The Czech beard | Radio Prague International

The Czech beard |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

Of all the pet canids of Czech origin, the Czech bearded is the only distinctly recognized by the International Cynological Federation, and it has been since 1964. The institution classifies it as continental griffon pointing dogs and describes him as a “noble, medium-sized, stiff-haired dog whose overall appearance means endurance and strength”. And for those who don’t have enough photos to understand where “český fousek” got its name, the “Coat – Coat of the head” section of the FCI standard couldn’t be more didactic: “The lower part of the cheeks, as well as the lips, have longer and softer hair, which forms a typical beard for this variety.»

The Czech beard |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

“Made for the Czech countryside”

The Czech beard – the appropriate name, therefore – is a medium -sized dog, with black roan or brown hair, with lumps or without. Having inherited qualities for working in the field, water and woods, it is a versatile hunting and dog tool. That’s why the Club of Czech Bearded Breeders says about him that he is “Made for the Czech countryside”, yano ra. His specific coat seems to be predetermined for outdoor work, and the Czech beard is less than happy when he has to stay locked up, as Vladimíra Tichá, cynologist and spokeswoman for the Czech-Moravian Cynological Union explains:

The Czech beard |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

“The Czech Bearded is able to find the game and pick it up, to track the game, to work in the water, in the field and in the woods. He is a versatile hunting dog. What he can’t do is follow a wolf in his hole – because it is too big to enter. »

“Also, he’s an easy-going dog with a friendly disposition, with no tendency to be aggressive or fight with other dogs. Maybe he’s a cheap fool, but no! It’s an intelligent one race. »

The Czech beard |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

Three types of hair

The Czech beard |  Photo: Ales Braza

“He has what is called a three-tiered coat, meaning he has a soft, dense undercoat, from which grows a hard, coarse coat and, all over the top, long, hard and straight‘ bristles. ‘. This extremely unobtrusive coat makes it easy for him to support staying outside of a pen or a kennel. So it’s a dog we rarely meet in cities. »

But beware: his love for the beautiful outdoors doesn’t make the Czech bearded a solitary one. Vladimir Ticha:

The Czech beard |  Picture: Drahomíra Matějáková

“If the bearded Czech likes something, it’s good to have people around him. And she especially loves children. I was surprised that the canitherapists were not yet interested in him, despite his kindness and kindness to the people. »

The first signs of the Czech bearded man date back to the 14th century, in a document dated and 1348 and entitled “The things of the master hunter” (Věci jagermisterské “), in which King can be seen Charles IV offered Margrave of Brandenburg Louis V of Bavaria three dogs, called canis bohemicus, for hunting.This makes the Czech Bearded the oldest known distinction of the short -haired pointing dog in Europe.

The Czech beard |  Picture: Drahomíra Matějáková

hunting icon

A famous variety in Slavic and Germanic countries, it is said that every hunting lodge had a Czech beard in the 19th century. In addition, in 1896, a pedagogue from Písek created the Association for the Czech bearded short-haired pointing dog. But with the end of the Czech National Awakening, politics and patriotism even mixed with cynology, and the canine club activity did not last long. Vladimir Ticha:

The Czech beard |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

“Dog breeding not only reflects human history, but also politics. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century Professor Sekyrka lived in Písek, establishing a club of breeder of Czech barbs there.The Austro-Hungarian Empire allowed this club on one condition: that the official language be German.But the members did not want to accept this condition, considering that in the Czech beard club, it was necessary to speak Czech! And so the club quickly disappeared. »

World War I led to the decline of many dog ​​breeds, and the Czech Bearded was no exception. In fact, these dogs were not trained for defense, and the practice of hunting was not possible during the war.

The Czech beard |  Picture: Drahomíra Matějáková

The change in breed continued after the First World War, therefore, and currently the Czech Bearded is second in the ranking of hunting dogs used in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. About 114 breeding dogs and 250 breeding female dogs are currently listed; In addition, each year, 400 to 600 puppies are registered in the pedigree register of the Czech Cynological Union. It is not small, but smaller than before, as Vladimíra Tichá explains:

“The most important difference in the pointing dog in terms of registration is the German Shorthaired Pointer, which has 700 individuals per year. The largest breed in the Czech Republic remains the German Shepherd, but even then they are no longer tens of thousands like in the past.The big problem is that in the days of communist Czechoslovakia, there were fewer dogs bred in the country.Now there are about 290 breeds in the Czech Republic; at that time, there were about 120. While new breeds imported, the original breeds suffocate. And the Czech beard is no exception to the rule. »

The Czech beard |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

The Czech beard in the song

If he’s less popular than he is, the bearded Czech seems to still inspire music making – at least among Czech artists. Thus, in addition to the Moravian singer František Segrado and his song “Český fousek”, the incomparable Jaromír Nohavica also dedicates an allegorical piece on the Czech bearded man, in which he puts the himself on his skin – or rather his beard.

Video by Jarek Nohavica – eský fousek

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