Dog Breed Profile

Tornjak History

The Tornjak is a working and herding breed of sheepdog from Croatia. The Croatian name for it, “Tornjećak”, means “dog [that] keeps watch”. The Tornjak is a herding and guarding dog, used by the Kujundžići people, who inhabit the island of Brač. The dogs are a primitive and ancient type of shepherd. They are known for their strong sense of duty, and will protect their flock from predators. They are an independent and stubborn, but courageous and reliable, with good territorial and protective instincts. The Tornjak was recognized by the FCI in 1997, and is very rare outside its native area. The coat is thick, harsh, curly and dense. The colour is black, most often with white markings.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin

Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina



Tornjak Physical Characteristics

The Tornjak is a medium-size, short-coated, long-legged, compactly built, sturdy, and athletic herding breed of dogs originating in Croatia. They are 60 to 64 cm (24 to 25 in.) at the withers. Males weigh between 28 and 35 kg (62 and 77 lb), while females weigh between 25 and 33 kg (55 and 73 lb). The head is large and in proportion to the body. The ears are set high and should stand erect. The tail is docked and of moderate length. The legs are straight and parallel. The feet are round and have well-arched toes. The coat is thick, coarse, and shaggy. The outer coat is of medium length. The undercoat is very thick in males, but much thinner in females. The hair is harsh and wiry, but should not be curly. The coloring is white, with or without spots of varying size, but preferably no larger than 2.5 cm (1 in.) in diameter. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2001.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors

Pied, White, Black, Red, Brown

Height Range

Male Height Range: 25 – 28 inches

Female Height Range: 23 – 26 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 77 – 110 lbs

Female Weight Range: 62 – 88 lbs

Tornjak Health

Description of breed health.


12-14 yrs

Tornjak Health Concerns

Usually A Very Healthy Breed, Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

Tornjak Temperament and Behaviour

The Tornjak is an energetic, outgoing, and intelligent breed of dog. They are often described as having a “cat-like” personality, and they love to play. They are very loving, devoted, and loyal to their owners, but they can also be independent and stubborn. They can sometimes be possessive of their food, toys and chews, and may be aggressive toward smaller household pets.

Tornjak Activity Requirements

The Tornjak is a breed of dog that originated in Croatia. They are a medium-sized, intelligent and energetic group of dogs. These dogs are loyal and protective of their families, and they make great companions. Daily walks are a good way to give your Tornjak the physical exercise they need. These dogs are smart and attentive, so they are also a good choice for people who like to do outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, and biking. They are generally friendly with other dogs, but they can be aggressive with strange animals. If you are looking for a high-energy, highly trainable companion, the Tornjak may be the right dog for you. These dogs are friendly and outgoing, and they love to be in the outdoors. They also make excellent guard dogs.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

3 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Tornjak is part of the Foundation Stock Service group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Tornjak is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Tornjak is part of the Utility group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Tornjak is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.