Dog or wolf? The Czechoslovakian wolf dog, one would have guessed, was a bit of two at the same time: the result of the crossing of a Carpathian wolf and a German shepherd, it was the result of the efforts of Karel Hartl , a cynologist who, in the 1950s, wanted to improve the endurance of working dogs and disease resistance. Veterinarian Veronika Kučerová Chrpová explains:
“This species was born in 1955, through a biological experiment involving the crossing of a German shepherd and a Carpathian wolf, in an attempt to show that it is possible to cross two animal species, namely the wolf and the dog.And they succeeded in both directions, as well as a dog and a wolf like a female dog and a wolf.So the experiment ended in 1965, producing a new- project: to create a new variety. »
Dog or wolf?
And cynologist Vladimíra Tichá to find out what purpose this new variety is intended:
“Initially, it was an experiment, a research project. Then it was decided that the Czech border guards would have their own breed of dog. In the same way that the black Russian terrier was created in the USSR in the second half of XXᵉ century at the Military School of Canine Breeding, the Czechs would have their Czechoslovakian wolf dog.So the breed began to reproduce; however, I’m not sure it was the ideal dog for border guard.In the wolf, he has character; for example, it has difficulty in changing owners. But it is a beautiful and elegant variety, which is very successful. »
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog or German Shepherd?
Classified between shepherd and cattle dogs, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog is a dog whose size exceeds the norm and has a strong constitution, 60 to 70 cm in strands, with resulting differences. in size between male and female. Through his somatic construction, his gait, the quality and color of his robe and through his face mask, it resembles a wolf. However, it is usually with a German shepherd that he is confused. But Vladimíra Tichá lists what makes it possible for them to be identified with the naked eye:
“The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is taller and lighter than the German Shepherd. It has a finer bone structure and a gray-yellow to silvery coat, while the German Shepherd is black and tan, dark gray or black. In addition, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog has a clearer eye. »
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is distinguished by its great intelligence, strong health, endurance and fearlessness, its resistance to weather changes and its developed sense of smell, but also by its extreme loyalty to its master.
do all dog
He is now raised as a working dog and for dog sports, but also a guard dog and a companion animal. So this is a very large dog, as explained by Michaela van Erne, our colleague from Radiožurnal, who has been breeding Czechoslovakian wolves for over 20 years:
“With the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, you can participate in dressage competitions, that is, you can make it a working dog, a rescue dog … You can take him through the tests of the show, because the Czechoslovakian wolf dog knows how to save his forces during the quest.So he is perfectly able to pass this test which consists of running 40, 70 or even 100 km next to his master – the latter traveling aboard on a bicycle or scooter, of course. »
As Vladimíra Tichá points out, none of the seven Czech National Breeds (which we introduce to you in our series Czech Pedigrees with Dogs) are aggressive. Despite its wolf appearance, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is no exception. No, so to speak, but there is one mistake: his destructive behavior.
A wolf on the dog’s body
So, raising and training it is a real test of patience – and humility, as Michaela Van Erne’s experience teaches:
“Raising a Czechoslovakian wolf dog is a step forward, two steps back. So I really recommend using training in the form of basic compliance, at a dog education center that offers a personal method, or whose trainers have experience with wolfdogs. »
“The other side of the coin is their unique destructive ability. They can destroy anything they can find, from seat belts to furniture, including shoes, jerry cans or even lawnmower … For a normal person, accustomed to a normal dog, it can never be imagined.Every time you rest on your laurels, convinced that you are driving your dog away from this destructive behavior, that when you think this time of destruction is over, the wolf will show you that it is no more. Let us say that when the mood takes him, he knows how to show man who the master is. »
Czech or Slovak?
Because the pedigree was created during Czechoslovakia, after the breakup of the latter, to Slovakia the patronage of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog was entrusted. However, it is recognized as a national distinct from Czechia and Slovakia. In addition, it is understood that Slovakia does not have to make changes to the standard without the consent of the Czech Republic.
The breed was definitively recognized by the International Cynological Federation in 1999. It is one of only two breeds of wolfdogs recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI), one being the Saarloos wolfdog.
Bred throughout Europe, in addition to the two states of the former Czechoslovakia, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is particularly popular in Italy. In the Czech Republic, there are currently between 1500 and 2000 Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs.