By Jags Goldie Last updated: 17th November 2022

Polish Tatra Sheepdog


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 17th November 2022

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog or the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is a rare, large-sized dog bred for its role as both the protector and the companion. It comes with a compact, sturdy body, lean, slightly rounded head, distinctly marked stop, gradually tapering muzzle, expressive eyes, triangular ears, muscular neck, strong legs, and a moderately high set tail. Its general appearance gives the impression of mobility and stamina.

Polish Tatra Sheepdog Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesPolski Owczarek, Owczarek Podhalański, Owczarek Tatrzański, Tatra, OP
CoatWeather-resistant double coat, slightly wavy or straight, harsh topcoat, dense undercoat
Breed TypePurebred
CategorySheepdog, Herding, Guardian, Mountain Dog
Lifespan10-12 years
Weight80-130 lb
HeightFemale: 24-26 in
Male: 26-28 in
SheddingSeasonal, high
Size of Litter5-8 puppies
TemperamentFriendly, intelligent, calm, alert
Good with ChildrenRequires supervision
BarkingLoud, occasional
Country Originated inPoland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationARBA, ACA, DRA, FCI, PTSCA, PKC, UKC


This sheepdog breed is thought to have originated in the highlands of the Tatra Mountain Range in Poland hundreds of years ago, from which it actually got its name. Many breeders believe that these dogs evolved from the early Mastiff type dogs and mountain herding dogs.

The Tatra Sheepdog has been exceedingly useful for the local people because of its fantastic herding and guarding skills. Its dense fur was often shaved and spun into wool. Moreover, the mountain workers used these dogs to lead them through the rough mountain terrain.

However, their population declined after the World War I and II. A group of breed organizations and registries took efforts to protect and promote this Polish breed. By the 1980s, the Polish Tatra Sheepdog’s popularity not only spread in Europe but also reached Canada and the US. Today, there are nearly 7,500 registered Polish Tatra dogs worldwide.

Temperament and Behavior

As a natural working dog, the Polish Tatra Sheepdog is self-thinking, independent, and can judge a situation or take decisions without any human intervention. Although it is a loving and devoted family pet, it tends to be reserved around strangers.

It is always cautious of its surroundings, alerting its owners with a loud bark on spotting anything unusual. When it feels challenged or threatened by someone or something, it may respond by attacking or biting.

It can learn to coexist with other pets if properly socialized at a young age. It is usually well-behaved with good-mannered children.



Being an active breed, it needs plenty of daily outdoor exercises. Even though it adapts to family life, it will do best with a medium- to large-sized, fenced yard where it can run around or play off-leash. It should also be taken on regular long walks.


Since the Polish Tatra sheds its coat in late spring, you need to brush it using a slicker brush. Its fur usually remains clean and so does not require frequent baths.

Health Problems

Genetic health conditions like hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, patellar luxation, and epilepsy have occasionally been reported in some individuals.


Being a dog with independent personality, the Tatra Sheepdog requires a firm training hand.

It is important to introduce your Polish Sheepdog puppy to birds, cats, and other dogs at a young age so that it can learn to live peacefully with them. Before taking your pet to the dog park, you may invite friends or families with healthy, friendly dogs to come and meet your pup. The people you choose should know how to interact with a dog in a positive way.

There are some essential commands you need to teach your dog to keep it safer and increase your chances of communicating with it. These include sit, come, stay, down, and leave it. Practice these commands in different places, including the hall, kitchen, living room, garden, or even on walks so that it gets used to obeying you in different situations.


A high-quality commercial dry food rich in protein and fat should be fed to meet its energy needs.

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