes, and high-set, v-shaped ears. These dogs also have a strong, muscular body, moderately long legs, and a high-set tail that curves slightly upward when alert. Rear dewclaws may occur.
Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dog Temperament
Bucovina Shepherd Dogs are guardians through and through. They have all of the typical personality traits you'd expect of a rustic working dog, including bravery, loyalty, and a calm, balanced nature.
Also common among natural watchdogs, Bucovinas have a booming bark that serves as a warning to potential threats and a natural wariness of strangers. But while they might not immediately take to newcomers, they are devoted to their family members and have a particular fondness for children.
Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dog History
The Bucovina Shepherd Dog is a rare dog breed indigenous to northeastern Romania, also known as "Dulău" or "Căpău.” The largest of the four Romanian shepherd breeds, along with the Romanian Mioritic, Carpathian, and Raven shepherd dogs, the Bucovina has been used for centuries to protect flocks from large predators in the Carpathian mountains and to guard the homes of local farmers.
As transhumance (the seasonal moving of livestock from winter pastures to summer pastures) is still practiced in Romania, these dogs play an important role in allowing flocks to coexist with wolves, bears, and lynx without significant losses to either. Romanian law requires working dogs to wear a dangle, or “jujău”—a stick or stave hung from a chain around the neck in front of the legs—to show that free-ranging Bucovinas are owned by shepherds, and to discourage them from hunting wildlife.
The Romanian Kennel Club wrote the first Bucovina Shepherd Dog breed standard in 1982 and in 2019, the breed was fully recognized by FCI.
Despite their long history as fierce protectors in remote rural landscapes, modern Bucovinas have transitioned nicely into low-key family life.
Romanian Bucovina Shepherd Dog Care
When they are puppies, Bucovina Shepherd Dogs may benefit from a large-breed growth diet. These specially formulated diets help prevent large-breed puppies from growing too fast, which may decrease the likelihood or severity of hip dysplasia as they age. Adult Bucovinas thrive on high-quality dog food formulated for their age and activity level.
Obesity in dogs is on the rise. To help your dog maintain a healthy weight, measure their meals to avoid overfeeding and keep an eye on how many treats you give them. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of their daily calories.
Bucovina Shepherd Dogs don't need baths, but their coats require regular brushing. A weekly once-over with a long-toothed comb will do the job for most of the year. However, more frequent brushing may be needed when they shed their undercoats in the spring.
To keep them in tip-top shape, regular ear cleanings and nail trims should also be part of their grooming routine. Additionally, consistent dental care will support their overall health. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
Bucovina Shepherds aren't hyperactive dogs, but they need plenty of daily exercise to help them stay happy and healthy. Long walks with their humans, games in the backyard, and puzzle toys will keep them physically and mentally fit.
If it were up to them, this independent, stubborn breed would be the one calling the shots. To set the proper tone, establish yourself as the pack leader from the beginning and use firm but gentle training techniques.
Additionally, all breeds will benefit from early socialization. Getting them comfortable with different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into well-adjusted adult dogs.
Middle Eastern and African
While this ancient group shares many of the characteristics of the Hound Group, their origins, as the name would suggest, are concentrated in Africa and the Middle East unlike the hound group that has no true geographic center.
Reviewed July 12, 2023 by Casey Knox, DVM