Polish Tatra Sheepdog is believed to have developed in Poland in the Tatra Mountain Range. Some researchers believe that they are a crossbreed between mountain herding and mastiff type dogs. This sheepdog was very useful for the local people due to their guarding and herding skills. Their furs were also used as wool. Mountain workers used them to lead their way through the mountains. But their population deteriorated after the two World Wars, but registries and breed organizations took endeavors to promote and protect this breed. In the 1980s, it became popular in various parts of the globe like US, Canada, Europe, etc. Presently there are about 7,500 Polish Tatra dogs registered worldwide.
Facts About Polish Tatra Sheepdog
|Breed Group||Herding Dog, Mountain, Guardian, sheepdog|
|Country of Origin||Poland|
|Other Names||Owczarek Tatrzański, Tatra, OP, Polski Owczarek, Owczarek Podhalański,|
|Size & Height||Large
Male: 26-28 inch
Female: 24-26 inch
|Competitive Registration / Qualification Information||PTSCA, PKC, UKC, ARBA, ACA, DRA, FCI,|
|Litter Size||3-7 puppies|
|Life Expectancy||10-12 years|
|Coat||Weather-resistant double coat, slightly wavy or straight, harsh topcoat, dense undercoat|
Temperament & Personality
Polish Tatra Sheepdog is an independent and self-thinking dog that can settle a situation without its owner’s intervention. They stay calm around strangers and only barks when they sense danger. If raised from puppy days, they become overly affectionate. But if it gets or feels threatened by something or someone, it might end up biting or attacking. It even becomes an excellent playmate for well-mannered kids but requires early socialization to go well with other pets in the house. Their barking tendency requires initial essentialist training. However, they are not like other breeds and stay well when left alone for a longer duration. But they might develop odd behaviors if they do not get adequate exercise every day.
Polish Tatra Sheepdogs are not highly energetic, and due to their combination of stamina and size, they need a fair exercising schedule to stay active. They do not remain active indoors but expel their energy outside. It likes to go for jogs and long walks, and also play fetch games in a fenced yard. Other games like hiding and seek, Frisbee, ball rolling, etc. keeps the dog happy. It also loves water sports and owners can teach them different water games including swimming to suffice their requirements. To provide adequate mental exercise, owners can offer them puzzle toys or agility training.
They have a long and thick coat which requires weekly brushing to keep away dirt and debris. It has low grooming needs due to its self-cleaning coat. During their shedding season, brush them twice a day to remove loose furs from their coat. Also, bathe them when they are incredibly filthy. It is advisable to clip their long hairs amidst pads in winter, use a fingernail scissor for a better result.
Other grooming requirements include brushing their teeth twice a week to avoid development of tartar and oral problems. Their droopy ears can catch infections due to water, dirt buildup and need regular cleaning with a Vet prescribed ear solution. Also, clean the eyes with a damp cloth to remove tear stains. Like other dogs, they tend to grow nails faster which can crack if not trimmed and end up hindering regular activities like walking, running, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose.
Polish Tatra Sheepdog is usually a healthy breed and does not suffer from any major health issues. But it might suffer from conditions like Canine Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation. However, occasional tests like Eye examination, Allergy Testing, Physical Examination, X-rays and a diagnosis like Epilepsy, Cataracts, and Allergies will keep the pet healthy.
Their intelligence and strength can make them stubborn which requires a consistent and patient training. The owner might need a professional trainer to train them. Like all dogs, they do well with positive training techniques and short training sessions. Socialization is natural if they are taken to busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, etc. It will allow them to meet unknown faces, familiarize with different sounds and situations.
Obedience training is crucial to reduce the pack of the leader issue. Command training is essential to polish their skills, enhance the relationship between the dog and the owner and to minimize excessive barking behavior. Commands like ‘no,’ ‘yes,’ ’stop,’ ‘come’ are some simple commands which are essential.
Polish Tatra Sheepdog does well with a high-quality food or homemade food that is rich in fat, carbohydrates, and protein, owners, can also include fiber foods to promote pet’s intestinal health. Owners can offer them 2-2.5 of dry kibbles to suffice their energy requirements.
But it is essential to visit a dietician or a vet before preparing the diet chart. Owners can also offer a raw meat diet that is high in protein. But diet should be created depending upon the dog’s size, age, activity level, and metabolism. Offer them small meals multiple times a day and prevent heavy exercises to minimize the risk. Moreover, regularly check their weight level and calorie consumption. In case, they gain weight reduce table scraps, treats, etc.