Dear Mr. Mikkelsen, Minister of Justice,
We are a group of Tornjak fanciers, owners and breeders from several countries.We were suprised to learn that soon you would be considering a proposal by a legislative committee to include Tornjak among the dog breeds listed as dangerous in Denmark.We understand that Tornjak is new to Denmark,with only a few specimens present in the country, and we are concerned that the inclusion of Tornjak on this list might be the result of a incomplete information or misrepresentation.
Even though we understand that Tornjak is listed alongside other livestock guardian dogs from Southeastern Europe and Asia, all breeds categorized as part of FCI II. Group, there are marked differences between Tornjak and Caucasian Ovtcharka, Central-Asian Ovtcharka, Sharplanina or Anatolians in terms of their temperament, size and built, style and purpose.
On the basis of our contacts with the breed, and an intimate knowledge of dozens of Tornjaks that we share our homes with, we would like to bring to your attention some features of the Tornjak character that we believe would be important in this consideration.
1. Tornjak is a stable dog with high threshold of tolerance.
2. Tornjak has never been bred for dog fights or any other kind of 'fight'.
3. Tornjak's main purpose over the centuries has been to keep wild predators away from the flock. Tornjak's main purpose was not to kill wolves but to protect flock through its presence, guarding, barking, marking the territory and courageous but fiercely devoted to the flock, it avoids directly engaging wild animals when possible.
4. Because of this, the Croatian government has included the Tornjak in the project for conservation and management of wolves in Croatia (http://www.life-vuk.hr/main_page.htm).
5. Tornjak is a pack dog. Tornjaks lived and worked in groups around their flock; because of this, their communication skills are highly developed, their communication is obvious and direct, their hierarchy is well set. If possible,they will avoid any fights by effective signals.
6. Tornjaks are loyal to their pack and to the flock or to their family and animals they live with. They are gentle and lovable, playful and graceful; they are part of the families.
7. Tornjak is not aggressive to humans. They often stayed with their flock close to villages and settlements. Dogs that showed aggressive behavior toward people were not desirable. The only thing that was expected of them was to announce the presence of unknown people by barking.
8. During the last few decades a lot of Tornjaks have lived in urban areas, primarily as pets. They are part of our lives, part of small dog communities in local parks, they attend dog schools and training sessions.
9. As a loyal and sensitive dog, tornjak finds its place as a therapy dog in various therapy communities. With their high intelligence and capability to sense and understand human emotions, they are truly a valuable part of these communities.
10. Tornjak is a thinker. They pay attention. Because of that they easily notice differences which occur in a place or small differences in behaviour of people and other animals. That is why they are great companions and family dogs.
We would welcome the opportunity to document and illustrate all of the above with any information you might deem necessary. Tornjak is the breed we choose and love for their character, which cannot be correctly described as aggressive or dangerous.
Thank you for taking this matter into your consideration.