Tatra Shepherd Dog

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Tatra Shepherd Dog
Podhalaner Sven Fischer.jpg
Other names
  • Polski Owczarek Podhalański
  • Owczarek Tatrzański
  • Owczarek Podhalański
  • Polski Owczarek
  • Polish Tatra Sheepdog
Height Dogs 65-70 cm[2]
Bitches 60-65 cm[2]
Weight 35–60 kg[1]: 78 
Life span 10–12 years[3]: 148 
Kennel club standards
Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Tatra Shepherd Dog, Polish: Polski Owczarek Podhalański, is a Polish breed of large flock guardian dog originating in the Tatra Mountains of the Podhale region of southern Poland.[1]: 78 [3]: 148  It was fully recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1963.[4] It is one of five dog breeds originating in Poland, the others being the Polish Greyhound, the Polish Hound, the Polish Hunting Dog and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog.[5]: 254 


Pidgalianska vivcharka.jpg

Like other large white European flock guardian dogs such as the Kuvasz, the Pastore Maremmano and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Tatra Shepherd Dog is believed to derive from dogs brought from Asia by nomadic pastoralists.[5]: 254 

The first show for these dogs was held in 1937. Because they were in isolated areas of the mountains, a small number of them survived the events of the Second World War.[6] By 1954, when the first post-War show was organised, about 120 examples had been located; once the Związek Kynologiczny w Polsce, the Polish kennel club, was reconstituted after the War, shows were held in Kraków.[6]

The breed was fully recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1963[4] or 1967.[6] It is no longer found only its area of origin, but is distributed through much of Poland; some are in other countries.[5]: 254 

The stud-book is open – unregistered dogs judged to be typical of the breed may be added to it. Approximately 300 puppies are born per year, in about 50 litters. Total annual new registrations with the kennel club were 473 in 2011 and 383 in 2012.[5]: 254  Not all dogs of this type are registered in the stud-book.[5]: 254  Currently, the AKC does not recognise the breed.


The height at the withers is 65 to 70 centimetres (26 to 28 in) for males, 60 to 65 centimetres (24 to 26 in) for bitches.[2]

They usually live for between ten and twelve years.[3]: 148 


The Tatra Shepherd Dog was traditionally used as a flock guardian dog, to deter predators from attacking flocks of sheep in the mountainous terrain of the Podhale region. In modern Poland it is most often kept either as a guard dog or as a companion animal.[5]: 254 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bruce Fogle (2013). The Dog Encyclopedia. London; New York: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 9781465408440.
  2. ^ a b c FCI breeds nomenclature: Polski Owczarek Podhalański (252). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed December 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Tamsin Pickeral (2014). Dogs Unleashed. San Diego: Thunder Bay Press. ISBN 9781626860681.
  4. ^ a b FCI-Standard N° 252: Polski Owczarek Podhalański (Tatra Shepherd Dog). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed December 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Anna Radko, Dominika Rubiś, Agnieszka Szumiec (2018). Analysis of microsatellite DNA polymorphism in the Tatra Shepherd Dog. Journal of Applied Animal Research 46 (1): 254–256. doi:10.1080/09712119.2017.1292912
  6. ^ a b c Joanna Kania-Gierdziewicz, Maciej Gierdziewicz, Bartłomiej Budzyński (2015). Genetic Structure Analysis of Tatra Shepherd Dog Population From Tatra Mountain Region. Annals of Animal Science 15 (2). doi:10.2478/aoas-2014-0090.