This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia. (January 2014)
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The Sardinian Sheperd Dog (Sardinian: Pastore Fonnesu or also Cani Sardu Antigu, Italian: Pastore Fonnese) is an ancient breed of Sardinian dog used as a herding and livestock guardian dog. It has made for a long time a loyal companion of the Sardinian bandits that were hiding out in the woods, and even before it was probably employed to put up a stiff resistance against the Latin invaders. In 1912 it was also used by the Italian Army as a fighting dog during a military campaign in Libya. The dog's origins trace back to very ancient times, yet the Pastore Fonnese has been officially recognized only in 2013 by ENCI, the Italian Kennel club. The breed, which is endemic to the island, was founded with approximately 170 specimens gathered from rural Sardinia. The regional government of Sardinia had sponsored a research project that studied the genetics of the dog. It is an excellent guardian of property and livestock. The dog possesses a rough coat, which can be grey, black, brindle, brown or white. Height at the withers is about 55 to 60 cms for males, while females are a couple of centimeters shorter. A typical characteristic of the breed is the fiery expression of the eyes, whose position, unlike other dog breeds, is totally frontal, giving the dog a unique "monkey-like" appearance.