Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 30-55, Female: 30-55
Height: Male: 26-30, Female: 25-28
Origin of Name: The Bucovina Shepherd dog is an extremely rare breed of dog and has strong guard dog qualities.
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The Bukovina Shepherd Dog was developed for dog breeding, usually before written records, and has been bred by illiterate farmers in one of the most remote regions of Europe. As a result, virtually nothing is known with certainty about its origin. It is clear that the breed was developed entirely within the mountainous region of Bukovina, and when the Austro-Hungarian Empire took over the region in the 1700s, it was well established. There is some dispute as to which group Bukovina Shepherd Dog is properly into. Many believe that the dog is a type of mastiff, also known as mollosers, dogs, and allants. Although each breed is different, mastiffs are characterized by their large size, strong protective instinct, great strength and vigor, small dense coat, brachycephalic (pushing) face, and European or Near Eastern ancestry. Although their development is one of the most deeply disputed aspects of canine history, it is generally agreed that mastiffs were spread throughout Europe during the Roman period. Some examples of Mastiff / Moloser-type dogs include the English Mastiff, St. Bernard, Dogu de Bordeaux, the Great Dane, and the American Pit Bull Terrier.
In recent years it has been realized that many breeds of European and Near Eastern livestock actually preceded the Roman Empire. These dogs are large and powerful, but lack the brachycephalic faces of true mastiffs and usually have medium to long coats that are almost always predominantly white in color. Most of the breeds are confined to the mountainous regions. Researchers have named the group Lupomolocids, which roughly translates to wolf dogs such as mollossars. The breeds most classified as Lupomolocids include the Great Pyrenees, the Maremma Sheepdog, the Kuvas, the Komondor, the Akbush Dog, and the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog. The Bukovina Shepherd Dog fits almost perfectly into the definition of lupomolocid, as it is a large and powerful livestock protector native to a mountainous region of Europe, has a long wolf-like head and muzzle, and a long, predominantly white Is the coat. In the opinion of this author, the Bukovina Shepherd Dog is almost a leupomolycid rather than a true mastiff.
There are three general lines of thought regarding the original ancestry of the Bukovina Shepherd Dog. It is most commonly claimed that the breed is a descendant of pre-Roman dogs. The people of Romania who ban the Bukovina Shepherd Dog are generally considered descendants of Dacian, a Thracian tribe that occupied Romania before the Roman Conquest. The Dacians were known to be highly skilled dog breeders, who raised dogs for war, shepherding, guarding, and hunting. Many claim that Dacian dogs are the primary ancestor of the Bukovina Shepherd Dog, just as Dacians are claimed to be the primary ancestors of the Romanian. This theory is most likely. If the Bukovina Shepherd Dog is lupomolocid, it almost certainly precedes the Roman era. Additionally, mountainous areas such as Bukovina typically have dog populations that change very little over time, as can be seen elsewhere in the Pyrenees, Alps, and Carpathians.
Other theories suggest that the breed first entered Bukovina during the Roman Times. During the Roman period of occupation, thousands of Roman immigrants filled Dacia to take advantage of their vast mineral wealth, almost certainly bringing their dogs with them. Additionally, the Roman army was always accompanied by several breeds of dogs, mainly the Molossus that were used in battle, and the Roman Cattle Dogging Dog, which was necessary for grazing cattle herds on a large scale. Although much controversy, these Roman dogs are widely believed to be Mastiff-type. If the Bukovina Shepherd Dog is a Mastiff, it was probably introduced by the Romans.
Another possible lineage for the Bukovina Shepherd Dog is that it was brought to Bukovina by the Steppies nomads. Bukovina lies on the border of the Steps and has been repeatedly attacked by nomads from the meadows, including the Huns, Magyars, Mongols, Tatars, Cumans, and Turks. Interestingly, most of these people had dogs, which are similar in appearance to Bukovina Shepherd Dog including Hunar Aftarska, Magyar / Kaman Kuvas and Komondor, and Turkish Akbel Dog and Anatolian Shepherd. It is quite possible (and indeed probable) that any or all of these people brought their dogs to Bukovina where they either became the ancestors of the Bukovina Shepherd Dog or at least influenced its development.
Although the Bukovina Shepherd Dog was developed, it became widespread throughout the region. The breed was used to protect flocks of sheep and goats kept by Romanian residents of the area, commonly referred to as Vlachs, Rumanians, Wallachians, Transylvanians, and / or Moldovans before 1.