LGD Tornjaks in the US

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by punk-a-doodle, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    The Tornjak is a breed I've been keeping an eye on as a possible future LGD for a small farm. The AKC added them to their list of foundation stock dogs this year, 2012, and I really hope this means they will become more available!

    I like a lot of traits that the Komondors have, but many surveys and personal accounts say they are more prone to both human and dog aggression than many other breeds, which doesnt bode well for a small farm with many visitors and existing farm dogs. Great pyrs became my first choice, as they are often said to be the least people and dog aggressive of the LGDs, but I hear they bark through the night which may be a problem for neighbors. The Tornjaks came into view, and seem like they are not prone to aggression towards people or animals, and are said to be quieter than a typical Great Pyr (YouTube has been of some help verifying that). Their biggest drawback for my purposes seems to be that they are apparently prone to wandering (hello high fencing), and that they aren't exactly easy to obtain. Either the Tornjaks or the Great Pyrs seem to be the least likely to be walking liabilities of the breeds I've looked into. An LGD being able and willing to kill a bear is great and all, but not a very good thing when in a more populated area where a person could just as easily be at the receiving end of those jaws.

    Unfortunately, it looks like there are a lot of scam ads popping up since the AKC profiled the breed. I really do hope these dogs become an actual option (seems to be a breeder in Michigan for sure, and possibly Virginia), as so many people speak very highly of them and they sound like a great option for those of us who need dogs who are more tolerant of people, and receptive to socialization.

    Anyone have experience with Tornjaks? Can anyone offer input on LGD breeds that they have found to be generally more tolerant of people and farm dogs compared to say, the OCs?
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    I would start contacting breeders now, even if it is several years before you want to get the dog. 1) the best person to know if these dogs would fit your plans is those breeders, no one knows what they are producing better. And different lines and breedings produce slight variations in temperament. One breeder might have "harder" dogs that wouldn't fit your plans while another might select for a slightly softer temperament.
    Starting early also helps you weed through all of the bad breeders and those who just don't fit what you are looking for.

    2) a good breeder is going to be VERY picky about who they send their dogs too. They are going to want to know your experience with dogs in general, LGDs, difficult dogs, etc etc They are going to want you to explain all of your plans for the dog and will likely ask how you would handle common problems with the breed (distrust of strangers for example)

    3) if the breed is new to the US, there is probably going to be a waiting list. It's not uncommon someone looking for a German Shepherd to be on a waiting list for 2-3 years for a dog that fits their needs. You also need to be prepared to wait for, not just a litter to be available, but for a dog that will fit what you want. Even a breed known for more aggressive defense is going to have puppies that are more friendly and outgoing - it happens. You just have to be prepared to wait for the right dog.

    It doesn't look like there is a club in the US. This breeder isn't in the US but they might be helpful in finding one who is. They also have a lot of info on their site about the breed - such as they are very friendly of dogs that they meet when young and how to adjust the dogs to living in an urban area. http://www.valaliburna.hr/en/tornjak.php
  3. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    For sure, that website and others fom Croatia have been particularly helpful in finding out more. For those interested in the breed, searching for "Tornjaka" and "Tornjaci" will turn up a lot more useful information from Croatian sources. Google Translater has been my friend. ;)

    With the scam ads abounding, I am honestly a little wary about the incredible dearth of information from those said to be breeding the dogs, and hope this is just due to either an unfamiliarity with computers, or for personal reasons. I am always more than a little wary of new breeds or new imports, as I have experienced some who try to up the hype to either cash in or ensure the money invested in their project, breeding stock purchases, or imports is recouped. I would feel a lot better if I had any info on the people involved, contacts, references, clubs...something. I saw that someone posted on this forum saying they were one of the importers...but again there was just no information to really go on. You give good advice in contacting breeders now to see who is who and to prepare. There is a breeder in Canada who has YouTube videos of their dogs up. Nice looking dogs on lots of land. I never realized how easy it is to bring dogs over the border from Canada! Think they will be my starting point.

    Lines are definitely an important thing. There has been some helpful sources pointing out differences in aggression between groups, but it is a bit hard to tell if that is politically motivated at all given the tensions... There is a lot of that distrust showing through in local articles about poisoned and shot Tornjaks, etc, and also in the naming of the breed.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  4. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    PS. Something else I'm curious about with this breed is that several sources have cited that Tornjaks should be kept on a low protein diet. Some say that the beautiful coat suffers if they are not. This has led me to question whether the breed may have kidney problems, as low protein diets are often suggested for dogs with kidney issues, and a poor coat can be a sign of kidney problems. Several dogs on breeder websites are listed as being deceased from renal/kidney failure. The breed is generally touted as being very hardy and healthy (and one attractive trait is that they are said to live longer than many other LGD breeds). Just wondering if anyone has any insight or opinions to add on that.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  5. cybergeisha

    cybergeisha In the Brooder

    Nov 1, 2012
    Kastel Sucurac, Croatia
    http://www.boss-tor.com/ This is a tornjak kennel in Varaždin, Croatia. And this is their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/darkosenka.kelemenic?fref=ts .
    http://tornjacisasrednjaka.weebly.com/index.html this one is from Zagreb. Problem with dog breeders in Croatia is that they don't have nice websites, and clubs meet only at dog shows which are rare, but they have good dogs.And the thing with tornjak owners, they are mostly farmers. Tornjak is not a city dog, he needs his herd and a piece of land. They are great guard and work dogs if you keep them busy. If you need and help with translating something from croatian, feel free to contact me, i am better at croatian than google translate :D
  6. she-earl

    she-earl Songster

    Jan 17, 2009
    Lancaster County PA
    I have contacted several Tornjak breeders. One by phone and the others by emailing. There is a breeder in MI, VA, AZ and Alberta, Canada. The end of this week we are planning on picking up our Tornjak puppy that was born on Oct. 28. He is from Canada.
  7. Coop Keeper

    Coop Keeper Hatching

    Mar 10, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    How's the new Tornjak pup and do you keep him with your chickens? Did you get him from the Harpers (Raegen & Sandra)?
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Oo, the breeder in MI is new to me. I can't wait til we are set-up and ready for a pup ourselves. Do post photos!

    And thanks very much for the links and info Cyber!
  9. Jeannie01

    Jeannie01 Hatching

    Jul 9, 2013
    I am the owner of Tornjaks in Virginia. Please check out my website to learn more about these dogs. http://sites.google.com/site/usatornjak/ If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call. My number is on the website. I love this bred and have found them to be wonderful with my children and with my other animals. They seldom bark, but rule with size. I have no problems with wandering, but again it is the dog and not the bred that wanders. I do expect that most people would have their livestock in fences though, and the dogs would be the guarders or herders of the livestock. They are an interesting bred that can live to be 18 years old with little or no health problems. My dogs come from Bosnia. I hope to bred them one day.....
  10. lauraschicks

    lauraschicks Chirping

    Jul 30, 2014

    Am I correct in understanding that you have bred your female recently? I was looking at your website earlier.

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