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Tornjak Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Tornjak so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Pastoral / Herding Dogs
Popularity Rank240
User Ratings
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OriginBosnia and Herzegovina Croatia
Other Names
What other names does the Tornjak have? The dog breed also known as...
Bosnian Shepherd Dog, Croatian Mountain Dog, Bosnian and Herzegovinian Shepherd Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Tornjak recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group
Is Tornjak recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Molossian type section.
How much does the Tornjak puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Tornjak price:
If you choose to purchase the Tornjak, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Tornjak for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Tornjak gets to a happy place.

Tornjak History

The Tornjak is one of the most ancient dog breeds that existed in records and documentation from over a millennium ago. Ever since the early periods, the Tornjak’s purpose was to shepherd, guard, and watch over the livestock in the Balkan area in Europe especially in the Dinaric Alps, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Croatia. According to some experts, the Tornjak type of dogs’ ancestry goes back further than the year 900, even to the Roman Empire’s existence. Presumably, the breed was used in dogfights, as well as for guarding people and territories. A theory even suggests that the Tornjak is one of the descendants of the Tibetan Mastiff.

The breed was first mentioned in the 11th century, then in the 14th century. Moreover, descriptions of the dogs were found in the writings of the bishop of Dakovo, Croatia, named Peter Horvat, which dates back to 1374. Other written documents were discovered by Peter Lukic, the Canon of the Dakovo diocese, which was made in 1752. These early written records about the breed showed a close resemblance with the Tornjak we know today, except for the breed’s name which was Bosanski Ovčar, which translates to Bosnian Shepherd Dog in Croatian. Another name for the breed was the Hrvatski Pas Planinac, meaning Croatian Mountain Dog. In respect to the dogs’ function and their appearance, the dogs in these documents were portrayed as entirely equal to what they are today; an intelligent, and protective guard dog.

Throughout the years, as the nomadic shepherding lifestyle started to fall out of style, and the introduction of new dog breeds and farming methods got to the Balkan region, the Tornjak’s population numbers drastically decreased. The breed has fallen out of favor in its native countries. As a response to the declining numbers, in the 1970s, zoologists began to accumulate all of the documents, records, and historical findings of the breed, trying to prove the breed’s true antiquity. Fortunately, in 1978, in order to combat the protentional extinction of the Tornjak, the Croatian Kennel Club started a pureblood breeding program. The breeding mix consisted of numerous purebred dogs selected during a series of serious DNA studies throughout the Balkan area, especially in Croatia and in Bosnia. Consequently, thanks to these efforts, the breed became homogenous. Thus, a little later, in 1984, the breed standard was finally drawn up and finalized in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Tornjak was first exported to the United Kingdom relatively late, in 2013, with the intention of trying to get the UK Kennel Club to recognize the breed. The breed was provisionally accepted by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) in 2006. The Tornjak was also registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club) foundation stock service, furthermore, the UKC (United Kennel Club) also classified the breed as a guard dog. Today, there is a concentrated effort to use the Tornjak for its traditional purpose. It is also customary, that local breeding groups donate purebred Tornjak puppies to local farms to use the dogs as the protectors of the livestock. This custom is already proven to be successful, for the reason that several farmers stated that the presence of the dogs reduced the number of attacks from larger predators, like wolves.  

Tornjak General Appearance & Basic Info

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Tornjak size:
How much does the Tornjak weigh? Tornjak weight:
Male: 77-110 pounds (35–50 kg), Female: 62-88 pounds (28–40 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Tornjak? Tornjak average weight:
Male: 93.5 pounds (35–50 kg), Female: 75 pounds (28–40 kg)
How tall is the Tornjak? Tornjak height:
Male: 25-27 inches (65-70 cm), Female: 23-25 inches (60-65 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Tornjak average height:
Male: 26 inches (67.5 cm), Female: 24 inches (62.5 cm)

Tornjak Hair & Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Tornjak have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Tornjak's coat?
How to groom the Tornjak and how often?
Advanced: The Tornjak requires a lot of grooming. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer can be helpful sometimes. Regular brushed dog's coat is less likely to shed. Ears and eyes should be cleaned often to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Occasional dog nail trimming and dog bath is important. Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your Tornjak a pleasant experience of a dog bath. If you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of your Tornjak, search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Tornjak dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Bosnian Shepherd Dog? Tornjak shedding level:
Tornjaks shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Tornjak need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Tornjak every day?
2-3 weeks
Frequent. This breed has high-maintenance hair and may require a bath every 2-3 weeks. For example, oilier breeds may need to be bathed up to once a week. Because many of these breeds are short-haired, a nice brushing won’t do much to redistribute the oils, so while these oils do protect the dog’s skin from overdrying, they can carry a pretty pungent odor.

Tornjak Characteristics

What kind of personality does the Tornjak have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Tornjak? Are they intelligent?
Átlagos: Átlagos intelligenciájú Tornjak. Türelemre van szükség ahhoz, hogy ezt a fajtát bármilyen trükkre és parancsra megtanítsd, ám az erőfeszítés megéri. Megértik és megjegyzik az új parancsokat átlagosan 25–40 ismétlés után.
Are Tornjak dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Tornjaks are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
Tornjaks, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark as excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Tornjak sensitivity:
Tornjaks have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed. Sometimes it's okay to change the daily routine, have guests and listen to loud music. Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. This breed is not affected emotionally for moderate punishment.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Tornjaks are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Bosnian Shepherd Dog need? Tornjak social needs:
Tornjaks need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Do Tornjak dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Croatian Mountain Dog bark?
Low to Average: The Tornjak rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Tornjak good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Tornjaks are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Tornjaks will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Tornjak dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Tornjaks are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Tornjak can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Tornjak will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Tornjak bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Bosnian Shepherd Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Tornjak? Why do dog bites happen?
The Tornjak has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Tornjak has a hard bite?
Between 200 and 400 PSI
Ordinary: Average dogs have bite force between 200 and 400 PSI. The Tornjak, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained. However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Tornjak do?
Tornjaks have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Tornjaks need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Tornjak to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Tornjak roam?
Tornjaks have average wanderlust potential. Sometimes they like to explore the world and they might escape once or twice, but usually, they prefer staying safely at home. Safer to teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Tornjak have high prey drive?
Tornjaks have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen. Training can help to achieve good behavior.
Apartment Friendly
Is Tornjak good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Nem lakásbarát kutya Tornjak. Ha nincs kerted, akkor jól gondold át a döntésedet, sok gondot okozhat Tornjak tartása lakásban.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Tornjaks adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Tornjaks tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog
Where Tornjak dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Tornjak Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Tornjak temperament with other people:
Tornjaks are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Are Tornjak dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Tornjak temperament with children:
Tornjaks are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Tornjak dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Tornjaks are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Tornjak good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Tornjak dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Tornjaks are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Tornjak breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Tornjaks are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Tornjak be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Tornjak is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Tornjak be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Tornjak be an emotional support animal?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Tornjak is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Tornjak be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Tornjak is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Office Friendly
Are Tornjaks good office dogs? Do Tornjaks make good office friendly dogs? Can Tornjaks be office dogs?
Tornjak is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Tornjak be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Tornjak is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Tornjak dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Bosnian Shepherd Dog temperament with senior people? Are Tornjak dogs good for elderly owners?
Tornjaks are usually recommended for elderly people.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Tornjak be a boat dog?
Not really
Tornjak breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Tornjak dogs get along with other pets? Are Tornjak dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Tornjaks are generally with other pets.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Tornjak be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Tornjak breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Tornjak Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Tornjak dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Tornjaks tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Tornjak breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Tornjak breed? Most common health risks of Tornjak:
Autoimmune Hemolytic AnemiaBloatDigestive ProblemsElbow DysplasiaHip DysplasiaObesityVon Willebrand's Disease
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Tornjak breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Tornjak see the vet?
The Tornjak should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Tornjak dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Tornjak be? What is the age limit of the Tornjak? How many years can the oldest Tornjak live?
10-12 years
Is the Tornjak breed hypoallergenic?
Tornjaks don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Tornjak have? What is the activity level of the Tornjak?
Tornjaks have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Tornjak dogs require per day?
Tornjaks have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Tornjaks sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Tornjak need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
3 to 5 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Tornjak risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Tornjak's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Tornjak's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Prefers cold weather
The Tornjak can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Tornjak has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Tornjak drool?
The Tornjak drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool more than others, just like the Tornjak. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Tornjak Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Tornjak: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Litter Frequency Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Tornjak have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
4-7 puppies

Tornjak Pros & Cons

  • Watchdog Ability: Tornjaks are good watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Tornjaks adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Tornjaks are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Tornjaks are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Tornjaks are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
  • Health Issues: Tornjaks tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Tornjaks don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Nem lakásbarát kutya Tornjak.
  • Grooming: Advanced: The Tornjak requires a lot of grooming.
  • Drooling tendency: The Tornjak drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Tornjaks tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Office Friendly: Tornjak is not the best dog breed for office environment.

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Tornjak Comments, Reviews & Questions

  • Coco

    Jun 7, 2020, 11:35:19 AM:

    He's so cute and the best dog in the world