The Illyrian Sheepdog, or Sarplaninac, is a herding breed that originated in the border area between Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. It was first recognized as a distinct breed in 1930 and was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1939.
The Illyrian Sheepdog was bred as a working farm dog and herd guardian and has also been used in military service. It is highly intelligent and strong willed and tends to be aloof with strangers, although it will tolerate children and smaller dogs if raised with them. Illyrian Sheepdogs are not suitable for novice dog owners or for life in an apartment or small house.