The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a breed of dog introduced into the Tatra Mountains of Southern Poland by Vlachian (Romanian) shepherds. Tatras are primarily considered livestock guardian dogs. Their instinct, through hundreds of years of breeding, is to protect livestock, though they easily adopt a family as a flock. They are a good companion dog as well as a protection dog. They are not an attack dog, but rather move threats away through intimidation. They have a loud bark. They are not all that similar in temperament to their Mountain dog cousins the Kuvasz, Great Pyrenees orMaremma Sheepdog. They are less aloof than the other breeds, tending to be better tied into their breeding and not as domesticated or inbred as some of their cousins.
The double coat is heavy with a top coat that is hard to the touch, straight or slightly wavy. The undercoat is profuse and dense. Coat color is pure white, with no color markings. The breed has a black pigmented nose, lip and lid edges. The foot pads are dark. This breed needs an owner who is intelligent, preferably with prior big dog experience. The owner must be a strong alpha leader, fair, loving and very consistent with all rules.
The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is used for herding, and as a guardian for flocks of sheep and goats. It can also be kept as a companion and a watchdog. This natural working dog is independent, self-thinking, highly intelligent and able to assess situations without human guidance. Socialize them well while they are still young and throughout their entire life. Basic obedience is a must. Devoted and loving to their family and close friends but will often be reserved around strangers. This flock guard tends to be territorial of the home and their surroundings so consistent human leadership is a must. They will give big warning barks at anything deemed suspicious or strange and will bite eventually if challenged or pushed. If left outside they will be awake and vigilant during night hours, patrolling the property. They will bark at anything out of place or unusual. They love snow and cold weather, very weather resistant. They are not dog aggressive and tend to get along with other non-canine pets. Generally very gentle with well-behaved and mannerly children.
Even though being bred more frequently, the Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a very rare breed. There are about 7500 dogs of this breed in the world right now registered on http://www.owczarek-podhalanski.eu/. The majority are still in Poland, with about 600 being there, butAmerica is sporting around 300 Polish Tatra Sheepdogs. In other European countries, such as France, the breed is growing in popularity, as in 2003 there were 150 births there. The Netherlands now has a booming breeding business for Tatras. About 150 of them are still used for herding.
If you believe that the Polish Tatra is the right breed of dog for you, check this link.