Polish Shepherd of Podhale

Other names: Tatra Shepherd Dog, Polski Owczarek Podhalanski, Tatra Shepherd Dog

3.3 / 5
13 reviews

The Polish Shepherd Podhale is a large dog, of robust construction, imposing and compact. Releasing a lot of power and mobility, it resembles the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. Like the latter, the is large and covered with a thick white coat.



Photo: Podhale Polish Shepherd dog on Woopets
Hair type Long
Origin Poland
Template Big
Head shape Triangular
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 40 kg to 45 kg From 60 cm to 65 cm
Male From 50 kg to 55 kg From 65 cm to 70 cm
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History of the breed

The Polish Shepherd of Podhale was, as its other name (Tatra Shepherd Dog) indicates, used for the protection of flocks of sheep in the Tatra Mountains , straddling the present-day Poland and Slovakia. The breed is of very ancient origin : its first representatives of the breed would, in fact, have emerged as early as the 14th century after various crosses between the Hungarian Shepherd Kuvasz and the Tibetan Shepherd, among others. Valiant in the face of predators threatening the herds, he demonstrated his courage and his protective instinct with the shepherds, but also in the homes, where he gradually established himself as an outstanding guardian and companion.

World War II almost got the better of the breed’s numbers, but passionate breeders managed to save it by ensuring quality litters. The Polish Shepherd of Podhale was definitively recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on October 5, 1963.

Photos of Polish Shepherd Podhale

Photo of Maverick, Polish Shepherd from PodhalePhoto of Mercedes, Polish Shepherd PodhalePhoto of Baika, Polish Shepherd from Podhale

See all Polish Podhale Shepherd photos of Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: long, profuse, straight and hard in texture on the neck, trunk and tail. Shorter on the head, muzzle, front of forelegs and lower hind limbs. Cover coat associated with an abundant undercoat.
Its color: uniformly white.
His head: lean, well proportioned to the body, carried moderately high. The skull is slightly convex, the frontal groove very slightly marked, the stop clearly marked.
Its ears: moderately long, thick, triangular in shape, well furnished with hair, with a mobile pinna, set at or a little higher than the outer corner of the eye.
His eyes: medium in size, slightly slanted, dark brown in color and very expressive.
Its body: elongated (more in the female than the male), massive, inscribable in a rectangle. The withers are clearly marked and wide, the back straight, the kidney wide and well set, the croup oblique and gently sloping, the rib cage deep, the ribs sloping and slightly flattened, the belly very slightly raised.
Its tail: covered with abundant hair forming a plume, set moderately high, carried above the back when the dog is active.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

Calm, vigilance and intelligence are the main character traits of the Polish Shepherd of Podhale. Qualities which make it both an excellent dog for herd and property guarding , but also a most pleasant companion.

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We can’t afford to be too easy on the Polish Shepherd Podhale puppy. Otherwise, we risk finding ourselves facing an adult who is particularly difficult to control. It is therefore recommended to educate him with a certain firmness , but without seeking the balance of power. Intelligent and attached to his master , he will always want to please him, which facilitates his learning.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The Polish Shepherd of Podhale is made to live outdoors , in the countryside or in a large fenced garden. He is much less comfortable in an apartment . This dog is therefore intended for owners who are available and have good knowledge of dog training to know how to manage it early enough.


Ease of gaining weight

The Polish Shepherd Podhale is a robust and resistant dog, who fears practically nothing about health as long as it is taken care of properly. While there is no particular predisposition to any disease for this breed, however, the risk of hip dysplasia cannot be completely ruled out, as with any large dog. The risk of contracting an ear infection is also present, with his ears hanging down.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 2 and 9 puppies

To protect you from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends a Podhale Polish Shepherd dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 10 years

Maximum: 12 years

The life expectancy of a Polish Podhale Shepherd is, on average, between 10 years and 12 years.

Calculate the human age of your Polish Podhale Shepherd!

To choose… 1 year 2 years 3 years Four years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years old 12 years 13 years 14 years old 15 years old 16 years old 17 years 18 years old 19 years old 20 years 21 years old

Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

The Polish Podhale Shepherd loses a lot of hair during its moult , which makes constant and frequent brushing necessary during this period. The rest of the year, its maintenance remains fairly simple.

It is recommended to brush the dog once a week in the usual time and every day during the moult. You can wash it once or twice a year to maintain the shine of its beautiful white dress, but no more.

Price and budget

Purchase price

900 €
1300 €

The purchase price of a Polish Podhale Shepherd is between 900 € and 1300 €.

Annual maintenance cost


The annual maintenance cost of a Polish Shepherd of Podhale is between NC and NC.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

Despite his calm temperament, the Polish Shepherd of Podhale is a working and active dog by nature . He cannot therefore be satisfied with brief outings which only allow him to defecate. His daily walks must be long to satisfy his need for exercise.


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Recognized by FCI

Since 1963


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