Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog
The Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog is one of four native livestock guardian breeds from the Carpathian Mountain region of Romania. The breed makes a calm, courageous working dog and a devoted family companion.
Middle Eastern and African
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog Traits
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dogs are large dogs with a proud, commanding presence. Male dogs are larger and stronger than females.
Coat and Colouring
The Raven is known for the thick black fur covering 80% or more of its body. White markings may appear on its chest, forequarters, and occasionally on the tips of its back feet. After a summer in the sun, the coat can take on a reddish tinge.
The coat itself is long, straight, and rough, with a short, dense undercoat. Longer fur around the neck forms a mane, and there are fringes on the backs of the legs.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Notable traits of the Raven include a massive, well-chiseled head and broad muzzle, deep chest, muscular body, and strong legs. They have v-shaped ears that are slightly rounded at the tip, small almond-shaped eyes, and a bushy pendant tail.
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog Temperament
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dogs have natural guardian abilities and a booming bark, making them an ideal breed for protecting livestock from predators or watching over property. As with many watchdogs, they are skeptical of strangers but devoted to their humans. When not working, they typically make happy, playful family pets.
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog History
The Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog is a landrace breed that earned its name thanks to its predominantly black coat, called “Corb” in Romanian. The breed originated in the Carpathian Mountains and the sub-Carpathian regions of south central Romania.
Like other Romanian shepherd dogs, this breed served (and continues to serve) as a livestock guardian and household watchdog. These dogs play an important role in transhumance—the seasonal movement of livestock from winter pastures to summer pastures. Under their watchful eye, flocks coexist with wolves, bears, and lynx without significant losses to either. Free-ranging Ravens are required by law to wear a dangle, or “jujău”—a stick or stave hung from a chain around the neck in front of the legs. This dangle shows that they are owned by shepherds, and discourages them from hunting wildlife. Despite being isolated to a relatively small geographical area, there is a large population of Ravens, which is a testament to their success as working dogs.
The first breed standard was written in 1987, and it is the most recently recognized native breed by the Romanian Kennel Club, in 2008. It has not yet been officially recognized by the FCI.
Romanian Raven Shepherd Dog Care
Puppies may benefit from a large-breed growth diet. These specially formulated diets help prevent large dogs like the Romanian Raven Shepherd from growing too fast, which may decrease the likelihood or severity of hip dysplasia as they age. Once they reach adulthood, they thrive on high-quality dog food formulated for their age and activity level.
Obesity in dogs is on the rise. To help this breed maintain a healthy weight, measure their meals to avoid overfeeding and keep an eye on how many treats you give them. As a guideline, keep treats to 10% or less of their daily calories.
Ravens don't generally require baths but should be brushed weekly to remove any loose fur or dirt. During periods of seasonal shedding, more frequent brushing may be required.
Ear cleanings to remove wax build-up and debris and regular nails trims should also be part of their grooming routine. Lastly, consistent dental care will support their long-term health. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
This active breed needs daily exercise to stay physically fit and mentally stimulated. Long walks, opportunities to roam in an enclosed area, and backyard play sessions are great ways for them to get the exercise they need.
Ravens are intelligent dogs that are typically submissive to their humans. To train them, use a consistent approach with plenty of positive reinforcement.
In addition to obedience training, all breeds will benefit from early socialization to get them comfortable with different people and environments.
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.