History The Owczarek Podhalanski, also known as the Polish Tatra Sheepdog, originated in the Podhale, a small, mountainous region in southern Poland. Developed as a livestock guardian, the breed is also used for personal protection, as guard dogs for private property, for military and police work, carting, and as guide dogs.
General Appearance and Characteristics The Owczarek Podhalanski is a strong and well bound dog. Its body is impressive, expressing both power and mobility. Its temperament is calm and grave. The breed is intelligent and alert. Its imposing attitude makes it an attractive companion dog. In silhouette, it is rectangular; the male being a little shorter than the female.
Head and Skull The head is lean and in proportion to the body. It is held at medium height both during movement and in a standing position. In profile, the skull is slightly domed. The forehead furrow is shallow. The stop is distinctly marked, but the skull is not too sharply broken. The strong muzzle tapers slightly. It is slightly longer than, or equal to, the length of the skull. The top of the muzzle is broad. The tightly-closed lips have dark rims. Faults: A deep forehead furrow; poor pigmentation of the lips.
TEETH - A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite, which is preferred. A level bite is acceptable. Disqualifications: Considerable missing teeth; undershot bite.
EYES - The expressive, medium size eyes slant slightly. They are dark brown in color. The eye rims are dark. Faults: Light, bear eyes; poor pigmentation of the eye rims.
NOSE - The nose is black. Nostrils are wide. Fault: Poor nose pigmentation.
EARS - The ears are set at the same height, or a little higher, as the external angle of the eyes. They are medium length, rather thick, triangular in shape, and densely coated. The front edges lie close to the head. Faults: High set ears; ears bent back; cut ears.
Neck The medium-length neck is muscular, without any dewlap. It has a profuse mane. The upper line of the neck is higher than the back.
Forequarters The muscular, well-boned forelegs are not too heavy. They are straight when viewed from the front. The shoulder blades slope slightly. The pasterns slope slightly. Fault: Lack of dewclaws.
Body The body is long and massive. The broad withers are distinctly marked. The back is level and broad. The loins are broad and well bound. The croup slopes slightly. The chest is deep. The ribs are oblique and rather flat. The tuck-up is slight. Fault: High at the croup.
Hindquarters Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are vertical. Viewed from the side, they are set a little backward and are moderately angulated. The rear pastern is straight. Fault: Lack of dewclaws.
Feet The large front and hind feet are oval in shape. There is hair between the toes. The pads are strong, hard, and dark. The nails are strong and blunt. Dark nails are preferred.
Tail The tail set is not very high, following the slope of the croup. It is held below the level of the back. When the dog is excited, it may be held above the level of the back, but is not rolled. In length, it reaches to the hock. The end of the tail may be a little twisted. Fault: Tail held constantly over the back.
Coat The hair is short and close on the head, muzzle, the front of the forelegs, and below the hock. The neck and body are covered with a long, thick, straight, or slightly waved hair that is hard to the touch. There is a profuse undercoat. The neck has a profuse ruff. The thighs are covered with profuse, long hair. The tail is fluffy. Faults: Lack of ruff; lack of feathering on the legs; lack of hair between the toes. Disqualifications: A curly coat; a silky coat; lack of undercoat.
Color A uniform white is the acceptable color. A cream-colored hue is undesirable. Disqualification: Albinism. Piebald color.
Height The height range, measured at the shoulders, for males is from 25½ to 27½ inches. The height range, measured at the shoulders, for females is from 23½ to 25½ inches. Disqualifications Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Undershot bite. Stop too shallow. Snipey muzzle. Considerable missing teeth. A curly coat. A silky coat. Lack of undercoat. Piebald color. Albinism. The Owczarek Podhalanski was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.