The Sarplaninac is an ancient livestock guarding dog breed from the southwest part of Srbija and the northwest part of Macedonia. The breed got its name from the mountains of the Shar Planina where they were used as flock guards. They were also formerly known as Illyrian Sheepdog and Yugoslav Shepherd Dog. It is believed that the breed is older than the Istrian Shepherd and have descended from the ancient Molossian dogs of Greece and the livestock guarding dogs of Turkey. They have an average weight of 55 to 88 pounds and stand at a height range of 22 to 24 inches. It has dark and almond-shaped eyes that have a characteristic keen expression. It is large and muscular with a large head but is still well-proportioned to its body. It has dense and evenly distributed hairs with feathering on the underbelly and legs. The tail is long, slightly curved and well covered with hair giving the dog a huskier appearance. The coat is dense and medium in length with colours of tan, iron grey, white or almost black. Although solid in colour, there are several different shades of the same colour that fades into one another.
The Sarplaninac is a working breed with all the right qualities: independent, reliable, protective and highly intelligent. In the absence of a flock of sheep, the dog will often treat its owner and family as its herd, keeping them away from danger or undesirable elements. They are quite calm even when indoors and gentle with children and small dogs. They can live for about 11 to 13 years.