Polish Tatra Sheepdog: Dog Breed Profile

Polish Tatra Sheepdog

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a large dog, of robust construction, imposing and compact. Releasing a lot of power and mobility, it resembles the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

Other names: Tatra Shepherd Dog, Polski Owczarek Podhalanski, Tatra Shepherd Dog

History of the breed

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog was,  indicates, used for the protection of flocks of sheep in the Tatra Mountains, straddling the current Poland and Slovakia. The breed is of very ancient origin: its first representatives of the breed would, in fact, have emerged as early as the 14th century after various crosses between the Hungarian Shepherd Kuvasz and the Tibetan Shepherd, among others.

Valiant in the face of predators threatening the herds, It demonstrated Its courage and Its protective instinct with the shepherds, but also in the houses, where It gradually established Itself as an outstanding guardian and companion.

The Second World War almost got the better of the breed’s numbers, but passionate breeders managed to save it by ensuring quality litters. The Polish Shepherd of Podhale was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on October 5, 1963

Physical features

  • It hair: long, profuse, straight, and hard in texture on the neck, trunk, and tail. Shorter on the head, muzzle, front of forelegs and lower hind limbs. Cover coat associated with an abundant undercoat.
  • Its color: uniformly white.
  • It head: lean, well proportioned to the body, carried moderately high. The skull is slightly convex, the frontal groove very slightly marked, the stop clearly marked.
  • Its ears: moderately long, thick, triangular in shape, well furnished with hair, with a mobile pinna, set at or a little higher than the outer corner of the eye.
  • Its eyes:of medium size, slightly slanted, dark brown in color, and very expressive.
  • Its body: elongated (more in the female than the male), massive, inscribable in a rectangle. The withers are clearly marked and wide, the back straight, the kidney wide and well set, the croup oblique and gently sloping, the rib cage deep, the ribs sloping and slightly flattened, the belly very slightly raised.
  • Its tail: covered with abundant hair forming a plume, set moderately high, carried above th back when the dog is active.

Behavior With Others

Calm, vigilance, and intelligence are the main character traits of the Polish Shepherd of Podhale. Qualities which make it both an excellent dog for herd and property guarding, but also a very pleasant companion.


You can’t afford to go too easy on the Polish Shepherd Podhale puppy. You risk finding yourself facing an adult who is particularly difficult to control. It is therefore recommended to educate It with a certain firmness, but without seeking the balance of power.

Intelligent and attached to Its master, It will always want to please Its master, which facilitates Its learning.

Living Conditions

The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is made to live outdoors, in the countryside, or in a large fenced garden. It’s much less comfortable in an apartment unless you give It long walks every day. This dog is therefore intended for owners who are available and have good knowledge of dog training to know how to manage it early enough.

Health & Maintenance

The Polish Shepherd Podhale is a robust and resistant dog, who fears practically nothing when it comes to health as long as it is taken care of properly. While there is no particular predisposition to any disease for this breed, the risk of hip dysplasia cannot be completely ruled out, as with any large dog. The risk of contracting an ear infection is also present, Its ears hanging down.

The life expectancy of a Polish Shepherd Podhale is, on average, between 10 years and 12 years.

The Polish Podhale Shepherd loses a lot of hair during its moult , which makes constant and frequent brushing necessary during this period. For the rest of the year, its maintenance remains fairly simple.

It is recommended to brush the dog once a week during usual times and every day during the moult. You can wash it once or twice a year to maintain the shine of its beautiful white dress, but no more than two times.

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About Jessica Vanclap

Passionate about animals, but also about health, I did not hesitate for long in choosing my studies. Veterinary assistant by training, I worked in a veterinary clinic for several years. I then made the choice to share my knowledge and experiences by joining the training team of a school of Veterinary Assistant and Grooming.

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