Istrian Sheepdog vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison

Istrian Sheepdog is originated from Slovenia but American Bulldog is originated from United States. Istrian Sheepdog may grow 7 cm / 2 inches shorter than American Bulldog. Istrian Sheepdog may weigh 14 kg / 30 pounds lesser than American Bulldog. Istrian Sheepdog may live 4 years less than American Bulldog. Istrian Sheepdog may have less litter size than American Bulldog. Istrian Sheepdog requires Moderate maintenance. But American Bulldog requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Slovenia
United States
Height Male:
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
55 - 70 cm
21 - 28 inches
Height Female:
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
52 - 65 cm
20 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
32 - 54 kg
70 - 120 pounds
Weight Female:
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
27 - 45 kg
59 - 100 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
14 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 6
10 - 12
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Karst Sheepdog
shades of brindle including red brindle, varying degrees of white, red, brown, tan, fawn and piebald.
Colors Available:
Dark and Light shades of Grey
Brindle, mostly white, white with brown or red and piebald.
Coat:
Long, thick and harsh
Short and smooth
Shedding:
Moderate, Seasonal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Courageous, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

Known also as the Karst Sheepdog, the beautiful, medium sized Istrian Sheepdog hails from Slovenia, Yugoslavia in the 1600s, being used to guard sheep. In fact, the Karst Shepherd was recognized as the Illyrian Shepherd in 1939.

The dog is fairly scarce in his own country, but interest in the dog started developing in the late 1970s. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the breed and it has also been exported to the United States, being recognized by the United Kennel Club.

It is also recognized by a number of smaller kennel clubs. The dogs numbers have declined at certain periods in its history but fortunately breeding programs boosted its numbers.

Following World War II, the American Bulldog was almost extinct.

Thanks to John D. Johnson from Summerville, Georgia the breed is still with us today. He gathered the best dogs he could find throughout the rural South and bred them back into popularity among his family and other rural families. His father bred the American Bulldog before John did and they have bred them longer than any other in any part of the world. His dogs were regularly used for tracking, hunting, guarding, watchdog and weight pulling. At some point Alan Scott joined Johnson breeding other bulldogs to Johnson's and forming the Standard American Bulldog.

The American Bulldog is popular today as a family pet and companion as well as a working dog.

Description

This is a medium sized, muscled, strong dog with an iron-grey coat that has shades of deeper grey. His beautiful coat is long, thick and fairly harsh to the touch, with the undercoat protecting the dog against cold weather.

Around the neck area the hair is longer, forming an eye-catching-like mane. The stomach area has longer hair too. He has a noble look about him with kind, brown eyes and a round skull. The muzzle of the dog is dark, the limbs long and muscular and the tail is long and covered in thick fur.

The dog is slightly longer than its height, and both males and females stand at 54 to 63cm in height and weigh between 26 and 40kg. The long tail reaches right down to the hocks. The ears of the dog are fairly short and are floppy.

Temperament:

This dog has always made an excellent guard dog, being alert and also being distrustful of strangers. He will need to be trained and socialized if you want him to be obedient to you and more amicable around children in the home as well as visitors to the home.

If he is trained and well socialized, he is able to make a good pet. However, he is an energetic dog, used to working and he isn't recommended for life in the city if there is only a tiny garden. He needs space and will require a large garden.

He will also need to be exercised and not just left to his own devices in the backyard. Because he is essentially a working dog he doesn’t easily fit into the role of pet and companion. He is a working dog and will need to be kept busy.

The American Bulldog is a powerful and muscular dog in a sturdy and compact frame. The female is more refined than the heavy boned and stocky male, but both genders are athletic, agile and quick. The have large heads, strong jaws, a muscular neck and with a moderately deep and wide chest.

They have a square head, with muscular cheeks I and a clearly defined furrow between his eyes. With broad, square and strong muzzles, they have a reverse scissors, scissors, moderate underbite and an even bite. Ears come in a variety of shapes and sizes and eyes can be any color as well. The nose however should be black and lips black as well. Their legs are strong, heavy boned and straight with well-defined muscles in the hindquarters. Finally ,they have a thick, low set tail that comes to a point at the end.

Health Problems

As with many other dog breeds, the Istrian Sheepdog is a healthy dog that, because of history of hard work, is robust and able to stand up well to common dog illnesses.

However there is one dog illness that strikes many dogs and at any age, and it is hip dysplasia. This is a malformation of the hip joints.

You'll notice that your once active dog is lethargic, doesn't want to play so much anymore and battles to get up after lying down. The disease is painful for your dog and it can lead to mobility issues. The disease is diagnosed with x-rays and your vet will recommend treatment options to make life more comfortable and less painful for your beloved pet.

Though generally healthy, the American Bulldog is prone to a few problems.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a serious issue in many breeds of dogs and is especially prevalent with the American Bull Dog. This may seem ironic in such a short legged dog but it is unfortunately very common. It is a genetic disorder that causes the bones in the joint to separate and causes the dog much pain and lameness.

Skin and Ear Issues

Due to skin folds you need to be care and watch for irritation and infection in the folds. They are also prone to ear infections.

Obesity

The American Bulldog is prone to overeating and all the health issues that presents. With short legs and a genetic predisposition to arthritis and hip dysplasia, obesity is a real health risk for your bulldog.

Caring The Pet

Exercise:

This is a dog that is used to guarding his flock and he will need to be in a home that has a fair sized garden. He can adapt to life in the city or to the countryside, but wherever he is, he will need sufficient exercise. Take him with you on your walks or hikes and give him some rope- and ball games.

General Care:

Wherever you live in the world, when the Winter winds howl and blow in icy rain or snow, a dog is at an increased risk of illness. You decided to have a dog in your home and it is your responsibility to care for him. Winter weather is downright unpleasant and dangerous for most pets.

Bring your pet in during such weather and provide him with a warm, dry sleeping space. During hot weather, make sure your pet has a cool, shady spot to lie down in, out of the boiling sun. Whatever weather you're experiencing, your pet should never ever be without a constant supply of fresh, cool water.

Provide him with excellent food that is full of vitamins and minerals to keep him healthy. Learn to know what human foods can be toxic for him and cause him digestive problems.

Grooming:

Your double coated Istrian Sheepdog will need a thorough brushing at least twice a week because of his dense, double coat. He does shed and isn't a hypoallergenic dog. His thick coat can tangle easily if it isn't properly brushed and maintained.

Clip his nails when and if they grow long. Other grooming aspects for this attractive dog require checking his ears for infection and also checking his teeth as dental disease can lead to a host of serious illnesses in your dog.

Feeding Puppies

Three times a day from 12 weeks to a year for a total of 3 cups per day.

Feeding Adults

After 6 months cut back to one cup twice a day of high quality dry dog food.

Bulldogs will eat anything at anytime and are prone to obesity. Don't overfeed them.

Characteristics

Your Istrian Sheepdog is a unique, strong-willed dog that is used to guarding, and working and he wants to be kept involved and busy.

He is wary of strangers and makes an excellent guard dog for any family home. Remember that it is never good to invest in a dog purely for guard dog purposes. A dog such as the Istrian Sheepdog is a social creature and he also wants- and needs to be part of a human family that provides him with plenty of interaction with them.

The Istrian Sheepdog is a loyal, loving dog who is capable of forming strong bonds with his human family. With proper training and socialization he makes a good friend of children and the elderly too.

Include him in all your family activities just like any human family member and he will make you a splendid, courageous pet.

The American Bulldog is characteristically loyal, brave and reliable. It is a friendly, gentle dog that truly loves children. There is not a hostile bone in his body despite his history and reputation for bull baiting. Though he is protective of its family and affectionate with most, he still needs a human companion who is strong willed and a genuine pack leader. Without this he might become aggressive around other dogs and pets. They are immensely self-confident and they do slobber and drool and will become excited and hard to handle without daily exercise of both their body and their minds.

Comparison with other breeds

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  42. Berger Blanc Suisse vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  43. Griffon Nivernais vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  44. Hokkaido vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison
  45. Petit Bleu de Gascogne vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison
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