Polish Tatra Sheepdog: Information & Dog Breed Facts

Country of origin: Poland
Shoulder height: 60 – 70 cm
Weight: 45 – 65 kg
Age: 10 – 12 years
Color: white
Use: companion dog, guard dog

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a large, sturdy, white livestock dog of Polish origin. The born guard needs a property that he can guard but also close family connections. It is not suitable for an apartment or city dog.

Origin and history

The Polski Owczarek Podhalanski (also Tatra Sheepdog, Tatra Dog, Tatra Shepherd Dog, or Podhalaner) is a Polish herding dog that originated in the High Tatra region, home to the large white shepherd dogs for centuries.

The Tatra Sheepdog is undoubtedly a very old regional breed that was formed through their work for humans: they were used as guards against robbers and not for herding sheep. In the course of this selection, large, resilient, courageous, well-balanced dogs with a high stimulus threshold emerged. The breeding registration of the Tatra Sheepdog only began in the last few decades. The breed was internationally recognized by the FCI in 1967.


With a shoulder height of up to 70 cm, the Tatra Sheepdog has a very stately appearance. Its compact and strong physique conveys great strength, endurance, and mobility.

The coat of the Tatra Sheepdog is dense, coarse, straight to slightly wavy, and has plenty of undercoats. The fur on the head and muzzle and the front of the legs are shorter than on the rest of the body. The fur forms a distinct ruffle on the neck. The color of the coat is uniformly white with no markings or cream patches. The nose and eyes are black and dark brown respectively. The ears are medium long, triangular, and hanging. The tail is bushy and long, hanging down with a slight upward curve at the end.


The Tatra Sheepdog is a livestock guard dog and therefore also an excellent guard dog. It is independent, fearless, very attentive, and vigilant. The Tatra Sheepdog is reserved for suspicious strangers. Its innate protective instinct does not need to be encouraged any further, protecting is in its blood. However, it does not seek arguments, has strong nerves, is calm, and has a balanced personality. It is very patient, loving, and devoted to its own family.

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog needs lots of affection and a loving but consistent upbringing. Blind obedience can never be expected from a well-trained Polish Tatra Sheepdog. It doesn’t do anything on command, only out of conviction and at best out of affection. The ideal habitat for a Polski Owczarek Podhalanski is a house with a piece of land that he can guard. It is not suitable for a city or apartment dog. It also loves being outdoors and is best cared for by nature-loving people – who do not have exaggerated sporting ambitions.

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is relatively easy to care for – the coat is dirt-resistant and usually only needs to be brushed out once a week. The Tatra Sheepdog only sheds a lot when shedding its coat – this is when it should be brushed out as often as possible.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *