About Mioritics

I decided to post on our web site personal considerations regarding the Romanian national breed of CIOBANESC ROMANESC MIORITIC besides other data that may be very important for future breeders from Romania and mostly, for those abroad, as considering that I may have quite a pile of experience in breeding Mioritics and because I love this breed, a lot as well.

Allow to a humble breeder to share considerations and opinion regarding this wonderful breed even if you may not fully agree with.

Allow me start with a brief history(selection of information regarding the breed):

The origin of Romanian Carpathian dogs is rooted deep in the history of our country. The oldest images about “Romanian Baracul” (the popular name of the Carpathian Mioritic breed) is just as old as the roman column of the emperor Trajan – the historic monument from Rome – Italy, where images are carved, showing the fights between the romans and dacs, the dacs being helped in fight by these Carpathian dogs with beard. In the settlements around Bucharest dating since long time ago, this dog was used for hunting and by shepherds. His abilities, resistance and force result from an extraordinary power to adapt to the surrounding conditions, the dog being very efficient to search, find and fight with predators. In 1934 the magazine “Veterinary Science” published an article signed by Dr. Radulescu Calafat where is worth to mention a top standard project wich shows that “is worth to remind the huge eforts and dedication of the society for the improvement of this canine breed, since 1928”. We also know that the peasant hunters living in the Carpathian mountains were using this dog for the big game, especialy wild pigs and bears – dogs wich were spotted with dark spots agains a white background. These dogs are also quoted in the the famous “Miorita”, the best known Romanian popular poem – ballad. With these dogs our lives become more generous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(last picture belongs to my kennel, ILINCA DOG’S WORLD – for many years, she was not preferred in shows as being ” barac”; she is ROCH, SERBCH, HRCH and our pride as belonging to old line of Mioritics (picture uploaded from public website- many thanks to those that posted it and gave me the chance to use it in my argumentation)

Another example of what I mean:

– see below an add belonging to a breeder – at least he considers himself as a breeder:

” Vand mioritici vand mioriticif. buni de paza, talie mare,bine imbracati am adunat exemplare superbe de la marii crescatori si am format o linie caini adevarati ciobanesti(nu caini de apartament/Selling Mioritics, very good guardians, well dressed, I gathered superbe dogs from great breeders and I have a line with real shepherd dogs – not apartment dogs…)

And a picture of his “line”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot see any differences if comparing with the following(by chance, the name of this dog is BARAC and illustrates very well what I meant – thank you Luciana Marcu for helping me clear up in my mind elements that make the difference at Mioritics)

The Mioritic Sheepdog is a very old and distinguished working breed. It hails from the Carpathian mountain range of Romania, where for many generations it has worked as a herding breed effective at both guarding its flock as well as its master’s family.

This dog thrives in freezing conditions which would kill an unprotected man in seconds. It is vigilant and courageous. It is more than willing to go up against marauding bears and wolves should it feel those under its protection are threatened. For those who have not had the opportunity to see it in action, this apparently harmless ball of fur faces an attacker without any sign of concern. At the last second it will lunge forward, underneath the attacker, and strike at the exposed underbelly in a very efficient and effective manner.

As a pet or companion this dog needs a firm hand to train as it can be a bit headstrong, but will love and protect its master’s family unto death. Though suspicious of strangers, the Mioritic Sheepdog is exceptionally good with children of all ages and dispositions.

Brief description at first sight :

Start by determining the dog’s size and weight, paying attention to any bodily characteristics. On average this breed will stand roughly 27 inches high at the shoulder and weigh between 100 and 150 pounds. The thickness of the fur may make it difficult to pay attention to any particular features. Nevertheless the dog should be very wide bodied and rectangular, being half again as long as it is tall. The majority of its height is made up of its torso, because of a ridiculously thick chest and abdomen the legs often appear abnormally short. They should have very thick and wide paws that the breed would use to cross terrain filled with heavy snow. The rear legs should be significantly longer than the forelegs. The tail is short and often goes unnoticed beneath all the fur. When excited this tail may reach up high enough to be level with the back.

               Look at the dog’s fur. It is very distinctive for the breed. The coat is comprised of a short, smooth waterproof under layer and a heavy outer layer. The outer layer is very shaggy and grows between 3 and 6 inches long depending on the portion of the body. It should be slightly wavy and very rough to the touch, similar to sheep’s wool in texture, covering every inch of the body save the nose and eyes. Typically this fur has a base color of white, or grey with darker patches at random.

Conclude by looking at the dog’s head. The neck should be very thick and of medium length. The head should be absolutely massive, even underneath its thick layer of obscuring fur. The skull should be rounded at the top and very broad with a pronounced brow and an understated muzzle. The ears are set widely to the sides of the head and hang down unnoticed most of the time. The nose should be large, wide, and triangular in shape. The eyes are rarely visible beneath the fringe of hair covering the brow, but when they are noticeable, they are slightly oval in shape and either hazel green or amber in color. The jaw should be very wide as well, in good proportion with the rest of the skull.

The distinction should be made that this is not a watch dog, as a pet it functions as a guard dog. If anyone it does not know enters the home or approaches a family member in a threatening manner it will not bark. It will, instead, cannon into the perceived threat with all the force of a small car. Once it has the threat pinned on the ground it will take hold of the animal or person’s throat. Though the Mioritic does not have sharp teeth, it does have jaws that can exert enough force to crush a cow’s femur bone into powder. If the person or animal continues to fight the Mioritic, it will bite down with all the inherent force its jaws possess. For this reason it is imperative that, if you keep this breed as a pet, you take the time to introduce any guest or stranger to the dog. This is a bright animal; it will understand that you are saying this person is ok to have around, thus preventing any potentially fatal misunderstandings.

The Mioritic sheepdog is very well mannered and calm. They are very attached to their owners and are hence very protective of them as well. They are balanced, Vivid, vigilant and alert. This breed of dog is rather courageous and completely fearless. This breed makes and excellent herd dog. These dogs make amazing pets. They are very obedient and make excellent guard dogs. The Mioritic sheepdog is very fond of children and is capable of forming deep bonds with them. These dogs are easily trained. They are dominant but once trained are very obedient. They require a firm trainer but lots of love from their family. These dogs should be trained as puppies only once they are familiar with their surroundings and trainers.

These dogs need lots of space to run around and be free. They require ample exercise in the form of a brisk jog or walk. They will appreciate a large yard to run around in. These dogs are very playful and enjoy running, fetching and playing with a Frisbee. These dogs can be left without a leash in a protected area. The Mioritic sheepdog will live for about 12-14 years. These dogs are rather low maintenance even with their long hair. The dog should be given a bath regularly and trim occasionally. The coat does not need to be brushed everyday but an occasional brushing will prove beneficial. This breed sheds a minimal amount of hair. They will prefer living in slightly cooler regions.

                The Mioritic is a large dog with a compact and robust structure, with impressive stature, which inspires respect and strength. Despite its massive stature, this breed is extremely nimble, allowing the Mioritic to surprise its enemies with fast and precise movements. This dog is very resistant to diseases and to harsh environment conditions. That is why the Mioritic is very adaptable to any habitat.

                 This breed has a calm and well-balanced behavior especially in the dense populated big-sized cities. Its devotion for his master leads him to sacrifice. He does not encounter fear. He is the only dog who is able to fight the bear, with equal chances. The Mioritic is extremely close to the children and enjoys playing with them. At the same time, he is reserved in the relation with strangers.

The first official introduction of this breed was made at the European Championship in Charleroi-Belgium in 1995 and it was followed by the first demonstrative presentation of the breed in year 2000 at the World Championship in Milan-Italy.

STANDARD(provisional breed)

FEDERATION CYNOLOGIQUE INTERNATIONALE

The Romanian Mioritic Shepherd

Special features: excellent guardian for individuals, loyalty up to sacrifice, bear fighting & wolf fighting dog, protector of properties and easy to adapt.

From 06.07.2005 this breed has been recognized by the World Canine Organisation under registration number 349.

FCI-Standard N° 349 /   13. 07. 2005  / GB

 ROMANIAN MIORITIC SHEPHERD DOG

(Ciobănesc Românesc Mioritic)

TRANSLATION : Jennifer Mulholland and Raymond Triquet.

 

ORIGIN : Romania.

DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD :  06.07.2005.

UTILIZATION : Excellent herding dog, incorruptible guardian and marvelous companion.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 1 : Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). 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 Chynological Association in 1981.  The Technical Commission of the R.C.A. adapted and revised the Standard on 29.03.2002 to conform to the F.C.I 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.

  

 

 

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :

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

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : A calm and stable dog.  A good herd dog, very courageous and efficient fighter against  possible animals prey (bear, wolf, lynx).  Wary of strangers.  He likes children.

HEAD

CRANIAL REGION :

Skull : 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 zygomatic arches are only slightly defined.  Occipital protuberance well defined.

Stop : Not too pronounced.

FACIAL REGION :

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, 10-15 cm 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 alert or in action, the tail is carried higher, slightly curved, sometimes above the top line but never curled over the back.  Docking is forbidden.

LIMBS

FOREQUARTERS : Upright, seen from the front or the side.

Shoulder : Moderate length, oblique, very muscular and well attached. The scapula-humerus angle is approximately 100°-105°.

Upper arm : Moderate length, well muscled.

Elbow : Close to the body, turning neither in nor 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.  Angulations only slightly 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 sustained and balanced.

SKIN : Thick, tight fitting and well pigmented.

COAT

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

COLOUR :

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

 

 

 

 

Solid colours : Solid white or solid grey.

 

 

 

 

I am not able to provide a photo with a Mioritic with solid grey fur as not finding any available  – MOST IMPORTANT: colour proportions: if main colour is white with black sports well marked, it should appear so, never vice – versa below pictures:

 

 

 

 

(last picture is a perfect example or what NOT  a Mioritic should be – white with black and black spots, mostly on legs)

 BUT:

as long as we are too decided upon the standard, as long as there are breeders accepted with such dogs in shows and even awarded first place prize, we cannot ask for too much from foreign breeders if they show not appropriate dogs in international competitions as long as we, Romanian Mioritic breeders are not able to be unitary in standards and dogs we show abroad.

SIZE AND WEIGHT :

Male :       minimum 70 cm – ideal height 75 cm.

Female :   minimum  65 cm –  ideal height 70 cm.

Weight : In proportion to the size.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • Overweight or weak subject.
  • Tail curled or carried in a ring.
  • Absence of teeth, other than PM1.
  • Elbows turned in or out.
  • Heavy gait.

SERIOUS FAULTS :

  • Sexual characters not sufficiently marked.
  • Untypical expression.
  • Round, protruding eyes.
  • Wall eye.
  • Erect ears.
  • Coat too short (less than 8 cm).
  • 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.

ELIMINATING FAULTS :

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Untypical subject.
  • Absence of incisives or canines.
  • Overshot or undershot.
  • Albinism.
  • Naturally absent or naturally short tail.
  • Docked tail.
  • Height at the withers less than 68 cm for males.
  • Height at the withers less than 63 cm 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 scrotum.

INSTEAD OF AN ENDING:

 I am sure a lot of comment will appear and I am fully open to discussions – as long as they are decent and polite.

I have decided to promote and to insist to be in shows with dogs that belong to the standard no matter certain judges opinion – standards were created in order to be respected and so, I aim to select dogs as closest as possible to actual standard(let us hope it will not change according to trends or certain kennels’ mate results; if a very keen analyze would be made along the last seven years for Mioritic, it will be obvious that actual standard is the one that should be respected and in force and not new types that appear over the night by mistake: BE AWARE OF SHEEP GLASSES!).

I love this breed and I shall always be for the best in my kennel related to this breed.

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