Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs Breed Information and Buying advice

Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs?

Quick Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
10-12 years (4/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Pastoral (3/8)
No (2/2)

Tatra Mountain Sheepdog (Tatra Shepherd Dog, Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Polski Owczarek Podhalański)


Although they may not look like a typical sheepdog, the lovely Polish Tatra Mountain Sheepdog certainly plays the role very well and also makes for a wonderful home companion with a big heart to match his big stature.

Big, all-white, and remarkably and calm and independent, the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog has a wonderfully pleasing appearance to match his temperament. That being said, this breed is highly dependent on the right conditions and is therefore only suitable for owners that are aware of what to expect by owning a Tatra puppy.

Physical Appearance 

The large-sized Tatra Mountain Sheepdog perhaps doesn’t look like what one might expect from a pastoral breed. Instead of a long, shaggy coat, Tatras have a silky straight or wavy coat that is both thick and hard to the touch.

Their medium-sized eyes show an expressive look whilst their ears are set high at a medium length. At rest, they carry their tails hanging below the topline, but at a gait, their slightly curved tails reach above the topline.

The only colour of a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog coat is all-white. Uniformly so, with no cream patches as these are considered undesirable. A white resembling all-cream is permissible as the sole colour.

This breed most closely resembles other all-white shepherd breeds such as the Pastore Maremmano, the Kuvasz, and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

How big do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs get?

  • Height: males 65-70 cm; females 60-65 cm

  • Weight: males 35-60 kg; females 35-60 kg

Character Traits

Calm, alert, and intelligent to an extent, the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog has the temperament that one would expect from a hardy pastoral breed. This breed is an excellent example of what owners can expect should they wish to purchase or adopt a sheepdog.

Full of character and playful, but equally stern and independent as a stalwart defender of property, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are a handful (probably two, literally speaking).

In the right hands, however, their temperament serves as an advantage as puppies will grow into loyal, affectionate, loving companions that are, compared to many other breeds, low-maintenance and easy to maintain.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs intelligent? Not particularly.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs affectionate? Yes, exceptionally.

Do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs have high or low energy levels? About average energy levels.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs loyal? Yes, very.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs playful? Yes, somewhat.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs aggressive? No, but they are natural defenders.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs easy to train? Yes.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are amongst the best guard dog and watchdog breeds.

Ability to Socialise

As with many pastoral breeds - and the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is no exception - the proper socialisation of your puppy is paramount towards fostering a good, safe environment where he can develop and thrive happily.

Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs tend to be calm and composed, so they may get along fairly well with other pets such as cats, but around other dogs, they may show signs of dominance and don’t tend to get along well. Consider a different breed if you already own one or more dogs.

Around children, however, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are playful and gentle. Nevertheless, due to their large size, always maintain supervision if you have young children in the home.

Towards strangers, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are naturally cautious, territorial, and defensive. They make for superb guard dogs and watchdogs, so if you have strangers over frequently it’s best to have them socialised gradually.

Do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs get along with other pets? Yes, somewhat.

Do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs get along with other dogs? No, not really.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs good with kids? Yes, they love being around children.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs good with strangers? No, they are naturally territorial and defensive towards strangers.

Lifestyle Suitability

The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is only suitable for a specific subset of potential owners. In the UK, it’s highly recommended to consider a different breed if you live in an urban environment or a small flat or home. This breed requires large, open spaces which he can claim as his territory. For this reason, only consider purchasing or adopting a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog if you live in a rural environment with a large garden or field on your property.

Although this breed is quite demanding in terms of suitability, once he’s found a good home he’ll be a wonderful companion that is low-maintenance thanks to low shedding coats, almost no drooling, and no problems with excessive barking.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs good for first-time owners? No.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs hypoallergenic? No.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs prone to drooling? No, not at all.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs a good breed for apartment living? Absolutely not.

Do  Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs shed a lot? No, they shed very little.

Do  Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs bark a lot? No, they seldom bark.

Can Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs be left alone at home? Yes, for a few hours.

Can Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs handle the heat? Yes.

Can Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes, they love cooler climates.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes.

General Health & Health Issues

As a purebred pastoral breed with a long ancestry, the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is a relatively healthy breed with few notable hereditary health problems. Many of the health problems that the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is prone to are fairly common amongst other breeds, so it’s perfectly feasible to have your veterinarian diagnose and treat many conditions that may arise.

Some common problems include:

  • Hip dysplasia: common to many large breeds, hip dysplasia is unfortunately common for Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs. This condition can lead to limpness or lameness of one or more legs;

  • Bloat: as a breed that consumes a massive quantity of food, overeating and subsequent bloat can become problematic;

  • Ear infections: the ears of a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog can easily become infected from spending time outdoors and/or after going for a swim. Have his ears inspected during routine visits to the veterinarian.

How long do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs live? - 10-12 years

Exercise & Play Time

Whilst large and sometimes energetic, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are not extremely demanding in terms of exercise. About an hour’s worth of exercise every day ought to keep them fit, happy, and healthy. Try to combine a brisk walk or jog with a good bout of vigorous play such as throwing a ball or a stick.

Around the water, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs can be hesitant or they may be excited and jump right in. It all depends on how they are introduced to water as puppies. Due to their large size, however, it’s extremely important to have him thoroughly dried off after any time spent in the water.

How much exercise does a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dog need? - At least 1 hour per day

Do Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs like water play? It depends on your puppy, but generally, their large size poses a problem whilst swimming.

Nutrition & Feeding

One possible downside of owning a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is the absolute quantity of dog food they munch through every day. In order to remain happy and healthy, this large breed requires a substantial amount of food, which is why it’s important to ensure that their diet is closely maintained to avoid overeating and to promote healthy development.

Speak with your veterinarian about alternative diets or if you suspect that your Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is experiencing bloat or gastric torsion.

Are Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dogs prone to weight gain? Yes, especially as they age.

How much should I feed a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog puppy? About 625-750g per day, in 2-3 sessions.

How much should I feed an adult Tatra Mountain Sheepdog dog? About 750g per day, in total.

Care & Maintenance

Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are exceptionally easy to groom and maintain, despite their seemingly complex, tight coats. It’s highly recommended to have seasonal flea treatment, but professional grooming is unnecessary and brushing requirements are minimal.

Emotionally, Tatra Mountain Sheepdogs are a pastoral breed and are accustomed to spending long periods of time alone defending their territory. It is still important, however, to have someone around the house to keep them company and to prevent loneliness or boredom from setting in.

- Grooming: once per week, brush over your Tatra Mountain Sheepdog’s coat and remove dead hairs. Inspect for possible signs of ear or eye infections as well.

- Emotional care: it’s okay to leave your Tatra Mountain Sheepdog alone for a few hours during the day, but try not to make this a habit as they thrive on human interaction.

History of the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog

Records indicate that the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog can be traced to at least 14th century Poland, where the breed originated from the Tibetan Mastiff. This is contested by another theory whereby the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog derived from the Sarplaninac, a breed brought over from Wallachian traders from the Balkans. In either case, there is undisputably some mix of Central Asian heritage in the breed owing to its noticeably larger size compared to other white dogs found in the Balkans at that period.

What is more certain, however, is that the breed was widely used in the Podhale region of Poland as a pastoral and guard dog, overseeing large swathes of land in mountainous regions. He has also been used in the last few centuries as a companion for mountain climbers.

This breed was recognised by Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1963 and remains relatively unpopular outside of his native Poland today.

Interesting Facts About Tatra Mountain Sheepdog Dogs

  • It is highly likely that the ancient ancestors of the Tatra Mountain Sheepdog were believed to have been brought over to Poland by nomadic Asian pastoralists;

  • It is believed that nearly 300 Tatra Mountain Sheepdog puppies are born each year from 50 litters, making this breed relatively rare;

  • The Tatra Mountain Sheepdog is one of five breeds originating in Poland, with the others being the Polish Hound, Polish Greyhound, Polish Hunting Dog, and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog.

Getting a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog Puppy

It may prove somewhat challenging to obtain by purchase or through the adoption of a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog puppy. Nevertheless, it is important that you read through our buying guide to ensure that you purchase a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog that has been bred in ethical conditions.

How much does a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog cost to buy? - Over £700.

How much does a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog cost to feed? - An adult Tatra Mountain Sheepdog costs about £1.00-£1.00 per day to feed.

How much does insurance for a Tatra Mountain Sheepdog cost? - About £00-£00 per month.

Sensible alternatives to purchasing a new Tatra Mountain Sheepdog puppy include rescue and adoption.

Additional resources can be found via Tatra Mountain Sheepdog registries and associations such as: