Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dogs are calm, confident dogs with strong protective instincts. They originally earned their keep herding and guarding livestock, but today are just as adept as family dogs and loyal companions.
Middle Eastern and African
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog Traits
The Mioritic Shepherd Dog is a large, long-haired dog with a vigorous appearance. Male dogs are typically taller and stronger than females.
Coat and Coloring
These dogs have an abundant outer coat with a harsh texture and a dense softer undercoat. Their head is bearded, and body, limbs, and tail are all well-furnished.
Coat colors include solid white, solid gray, or piebald. Piebald dogs have a white base coat with prominent black or gray markings. Dogs should have dark gray or black on the tips of their ears, called earrings.
Distinctive Physical Traits
The Mioritic Shepherd Dog has a moderately wide, slightly rounded head, wide, well-developed nose, and v-shaped ears that are somewhat rounded at the tip. Their eyes are typically hazel, dark brown, or light brown and offer a calm, intelligent expression. They have strong, well-developed bodies, muscular hind legs, and high-set tails.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog Temperament
Like most livestock guardian dog breeds, the Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog has a calm, independent, courageous personality. These loyal pups are devoted to their family members and like to spend time surrounded by their pack. Because of their protective nature, they are willing to defend their people from perceived dangers. They typically get along great with children but are often wary of strangers.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog History
The Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog's name comes from the Romanian word mioară, meaning "young sheep." The breed hails from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, and is one of four native Romanian shepherd dog breeds. Shepherds developed the dogs as livestock guardians from an ancient landrace, and some claim this ancestry can be traced to the dogs that defended against Roman invasions. The Mioritic is well loved, and features in Romanian legends and folk songs.
These dogs play an important role in allowing flocks to coexist with wolves, bears, and lynx during seasonal migrations with minimal losses to all. Working dogs are required by Romanian law 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 Mioritics are owned by shepherds, and to discourage them from hunting wildlife.
The Romanian Kennel Club created the first breed standard in 1981, and the FCI recognized the Mioritic Shepherd Dog in 2002. The breed has preliminary recognition by the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog Care
This breed thrives on a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Mioritic Shepherd Dogs may also benefit from diets formulated specifically for large-breed dogs—especially when they are young. Feeding a large-breed growth diet when they are puppies prevents them from growing too fast, which may decrease the likelihood or severity of hip dysplasia as they age.
To help them maintain a healthy weight, measure their portions to avoid overfeeding and keep an eye on how many treats you're giving them. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of their daily calories.
The Mioritic Shepherd Dog's coat should be brushed regularly to remove loose fur and prevent mats. During seasonal shedding when they blow their undercoats, daily brushing may be required.
To reduce their chance of ear infections, check their ears regularly for wax build-up and debris and clean them as needed. Nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine.
Lastly, good dental hygiene will support your dog's overall health. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
Mioritic Shepherd Dogs are historically used to having lots of room to roam. So even if they aren't tending to a flock, they require regular exercise. However, since they aren't an overly active breed, daily walks with their humans are usually enough to let them stretch their legs and keep them in tip-top shape.
This intelligent, loyal breed is typically easy to train—as long as you establish yourself as the pack leader. On the other hand, inconsistent training or hesitant commands can make these pups think they should be the ones calling the shots. Using lots of positive reinforcement and a firm but gentle approach is the best way to train this breed.
Additionally, all dogs will benefit from early socialization. Getting them comfortable with different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into confident, well-mannered 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