Other names: Czechoslovakian Vlciak, Ceskoslovenský Vlciak
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The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a hybrid breed that combines the natural traits of a native wolf with the tamer sides of a German Shepherd. It is a successful cross, albeit not yet fully calibrated- it requires further efforts in order to arrive at fully balanced specimens. This is an enduring, active dog, very attached to his family, but is used to communicate in a very different way to most other breeds- this is why he is not to be placed in all hands. It is important to know the breed’s characteristics inside out before deciding to adopt such an atypical dog as this one. His lupine aspect should not be the only criterion by which prospective owners choose him.
Key facts about the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
Origins and history
In 1955, Karel Hartl, considered to be the breed’s ‘father’, crossed the German Shepherd and Carpathian she-wolf as an experiment. After several attempts, he managed to create a fixed, hybrid breed, which then started being recreated from 1965 onwards. In 1982, after several trials and tribulations, the wolfdog was official recognised as a national breed by Czechoslovakian breeders associations. Along with the Saarloos wolfdog, it is the only other wolfdog breed officially recognised by the FCI. The latter recognised the breed officially in 1999.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
Female : Between 24 and 26 in
Male : Between 26 and 28 in
Female : Between 44 and 55 lb
Male : Between 57 and 66 lb
The coat can range from a grey-yellow to silver grey. The mask is always light and other, lighter shades are present at the base of the neck and over the chest.
Type of coat
The coat is medium-long.
The topcoat is straight and lies flat. The coat adapts depending on the season: in the winter, the undercoat is abundant and becomes dominant to form a thick, cold-resistant layer.
The eyes are amber-coloured.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a sturdy, medium-sized dog, with a rectangularly-shaped frame. His constitution, movements, appearance, coat, colour and mask resemble that of a wolf. The head, symmetrical and toned, is shaped like a blunt wedge. The eyes are small and almond-shaped, with adherent eyelids. The ears are upright, thin, triangular and short. The tail is set high but carried low. When the dog is excited, it usually curls into a saber shape.
Good to know
Having been created only quite recently, the breed’s personality traits are still far from being stabilised. The personalities tend to differ widely, depending on the breeder. In addition to this, many specimens are still too wary, aggressive and/or unpredictable. In fact, when it comes to breeders, future selection must be much more rigorous, and when it comes to prospective owners, a diligent rearing is key.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog tends to develop a very strong bond with his owner and with all of his family members. A pack dog by nature, he is very conscious of the importance of group life, and gets very attached to his adoptive family.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog loves playing and interacting with trusted people. Beware, however, as his principle means of communication is by way of ‘light biting’. It does tend to be difficult to channel certain pups, who might not always be fully aware of their strength.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog can be calm if he has had enough exercise, but he remains an active dog that require extensive care and goals to strive for.
The crossing of dog and wolf has not only resulted in his robustness and tenacity, it has also served to revive and reinforce some ancient, natural instincts- most notably those related to pack life. In this sense, the Czechoslovakian Dog is endowed with a very refined intelligence, which he applies to maintaining a stable, community life.
What’s more, if sufficiently trained, he can excel in many canine activities. This makes him a versatile dog with impressive qualities.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog’s predatory instinct is very evolved. It is advised not to further encourage this trait, and to limit this instinct (without trying to eradicate it completely) as early as from the Wolfdog’s first months, when he is still a pup.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Although he is less sensitive than his wolfdog cousin- the Saarloos- this slovak dog remains rather distant towards people he doesn’t know. Engaging with the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog before having been properly introduced in due time can turn out to be very dangerous.
These hybrid dogs are particularly independent and can function perfectly well on their own within their pack, meaning unassisted by Man. It is on account of the latter quality that they have been used in the army.
Having said this, their hyper-independence is softening and become more and more limited, owing to contemporary breeding which- while keeping the sought-after lupine aspect (resemblance to the wolf)- tends to select personality traits better adapted to today’s society.
Behaviour of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
This dog is not predisposed to being solitary. As a general rule, he does not tolerate isolation or solitude in the least. A nearby, human or canine presence (of the same breed or other) is key for him to feel fully at peace.
It is indeed a very bad idea to adopt a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog on one’s own, especially if you are not at home much or if you work away from home during the day.
Easy to train / obedience
This dog’s particularly independent nature makes him a rather difficult pooch to train, in the sense that if he does not perceive the potential gains to the training sessions, he gets demotivated very quickly.
In fact, it is this kind of resistance that constitutes one of the owners’ main problems with this dog, as the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog tends not to want to repeat the same exercises over and over again.
You have to find the right source of motivation for this dog in order to be able to rear him in a smart and coherent way. As soon as a trusting relationship and partnership have been established between the master and his dog, the results can be remarkable.
Having said this, you should not expect an inborn propensity to obedience since, ultimately, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog will always follow the goals he has set exclusively himself.
Rather unusual and unique in their way of communicating, wolfdogs do not have a habit of barking: it is a completely unnatural gesture for them. You will never hear this breed bark.