Breed Category: Herding
Country of Origin: Poland
Average Size: 60-70 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 40-60 kg
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: High
The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is a strong and dependable herding breed that originated in Poland as many as five hundred years ago. They were developed to aid farmers and shepherds in protecting livestock from threatening wildlife such as wolves or bears. This breed works extremely well with sheep, though it is also naturally protective of goats and other farm animals. It is highly prized for its tenacity and protective nature. The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is an intelligent breed capable of police work, service work and tasks involving the hauling of light loads. Its coat may also be sheared in warmer months for use as wool.
This breed was exclusive to Poland for several centuries, hailing from the Tatra Mountain region of southern Poland. It is an ancient breed with ties to other large European herding dogs such as the Hungarian Kuvasz. Their population has always been low and the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog was very near extinction in the 20th century following the devastation of multiple wars in the area. It is thought that this breed was crossbred with other local mountain dogs in order to boost numbers during the latter half of the 20th century. The breed remains rare, especially outside of its native country, though the population has now stabilised.
The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is extremely large in size, which makes its presence all the more intimidating to intruding people or animals. This breed can be anywhere from 60-70 cm in height and 40-60 kg in weight, with females being slightly smaller in size.
This breed’s coat is predominantly white, though some spots of cream may be seen. The light colouring helps distinguish the dog from threatening animals such as bears. The double coat of the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is extremely thick, making it well-suited for cold mountain weather. Its coat may be straight or wavy in texture. This breed sheds profusely once a year, but its coat is otherwise very durable and easy to care for.
The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog has large, floppy ears that are triangular in shape. It has a broad head and a long muzzle that ends with a large black nose. Its body is sturdy and strong and it is capable of traversing treacherous mountain terrain. The tail of this breed is long and feathered.
The intelligence and loyalty of this breed cannot be overemphasised. Hundreds of years of breeding have led to tremendous natural guarding instincts. The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog thrives upon spending time working outdoors, so it is not well-suited for life in a small flat or in a home without a yard. It needs physical exercise on a daily basis and works best in a herding capacity. This breed prefers to be outdoors, so the prospect of spending cold nights outside is not a problem so long as it is provided with proper shelter during rough weather.
The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is still used in a working capacity, but it is now kept primarily as a companion dog. As a pet, this breed requires substantial exercise. It enjoys agility exercises as well as walking and hiking. A dog with this intelligence requires an engaged owner who will train the dog in a consistent and fair manner. This is a gentle breed that thrives with a gentle and affectionate owner.
This breed has a loud bark that serves it well in guarding livestock and the family home. Though its bark may sound ferocious, this is a gentle breed that would much rather scare off predators than engage in a fight. The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is naturally calm and even-tempered, so it gets along well with children and other animals. It is protective of its family as well as any livestock it may look after.
The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is a remarkably healthy breed, which is due in part to the fact that it is not widely bred. As with most large breeds, this dog is susceptible to hip dysplasia and patella luxation. It may also experience problems with gastric torsion.
Though this dog is big in size, it lives to be an average of 10-12 years of age.
Tatra Mountain Sheepdog Organisations in Australia
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