Karelian Bear Dog vs Istrian Sheepdog - Breed Comparison

Karelian Bear Dog vs Istrian SheepdogKarelian Bear Dog is originated from Finland but Istrian Sheepdog is originated from Slovenia. Both Karelian Bear Dog and Istrian Sheepdog are having almost same height. Karelian Bear Dog may weigh 17 kg / 37 pounds lesser than Istrian Sheepdog. Both Karelian Bear Dog and Istrian Sheepdog has same life span. Both Karelian Bear Dog and Istrian Sheepdog has almost same litter size. Both Karelian Bear Dog and Istrian Sheepdog requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Finland
Slovenia
Height Male:
54 - 60 cm
21 - 24 inches
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
Height Female:
54 - 60 cm
21 - 24 inches
54 - 63 cm
21 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
20 - 23 kg
44 - 51 pounds
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
Weight Female:
20 - 23 kg
44 - 51 pounds
26 - 40 kg
57 - 89 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 8
3 - 6
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Karjalankarhukoira
Karst Sheepdog
Colors Available:
Black and White
Dark and Light shades of Grey
Coat:
Shortish and dense
Long, thick and harsh
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

karelian bear dogThe Karelian Bear Dog is a Finnish Spitz-type dog who is regarded as a national treasure in the country. They have always been noted for their hunting skills, and because the dog has been found in ancient Viking graves you can assume it is an ancient breed.

In fact the ancestry of the dog can be traced to neolithic times, when dogs followed human settlers to regions of Scandinavia and Europe.The American Kennel Club does not fully recognize the Karelian Bear Dog. It is however included in their Foundation Stock Service.

istrian sheepdogKnown 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.

Description

karelian bear dog puppyStanding at between 54–60cm in height and weighing roughly 20–23 kg, the medium sized Karelian Bear Dog has a beautiful shiny coat. The outercoat is shortish, straight and dense and the undercoat is soft and thick.

The color of the coat is black with white markings. The dog has a bushy tail which curls in a circle over the back and the tail’s end is white. The ears of the dog are small and erect while the small eyes are intense.

Temperament:

It is best to have your Karelian Bear dog trained and socialized as he can tend to be aggressive towards other pets in the house, and even towards people he isn't familiar with. The owner of these dogs must be firm and fair with training as the Karelian is a strong-willed dog.

He is devoted to his human owners while being somewhat aloof and unfriendly with strangers. They are very territorial.

He is a very social dog and just loves spending time outdoors with his family. He is also good with children in the home as he is a playful dog.He is a dog who is going to require a lot of space to use up his energy. He needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation, as in the past he has always had a lot of work to do, and just loves being active. He is a confident, brave dog who takes his job as family protector seriously.

istrian sheepdog puppyThis 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.

Health Problems

karelian bear dog dogThe Karelian Bear Dog can reach 10 to 12 years of age with good care, but just like with other dog breeds, he can be prone to certain health problems such as eye and dental problems as well as hip dysplasia.

Many people don’t realize that dental problems are far more serious than what they imagine. An offensive breath can be the first warning sign of tooth decay with your canine friend.

There are other problems that can develop orally for your dog and these include inflammation of the gums, swollen gums and mouth tumors. You need to brush your pet’s teeth but also see to it that he goes for regular dental check-ups at the vet.

istrian sheepdog dogAs 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.

Caring The Pet

karelian bear dog puppiesThere are many people who just keep a dog for watchdog purposes and fail to make the pet a proper family member by meeting its physical and emotional needs.

Caring for a dog means providing nutritious food and clean drinking water, seeing that he has a warm, dry place to sleep, providing the dog with exercise and ensuring the dog is healthy and content.

Caring for a dog is a big responsibility, and you have to think carefully before you bring a dog into your home and life.

You need to be careful with the food you select for your pet. If you’re feeding him a commercially manufactured food, you need to make sure to read the label and make sure the top ingredients are meat and not meat by-products. If this is something you’ve never thought about, ask your veterinarian for food recommendations.

Speaking of veterinarians, make sure you have a reliable, reputable vet you can call on. At some time or other your pet may get sick and then you want to have the name of a reliable vet in your contacts list on your cell phone. Sometimes your pet can become suddenly sick where he will need immediate, emergency help from the vet.

Just like you look after yourself, you need to look after your pet by brushing him, checking him for fleas, ticks and worms and keeping an eye on his eyes, ears, teeth and general health.

Exercise:

istrian sheepdog puppiesThis 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.

Characteristics

karelian bear dog dogsYour energetic Karelian Bear Dog isn’t recommendeded for life in the city in a small garden. He needs a large garden or farm where he can run far and wide.

Exercising him will be an important part if you own one of these dogs. He is a social, friendly, active family pet who happens to make a good watchdog too.

Make sure you have your Karelian Bear Dog trained and socialized and he’ll make you a wonderful friend and pet.

istrian sheepdog dogsYour 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.

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