Training Tornjak Puppies: Essential Do’s and Don’ts


Embarking on the journey of training a new puppy can be both exciting and overwhelming. You want to ensure that your furry friend has the skills and behaviors necessary to thrive in your home, while also creating a strong bond between the two of you. This is especially true when training a Tornjak puppy, a breed of livestock guardian dog that’s known for its loyalty and protectiveness. However, with the right approach and techniques, you can successfully train your Tornjak puppy to be a well-behaved and happy companion for years to come. In this article, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of Tornjak puppy training, common challenges you may encounter, and advanced techniques to take your pup’s training to the next level.

What is a Tornjak?

Tornjak is a large breed of livestock guardian dog, originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This breed is known for its loyalty and protective nature, making it an ideal choice for guarding livestock and properties. Tornjaks are strong-willed and independent by nature, but with proper training and socialization, they can make excellent family pets.

Physical Characteristics

Tornjaks are large dogs, with males typically weighing between 99-154 pounds and females weighing between 77-110 pounds. They have a thick coat that comes in shades of red, gray, and white. Tornjaks have a broad head with a flat skull, and their eyes are almond-shaped and can range in color from light brown to dark amber.


As mentioned, Tornjaks are protective by nature, which can make them wary of strangers. However, they are also known to be loyal and affectionate with their families. Socialization is crucial for Tornjaks, as it can help prevent aggression towards strangers. These dogs are intelligent and independent, which can make training a challenge. However, with persistence and patience, Tornjaks can be trained to obey commands and engage in positive behaviors.

Health Concerns

Like all breeds, Tornjaks are prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and bloat. It’s important for Tornjak owners to keep their dogs at a healthy weight and provide them with regular exercise to prevent these issues from developing.

If you’re considering a Tornjak as a pet, it’s important to educate yourself on the breed and their needs. Proper training and socialization are crucial for Tornjaks to thrive as pets. In the next sections of this article, we will go over some of the key aspects of Tornjak training, as well as some common challenges and advanced techniques.

For more information about house training a Tornjak, consider reading our guide on Tornjak House Training. For tips on providing your Tornjak with proper exercise, check out our article on Tornjak Dog Exercises.

Do’s of Tornjak Puppy Training

Do'S Of Tornjak Puppy Training
As a Tornjak owner, one of the most important things you can do for your puppy is to establish a solid training routine. This begins with understanding the do’s and don’ts of Tornjak puppy training. By utilizing the following tips and techniques, you can help your pup develop into a happy, healthy, and well-behaved member of your family. From establishing a routine, to using positive reinforcement, to socializing your puppy, these simple do’s of Tornjak puppy training will set a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning and growth. For more information on obedience and mental stimulation, click here.

Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine is essential to effectively train Tornjak puppies. Puppies thrive on structure and consistency, so creating a routine that includes regular feeding times, playtime, training sessions, and rest periods will not only make your puppy happier but also help with their overall development. Here are some tips on how to establish a routine that will work for both you and your Tornjak:

1. Create a Daily Schedule: Start by creating a schedule for your puppy that includes specific times for meals, potty breaks, exercise, and training sessions. Stick to this schedule as closely as possible to avoid confusing your puppy and to establish a sense of predictability.

  • Feeding Time: Puppies need to be fed multiple times a day. A schedule that includes 3-4 meals per day is recommended. Make sure to give your Tornjak puppy high-quality food that will provide them with the necessary nutrients to support their growth.
  • Potty Breaks: Tornjak puppies need frequent potty breaks to avoid accidents in the house. Take them outside every 1-2 hours and also after meals, playtimes, and naps.
  • Exercise: Tornjaks are energetic dogs that need regular exercise. Aim for at least 30-45 minutes of exercise daily. Playtime in the yard, running around or walking will suffice.
  • Training: Training sessions should be short and consistent, for approximately 10-15 minutes. Stick to basic commands and gradually introduce new ones. It will make it easier down the road when more advanced commands become necessary.
  • Rest: Puppies need plenty of rest in between activities. Provide your Tornjak puppy with a quiet and comfortable place to rest after exercise or training sessions.

2. Be Consistent: Once you have created a schedule, be consistent in following it. This will help your Tornjak puppy to learn when to expect certain activities, and it will also make the training process more efficient.

3. Be Patient: Some puppies may take longer to adjust to the routine, and this is perfectly normal. Be patient and consistent, and your Tornjak puppy will eventually learn to follow the schedule.

4. Be Flexible: While a routine is important, it is also crucial to be flexible. Allow for some variations in the schedule to make it easier for you and your puppy to adapt to different situations.

By establishing a routine, you will set a solid foundation for the successful training of your Tornjak puppy. Remember to be consistent, patient, and flexible, and your Tornjak will be well on their way to becoming a well-behaved and loving companion.

For more information on Tornjak obedience and training, check out our article on Tornjak obedience training. And to learn how to provide your Tornjak with mental stimulation, take a look at our article on Tornjak mental stimulation.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Training a Tornjak puppy can be both challenging and rewarding. However, one of the most effective ways to train a Tornjak puppy is by using positive reinforcement. This training method is a safe and humane way to encourage good behavior and help your puppy understand what is expected of them. Here are some tips on how to use positive reinforcement when training your Tornjak pup:

  • Use treats: Instead of punishing your puppy for bad behavior, reward them with a treat when they do something good. This could be as simple as sitting on command or going to the bathroom outside. As your puppy starts to understand what you want from them, gradually phase out the treats and rely more on verbal praise.
  • Praise your puppy: Verbal praise, such as saying “good boy/girl” and giving them pets, can also be an effective way to reinforce positive behavior. The key is to make sure you praise your puppy immediately after they do something good, so they understand what they are being rewarded for.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to positive reinforcement training. Make sure everyone in your household knows the rules and is using the same training methods to avoid confusing your puppy. Be patient and consistent, and your Tornjak pup will soon understand what is expected of them.

Using positive reinforcement can make training your Tornjak puppy a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. By focusing on what your puppy does well and rewarding them for it, you can help them develop good habits and behaviors that will last a lifetime. So, don’t hesitate to use this powerful training method in combination with other techniques like establishing a routine, and socializing your puppy with other dogs at puppy classes.

Remember, a well-trained Tornjak is a happy and healthy Tornjak, so start training your Tornjak puppy today! If you want to learn more about how much exercise your Tornjak needs or how to train them on leash, check out our guides on Tornjak exercise and leash training respectively.

Socialize, Socialize, Socialize

Socialization is extremely important for Tornjak puppies. It’s crucial to start socializing your Tornjak as early as possible. The first three months of their life are critical for socialization, and it can help prevent aggressive behavior in the future. Remember, a well-socialized Tornjak is a happy Tornjak! Here are some tips to help you socialize your Tornjak puppy:

  • Introduce your puppy to new people: Your Tornjak puppy needs to meet and interact with lots of new people. Let your friends and family meet and play with your puppy. Take your puppy to public places where there are lots of people around.
  • Expose your puppy to different environments: Your Tornjak needs to be comfortable in all kinds of environments. Expose your puppy to different sights, sounds, and smells, such as busy streets, markets, and parks.
  • Let your puppy play with other dogs: It’s important for your Tornjak to learn how to greet other dogs and play with them. A great way to do this is by taking your puppy to a puppy socialization class. Agility training can be another fun and beneficial way to socialize your Tornjak with other dogs.
  • Train your puppy to be calm around other animals: Most Tornjaks have a natural prey drive, and it’s important to teach them how to behave around other animals, such as cats and small dogs. Gradually introduce your Tornjak to other pets in a controlled environment.

Remember, socialization is an ongoing process! Keep exposing your Tornjak to new experiences and environments throughout their life. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that your Tornjak grows up to be a confident, well-adjusted, and happy adult dog.

Teach Basic Commands

As with any puppy, teaching basic commands is a crucial part of Tornjak training. These commands not only help establish your role as the leader, but also keep your pup safe and well-behaved. Here are some basic commands that every Tornjak puppy should learn:

SitTeaching your Tornjak puppy to sit is a great way to reinforce good behavior. Start by holding a treat above your pup’s head and slowly moving it back towards their tail. As their head follows the treat, their bottom should naturally lower to the ground. Once they are in a seated position, reward them with the treat.
StayTeaching your Tornjak puppy to stay is important for their safety as well as the safety of others. Start by having your pup sit or lie down, then hold your hand up and say “stay.” Gradually increase the distance between yourself and your pup, rewarding them with a treat for remaining in the stay position.
ComeThis command is important for both safety and convenience. Start by calling your puppy’s name followed by the word “come.” When they come to you, reward them with a treat or praise them. Once they have mastered this command, you can incorporate it into games like fetch.
HeelThis command teaches your Tornjak puppy to walk calmly beside you on a leash. Start by holding a treat close to your leg and saying “heel.” As your pup walks beside you, praise them and reward them with the treat. Gradually increase the distance between you and your pup, rewarding them for remaining in the heel position.

Remember to be patient when teaching your Tornjak puppy basic commands. Each pup learns at their own pace, so it is important to praise and reward good behavior rather than punish mistakes. And don’t forget to keep training sessions short and fun, so your pup doesn’t get bored or overwhelmed. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, your Tornjak puppy will be a well-behaved and obedient companion for years to come.

Don’ts of Tornjak Puppy Training

Don'Ts Of Tornjak Puppy Training
When it comes to training your Tornjak puppy, there are certain “don’ts” that should be avoided to ensure a successful and positive outcome. These tips are just as important as the “do’s” we previously discussed. By knowing what not to do, you can prevent any negative behavioral issues from arising and instead establish a strong bond with your furry friend. Let’s take a look at some of these don’ts in more detail, and why they should be avoided at all costs.

Avoid These Don’ts During Tornjak Puppy Training

It’s essential to use positive reinforcement techniques when training your Tornjak puppy. Physical punishment, yelling, or any kind of negative reinforcement can be detrimental to your pup’s wellbeing and the training process. Additionally, it’s crucial to address any behavior issues as soon as they arise, rather than letting them go unaddressed. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a healthy and happy environment for your Tornjak to thrive in.

Don’t Use Physical Punishment

Physical punishment is a controversial topic when it comes to dog training. While it may seem like a quick way to correct behavior, it can actually do more harm than good. Using physical punishment can create fear and anxiety in your Tornjak puppy, which can ultimately lead to aggression and other behavioral issues. There are much better alternatives to physical punishment when training your Tornjak puppy.

Instead of physical punishment, try using positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior. This means rewarding your puppy when they do something right, rather than punishing them when they do something wrong. You can use treats, praise, and toys as rewards for good behavior. This will not only help your puppy learn faster, but it will also help build a stronger bond between you and your furry companion.

When disciplining your Tornjak puppy, it’s important to remember to stay calm and be patient. Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement and gentle discipline than they do to harsh punishments. If you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, take a break and come back to training when you’re feeling more relaxed.

Avoid using physical punishment, including:

Physical Punishment TechniquesWhy to Avoid
Hitting your puppyThis can cause physical harm and create fear.
Kicking or stomping on the ground near your puppyThis can create fear and anxiety in your puppy.
Yelling or screaming at your puppyThis can cause anxiety and make your puppy afraid of you.
Using shock collars or choke chainsThese methods are inhumane and can cause physical and emotional harm.

Remember, the goal of training your Tornjak puppy is to build a positive relationship between you and your dog while encouraging good behavior. Physical punishment can create fear and harm that relationship. Instead, rely on positive reinforcement and gentle discipline to train your furry friend.

If you’re struggling with Tornjak puppy training, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist. They can help you develop a personalized training plan that will be effective for your specific puppy. Additionally, remember to always stay patient and consistent with your training efforts – with time and persistence, your Tornjak puppy will learn the behaviors you desire.

Don’t Let Bad Behaviors Go Unaddressed

When training your Tornjak puppy, it’s important to address any bad behaviors right away. Ignoring these behaviors or allowing them to continue can lead to more serious problems down the line. One effective way to prevent bad behaviors is to establish clear boundaries and rules for your puppy. This can be done through consistent training and positive reinforcement.

Here are some potential bad behaviors you may encounter when training your Tornjak puppy:

  • Biting and nipping
  • Excessive barking
  • Chewing on furniture or shoes
  • Jumping up

If your Tornjak is exhibiting any of these bad behaviors, it’s important to address them quickly before they become ingrained habits. One way to do this is to redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior, like giving them a chew toy instead of letting them chew on your shoes.

Another important aspect of preventing bad behaviors is consistency. Everyone in the household should be on the same page when it comes to training and enforcing rules. Any inconsistencies can confuse your puppy and make it harder for them to learn what is expected of them.

Finally, always remember to reward good behaviors and offer plenty of praise when your Tornjak puppy does something right. This will help reinforce positive behaviors and make training more effective overall. With patience and persistence, you can help your Tornjak become a well-behaved and happy member of your family.

If you want to learn more about advanced training techniques for your Tornjak, check out our article on recall training.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Common Challenges And How To Overcome Them
Tornjak puppy training can be a challenging task, and even the most attentive owners can encounter some common difficulties along the way. It’s important to remember that every puppy is unique, and what works for one Tornjak may not work for another. However, understanding these typical problems and learning how to overcome them is crucial for successful puppy training. In this section, we will explore some common challenges and provide effective solutions to help you and your furry companion overcome them. Let’s dive in!

Potty Training

Potty training a Tornjak puppy can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, it can be accomplished. Here are some key points to keep in mind when potty training your Tornjak puppy:

  • Establish a routine: Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime, and use a consistent verbal cue, such as “go potty”.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Praise and reward your puppy with treats and affection when he goes potty outside.
  • Supervise: Keep an eye on your puppy and prevent accidents by confining him to a small area when you cannot supervise him.
  • Don’t punish: Never hit, yell, or punish your puppy for accidents. This will only make him fearful and may lead to more accidents.
  • Don’t give up: Potty training can take weeks or even months, so don’t get discouraged if your puppy has setbacks.

It’s important to remember that accidents will happen, even with the most diligent potty training. If your puppy has an accident, clean it up thoroughly with an enzyme-based cleaner to remove any odors that may attract your puppy back to the same spot.

Consistency and patience are key when potty training your Tornjak puppy. With these tips and a bit of perseverance, your puppy will soon be fully potty trained and a well-behaved member of the family.

Biting and Chewing

Biting and chewing are natural behaviors for any puppy, and Tornjaks are no exception. However, it’s important to redirect these behaviors in order to prevent destructive chewing and accidental biting. Here are some tips for managing your Tornjak puppy’s biting and chewing:

  • Provide Appropriate Chewing Options: It’s important to provide your Tornjak puppy with plenty of chew toys and bones to redirect their chewing behavior. Make sure the toys are safe and durable, and be sure to supervise your puppy while they chew to prevent choking or ingesting inappropriate objects.
  • Redirect Biting: Tornjak puppies have a natural inclination to bite during play, but it’s important to teach them appropriate bite inhibition. Whenever your puppy bites, redirect their attention to a chew toy or bone instead. Praise them when they start chewing on the appropriate object instead of your hand or clothing.
  • Avoid Rough Play: Rough play with your Tornjak puppy can encourage biting behavior. It’s important to establish boundaries and teach your puppy that biting during play is not acceptable.

If your Tornjak puppy continues to bite or chew on inappropriate objects, consider using bitter sprays or deterrents to discourage these behaviors. It’s important to remember to remain patient and consistent with your training, and always provide positive reinforcement when redirecting your puppy’s behavior.


Barking is a natural behavior for Tornjak puppies, but excessive barking can become a nuisance for you and your neighbors. Here are some tips to help you reduce unwanted barking:

Train your Tornjak to bark on command. This way, you can control when your puppy barks and when they should be quiet.Never physically punish your Tornjak for barking. This can create fear and anxiety and may lead to more barking.
Provide mental and physical stimulation. A bored puppy is more likely to bark excessively.Don’t yell at your Tornjak to be quiet. This can sound like barking to them and may encourage more barking.
Teach the “quiet” command. Reward your puppy for being quiet and reinforce this behavior.Don’t leave your Tornjak alone for long periods of time. A lonely puppy is more likely to bark excessively.
Address the root cause of the barking. Is your puppy barking at something specific, like a person or animal outside? Addressing the cause can help reduce excessive barking.Don’t encourage your Tornjak to bark for fun or attention. This can lead to more excessive barking.

Remember that barking is normal, but excessive barking can be a problem. By following these do’s and don’ts and being patient with your puppy, you can reduce unwanted barking and create a more peaceful environment.

Advanced Tornjak Training Techniques

Congratulations on reaching the advanced training techniques section for your Tornjak puppy! This is where you will learn how to take your puppy’s training to the next level and teach them more complex commands and behaviors. The techniques introduced here will not only continue to strengthen the bond between you and your dog, but also ensure that your Tornjak will become a well-behaved and obedient companion. So let’s dive in and explore these powerful training techniques that will help you and your puppy reach new heights together!

Leash Training

Leash training is a crucial part of Tornjak puppy training. It is important to start leash training as early as possible so that your puppy can get used to it. Here are some tips for leash training your Tornjak puppy successfully:

Tip 1:Make sure your puppy is comfortable with the leash and collar first. Let them sniff and inspect it before putting it on.
Tip 2:Begin in a distraction-free environment, like your backyard or a quiet park. Stay close to your puppy and keep the leash loose, so they don’t feel restricted.
Tip 3:Walk at a slow pace and use positive reinforcement, like treats or verbal praise, to encourage your puppy to stay close to you. If they pull, stop and wait for them to calm down before continuing.
Tip 4:Gradually increase the length of your walks and introduce more distractions, such as other people and dogs. Always stay aware of your puppy’s behavior and reactions to these new distractions.
Tip 5:Practice walking on different surfaces, such as grass, pavement, and gravel, to get your puppy used to different textures and sounds. This will help them be comfortable in any environment.

Remember, leash training takes time and patience, so don’t get frustrated if your puppy doesn’t get it right away. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful leash training.

Off-Leash Training

Off-Leash Training is an important skill for Tornjak puppies. It means that your puppy can run around and play freely without a leash while still maintaining obedience and control. Off-Leash Training can be challenging but with patience and consistency, it can be achieved. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start In A Secure Area: Begin by working with your puppy in a secure, fenced-in area. It will give your puppy the freedom to move around and play but won’t allow them to run away.
  • Build A Strong Relationship: Trust is key when it comes to off-leash training. Spend time bonding and building trust with your puppy, so they will follow your lead even in exciting or distracting environments.
  • Practice Recall: Recall is one of the most important commands for off-leash training. Start practicing in a controlled environment with your puppy on a long leash. Call your puppy’s name and say “come ” with a treat, then reward them when they come to you. Gradually increase the distance between you and your puppy until they can come on command from across the room or yard.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your puppy with treats, playtime, and praise when they follow your commands off-leash. This will help reinforce good behavior and create a positive association with training.
  • Be Patient: Off-leash training takes time and patience. It’s important to go at your puppy’s pace and not rush the process. Be consistent with your training and your puppy will eventually understand what is expected of them.

Remember, always supervise your puppy during off-leash training and never leave them unattended. With consistency and patience, Off-Leash Training can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your Tornjak puppy.

Advanced Commands

When your Tornjak puppy has mastered the basics of obedience training, you can move on to teaching them more advanced commands. These commands will challenge your pup’s cognitive abilities and improve their problem-solving skills. Here are some advanced commands that you can teach your Tornjak puppy:

FetchTeach your Tornjak to retrieve objects on command. Start by using a favorite toy and gradually increase the difficulty of the task.
SpeakTeach your Tornjak to bark on command. This can be helpful for alerting you to potential danger or simply fun for showing off.
Roll OverTeach your Tornjak to roll over on command. This can be a fun trick to entertain friends and family.
CrawlTeach your Tornjak to crawl on command. This is a great exercise for improving your pup’s coordination and balance.
Play DeadTeach your Tornjak to play dead on command. This trick is more complicated than the others and may take more time and patience to master.

When teaching your Tornjak these advanced commands, it’s important to remember to use positive reinforcement and be patient. These tricks may take longer to master than basic commands, so don’t get discouraged if your pup doesn’t get it right away. Consistency and persistence will pay off in the end, and your Tornjak will be a well-trained and highly intelligent companion.


After reading this guide on training your Tornjak puppy, you should now have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to raising a well-behaved dog. Remember to be patient and consistent in your training efforts, and to always keep positive reinforcement at the forefront of your mind.

When it comes to the do’s of Tornjak puppy training, establishing a routine is key to creating a stable and predictable environment for your pup to learn and thrive. Using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise can help your dog understand what behaviors you want to encourage. Socializing your Tornjak puppy from an early age is crucial to help them grow up into confident and well-adjusted dogs, ready to handle new situations and meet other dogs and people.

On the other hand, there are some key don’ts to keep in mind when training your Tornjak puppy. Avoid using physical punishment or fear-based training methods, as these can cause your dog to become anxious or aggressive. Don’t let bad behaviors go unaddressed or reinforce them accidentally, as this can lead to confusion and frustration for both you and your pup.

While potty training, biting and chewing, and barking can all present their own unique challenges, there are many strategies you can use to overcome them. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key in addressing these common behavioral issues.

If you feel confident in your training abilities, you may wish to move on to more advanced Tornjak training techniques such as leash training, off-leash training, and teaching advanced commands. These can help your Tornjak puppy become an even more obedient and well-behaved dog.

Overall, training a Tornjak puppy can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can help your Tornjak puppy grow into a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult dog who is a joy to be around.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of a Tornjak?

The average lifespan of a Tornjak is between 10 and 14 years.

What kind of temperament do Tornjaks have?

Tornjaks are known for being loyal, intelligent, and protective of their family.

Are Tornjaks good with children?

Yes, Tornjaks can be great with children when socialized properly and supervised during interactions.

Do Tornjaks require a lot of exercise?

Yes, Tornjaks require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health.

How often should I train my Tornjak puppy?

It’s recommended to train your Tornjak puppy daily, but in short sessions to avoid overwhelming them.

When should I start socializing my Tornjak puppy?

It’s best to start socializing your Tornjak puppy as soon as possible, ideally around 8 weeks old.

What is the best way to house train my Tornjak puppy?

The best way to house train your Tornjak puppy is through positive reinforcement and a consistent routine, taking them outside frequently and rewarding them for going potty outside.

Can Tornjaks be trained to be off-leash?

Yes, with proper training and trust-building exercises, Tornjaks can be trained to be reliable off-leash.

How do I prevent my Tornjak puppy from biting and chewing?

Providing your Tornjak puppy with plenty of chew toys, redirecting their attention when they bite or chew on inappropriate items, and consistently reinforcing good behavior can help prevent biting and chewing habits.

How do I address excessive barking in my Tornjak?

Identifying the reason for the excessive barking and addressing it through training and management techniques, such as teaching the “quiet” command and providing mental and physical stimulation, can help reduce excessive barking in Tornjaks.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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