Tornjak: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia
Shoulder height: 60 – 70 cm
Weight: 35 – 60 kg
Age: 10 – 12 years
Colour: White basic color with extensive either grey, brown or yellow spots
Use: guard dog, protection dog

The Tornjak is a large livestock guardian dog. It has a calm nature but knows how to defend its territory in an emergency. It needs a consistent and empathetic upbringing, plenty of living space, and a task that meets his instinct to be awake. It is not suitable for dog beginners or life in the city.

Origin and history

The Tornjak is a dog breed from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia that has been provisionally recognized by the FCI and belongs to the group of Molossia mountain dogs. The Tornjak is a very old type of dog – it was first mentioned in the 11th century – but the registration of the breed population and targeted breeding only began in the 1970s. Tornjak is considered a national good in its countries of origin and has an almost folkloric status. Even a postage stamp with the image of two Tornjaci appeared in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The Tornjak is a large, strong, well-proportioned, agile dog with a muscular build. The coat is weatherproof, slightly wavy, dense, and with plenty of undercoats. The basic color of the fur is white with areas of either grey, brown or yellow spots. The ears are medium-sized, protruding slightly from the head and drooping. The tail is set high and very bushy.


The Tornjak is by nature a typical herd guardian dog. He is a calm, easy-going dog with solid nerves, and his willingness to be aggressive is surprisingly low in many situations.

High intelligence, autonomy, independence, and willingness to make decisions go hand in hand with stoic composure and strong territorial ties in the old shepherd-dog manner. Inconsistent parenting is not very productive.

Tronjak grooming requires little effort. As a rule, the dog should not be bathed, otherwise, the natural protective function of the coat is lost. The fur is dirt-repellent and when it comes to shedding it is helped by brushing out the shed undercoat.

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.

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