Two “common” bits of wisdom about Livestock Guardian Dogs is that their job is solely to protect livestock, and that LGSs are aloof and independent minded. There is one LGD breed, however, that defies both conceptions, and that is the Polish Tatra Sheepdog.
A fixture of southern Poland since the 14th century, Tatras are both guard and herding dog, and this makes them a versatile choice for a small farm or livestock operation. Neither a heeler nor a nipper, a Tatra uses his large body (100 to 150 pounds) to guide sheep along, but once darkness falls, the Tatra becomes guardian of the flock using both urine and feces to mark perimeters as a warning to predators.
An additional breed trait that makes the Tatra ideal for certain circumstances is that while they are self thinkers, they are more social and affectionate than other LGDs, and it’s this taste for human interaction that makes the Tatra a breed worth considering for farms that accept visitors.
The Polish Tatra Sheepdog goes by several names: Owczarek Podhalanski, Owczarek Tatrzanski, Polish Mountain Sheepdog, Chien de Tatras, Tatra Shepherd, and Tatrahund among them, but breed enthusiasts refer to this magnificent white dog as a Tatra, named for the mountains of Slovakia.
“Cute White Dog On The Beach” by Michal Bednarek is available for purchase here