Owczarek Podhalanski

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Herding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 80-130 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Owczarek Podhalanski is also known as Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Tatra Mountain Sheepdog, Owczarek Tatrzanski and Polski Owczarek. Nick named Podhalan or Tatra, this ancient Polish breed has been used as live stock guardians. It originated in Podhale area of Tatra Mountains, Poland and is named after the place of its origin. This breed dates back to thousands of years and as with most ancient breeds, its true progenitors are unknown though it is speculated that this breed was developed from mastiff type dogs. This dog is highly valued not only for its dual capabilities as herding and guardian dog but also for its immense intelligence. As an example, when predators were around the sheep, the dog would gather up the sheep and standby them, instead of attacking the predators as this action would leave the sheep unprotected and open for other attacks.

This is a large dog that stands between 26-28 inches and weighs about 80-130 lbs. This strong and compactly built dog exudes impression of stamina and mobility. It comes with a lean and proportionate head and slightly rounded skull. Strong muzzle tapers to medium size black nose with wide nostrils. Brown coloured, medium size eyes are set slanting and very expressive. Triangular shaped, high set, medium size ears are well furnished with hair. The dog has a massive and compact rectangular body with a broad, level back, wide loin, deep chest and rather flat and oblique ribs. Low set tail is carried low when the dog is at rest and in curled over the back when the dog is in motion. The breed sports a massive, always white double coat that is usually straight but can be wavy sometimes.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and UKC.


The Tatra dog always comes in one colour that is pure white but little cream patches are acceptable.


The double coat is water and weather resistant. Thick hair can be straight or wavy. Topcoat is rough to touch. It is short and dense on head, muzzle, front parts of forelegs and hindlegs and long on neck and remaining body. The undercoat is dense and profuse.


The Polish Tatra is a calm, intelligent and alert dog that makes a very good companion and family pet as well. It is a fiercely loyal dog to its master and family due to its strong protective instincts. As such, this dog is territorial and does not stand strangers coming to its territory. Though the dog would bark and show aggressive attitude, it will not bite unless continuously challenged. This dog is not an excessive barker but has the tendency to bark at anything that looks suspicious to it. It is gentle and playful with children and gets along well with other dogs specially if raised with them. Though it is an even tempered and calm breed, the dog will not stand harsh treatment from children or owner. Children should be taught not to tease this dog. With its high exercise demands, need for large open space and propensity for barking at anything unusual, this dog is not suitable for apartment living. It is a very good walking and jogging companion. The Tatra sheepdog makes an excellent watch and guard dog as well as well mannered family pet.


Long and profuse coat of this breed will need regular brushing to keep it from matting. The coat is self-cleaning and the dog will need bathing only when necessary. This breed sheds twice a year and extensive brushing will be required at those times to help in shedding. Ears should be checked regularly.


This highly intelligent breed can learn quickly but it can be a bit stubborn due to its independent nature. Natural leadership skills will be needed in the trainer to train this dog. This breed may not suit first time owners or those who can not establish themselves as this dogs' true packleaders.


Accustomed to roaming in large open space, this dog has high exercise needs. It needs to go on daily walks as well as have large open areas where it can play and run as it likes. This dog is very good companion in jogging, walking and other such activities.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x