Polish Tatra Sheepdog

Canis lupus familiaris

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© marcin jucha/Shutterstock.com

This gigantic breed is known for its guardian skills, but they are non-aggressive and always manage to stay calm towards people and animals.


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Polish Tatra Sheepdog Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Polish Tatra Sheepdog Locations

Polish Tatra Sheepdog Locations

Polish Tatra Sheepdog Facts

Name Of Young
Puppy
Group Behavior
  • Solitary
Fun Fact
This gigantic breed is known for its guardian skills, but they are non-aggressive and always manage to stay calm towards people and animals.
Most Distinctive Feature
Snow white coat
Gestation Period
58 to 68 days
Training
Difficult
Litter Size
3 to 5
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Common Name
Polish Tatra Sheepdog
Origin
Poland

Polish Tatra Sheepdog Physical Characteristics

Color
  • White
Skin Type
Fur
Height
2 feet
Age of Sexual Maturity
6 to 9 months
Age of Weaning
3 to 6 weeks
Aggression
Low

Polish Tatra Sheepdog as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
High
Separation Anxiety
Low
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
Moderate
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Pure bred cost to own
$1,200 to $2,000
Dog group
Working
Male weight
80-130 lbs
Female weight
79-130 lbs

View all of the Polish Tatra Sheepdog images!



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The Polish Tatra Sheepdog hails from the Tatra peaks of the Carpathian Mountains in Southern Poland. It is a rare breed known for its personality and majestic appearance. This breed was originally bred several thousand years ago to watch over livestock, and it gets many of its traits from the work it was born to do. It is also known as the Polish Mountain Sheepdog (Owczarek Podhalanski) and it is believed that this breed most likely is a descendant of the Mastiff.

Although they are massive dogs, they are gentle, sweet souls who remain calm around people and other animals. In addition, these dogs are highly intelligent and strategic, which is another reason for their gentle nature. However, they will attack if it’s their last resort.

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Different Types Of Polish Tatra Sheepdog Mixes

Because this breed is so rare, there are no crossbreeds or other types. Therefore, they are a truly unique breed.

Three Pros And Cons Of Owning A Polish Tatra Sheepdog

While Polish Tatra Sheepdogs have a caring and loyal nature, there are always pros and cons to any breed.

ProsCons
Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are highly intelligentThey are not that affectionate or playful
They are good watchdogsPolish Tatra Sheepdogs are very active and need a lot of exercise
These massive dogs are surprisingly gentleThey can bark a lot

The Best Dog Food For A Polish Tatra Sheepdog

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs need a high-quality dog food that is suitable for their life stage. For example:

In addition, they would benefit from dog food specifically formulated for large breeds, especially when they are puppies. Eating the right dog food when they are puppies will help prevent them from growing too fast, which can lead to skeletal problems.

Size And Weight

Two big white dogs are walking outdoor. Tatra Shepherd Dog. Polish Tatra Sheepdog

The most distinguishing feature of this breed is their shaggy, snow-white coat.

Health and Entertainment for your Polish Tatra Sheepdog

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©Unique Vision/Shutterstock.com

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a large, muscular breed whose size is enhanced by its long, thick coat, which protects them from the elements. However, their most distinguishing feature is their striking, shaggy snow-white coat.

These massive dogs measure over 2 feet tall and can weigh up to 130 pounds! They have rectangular bodies with a broad snout. Their tails are straight, and they carry them high when they are in a good mood.

Common Health Issues

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is generally healthy; however, they are prone to some diseases like:

Temperament

Sheep dog guard herd in Polish Tatra mountains

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are non-aggressive but are not overly affectionate unless they grow up with that companion from an early age.

©marcin jucha/Shutterstock.com

This gigantic breed is known for its guardian skills, but they are non-aggressive and always manage to stay calm toward people and animals. They have a keen sense of awareness and are quite gentle for their size.

However, they are not that affectionate unless they grow up with a companion from an early age. These dogs will treat their family as they would a flock by protecting them with everything they have in them.

However, this trait can become an issue, especially if they are not appropriately trained because they are easily stimulated and can bark a lot.

However, training won’t be easy. Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are incredibly stubborn and need constant authority when training and socializing to promote good behavior.

Caring For A Polish Tatra Sheepdog

Big guard dog resting in front of the house. Polish Tatra Sheepdog also known as Podhalan or Owczarek Podhalanski

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs have self-cleaning coats so you will rarely have to wash them.

©PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock.com

If Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are well taken care of, they can live long and healthy lives.

Grooming

Although they have long hair and thick coats, their grooming needs are manageable. One of their coolest traits is that their coats are self-cleaning, meaning you rarely have to wash them, which is great when dealing with a 130-pound dog!

However, they will need to be brushed weekly to remove all their loose hair. In addition, during the summer months, they will need a brush daily.

Their nails need trimming, and their ears need cleaning every 6 weeks. It’s always best to have a professional dog groomer handle this for you, as owners often cut their dog’s nails too short, which is painful and causes bleeding.

In addition, you need to brush their teeth weekly with an old toothbrush and specific dog toothpaste. Alternatively, you can take them for professional dental cleanings once every 3 months.

Training

While the Polish Tatra Sheepdog makes a fantastic guard dog, they aren’t that easy to train. Unfortunately, their capability of decision-making doesn’t help with obedience. They are more likely to make up their own minds than listen to their trainer or owner.

However, training them is not impossible, and studies have proven that they can learn with a lot of persistence using a reward-based training method.

Exercise

Polish Tatra Sheepdogs have medium to high energy; thanks to all those years of standing guard over livestock, they have developed quite a bit of stamina.

This large breed requires a lot of exercise; however, letting them run around a large garden for an hour will do the trick. They are really independent and can keep themselves entertained.

Puppies

Cute white puppy dog lying on grass in flowers. Polish Tatra Sheepdog, known also as Podhalan or Owczarek Podhalanski

Puppies need a firm but gentle hand when dealing with their independent personality.

©PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock.com

It is important to introduce your Polish Tatra Sheepdog puppy to other animals like other dogs, cats, and birds, at a young age so that it is able to coexist with them in a positive way. Socialization at a young age is crucial.

The average cost for Polish Tatra Sheepdog puppies is $1,200 to $2,000 in the USA. However, purchasing a show dog can cost you much more!

Females generally give birth to 3 to 5 pups per litter.

Polish Tatra Sheepdog And Children

If raised properly, Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are great family dogs and will care for your children on the same level as the livestock they were bred to protect. They are perfect around little ones because of their even tempers and being slow to anger.

Biting is very rare but can happen if absolutely pressed. However, children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter their temperament, as accidents can happen.

Dogs Similar To The Polish Tatra Sheepdog

There are several dogs that are similar to the Polish Tatra Sheepdog; they include:

Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is fantastic with children and is often called the gentle giant. Although they are massive dogs, they show outstanding tolerance and patience. Although they are huge, Saint Bernards love being indoors with their family.

Because of their gigantic size, they do not make good apartment dogs. In addition, they have a low tolerance for heat because they were bred to withstand the freezing temperatures of the Alps.

Their massive size means it takes them longer to mature physically and mentally, meaning they remain like puppies for some time.

Tibetan Mastiff

As their name depicts, Tibetan Mastiffs originated in Tibet and are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. In fact, there are Stone Age cave drawings of this breed in the Himalayas that validate this theory, proving they have been around for centuries.

They were initially bred as watchdogs, which is one of their best characteristics. These massive dogs provide exceptional protection for their loved ones.

While they are loyal and protective, this breed can be quite aloof. In addition, their guarding instincts can make them wary of people they don’t know. So, curbing this behavior will require some training and socialization skills.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Initially bred to protect livestock and pull carts, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed dog with a very placid nature. Therefore, today, they are primarily used as companion dogs.

These gigantic dogs are the perfect breed to have around children and are easy to train. However, they rely heavily on the affection of their owners and can be needy at times, which causes separation anxiety.

The Bernese Moutain Dog is very big, and they have tri-colored fur. Because of their long coats, they need to be groomed often to keep their shedding under control.


Popular Names For A Polish Tatra Sheepdog

There are so many fantastic dog names out there, but if you are lacking some inspiration, here are a few popular names to help you out:

  • Rocky
  • Sasha
  • Lola
  • Charlie
  • Emma
  • Buddy
  • Bella
  • Bear
  • Chloe
  • Penny
  • Lucky

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About the Author

Chanel Coetzee is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily focusing on big cats, dogs, and travel. Chanel has been writing and researching about animals for over 10 years. She has also worked closely with big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and tigers at a rescue and rehabilitation center in South Africa since 2009. As a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Chanel enjoys beach walks with her Stafford bull terrier and traveling off the beaten path.

Polish Tatra Sheepdog FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How big do Polish Tatra Sheepdogs get?

These massive dogs measure over 2 feet tall and can weigh up to 130 pounds!

What massive dog breed is still used in the high mountains of Poland to protect and herd flocks?

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog hails from the Tatra peaks of the Carpathian Mountains in Poland. It is a rare breed known for its personality and majestic appearance. This breed was originally bred to watch over livestock, and it gets many of its traits from the work it was born to do.

How much is a Polish Tatra Sheepdog?

The average cost for Polish Tatra Sheepdog puppies is $1,200 to $2,000 in the USA. However, purchasing a show dog can cost you much more!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources

  1. Dog Breeds List / Accessed September 28, 2022
  2. Your Dogs World / Accessed September 28, 2022
  3. Wag Walking / Accessed September 28, 2022