Tornjak Breed Overview
The Tornjak is a livestock protector and herding dog breed that has been around for a very long time.
Also known as the Croatian mountain dog, this large breed is recognized by all major associations, including the AKC (American Kennel Club).
The Tornjak breed is not one that is in high demand, and it can be quite hard to find one. The number of Tornjak breeders in the United States today is few and far between, as they are not a popular breed in North America altogether.
However, because of the lack of demand, you will not be paying a ridiculous price to buy a Tornjak puppy from a reputable breeder. Buyers can typically expect to pay somewhere between $800 and $1200 for a Tornjak puppy.
This price is quite reasonable for a breed of that size and quality. The more concerning part of buying a Tornjak puppy is actually finding a reputable breeder who has healthy puppies available!
The costs involved with rescuing a dog are typically quite consistent, regardless of the breed.
You can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $200 for the adoption fee depending on the shelter. A spayed or neutered Tornjak if necessary can be anywhere from $50 to upwards of $300.
Initial vaccinations or other shots will also cost somewhere around $75, depending on what is needed.
The total cost can end up being upwards of $500, but can also be a lot cheaper, depending on the specific situation.
The Tornjak is a breed that was used for herding and protecting livestock. These dogs are farm guard dogs at heart, which makes them very aware, level-headed, and calm.
The Tornjak is a strong, courageous breed that is inherently very protective, and will do everything to keep their people safe.
They are usually quite suspicious of strangers, and will protect their owners and their property fiercely, but are generally not easily angered.
Tornjaks are known to be very affectionate towards the people that they live with and will seek approval from their masters. They are wary of new presences and should be socialized from an early age, with both humans and other dogs.
This breed of dog is known for being both intelligent and extremely obedient.
They will learn quickly and always follow orders, which are important qualities that make them a pleasure to train.
It is important for the Tornjak to have a strong, authoritative presence that will provide discipline and reward good behavior.
The Tornjak is a rare livestock protection breed that originated in various regions of Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia.
Their existence is recorded to have been as early as the 14th century, where descriptions of the dog were found in the writings of a Croatian bishop back in the year 1374.
The Tornjak was originally registered under the name “Kanis Montanus”, which translates to mountain dog. The local village people ended up giving it the name Tornjak, “tor” meaning enclosure for sheep or cattle.
The Tornjak was registered as an autochthonous dog breed on May 9th of the year 1981, with the official name “Bosnian-Herzegovinian sheepdog – Tornjak”.
Based on a collection of research and observational analysis, it has been found that the Tornjak breed is most likely a descendant linked to the Tibetan Mastiff.
Overall, these dogs have developed into strong, intelligent watchdogs who are very hardy and have an inherent resistance to harsh environments.
The Tornjak is one of the largest dog breeds ever developed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. This notable size and the loud bark that it possesses make it a very effective guard dog that will surely scare off intruders or protect livestock from predators.
The Tornjak has a standing height of between 27 inches and 32 inches (69 centimeters to 81 centimeters).
They have a typical withers height range (from the shoulder area to the ground – does not include neck or head) of 23 inches to 28 inches (58 centimeters to 71 centimeters).
This significantly large and hefty dog breed will have a general weight range of between 60 pounds and 110 pounds (25 kilograms to 50 kilograms).
Finally, the Tornjak will typically have a body length somewhere in the range of 33 inches to 40 inches (84 centimeters to 102 centimeters).
The Tornjak is a breed that naturally has a long, thick coat of fur. This extra dense coat requires consistent grooming to keep it clean and odor free, while preventing any potential health issues caused by an ungroomed coat.
It is recommended to brush your Tornjak’s coat at least once a week, using both a pin brush and a metal comb together.
For excessively matted sections, some sort of dematting tool may be necessary to get through all of the tangled areas during your grooming sessions.
It is also a good idea to try out a de- tangling spray for these matted areas, as this will help get the job done alongside the right brushing tools.
The Tornjak dog breed like the Illyrian Shephard dog has a double coat. It consists of a dense undercoat made up of wooly-like short hairs, and a top coat made up of longer hairs, known as guard hairs.
These dogs will shed once or twice a year and should be groomed more often during these times to manage the amount of shedding experienced.
Owners can use warm water and a mild dog-friendly shampoo to help loosen the hair that needs to be shed, and make grooming easier and more efficient.
The Tornjak is a large dog breed, and has a similar lifespan to most dog breeds of the same size. They have a typical lifespan of 10 to 12 years of age, but have been reported to live to 14 years or more!
Do You Have To Import A Tornjak?
Tornjaks are considered a rare breed, and their availability in the United States is quite limited.
There are very few active breeders in the U.S and North America as a whole. Finding a suitable breeder with a healthy litter of puppies may prove to be quite difficult.
It is possible to find an international Tornjak breeder and have one imported to your location, which has been done successfully many times in North America.
Most breeders are found in Europe, often places like Bosnia or Croatia, which is where the breed originated.
If you are able to find a relatively local breeder or even get lucky enough to pick up a Tornjak at a rescue shelter, consider yourself blessed! Otherwise, you will most likely have to look into importing one.
How Big Does A Tornjak Get?
The Tornjak is a large, hefty breed of dog that stands quite tall and can reach weights of well over 100 pounds. There is typically a significant size difference between males and females in terms of both height and weight.
Here is a brief size comparison between male and female Tornjaks.
6 month old male:
Height – Average of 20.5 inches (52 cm)
Weight – Average of 40 pounds
12 month old male:
Height – Average of 24 inches (61 cm)
Weight – Average of 78 pounds (35 kg)
Height – Average of 27 inches (69 cm)
Weight – Average of 95 pounds (43 kg)
6 month old female:
Height – Average of 19 inches (48 cm)
Weight – Average of 34 pounds (15 kg)
12 month old female:
Height – Average of 23 inches (58 cm)
Weight – Average of 62.5 pounds (28 kg)
Height – Average of 25 inches (64 cm)
Weight – Average of 75 pounds (34 kg)
Male – Average of 26 inches (66 cm)
Female – Average of 24 inches (61 cm)
Do Tornjak Dogs Shed?
When it comes to the Tornjak breed, they are considered moderate shedders. They will not produce an excessive amount of hair, but when they do shed there will be a significant amount of loose hair around the house.
The Tornjak will typically shed its double coat once or twice a year, usually after the winter months when temperatures are getting warmer and less insulation is needed.
These periods will result in a lot more shedding, and should be accompanied by grooming sessions that are more frequent and thorough.
This will help mediate the amount of loose hair build up around the house, and will also help your dog grow a clean, healthy coat.
The Tornjak is not a hypoallergenic breed of dog, and can cause allergic reactions in individuals who are affected by dander and fur. Regardless, it is possible to reduce the amount of shedding and dander build up in common living spaces by properly grooming your Tornjak on a regular basis.
Is The Tornjak Recognized By The AKC?
The Tornjak, at this current time, has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, the breed has been admitted into the Foundation Stock Service Program.
Recognition by the AKC is typically dependent on the presence of the breed in the United States. Once there has been an accumulation of 150 Tornjak dogs registered in the U.S, the breed will be officially recognized by the AKC.
Currently, the Tornjak is recognized by the FCI or in English, the ICF (International Canine Federation), which is the largest international federation of national kennel clubs.
Tornjak Grooming Tips
As mentioned earlier, the Tornjak has a thick, dense, beautiful double coat that owners should be grooming AT LEAST once or twice per week.
These dogs will typically shed once or twice a year, and during these shedding periods should be groomed more consistently and attentively than usual.
This will help mediate the amount of shedding hair found throughout the house and is also very beneficial for the overall health of your dog’s coat.
Bathing your Tornjak often is important for maintaining a clean coat that does not produce foul odors.
Using a dog-friendly shampoo on a regular basis will not only ensure a healthy coat but will also help make for grooming sessions that are pleasant for both dog and owner!
Large dogs will have certain important grooming requirements that owners should be aware of.
Tornjaks have big paws that are equipped with large nails. These need to be properly trimmed on a consistent basis in order to prevent household damage, and potential injury to both humans and other dogs.
The Tornjak breed typically has fairly large droopy ears that also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Their ears can accumulate unhealthy build-ups of wax and bacteria, which can actually lead to severe ear infections and other possible complications. Be sure to keep an eye on the condition of their ears to avoid any problems.
It is always a good option to have a professional dog grooming service give your Tornjak a proper grooming if it is affordable.
Dan is a well respected content researcher who has vast experience working projects in the pets niche. He is a frequent contributor to dogtemperament.com and loves delivering numerous helpful dog articles like this one that are read by thousands of our readers monthly.
Looking for a Dog Breed Price that Meets Your Budget?
Check out our