Tornjak

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62-88 lbs
23-26"
Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina
Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sheepdog, Tornjak, Hrvatski pas Planinac, Croatian Mountain Dog

The Tornjak (pronounced Torn-Yak) is a mountain sheepdog that hails from Bosnia and Croatia. He is a large breed with an even bigger heart. Originally bred to protect sheep, he is alert and protective of his family. He is calm and malleable, generally easy to train and unlikely to be aggressive towards people and other dogs.  He may be provoked towards aggression if he feels his family is being threatened in some way. The Tornjak does well with children and will stand guard over them when playing in the yard or park. While he is an easy-going dog, he may not be the best choice for a novice dog owner. 

Purpose
Flock Guardian
Date of Origin
500 A.D.
Ancestry
Mastiff

Tornjak Health

Average Size
Male Tornjak size stats
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 77-110 lbs
Female Tornjak size stats
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 62-88 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • OFA on hips and elbows

Tornjak Breed History

The Tornjak was originated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the largest number of Tornjaks was found in the mountains of Vlasic which is within the center of the country. Researchers have discovered the first written documentation of the breed from the year 1067 A.D. This documentation showed the measurements for the Tornjak as well as personality traits. It has been suggested that the Slavs brought dogs similar to the Tornjak with them when they migrated into these regions. However, studies done on the breed have uncovered that he most likely descends from the Tibetan Mastiff. The Tornjak has been solely found within Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past thousand years and has the best documented history of all of the ancient breeds. Originally, the Tornjak was registered as Kanis Montanus or “mountain dog”. It was the locals who worked with these dogs on a daily basis that gave them the name Tornjak which translates to enclosure for sheep. In 1981, the Tornjak was registerable under the name Bosnian-Herzegovinian Sheepdog – Tornjak. He was registered as an autochthonous breed. An autochthonous breed is simply a native breed that originated from or adapted to a particular geographical region. A judge commission was formed to begin the process of getting the Tornjak recognized by the FCI. The judge commission was formed to produce a breed standard. In 1990 the breed standard was completed in a town called Travnik, located in central Bosnia. In 2006, the Federation Cynology Internationale accepted the Tornjak under provisional conditions. The breed was given the rights to participate in dogs shows in all countries with FCI sponsored shows. Since then, he has been fully accepted within the FCI and the United Kennel Club. Breed enthusiasts are now working towards getting him recognized through the American Kennel Club.

Tornjak Breed Appearance

The Tornjak is a well-muscled, powerful, large breed dog. He is well-proportioned and his body is almost square in shape. He should have thick bone, but not appear overly heavy or coarse. The Tornjak has very thick or dense coat that is wooly and long. He has a double coat, his topcoat is straight and harsh, and his undercoat is wooly and softer to the touch. He has a high set tail, but it should not curl over his back. He has large almond shaped eyes that should be a dark brown. His nose is also large, with wide nostrils and is black in color. The Tornjak usually is white with colored markings, making him a parti-color or in some cases piebald. He may has a black mantle over his body with white markings, however, this is generally unusual. The Tornjak can be found in three different colors: black and white, red and white, and brown and white.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Tornjak eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Tornjak nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
pied Tornjak coat
Pied
white Tornjak coat
White
black Tornjak coat
Black
red Tornjak coat
Red
brown Tornjak coat
Brown
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Tornjak straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Tornjak Breed Maintenance

Because the Tornjak has such a long, dense coat it is best to brush him at least once a week using a pin brush and metal comb. A matt splitter may also be needed if his coat has become tangled or matted. A good de-tangler spray can also be used if he has tangles. Since he has a double coat, the Tornjak does shed seasonally and will require more care and grooming during times of intense shedding. Plan on grooming him every day when he is experiencing heavy shedding. When he is shedding, a de-shedder may be used when grooming. He should be bathed when he is shedding using warm water and a mild shampoo to help loosen the hair that needs to shed out. Since he is of Mastiff descent, the Tornjak does drool, although not as intensely as other Mastiff-type breeds. He does not have a typical doggy smell so should only need bathed a few times each year. 

Brushes for Tornjak
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Deshedder
Brushing Frequency
Tornjak requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Tornjak Temperament

The Tornjak is overall a friendly, self confident dog. He takes his guard duty seriously and will be suspicious of strangers that approach his property. He is a quick study and relatively easy to train when he has an experienced trainer. The Tornjak cannot be bribed or lured away from his duties as a guard dog for his home or his flock. His family is very important to him and his loyalty will make it difficult to re-home if his family later decides they do not want him. Because of the strong bond he forms with his family, he should not be relegated to the back yard for long periods of time. His strongest desire is to be wherever his family is. If he is left in the backyard, be sure he has plenty of things to keep him occupied. He is friendly to people who come to the property often. When he is being trained, he responds best to positive reinforcement and rewards. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Tornjak Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Tornjak Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Tornjak size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 40 lbs
Female Tornjak size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 34 lbs
12 Months
Male Tornjak size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Female Tornjak size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 62 lbs
18 Months
Male Tornjak size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 93 lbs
Female Tornjak size stats at 18 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 75 lbs

Tornjak Owner Experiences

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