Tatra Shepherd Dog
9-16 Kg (Approx)
10-12 years (Approx)
The Tatra Shepherd Dog is an imposing, strong and balanced dog. It must be strong and determined both for fighting predators and guarding. Its abundant, dense and insulating coat gives excellent protection against bad weather. The general impression of the Tatra Shepherd Dog suggests strength, stamina, and a certain aloofness.
Despite its mountainous origins, the breed thrives in all areas and conditions. Sex dimorphism is clearly visible, females being distinctly smaller and less powerful than males.
Rectangular in shape, the length of the body of males being a little shorter than that of bitches.
Compact and harmoniously built. He is a big dog, but not so excessive as to appear heavy and cumbersome.
On head, muzzle, front part of forelegs and on the hindlegs from the hock downward, the hair is short and dense. The neck and the body are covered with long, thick, straight or slightly wavy hair, hard to the touch. Undercoat profuse. On the neck a rich ruff; the thighs are covered with profuse, longhair; on the tail hair also profuse, forming a flag.
The Tatra Shepherd Dog has lived in the Polish mountains for thousands of years, but no exact date for the start of the breed was ever recorded. There is a similar mystery around what breeds were mixed to form the Polish Tatra Sheepdog. While no one is certain, many dog breeders say that the Polish Tatra Sheepdog came from the Mastiff breed.
The breed was very popular among mountain workers for several centuries, and up to today. It was so popular because, as its name implies, it was a fantastic sheepdog. This success at herding sheep was mainly due to their high intelligence. When predators were around the sheep, the Polish Tatra Sheepdog would gather up the sheep and stand by them instead of trying to attack the predator, which would leave the sheep open for other attacks. This demonstrates their intelligence. Their white coat also made them easily distinguishable from a bear or wolves, which was very helpful for workers. Also, owners could shave the dogs and use their coat to produce wool. Herding sheep was not the only job the breed could perform. They were often used as personal guards and frequently guarded factories and other private property.
After the World Wars the breed was on the brink of extinction. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale, (FCI), would not allow this to happen, though, and by the 1960s they started breeding the sheepdog more and more.
Centuries ago, as their reputation as excellent sheepdogs spread, the breed spread slowly across Europe, but in 1980, an American Foreign Service Officer enjoyed the breed so much that he had three of them shipped to America, and by 1981 the breed also spread to Canada.
The Tatra Shepherd Dog is extremely intelligent, alert and makes an excellent watch dog. Very even-tempered, quiet and brave, friendly to domestic animals and children and somewhat aloof and distrustful of strangers.
A lot of today's Polish Tatra Sheepdog's behaviours and qualities can be traced back to its use of guarding. They are territorial, loyal and protective of their owners, and are very good watchdogs for this reason.
Correct coat texture is of utmost importance. The outer coat is rather harsh, glossy and somewhat oily, providing good protection against wet and dirt. It does not need any elaborate grooming, apart from brushing and occasional combing.
Currently no Breeders in SA for this Breed