Albanian Shara Mountain Dog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Albania
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Deltari Ilir
Shkipetar Sharplaninac
Albanian Fighting Dog
Illiyrian Sheepdog
Baljus
Albanian Rud
Shquiptar Qen Sharri
Albanian Sarplaninac
Balyush
Sharri
Albanski Sarplaninac
Arnaut Fighting Dog
Rud
Baliusi Sarplaninac
Qeni Kosova
Shiptarski Sarplaninac
Qen Sharri
Kosova Sheepdog
Qeni Ilir
Illyrian Shepherd
Kosovo Sarplaninac
Qeni I Sharrit
Considered non-pure and inferred by the Sarplaninac authorities, as well as by traditional Serbian and Macedonian breeders, the Albanian Qen Sharri is commonly found in the northern part of the country near the Yugoslav border, close to and in the Shara mountain range. However, although the name may imply that Albania is the country of origin, the majority of the Albanian Shara Mountain Dog "breed" is found in the southern regions of Serbia (now independent Kosovo), where the original incarnation was established by matings between Albanian Cattledogs and Albanian Sheepdogs with the existing Sarplaninec population, but maintained as a separate breed for several decades from all other local types by the Albanian residents of Kosovo. These large, reddish-brown dogs with white chests, legs and muzzles could still be encountered in Kosovo until the mid-1990s, but not many remain today, due to assimilation into the new creation commonly known as Deltari. Ilir, better known by its Albanian name Sharplaninatz.

Virtually non-existent in Albania, the so-called Deltari Ilir is even more numerous in Kosovo, but thanks to the great popularity of organized dog fighting, many specimens can also be seen outside its native region, mainly in other parts of Serbia, as well as in Montenegro and Macedonia. Some Yugoslav Sarplaninac enthusiasts believe that a number of Albanian dogs have been crossed into numerous Sarplaninac varieties due to the size, strength and tenacity of Albanian fighting lines, with detrimental consequences for the pure Sarplaninac breed. unusual colorations and temperaments sometimes observed in the modern Sarplaninac population. On the other side of the issue, most Albanians regard the Yugoslav Sarplaninac as an Albanian breed, ignoring the concerns of Serbian and Macedonian Sarplaninac breeders, perpetuating the old conflicts and historical grudges that have plagued the region for centuries. These issues are strictly political and mainly based on nationalist fantasies and propaganda, being very much linked to the Kosovo question, which preoccupies many Sarplaninac enthusiasts.

Although the boundaries between them are becoming increasingly blurred, there are three main varieties of the Albanian Sharplanina dog, mainly separated by their history and ancestry. These are the true dogs of the mountainous Shara region, simply kept by Albanian owners. The Sarplaninac group, in addition to allowing non-standard colors, such as brindle and red, which are not appreciated by Serbian and European breeders of the Sarplaninac breed, the other two variants being the almost extinct true Qeni Kosova and the increasingly popular Albanian. Combat Crossdog. In recent times, Albanian enthusiasts in their native lands and those living in Serbia and Macedonia, have been working on the standardization and separate recognition of the Albanian Shara mountain dog, with some of the suggested names being Deltari Ilir, Qen Sharri, Kosova Sheepdog and Shquiptar Qeni Sarrit, but separate recognition is not enough for many Albanians, who insist on using the name "Illyrian Sheepdog" for the entire Sarplaninac breed, regardless of its variants, while claiming to be Illiyrians themselves and the Sarplaninac "naturally" being their dog, which is understandably upsetting a large number of Sarplaninac breeders, as well as history scholars around the world.

Although dog fighting has a long history in Albania and many creations have been named "Albanian fighting dog" over the years, modern representatives of Deltari Ilir are thought to be the result of crossing Sarplaninac and Goranac strains with other breeds, such as Central Asian Shepherds, Kangals, Kars Shepherds, St. Bernards and Ovcharkas. These include Central Asian Shepherds, Kangals, Kars Shepherds, St. Bernards and Caucasian Ovcharkas, as well as Albanian breeding dogs and imported European and American Mastiffs and Bulldogs. It should be noted that, like most Deltari Ilir enthusiasts, "non-Albanian" bloodlines are frowned upon, and they continue to regularly import oversized Sarplaninac specimens from a number of Serbian crosses in Kosovo for their own breeding purposes. Although a capable livestock herder, this dog's main role is that of a fighter, but it also makes a good property guard dog and faithful companion when handled correctly. Depending on the lineage, Albanian Sarplaninacs can be moderately aggressive or extremely vicious, but they are all very territorial and hostile towards foreign dogs. The body is well boned, with a broad chest and large head, but as it is neither recognized nor officially standardized, the Qen Sharri has no strictly defined type, with some dogs having narrow muzzles and long legs, while others can be seen with mastiff facial features and broader bodies.

The coat is thick, densely coated and of medium length, although some richly long-haired and short-haired examples are also common. Any coat color is encountered and permitted, from white to near-black representatives, with most dogs brindle, reddish brown or dirty gray, often with white markings. The average height is around 66 centimeters, but many larger dogs can be found, some reaching over 86.5 centimeters at the withers.

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