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Czechoslovak Wolfdog
(Československý vlčák - F.C.I. standard No. 332)

This is a new breed of dog, which can boast neither hundreds of years of tradition nor the names of famous rulers or eminent personalities who bred it or owned it. Nevertheless, it attracts attention wherever it appears. Nobody doubts, not for a moment, that these dogs are of the most distinguished origin. Their mother is Nature.
It looks like a wolf. It is tall but light and strong. Its straight thick hair is wolf-like grey with a typical white mask. It will size you up confidently, with its light eyes, set obliquely. It does not look at its owner it knows exactly, at every moment, where it master is and what he is doing. It pays attention rather to its surroundings - it wants to have a good view. It can run a 100 kilometres easily, has a great sense of direction, reacts with lightning speed. No trail is too difficult for it to follow. No matter whether it is raining or freezing or whether it is day or night. There's nothing it could not manage if it wants to.
Where is the origin of this breed and who is the author of the idea of crossbreeding German Shepherds and wolves? It is necessary to go back as far as 1955 when ing. Karel Hartl began to work with this idea at the kennels of the Border Guard in Libějovice. The first attempts to mate the she-wolf Brita with the chosen German Shepherd were not successful. The breeding dog had to be changed. The first hybrids of the above mentioned she-wolf and the German Shepherd Cézar z Březového háje were born on May 26, 1958. Anatomical and physiological differences between the hybrids and both parental forms were examined in a detailed way their capacity for training, activity and tenacity was tested. Chosen hybrids were mated again with non-related G. Sh. Puppies from the second filial generation could be trained if they were taken out of the kennels and reared individually. Hybrids of the generations F 3 and F 4 were commonly used as service dogs in the army.
The she-wolf Brita was also mated with the G. Sh. Kurt z Václavky and she gave birth the first two lines of hybrids. A third line was also born in the Czech lands its founder was the wolf Argo. The female G. Sh. Astra z SNB gave birth to offspring in the kennels of the Police in Býchory in 1968. The abbreviation "ČV" (Czech Wolfdog) started to be used for interline hybrids.
In the 1970s most hybrids were sent to new kennels, near Malacky, which belonged to Bratislava section of the Border Guard. The best breeding dogs got further from the "iron curtain" and so Slovak breeders were not under such strong pressure to produce special hybrids for the army and they could work on the unifying the external trarts of the new breed.

    • The Vice-commander of the above mentioned kennels, Major František Rosík, now the honorary president of the Slovak Club of Breeders of the Czechoslovak Wolfdog in Bratislava, undoubtedly took the greatest credit for the development of the breed in Slovakia.

A third wolf - Šarik - enriched the population in Malacky. He was mated with a female hybrid of the F 3 generation Xela z Pohraniční stráže and with a female dog ČV Urta z Pohraniční stráže in 1972. The name "Czech Wolfdog (ČV)" was gradually changed to "Czechoslovak Wolfdog (ČsV)", under which the breed was latter recognised. The last entry into the fond of genes of the breed was the mating of the she-wolf Lady with the G.Sh. Bojar von Schotterhof, which again took place in the Southern Bohemian town of Libějovice and the puppies were born on April 26, 1983. Kazan z Pohraniční stráže (F 1), born from this mating, was used directly in breeding ČsV. There has been only pure-bloodt breeding within the population of the new breed since.

From the very beginning Czechoslovak Wolfdogs got into the hands of civilian breeders. However, kennel organisations in Czechoslovakia refused all attempts of ing. Karel Hartl to gain recognition for the Club of Breeders of this breed and at recording breedings into the pedigree register. A meeting of the Club was not held until on March 20, 1982, in Brno and in the same year, the first 43 puppies were entered The Main Pedigree Register in Prague. In ten years (1982 - 1991), 1552 puppies were recorded.
After Czechoslovakia split up on January 1, 1993, the legal systems of the two newly established states started to differentiate rapidly. The existence of a united Club of Breeders became untenable. The Club of Breeders of the Czechoslovak Wolfdog was split up with the decision of its conference in Bratislava, January 23, 1993, into two independent groups which control the breeding of the breed in their own countries. After this change, the Club of Breeders of Czechoslovak Wolfdog, with its seat in Prague operates in the Czech Republic. It is a member of ČMKU - F.C.I..
F.C.I. recognised the standard of the breed on June 13, 1989 (Helsinki) under the No.332. The proposal was presented by representatives of (nowadays non-existent) Czechoslovakia, which remains not only in the name of the breed but also is the country of its origin. The Czechoslovak Wolfdog is a working breed it belongs to F.C.I. group 1.

Both the build and the hair of Czechoslovak Wolfdog are reminiscent of a wolf. The lowest dewlap height is 65 cm for a dog and 60 cm for a bitch and there is no upper limit. The body frame is rectangular the ratio of height to length is 9 : 10 or less.
The expression of the head must indicate the sex. Amber eyes set obliquely and short upright ears of a triangular shape are its characteristic features. The set of teeth is complete (42) very strong both scissors-shaped and pliers-shaped setting of the dentition is acceptable.
The spine is straight, strong in movement, with a short loin. The chest is large, rather flat than barrel-shaped. The belly is strong and drawn in. The back is short, slightly sloped, the tail is high set when freely lowered it reaches the tarsuses. The fore limbs are straight, and narrow set, with the paws slightly turned out, with a long radius and metacarpus. The hind limbs are muscular with a long calf and instep.
The colour of the hair is from yellow-grey to silver-grey, with a light mask. The hair is straight, close and very thick.
Czechoslovak Wolfdog is a typical tenacious canterer its movement is light and harmonious, its steps are long. During the development of the breed the tenacity of dogs was tested. The Czechoslovak Wolfdogs can run a hundred-kilometre distance easily at an average speed of over 12 km/h.

When seeing the wolf-like appearance of the Czechoslovak Wolfdog, one can ask: "And what about its character? How does the wolf origin, so evident on the exterior of the dog, influence its behaviour? Is the breeding of such dogs difficult for the owner?" Let's try to characterise these dogs in a few paragraphs.
Czechoslovak Wolfdogs develop very strong social relation not only with their owner, but with the whole family. Moreover, they respect the "privileged position" of children and let them - as well as puppies - do such things they would not permit from adults or dogs. They can easily learn to live besides other domestic animals which belong to the family however, if they meet strange animals, difficulties can occur. It is vital to subdue their passion for hunting when they are puppies. The puppy should never be isolated in the kennel it must get used to different surroundings, to travelling and so on. Bitches are easily controllable dogs often experience a stormy growing-up.
The Czechoslovak Wolfdog is very playful and temperamental its learns easily. We can admire its all-round qualities rather than its specialisation. However, we should not expect it would train spontaneously the behaviour of the ČsV is strictly purposeful - it is necessary to find motivation for training. The most frequent cause of failure is usually the fact that the dog is tired out with long useless repetitions of the same exercise, which results in the loss of motivation.
These dogs have admirable senses and are very good at following trails. They are really independent and can cooperate in the pack with a special purposefulness. If required, they can easily shift their activity to night hours. The independent work of the pack without the necessary control of a man was the reason for their use in the army. Sometimes problems can occur during their training when barking is required. Czechoslovak Wolfdogs have much wider range of means of expressing themselves and in some situations barking is unnatural for them they try to communicate with their masters in other ways. Generally, to teach ČsV stable and reliable performance takes a bit more time than it usually does to teach traditional specialised breeds.

Interbreeding dog and wolf has brought not only robustness, tenacity and strong senses but it has also renewed old natural instincts. What's noteworthy is the vitality of the puppies and the perfect maternal behaviour of the bitches. No litter has had to be reared without its mother since the beginning of the civilian breeding of the race. Some of bitches rut once a year, the duration of rutting season and the time of ovulation is variable.
There is just one rule for rearing puppies: "The bitch knows what she is doing, so don't interfere." Your reward will be that you will be able to watch action which even cannot be shot by the best cameraman in nature.
When the puppies totter to you, you will find out how close to nature you can be brought thanks to the CZECHOSLOVAK WOLFDOG.
  Jindřich Jedlička, 1994

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