Bukovina Sheepdog

Breed Information


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Bukovina Sheepdog

Other names

Bucovina Shepherd, Romanian Bukovina Sheepdog




Breed Group


Large to Giant



Life Span

10-14 years






Male: 27–31 inches (68–78 cm)

Female: 25–28 inches (64–72 cm)


Male: 110–200 pounds (50–90 kg)

Female: 110–180 pounds (50–80 kg)


Black & White, Brindle & White, Gray & White

Litter Size

4-6 puppies

Puppy Prices

Average $1000 – $1500 USD

A puppy Romanian Bucovina Shepherd usually sold between $1000 and 1500 USD, but prices have tended to rise as the breed has been the subject of some interest after its recognition by the FCI.

Bukovina Sheepdog Dog Breed Characteristics

History and Origin

The Bukovina Sheepdog is an ancient livestock guardian breed that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. These large, muscular dogs were developed by the Hutsuls people to protect sheep from predators like wolves and bears in the region of Bukovina. They have been guarding flocks for centuries in the Romanian mountains. The breed remains somewhat rare outside of its native country.

Physical Appearance


The Bukovina Sheepdog is classified as a giant dog breed. Males stand 25-30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 100-140 pounds. Females are slightly smaller at 23-28 inches tall and 80-120 pounds.

Coat and Color

This breed has a thick double coat with a soft, dense undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. The coat is slightly wavy or curly. Common coat colors include black, gray, fawn, and brindle. White markings on the chest and feet are permitted but not desired.



The Bukovina Sheepdog is an intelligent and self-reliant breed. They are independent thinkers and problem-solvers. These dogs are attentive, alert, and quick to respond.


This breed has strong guarding instincts and is extremely protective of its family and flock. They are serious and suspicious of strangers. Bukovina Sheepdogs are bold and fearless in confronting predators or intruders. Their deep, intimidating bark serves as a warning.


Bukovina Sheepdogs are moderately trainable but can be stubborn. Consistent, firm leadership is required. Positive reinforcement works best for this breed. Owners must establish themselves as pack leader early on. Bukovinas respond well to job-related training for flock guarding roles.

Exercise Needs

Activity Level

The Bukovina Sheepdog has a high activity level typical of livestock guardian breeds. They need vigorous daily exercise along with ample space to patrol and guard. Bukovinas are not well-suited to apartment or solely indoor living.

Ideal Environment

These dogs thrive in a rural setting with plenty of room to roam and a flock to protect. They do best with large fenced yards or farms. The Bukovina Sheepdog can adapt to family living if properly exercised.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Bukovina Sheepdog is generally robust and healthy. Some potential concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, bloat, and bone cancer. Responsible breeding minimizes these risks.


With proper care, the typical lifespan is 10-14 years.

Diet and Nutrition

Dietary Needs

The Bukovina Sheepdog should be fed a high-quality commercial dog foods formulated for large or giant breeds. Avoid overfeeding.

Nutritional Requirements

These large, active dogs need diets with adequate protein, fat, and carbohydrates. added glucosamine or chondroitin for joint health. Omega fatty acids promote skin and coat health. Fresh water must always be available.

Grooming Needs

Coat Care

The Bukovina’s coat requires brushing 2-3 times per week to control shedding and prevent matting. More frequent brushing may be needed during seasonal shedding periods. Occasional bathing is recommended when dirty.

Other Grooming Needs

This breed should receive regular nail trims, dental care, and ear cleaning. Clean facial folds carefully to prevent infection. Check and wipe eyes daily.

Finding a Bukovina Sheepdog


Bukovina Sheepdog rescues or shelters are rare outside of Romania, but adoption is worth investigating for this rare breed. Be sure any dog is temperament tested.


Responsible Bukovina Sheepdog breeders screen breeding stock for health and temperament. Puppies should be well-socialized and cared for. Beware unethical breeders selling sick or unstable dogs. Expect waiting lists.

Suitability as a Family Dog

With Children

Bukovina Sheepdogs can do well with children if socialized early but require supervision due to their size and guarding instincts. This breed is best suited for families with older, dog-savvy kids.

With Other Pets

This breed tends to be dog-aggressive and possessive of resources. Careful socialization and training are required for multi-pet homes. Bukovinas are likely to see small pets as prey.

Training and Socialization


Bukovina Sheepdogs need structured obedience training from an early age to control their strong-willed nature. Owners must establish leadership through firm, consistent commands and positive reinforcement.


Extensive socialization is crucial to prevent over-protectiveness in Bukovina Sheepdogs. They should be exposed to a wide variety of people, animals, places, and situations on a regular basis.

Pros and Cons of Bukovina Sheepdogs


  • Excellent guardian and watchdog abilities
  • Intelligent and attentive
  • Independent thinker and problem-solver
  • Devoted, loyal, and protective of family


  • Wariness and aggression towards strangers if not socialized
  • High exercise needs
  • Strong-willed and stubborn nature
  • Not ideal for novice owners
  • Significant time and effort required for training and socialization

The Bukovina Sheepdog is a powerful, rugged livestock guardian breed that takes its protection duties seriously. With proper training, socialization, and outlet for their exercise needs, these dogs can be loyal guardians and devoted family companions. Their intrinsic independence and protectiveness require an experienced owner. For the right household, the Bukovina Sheepdog can be an excellent watchdog and pet.


The Bukovina Sheepdog is a historic giant breed that originated as a formidable livestock guardian in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. These large, muscular dogs have the strength, fearlessness, and protective instincts needed to confront wild predators and deter intruders. While distrustful of strangers, the loyal Bukovina forms a close bond with its family when properly socialized. This breed needs ample room to roam, vigorous exercise, firm leadership, and extensive training to thrive as a family companion and guardian. The Bukovina Sheepdog remains best suited for rural settings where its guarding talents can be utilized.


What is the lifespan of a Bukovina Sheepdog?

With good care, the typical lifespan is 10-14 years.

How often should a Bukovina Sheepdog be groomed?

Plan to brush the coat thoroughly 2-3 times per week. Bathing only as needed. Trim nails monthly.

Do Bukovina Sheepdogs do well in apartments?

No, this large guardian breed needs a home with ample outdoor space to roam and patrol. They are not suited for apartment living.

Are Bukovina Sheepdogs easy to train?

They can be moderately difficult to train due to their independent, stubborn nature. Early socialization and firm, consistent obedience training are essential.

What health problems can affect the breed?

Bukovinas are generally robust but prone to some issues like hip dysplasia, eye disorders, bloat, and bone cancer. Select health-tested breeding stock.

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