Apartment Living

Good for 1st Time Owners

Tolerance Levels

Affection for Family

Kid Friendliness

Stranger Friendliness

Ease of Grooming

General Health


Prey Drive

Exercise Needs

Energy Level


Tornjak originated in Herzegovina and Bosnia thousand years ago and were used as guarding livestock. The breed was referred to as “ Hrvatski pas planinac,” and “Bosanski Ovcar” in the manuscripts from 800, 1067 and 1374. It is believed that this dog is possibly an offspring of Tibetan Mastiff belonging to Iran. However, it was named as “Kanis Montanus,” which means a mountain dog that later got changed to the Tornjak. It is thought that this breed inherits the characteristics of the livestock guardian which were developed 9000 years ago in Mesopotamia.

Some researchers also believe that this breed was used by Romans during wars to fight and guard. The race was on the verge of extinction in 1972 and attempts to restoring started in the late 1900s. The breed got registration S Bosnian- Herzegovinian sheepdog- Tornjak on 9th May 1981 which is an autochthonous breed. It got recognition by UKC in 2011 and UKC in 2012. Presently the dog is famous as a working dog besides being a member of Foundation Stock Service.

Temperament & Personality

These are peaceful and calm dogs which do not show any sign of aggression or nervousness. They mix with children and are very gentle with them. Tornjaks are very loyal to the family members and develop a unique bond with them. They are very brave and strong and do not step back in any situation. Being large dogs they do not live happily in apartment life and are happy in homes with a roomy backyard. They cannot stay in a small place for a long time and may develop destructive behavior. These dogs inform their owner as soon as they see an intruder in its territory which makes it an ideal watch dog.



Being highly energetic, it requires a heavy workout schedule. Exercise options include ample playtime in a fenced yard, long walk two times a day. Indoor activities like hide and seek, chasing a ball, learning new tricks, puzzle games, etc. On the other hand, outdoor activities like flying discs, hiking, swimming, retrieving balls provide a good option for shedding energy.


Tornjak have a long, dense coat which requires brushing once or twice a week with a metal comb and pin brush. To remove tangles, matt splitter will be necessary which will not only remove tangles from its coat but will make it shiny as well. Additionally, the de-tangler spray is also advisable if the dog has many knots. It has a double coat and will need more care and maintenance during shedding season. Using a de-shedder brush will be ideal during its shedding months. Bath them with lukewarm water and a mild shampoo, it will loosen their hair which needs to shed out. Tornjak drools as it is of Mastiff descent, but not intensely like other Mastiff type breeds. It does not have any adverse odor and does not require frequent baths.

The dog has droopy ears which retain moisture and wax collection and require checking every week to thwart painful infection. Their nails grow very fast and need reviewing every week, overgrown nails will require clipping with a clipper. Tooth brushing twice a week will keep up with its oral health and baffle tartar development.

Health Problems

It is usually a healthy breed, but few dogs might face some health problems in their lives. It might suffer from hip dysplasia if they indulge in harsh exercises like climbing stairs, running long distances, etc. If the dog intakes a protein-rich diet, it may cause a list of health issues with the quality of its coat.


They have a very sharp memory making them easy to train. Being independent thinkers and need training at an early age which will prevent them from becoming disobedient in the future. The ideal way to teach these dogs is exposing them to firm and consistent practice from early days.

Socializing with other pets, unknown people and loud noises at a very early age is crucial. Without proper socialization, the dog might react roughly when exposed to unanticipated loud noises. Visiting dog’s parks, public places will allow them to meet unknown people and pets.

Commands training, “Come,” “No,” “Sit,” “Stop,” and many more will help them to understand what the owner wants them to do. It will help the owner to control the dog in a better way.

Before this breed explores its strength, leash training is important. Otherwise, they can pull out the leash and run away. It responds quickly to positive training methods.


High-quality dry dog food specially prepared for large dog breeds with low protein diet is ideal for this breed. However, a veterinarian consultation will be the best way to determine its intake and frequency of a puppy or an adult.

Tornjak Facts


Breed Type:


Other Names:

Bosnian Shepherd Dog, Shepherd Dog, Bosnian-Herzegovinian & Croatian Shepherd Dog, Bosnian & Herzegovinian Shepherd Dog, Croatian Mountain Dog,

Height & Weight:

Male: 25-27 lbs Female: 60-88 lbs


Gray, White, Yellow, red-brown and black in varying patterns

Competitive Registration / Qualification Information:



Moderate Shedding



Average Litter Size:

6-10 puppies


12-14 years


Coarse, straight topcoat, Wooly, heavy double coat with a thick undercoat and a long


$600- $800

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