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Polish Tatra Sheepdog
Characteristics, History, and Health

Polish Tatra Sheepdog

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog, also known as the Owczarek Podhalanski or Tatra Shepherd Dog, is a breed of dog that originated in Poland. They're named after the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland, where they were primarily used as working dogs for herding and guarding livestock. The breed has a long history, dating back several centuries. They have been used traditionally as guardians of flocks, protecting them from predators like wolves and bears. These dogs were bred for their working capabilities and not for their looks, resulting in a breed that's hardy, adaptable, and intelligent. The breed is known to have a natural instinct to guard and protect, which they display even when not trained specifically for such tasks.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Owczarek Podhalanski, Tatra Shepherd Dog
Life Expectancy
10-12 years
Average Male Height
25.5-27.5 inches
Average Female Height
23.5-25.5 inches
Average Male Weight
80-130 pounds
Average Female Weight
80-130 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs can suffer from hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, juvenile cataracts, epilepsy, allergic dermatitis, and gastric torsion. As for all breeds, genetic screening for hereditary conditions is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are known for their calm, intelligent, and vigilant nature. They are very loyal and protective of their family, including children and other pets. These dogs can be aloof with strangers, but they are not usually aggressive unless provoked.

They require regular exercise to keep their body and mind active, but they're also content to relax with their family. They're considered easy to train, but early socialization and consistent, positive training methods are important.

Fun Facts

Despite their size, Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are known to be gentle with smaller animals and children.

These dogs are known to "think" before they act, assessing situations before reacting, a trait that makes them excellent guardians.

Their thick coat helps them withstand extremely cold temperatures, making them well-suited for life in the high-altitude Tatra Mountains.