Breed of the Week: Czechoslovakian Wolfdog 07/19/16

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog 2

Breed Stats

Country of Origin: Czechoslovakia (Now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

Average Height: Males 26 inches (65 cm), Females 24 inches (60 cm)

Average Weight: Males 57 lbs (26 kg), Females 44 lbs (20 kg)

Average Lifespan: 8-12 years

Coat: The hair is straight and close to the body; the winter and summer coats vary greatly, with both the overcoat and undercoat getting much thicker in the winter.

Colour: Yellowish-gray to silver-gray, usually with a light mask.

History

            The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a relatively young breed of dog.  The breed is the result of an experiment that was started in 1955, when Karel Hartl decided to cross a German Shepherd Dog with a Carpathian Wolf.  At first he was simply considering the idea as a scientific experiment, but a couple years later it was decided to create a new breed of dog.  The first generation of these hybrid wolfdogs was born in 1958, to a female wolf named Brita and a male German Shepherd named Cezar.  The first generation of these hybrids were still quite wolf-like in both appearance and temperament.  Training was very difficult, but not impossible.  Once they reached adulthood, they were bred with German Shepherds, in order to decrease the proportion of “wolf blood” in the subsequent generations.  By the fourth generation, the dogs could be trained much more easily, but they also had better navigational skills, night vision, hearing and sense of smell when compared to other dogs.  When given endurance tests, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog could complete a 100km long course without getting exhausted.

By 1965, the experiment was completed, and a plan for developing the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog as a breed had been laid out. Over the next couple decades, the plan was enacted, with the final addition of wolf blood to the bloodlines occurring in 1983.  The breed was officially recognized by Czechoslovakian dog breeders as a national breed in 1982 and by 1989 the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted the standard and began a registry for the breed.  Ten years later, the breed had to prove its viability and conformity to the standard that was laid out, and has since been definitively confirmed.

Although they were initially developed for use as attack dogs by Czechoslovakian Special Forces, however they have also been used for various other activities such as Schutzhund, search and rescue, tracking, herding, agility, obedience and hunting in both Europe and the United States.  Overall the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a very rare breed of dog. As of 2014, the majority puppies each year are registered in Italy (approx. 200), with some in the Czech Republic (approx. 100) and Slovakia (approx. 50).

Classifications

FCI: Group 1, Section 1 #332

AKC: FSS (The AKC Foundational Stock Service is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration

UKC: Herding

CKC: N/A

KC (UK): N/A

Temperament

            The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a very versatile dog, rather than specialized.  They are generally quite active, lively and courageous.  Shyness is considered a fault in the breed standard.  The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog develops a very strong social relationship, with both the owner/trainer and the whole family; although issues can arise at times when the dog is introduced to strange animals.  It is of utmost importance that the dog’s passion for hunting animals be subdued when the dog is still a pup.  Socialization is extremely important for these dogs.  Females can be easier to handle but both genders tend to have a rocky adolescence.  They can be trained quite easily; however it is necessary to find a motivation for training.  The most common pitfall is simply exhaustion from repetitive training techniques.  The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has many ways in which to express itself, but barking is unnatural for them.

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