Information about the breed
The Polish Tatra Shepherd Dog is an ancient regional race, but its career as a breed is fairly new. The shepherds took it fast and loose with the appearance. Their dogs, meant to guard their homes, property and cattle had to be reliable guardians, keeper and helper (czuvac), which means able to work independently and be cautious with strangers. They needed to be strong, but also agile and intelligent enough to be able to compete against wolves and bears. Because of the sheep, preference was given to white dogs.
It was only after the First World War that there was a split between the different types of white mountain dogs and they became various breeds.
During World War I the Polish army also sought resistant dogs in the country and thus many “owczarki” from the Podhale region were annexed by the army. They worked among others as messenger dog, scout dog, ammunition carrier, sled dog, service dog, rescue dog and guide dog. In 1937 an exhibition was held in Zakopane of these all-rounders. Plans were made to establish an independent club and a standard had to be drawn up. Unfortunately these plans were abruptly ended as World War II broke out. The Tatra Shepherd Dog was considered a soldier and whether they were in the army or not, they suffered heavily from this. The end of the war seemed to be the end of this ancient breed. But the Tatra Shepherd Dog dog had learned to survive over thousands of years.
In 1956 there were 110 Tatra Shepherd Dogs on the exhibition in Zakopane and they began again restoring the breed.
A breed club was established, a standard formatted and one began selecting breeding stock. Dr. Dereziński has played a very important role here, he has represented the interests of the Tatra Shepherd Dog and without his commitment to the breed, it would not be on the level what it is today.
In 1967 the first breed standard is accepted by the Federation Cynologique International (FCI), ever since they are officially called Polski Owczarek Podhalański.