Ciobanesc romanesc mioritic

The Carpathian Mountains dictate Romania`s landscape. It is here that the traditions of shepherds remain unchanged. Powerful herding/guard dogs protect large sheep and goat herds from bears, wolves, large cats, predatory birds, as well as 2-legged poachers.

The Romanian herding dogs (Ciobanesc Romanesc) are thus extremely protective and well versed in their original guarding function.

Archelogical dogs have proven the existence of large guard dogs as far as back as the middle of the Neolithic period. Lend-lease agreements of grazing-lands dating back to the 15th – 18th centuries indicate large numbers of herding dogs enlisted for the protection of the diverse herds. In 1975, Romania cartograpically categorized approximately 6.500 working dogs.

The FCI currently recognizes 3 breeds of Ciobanesc Romanesc: Ciobanesc Romanesc Carpatin (FCI-Nr. 350), Ciobanesc Romanesc Bukowina (FCI-Nr. 357) and Ciobanesc Romanesc Mioritic (FCI-Nr. 349)

In 1934/35, the Romanian Institute for Zoology released the first desrciptions of the Carpatin and Mioritic breeds. The Mioritic (mioritica = small sheep) is a powerful, agile, approximately 70cm tall, shaggy dog. Its thick and fluffy hair, also covering its face to include a bearded chin, is characteristic of the breed. The dog´s coat is mostly white, though it can vary between yellowish, brownish, and even light grey with black or grey markings.

The first breed registry opened in 1938. In 1969, the Ministry of Agriculture sponsored research and breeding in order to ensure the refinement of the breed. In 1981, as a result of the large dog exhibition in Radauti, the breeding standards for the Mioritic (dog of the Romanian lowlands) and the Carpatin (dog of the mountainous regions) were defined. On 6 July 2005, the FCI provisionally recognized the Carpatin and Mioritic breeds. The Bukowina was recognized on 26 March 2009. In June 2016 at Worlddogshow in Milano Carpatin and Mioritic were officially recognized.

♦FCI-Standard N° 349 / 29.9.2005


UTILIZATION.: excellent herding dog, incorruptible guardian and marvellous companion

CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Sheepdogs); Section 1 Sheepdogs without working trial   

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY. The Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog was selected from a natural breed of the Carpathian mountains, the principle reason being utility. This breed has many fanciers in Romania because of its vigorous appearance.
The standard was drafted by the Romanian Cynological Association in 1981. The Technical Commission of the R.C.A. adapted and revised the Standard on 29.3.2002 to conform to the FCI model established in Jerusalem.




GENERAL APPEARANCE: a large dog but never heavy; vigorous and spectacular; the coat is long and well furnished on the head, all of the body and the limbs. Males are taller and stronger than females.

♦length of the body / height at withers 11 : 10
♦depth of chest should be approximately half of the height at the withers
♦ the muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull

BEAHIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: a calm and stable dog, a good herding dog, very courageous and efficient fighter against possible prey (bear, wolf, lynx); wary of strangers; he likes children


 moderate width, slightly domed. The upper profiles of the skull and muzzle are almost parallel. Seen from the front the upper line is slightly domed. The zygomatc arches are only slightly defined. Occipital protuberance weel defined
Stop: not too pronounced

Nose: wide, well developed, black
Muzzle: a little shorter than the skull; well developed, tapering progressively towards the nose but never pointed; strong underjaw
Lips: thick, tight, strongly pigmented
Jaws/Teeth: powerful jaws; complete dentition; strong and healthy with well set white teeth; scissor bite
Cheeks: not protruding
Eyes: moderate size, oblique; the colour is hazel, dark brown or slightly lighter, never yellow; eyelids well pigmented; calm and intelligent expression
Ears: relatively high set, “V” shaped with the tip slightly rounded, 10-15cm long, hanging closely to the cheeks; cropping forbidden

NECK:  moderate length, broad and powerful, without dewlap

BODY: well developed
Topline: straight and solid
Withers: moderately defined
Back: horizontal, strong and muscled
Loin: moderately long, wide and very muscular
Croup: muscled and moderately sloping towards the base of the tail
Chest: not too long, broad, depth being approximately half of the height at the withers, ribs well sprung
Underline: slight tuck up without being whippety

TAIL: high set-on, at rest it is carried hanging, reaching or lower than the hock; when the dog is alwert or in action, the teil is carried higher, slightly curved, sometimes above the topline but never curled over the back; docking is forbidden


FOREQUARTERS: upright, seen from the front or the side
Shoulder: moderater lenght, oblique, very muscular and well attached. The scapula-humerus angle is approximately 100°-105°
Upper arm: moderate lenght, well muscled
Elbow: close to the body, turning neither in or out
Forearm: sufficiently long, powerful and muscled
Carpal joint: firm
Metacarpus (pastern): slightly sloping seen from the side
Feet: oval, compact and massive, toes are tight and arched, nails ash-grey colour

HINDQUARTERS:  very muscular and powerful, straight and parallel seen from behind; angulattions onlyslightly open
Upper thigh: long, broad and very muscular
Stifle: The femur-tibial angle is approximately 100°-105°
Lower thigh: sufficiently long, muscled with good bone
Hocks: moderate height, strong, well bent, turning neither in nor out
Metatarsus (rear pastern): not too long, robust and almost vertical, seen from the side. The presence of dewclaws should not be penalized.
Feet: slightly longer than the front feet

GAIT / MOVEMENT: harmonious, free, well coordinated, powerful and effortless. The trot is preferred. The gallop is sutained and balanced.

SKIN: thick, tight fitting and well pigmented


HAIR: The coat is abundant and the head and body, harsh texture, straight and minimum lenght of 10cm. The undercoat is more dense and supple and of  a lighter colour. On the limbs the coat is shorter. The tail is well furnished.

Piebald: The ground colour must be white with well defined black or grey markings.
Solid colours: solid white or solid grey

Male: minimum 70cm – ideal height 75cm
Female: minimum 65 – ideal height 70cm
Weight: in proportion to the size

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the faults should be regarded should be in exact proportions to its degree.
♦ overweight or weak subject
♦ tail curled or carried in a ring
♦ absence of teeth, other than PM1
♦ elbows turned in or out
♦ heavy gait
♦ sexual characters not sufficiently marked
♦ untypical expression
♦ round, protruding eyes
♦ wall eye
♦ erect ears
♦ coat too short (less than 8cm)
♦ curly coat or of a texture other than described in the standard
♦ topline sagging, arched or dipping
♦ spreading feet, turned out or in
♦ rear limbs: angulation too open
♦ cowhocks
♦ presence of brindle markings

♦ aggressive or overly shy
♦ untypical subjekt
♦ absence of incisives or canines
♦ overshot or undershot
♦ albinism
♦ naturally absent or naturally short tail
♦ docked tail
♦ height at the withers less than 68cm for males and 63cm for females

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotrum.

The Mioritic has typical shepherd dog qualities. Its personality is characterised by strong independence and a high self confidence. The main task of the shepherd dog is the impressive deterrence of all possible troublemakers. It need not be trained for that, it simply  knows it. From early youth onwards one must teach the dog not to make use of his set of  threatening behaviours (self-display, barking, showing). It clearly differentiates  between unknown and  familiar. It is friendly and reliable towards all acquaintances but shows refusal and mistrust towards strangers. Only after close examination are they accepted in its elitist circle of friends.

The Mioritic is very loyal, affectionate, reliable, understanding,  and  willing to compromise towards its pack, its family or owner. It is a tolerant, gentle friend for children and it is willing to act as a cuddly blanket but it is not really fond of  playing.

All shepherds are extremely territory conscious and they are incorruptible guardians. But their territory does not end at the property gate! It can be anywhere where the pack is or stays. Everything is guarded that can be seen from a watch post usually chosen at an elevated place.

Our shepherds are absolute creatures of habit which react immediately to anything unusual  ….first with attention, then by loud barking and, if necessary, with attack or defence.
Our “little sheep” are serious guardians who love their territory, their pack and their routines…and all this they do not want to see being disturbed.

Our shepherds are lively and stubborn but in spite of all their independence they are very sensitive creatures in their furry armour.  As puppies they stick to the pack which has accepted  them. This can be any kind of creature – dog, cat, horse, sheep, …The Mioritic needs very close family ties; a house without doors it thinks ideal. In our climate this certainly depends a great deal on the weather. Its favourite place is always very close to its favourite person. It determines its resting place itself. This may even be the couch or a carpet not suitable for dogs, but as a rule shepherds, even as puppies, prefer to sleep on hard ground. They need no dog baskets, no special mattresses and by no means an allocated place. In our house we have distributed dog blankets (Vet-BED) which they occupy at their own discretion.

No “work creating” program is necessary but daily walks and hikes provide exciting variation. They certainly do not despise holidays with the whole family in the mountains at any time of the year.

Despite the breed´s scraggly fur, our dogs are very low-maintenance. They do not require a bath, nor daily brushing. In the event that they become wet or totally filthy, the dogs are simply confined for a time, until the dirt, mud , or what-not may be easily brushed out. A dry Mioritic is a clean Mioritic.

Besides the daily monitoring of eyes, ears, and teeth, the dogs also undergo a thorough grooming once a week. The pups are accustomed to the grooming procedures early on as part daily training, since grooming serves establish hierarchy: The dog allowing the grooming, accepts the dominance of the one doing grooming.

Like every shepherd the Mioritic uses its food well and needs much, much less than one might assume; particularly less than various food manufacturers recommend on their packages.
There is no patent recipe. One must carefully observe each individual dog in order to be able to react to either undesired gain or loss of weight by de- or increasing food rations.
A puppy is fed 4 times a day and initially gets exactly what it got at the breeder. Everything that is not eaten within 10 minutes is removed. If the food remains available a puppy might eat for mere boredom but big and fast growing dogs should never be fat. From 6 months onwards we change to 3 daily rations and from 12 months onwards to 2 rations and we should stick to this permanently. After eating, our dogs have an absolute rest for 1-2 hours. By this one can prevent the dangerous stomach torsion which can be fatal if the dog cannot be saved through an emergency operation. Fresh water must be available at any time. Between the meals both the puppy and the adult dog gets various chewing sticks, dried rumen, dried lungs, nibblings from the ostrich, lamb, beef, veal… . .Pig ears and noses are the absolute favourites of all our dogs.
We feed our dogs fresh meat with noodles rice, vegetables, fruits and also dry food from “Wolsblut” and “Platinum”. Due to this food composition we guarantee a healthy and positive  development of our dogs without digestive troubles.
Since shepherd dogs are creatures of habit, the magic phrase in education is „habituation“. Attending a puppy school is certainly recommendable. There, the little „brat” learns how to carefully handle its power and size since 99.9% of its peers are much smaller than our young giant. However, whether it wants to join the play at all is a different story!
My two dog girls mainly explored the place and benevolently watched what the others were doing. In the „advanced“ course they marched up and down with me showing no or little enthusiasm dependent on how many biscuits they got. They passed both exams (BGH A and BGH 1) with success.
As you progress in training courses the dogs will work well with you when supplied with treats. The BH and BgH 1 tests are, with a little training, easily achievable by a Mioritic. As a breed they have problems with the BgH2 test as they are not a retrieving breed. We may have more success in the future with additional training in that field. The Mioritic learns fairly quickly and he can be taught a variety of tasks but not being a natural retriever he sees no point in bringing back objects that have been thrown for him.

Our dogs, especially Happy, are extremely eager when they take part in Obedience/Agility training

But since the world is not just a „dog place”  we must make our puppy used to everything right from the beginning, i.e. with consistence and patience. The puppy must get to know and accept its pack and its territory. It must learn to sleep all night, stick to meal times and find the right spots for defecation.Although our gentle giant probably needs some more time for every learning process than other breeds, it finally knows it for sure. Within 5-6 months our gorgeous ball of wool develops into a big defensive dog. Therefore, from the first day onwards it must get to know all taboos; what I do not want from the adult dog, it must not  as a puppy either.. After two or three weeks our little one knows the meaning of „no“ but to the cheerful „yes, but“ of our young “hoolingan” we react with patience and consistence. In case of grumbling back or rebelliousness we sometimes have to grab its neck fur, as its mother would do.
The most important time for the character development  is the time at the breeder and the ensuing eight  weeks in the new home. We make him get used to street noise, joggers, cyclists, shopping centres etc. Between 8 and 12 months suddenly everything seems to turn upside down. Our gentle giants show dominant behaviour, readiness to defend and now, at the latest, one can hear it: the deep shepherd dog growling coming from its innermost being. From now undesired behaviour must be corrected immediately; force or violence however, do not impress a Mioritic shepherd at all. It is our clear and understandable body language, our attention, patience and respect that make us able to lead a proud Romanian easily.
The adult shepherd does not like strangers in its territory and is not fond of parties either. Friends may enter house and garden without any danger at any time but with unknown visitors a well-practised welcome ritual is required.

The contact between child and dog must also be learnt. Above all it must be made clear to the child that it should not try to dominate the dog. I must protect the dog (not the child) from “attacks”. Shepherds are the most tender and patient dogs for children. They are the softest cuddling blankets but they do not like to play.

As far as other dogs are concerned the Mioritic is a humourless, uncompromising fellow who always has to prove its authority and does not want to be questioned at all. It needs time to get to know its “opponent” preferably at a neutral place far away from home. This means that here a lot of educational work is waiting for us dog trainers.