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Tornjak

Information and Pictures

Close up front view - A huge, large breed, thick coated, white with black and tan Tornjak dog is standing in a yard in front of a small wall and it is looking to the right. Its mouth is open and its tongue is sticking out. It has a big black nose and its tail is curled up over its back.

Fido the full grown Tornjak

Other Names

Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sheepdog - Tornjak

Hrvatski pas Planinac

Croatian Mountain Dog

Description

The Tornjak is a large and powerful dog, well-proportioned and agile. The shape of the body is almost square. The bone is not light, but nevertheless not heavy nor coarse. His coat is long and thick. The body of this dog is strong and well built, with harmonious and dignified movements. The hair is long and thick and adequately protects the body against bad weather conditions. The tail is shaggy, kept high like a flag. The Tornjak has a clear, self-confident, serious and calm look to it. In general, the Tornjak is a long-coated dog with short hair over the face and legs. The topcoat is long, thick, coarse and straight. It is especially long on the upper part of the croup, over the shoulders and the back can be slightly wavy. On the muzzle and the forehead, up to the imaginary line connecting the ears, over the ears and on the front parts of legs and feet it is short. It is especially abundant around the neck (mane), dense and long over the upper thighs (breeches). It forms feathers along the forearms. With well-coated dogs it is also especially abundant on the rear of hind pasterns. The tail is richly coated with very long hair. Winter undercoat is long, very thick and of a nice woolly texture. Hair is thick and dense and should not part along the back. As a rule the Tornjak is parti-colored with markings of various solid colors. Usually the dominant ground color is white. There may be dogs with a black mantle and with white markings most often found around the neck, over the head and along the legs. There may also be almost-white dogs with only small markings.

Temperament

The Tornjak is used for herding and protection of livestock; a farmyard guard dog. He has a stable temperament. He is friendly, calm, courageous, obedient, intelligent, full of dignity and self-confidence. When working he is fierce in guarding property entrusted to him, cannot be bribed and is suspicious of strangers. He will protect his owners, herd and property with his life. The Tornjak is friendly with people he knows. Devoted to his master and very composed in his presence, he is very affectionate toward people living in his immediate vicinity. Learns quickly and does not forget things easily, gladly performs tasks assigned to him. Strong and hardy, during the snowing winter nights, these dogs lie on the ground and often get covered by snow. He is easy to train. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader; lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success.

Height, Weight

Weight: Males 25 - 27 inches (65 - 70 cm) Females 23 - 25 inches (60 - 65 cm)

Health Problems

Fairly hardy breed

Living Conditions

The Tornjak is not recommended for apartment life. They need space and will do best with at least a large yard. Because its thick coat protects it so well, it can happily cope with living outdoors provided it has proper shelter.

Exercise

This breed of dog is best suited to a family with lots of space surrounding the home. It needs to be taken on a daily walk.

Life Expectancy

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Grooming

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Origin

The Tornjak originated from the areas of Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia and has existed in those areas for the past thousand years. The Tornjak was registered under the name Kanis montanus which translates to mountain dog, but the local people gave it the name Tornjak (tor: enclosure for sheep and cattle). The Tornjak was registered as autochthonous breed on May 9, 1981 with the name "Bosnian-Herzegovinian sheepdog - Tornjak."  According to research, the Tornjak is most likely the descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff or from where the today's Iran is. The environment has created a healthy and strong dog, with modest needs for food and shelter, and a great watchdog.

Group

Flock Guardian

Recognition

ACA = American Canine Association

AKC/FSS = American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service® Program

DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.

FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale

A white with gray Tornjak puppy is laying down across a hardwood floor and across from it is an adult white with black and brown Tornjak dog that is looking to the left.

Giggle the Tornjak puppy at 7 months old with Pickle, an adult Tornjak at 5 years old—“We named him Pickle because he was born on Mt. Vlasic in Bosnia. They are two of only a handful of Tornjaks in the U.S.”

A fluffy, thick coated, white with tan and black Tornjak puppy is standing on a pile of snow. It is looking down and to the left. There is a house behind it.

Pickle the Tornjak as a puppy

The right side of a huge, thick coated white with black Tornjak that is standing on a small stone wall, it is looking forward, its mouth is open and its tongue is sticking out. It has a long tail with thick long hair on it.

Fido the full grown Tornjak

The left side of a white with black Tornjak that is jumped up against a small metal wall and it is looking to the left. Its mouth is slightly open and it looks like it is smiling. The dog is an extra large breed with a thick coat.

Fido the full grown Tornjak