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Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

Typical female
Other names Československý vlčiak (Slovakia)
Československý vlčák (Czech Republic)
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (United Kingdom)
Czechoslovakian Vlcak (United States)
Country of origin Czechoslovakia
Traits

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (or Vlčák/Vlčiak) is a relatively new breed of dog that traces its original lineage to an experiment conducted in 1955 in Czechoslovakia. After initially breeding 48 working line German Shepherd Dogs with 5 Eurasian wolf, a plan was worked out to create a dog that would have the temperament, pack mentality, and trainability of the German Shepherd Dog and the strength, physical build, and stamina of the Eurasian wolf. The breed was engineered to assist with border patrol in Czechoslovakia but were later also used in search and rescue, schutzhund, tracking, herding, agility, obedience, and drafting. It was officially recognized as a national breed in Czechoslovakia in 1982, in 1999 it became FCI standard no. 332, group 1, section 1.

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Description

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Appearance

Head of young male

Both the build and the hair of the Czechoslovakian Vlcak are reminiscent of a wolf. The lowest dewlap height is 65 cm for a dog and 60 for a female and there is no upper limit. The body frame is rectangular, ratio of the 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 triangle shape are its characteristic features. The set of teeth is complete (42); very strong; both scissors-shaped and plier-shaped setting of the dentition is acceptable. The spine is straight, strong in movement, with a short loin. The chest is large, flat rather 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 color of the hair is from yellow-grey to silver-grey, with a light mask. The hair is straight, close and very thick. The Czechoslovakian Vlcak is a typical tenacious canterer; its movement is light and harmonious, its steps are long.

Temperament

The CSV is more versatile than specialized. It is quick, lively, very active, fearless and courageous. Distinct from the character of Saarloos Wolfhound, shyness is a disqualifying fault in the Czechoslovakian Vlcak.

The Czechoslovakian Vlcak develops a very strong social relationship not only with their owner, but with the whole family. It can easily learn to live with other domestic animals which belong to the family; however, difficulties can occur in encounters with strange animals. It is vital to subdue the Czechoslovakian Vlciak's passion for hunting when they are puppies in order to avoid aggressive behavior towards smaller animals as an adult. The puppy should never be isolated in the kennel; it must be socialized and get used to different surroundings. Female Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs tend to be more easily controllable, but both genders often experience a stormy adolescence.

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is very playful and temperamental. It learns easily. However, it does not train spontaneously, the behavior of the Czech Wolfdog 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 very independent and can cooperate in the pack with a special purposefulness. If required, they can easily shift their activity to the night hours. Sometimes problems can occur during their training when barking is required. Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs have a much wider range of means of expressing themselves and barking is unnatural for them; they try to communicate with their masters in other ways. Generally, teaching the CSV stable and reliable performance takes a bit longer than teaching traditional specialized breeds. Italians have successfully employed the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog as a Search And Rescue (SAR) dog although, admittedly, handling one is much more work.

UK Ownership

The breed was introduced to the UK in 2002. The first litter was born in 2003 and was registered by the UK Kennel Club, but after contact with DEFRA the Kennel Club withdrew all registration papers as DEFRA classified the Czechoslovakian wolfdog as a dangerous wild animal. This led to some confusion as breeders have letters from the UK Kennel Club inviting the breed to the UK and giving them advice on what to do to get this breed recognised within the UK. Yet further confusion was again added to this saga when a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog was imported directly via DEFRA, where all paperwork had been checked prior to their importation. DEFRA also has confirmed two Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs have been granted with pet passports and therefore travel freely to Europe and back with no problems. As of 2008 DEFRA have confirmed that any dog 3 or more generations removed from pure wolf now no longer comes under the Dangerous Wild Animals act and therefore no longer needs a special licence to keep. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Tamaskan dog, and the Saarlooswolfhond are now no longer classified as 'Dangerous Wild Animals' [1].

Sources

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