Let's talk Tatra Shepherd Dogs

A massive body with a personality to match. Such are the hallmarks of the Tatra Shepherd Dog. Their upbeat temperament, not to mention that profuse coat, makes this very easy-going dog a suitable choice for families but also for the many more codified roles they’ve traditionally taken on. From police and military dog to guardian to guide dog, this breed’s intelligence and vigilance have earned them a spot on many teams. Today’s Tatra Shepherd Dog takes special care in protecting the ones under their watch.

Official name: Tatra Shepherd Dog

Other names: Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Tatra Mountain Sheepdog, Polish Mountain Sheepdog

Origins: Poland

Side view Tatra Shepherd Dog in black and white
Drooling tendencies Very low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Low Suited to apartment living? Very low
*Energy Level Moderate *Friendly pet? High
Compatibility with other pets Low *Can stay alone? Medium

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of Tatra Shepherd Dog
65 - 70 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
36 - 59 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
60 - 65 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
36 - 59 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

Side view of Tatra Shepherd Dog standing in front of bushes


Get to know the Tatra Shepherd Dog

All you need to know about the breed

With a calm temperament yet sunny outlook, the Tatra Shepherd Dog is a super all-around breed. This dog has traditionally been used as a guardian of flocks with their maxi size the perfect foil for would-be predators. Poland’s prized breed is a faithful companion to many families, fitting in well with the pack, especially children, once trained to be around them.

For their size, the Tatra Shepherd Dog is surprisingly fast and agile, with coordination in abundance and their large limbs not at all slowing them down. The Tatra Shepherd Dog has a strong constitution, so really has a clean and robust bill of health all around and is not known to suffer from chronic maladies of any sort. To note: They are a large breed so not particularly recommended for first-time owners who may not be used to handling such girth.

Given their history as one who keeps watch, owners can be assured of the Tatra Shepherd Dog’s ability to look after all on the homefront, human or otherwise. The breed gets along well with everyone in their midst. The Tatra Shepherd Dog is one of five breeds native to Poland, instantly recognisable by their profuse exclusively white coat and effervescent demeanour.

Tatra Shepherd Dog puppy standing in snow


2 facts about Tatra Shepherd Dogs

1. Live long and prosper

The Tatra Shepherd Dog is blessed with a long lifespan - up to 12 years - something not always seen in breeds of this size. With this healthy a constitution, you and your Tatra Shepherd Dog can look forward to many enjoyable years ahead.

2. A foodie for sure

The Tatra Shepherd Dog is known to have an appetite, and with a dog of this size, keeping their weight in a good range is important to good health. Sticking to regular mealtimes and taking treats only from their daily kibble allotment is a great game plan.


History of the breed

The Tatra Shepherd Dog can trace their origins to the region of Podhale, in southern Poland, a small mountainous area where this sturdy breed took to guarding and defending the flocks of shepherds and herdsmen. Luckily, its isolated locale shielded the breed from harm and decline during the World Wars.

Their origins are thought to lie with Asian nomads who brought them to Europe, although an exact date is not certain. They are one of five Polish breeds, including the Polish Greyhound, the Polish Hound, the Polish Hunting Dog, and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, native to their homeland.

The Tatra Shepherd Dog breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1995 and by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1963.

Close-up of Tatra Shepherd Dog in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Tatra Shepherd Dogs

1. Ears

Medium-length ears, fairly thick, triangular in shape.

2. Body

Long and massive body, deep chest.

3. Coat

Thick, profuse coat, uniformly white, occasionally cream-coloured patches.

Tatra Shepherd Dog standing in front of grass and yellow flowers


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Tatra Shepherd Dog
Tatra Shepherd Dog lying on grassy slope


Caring for your Tatra Shepherd Dog

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The lovely, long coat of the Tatra Shepherd Dog will require a fair amount of grooming, and daily is best. It’s easy to get a comb through but make sure to do so thoroughly as debris caught in the hair can easily cause skin lesions. Where the work could come in: at bath time, as their naturally oily coat could be a haven for smells. Bathing could be necessary every few weeks, depending what your dog gets into. The Tatra Shepherd Dog is used to being outside so check their paws for debris and clean eyes and ears regularly. Brush their teeth routinely (daily if you can) and keep nails trimmed. The Tatra Shepherd Dog has an average activity level so will need a moderate amount of exercise, with short daily walks, or long ones on the weekends, and romps in the yard. The mellow Tatra Shepherd Dog breed takes well to training; where there are treats, there will be tasks completed, but take snacks only from their daily kibble allotment. An early start to training is always a great idea but this breed is known to be obedient no matter what their age.


All about Tatra Shepherd Dogs

The Tatra Shepherd Dog is considered a maxi breed, next in line to the giant breeds, the biggest of all. That said, they are still descended from mastiff-type dogs, the largest breed out there. Male Tatra Shepherd Dogs can reach a height of 27.5 inches (65-70cm) and females just below that, but it’s their weight that puts them up there, at anywhere from 79 to 130 pounds (36-59kg) for both genders.

A beloved family dog for many, the Tatra Shepherd Dog is used to defending their human pack, and all in it, including fellow animals. The breed is known to be calm and collected, but because of their traditional steadfast role on the homefront, they will require training to learn commands thoroughly. They are not the best for first-time owners who may not know how to completely handle a dog of this size and strength.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/