Tornjak Information

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(Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sheepdog – Tornjak, Hrvatski pas Planinac, Croatian Mountain Dog)The Tornjak is a large fluffy dog. Both their face and muzzle is slightly square.   Their large, dark eyes sparkle with the loyalty that is a hallmark of this breed.  Another aspect of their cuddly faces is their medium-size ears which are folded against their heads in a “V” shape.   Their drooping lips hang down slightly pass their lower jaw. The breed has a noticeably broad chest but its waist becomes gradually smaller. Their legs are quite short compared to the size of their body, but their tail is long and lined with long hairs. The Tornjak’s coat is thick and fluffy with an abundance of hair around their neck and head. The colors of their coat are varied but they are usually white plus another color, such as black or brown.

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Character

The Tornjak is always willing to please its owner. They are extremely loyal and protective of their family. They will also guard their property fiercely and do not like strangers. The breed adores close family members and will do whatever is asked of them. Tornjaks are highly intelligent and do well with training. They often very loving and calm in the house and is generally a self confident and happy breed.  Because of their combination of attributes, they make a perfect watchdog.

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Size

23-27 inches
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Weight

62-110 pounds
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General Health

Tornjaks are a very healthy breed with very few issues to cause concern, except for hip dysplasia – a common problem for many larger dog breeds.  To reduce the chances of this problem, Tornjaks should not be allowed to climb stairs until they are at least 6 months of age.

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History

The exact origin is not known, but the breed did come from Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatia. Originally, it was called Kanis Montanus which meant Mountain Dog. It was later given the name Tornjak by local people in reference to its skill at guarding sheep and cattle. It is thought to be a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff.


The name Tornjak came from TOR which in Bosnian means “fences where our sheep stay at night.”

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Maintenance

For Tornjaks, the biggest grooming issue isn’t brushing but feeding.  Because the breed was originally raised on a poor diet, feeding it high-protein foods can actually ruin its beautiful coat.  To keep it looking beautiful, you should feed it a low-protein diet.  Furthermore, this breed needs lots of exercise. However, the exercise is usually done on their own by running and playing in a yard. They need attention but can stay outside because of their coat which protects them from harsh weather. They do need early socialization to noises because they may become upset by strange sounds and attempt to protect their owners from them. The breed also needs to be socialized with as many people, other animals, and dogs as possible. If they are going to be kept outside, they need to have adequate shelter.

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Ideal Environment

The Tornjak is a protective, but gentle dog. They should not live in apartments, because they are too active. They do best living in the country or in a rural area because they need lots of area to run. These dogs are fine with their family but can be reserved with strangers. They can also be very territorial but do not usually become aggressive unless they see a threat. Tornjaks are best as guard dogs, but they do want affection from people, too.  They need to be played with, but if allowed to romp in an enclosed yard or to perform a job the breed can usually release most of its energy without too much additional exercise with the owner. The dogs do need socialization at a young age with dogs and other animals to prevent temperament problems down the road.


Even though the Tornjak is a working breed, they are quite content to sleep the day away. They also prefer cold environments.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Tornjak Q&A

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hi are tornjaks good dogs in hot weather i live in Costa Rica and are they good dogs for a twelve year old child.

They love children but they dont love hot weather. I live in bosnia on the sea and they don't enjoy the hot weather.

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I live in western canada and I have a problem with coyotes on the farm. I also have two small children. Would a Tornjac be good pest control as well as a pet?

yes these dogs fought off wolves from herds of sheep and it can also drive away bears.

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I am having trouble finding a breeder. Any idea where I can find one that is still breeding Tornjak's?

I don't have pupies yet, but am in the US (Virginia) with 2 females, and 1 male. Are you in the US? My email is tornjak@aol.com and my number is 434-996-6743. Thanks! Jeannie Boatwright

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