How do you breed wolfhounds
The close relationship to the wolf can be seen in this pedigree dog in many ways. On the one hand, the wolf-typical distance behavior to everything new and unknown, combined with an innate flight instinct, and on the other hand the pronounced hunting behavior, which always shows great courage and fearlessness, characterize the Czechoslovakian wolfhound up to the present generation.
"Bad wolf" or loyal companion?
Above all, his enormous reaction speed, his extreme performance and his good sense and sense of direction predestine him for work as a service dog for the military and the police. The desire of the Czechoslovak army for particularly sharp and original working and utility dogs was at the beginning of the first breeding attempts. The wolfhound should combine the good qualities of the German shepherd dog with the essential characteristics of the wolf and become a better and more efficient border dog than the German shepherd dogs used to date. The army hoped for new strength from the dog, which should be as similar as possible to the wolf. But the “bad wolf” only really came to light in a few copies. The main problematic and ultimately “unfit for service” turned out to be the great shyness and jumpiness of the hybrid dogs.
Pronounced pack behavior
According to the FCI standard, healthy mistrust and a certain reserve is expressly desired today, but through responsible breeding, consistent upbringing and comprehensive socialization, it is possible to steer these characteristics into positive and socially acceptable channels. Under the conditions mentioned, the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound can develop into a fearless companion who proves to be very docile and obedient in training. His loyal devotion to his master, which is also strongly reminiscent of the pronounced pack behavior of the wolf, turns out to be very helpful. His above-average intelligence makes him a grateful and good student even with demanding exercises - if he sees them as meaningful. Because the intelligent pedigree dog is quite capable of critically questioning the tasks given to him.
Who is the Czechoslovak Wolfhound suitable for?
It certainly takes a great deal of experience, patience, and empathy to provide this spirited Wolfhound with the proper training and employment it needs. Only experienced dog owners will be able to cater to their special needs and train them to become a socially acceptable dog, taking into account their special requirements. According to its nature, this dog must be used to the full, physically and mentally, in order to bring it up to a balanced and content companion.
Can it be used as a family dog?
Just as important as a lot of exercise and activity as well as a consistent and loving upbringing is a careful and above all early socialization, which takes the naturally shy dog away from fear of strange people, animals and situations and prepares him comprehensively for a life in our society. Appropriately trained and socialized, the use of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog as a family dog is possible. Especially when dealing with children, the patient and loving side of this extremely loyal - albeit extremely demanding - four-legged friend comes to the fore.
The mistrust that the Czechoslovakian wolfhound brings strangers towards strangers could be based on mutuality in some encounters - because the fairy tale of the “bad wolf” is still firmly anchored in many people's memories. Even as a loyal companion dog, his close relationship with the wolf cannot be denied. The wolf in him is just as recognizable in his physique, his wedge-shaped head shape as in his grayish hair, the light mask and his strong muscles, which make him move extremely quickly and agile.
Elegant power pack with thick fur
His whole body appears powerful and elegant. The robust and weather-resistant stick hair has a yellow-gray to silver-gray coloration, and a dark gray coloration is sometimes possible. Characteristic of all color variants is the light mask, which, like the white markings on the chest and neckline, clearly stands out. A special feature that he also shares with the wolf is the seasonal adaptation of the fur, which gives him very different winter and summer hair. In winter, a mighty undercoat covers his entire body, which together with the top hair forms a thick hair that extends from the auricle, over the belly to the toes.
Do you speak the wolf language?
The head of the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound, which has a typical gender character, i.e. clearly distinguishes males and females from one another, shows a slightly arched forehead with only a moderately pronounced stop. The narrow, diagonally set and usually amber-colored eyes give the wolfhound its typically intense expression. Its triangular erect ears are medium-sized and betray the wolf heritage as well as its large repertoire of body language. So he is able to express himself in a variety of ways using facial expressions and gestures. Those who manage to learn this language can literally communicate with the intelligent and versatile four-legged friend. When it comes to barking, however, he is very cautious - only his wolf-like howl could put your neighbor's tolerance to the test.
The history of this interesting pedigree dog goes back to a very daring biological experiment in the mid-1950s. In what was then the ČSSR, the biologist Karel Hartl crossed German shepherds with Carpathian wolves. He was commissioned by the army, which was looking for more original service dogs that were better adapted to the extreme weather conditions of the high Czechoslovak border areas and should have a special sharpness. For Hartl, who initially did not intend to create a new official dog breed with his attempts, the focus was primarily on the scientific interest and the findings on fertility and anatomical peculiarities of the two individuals resulting from the experiments.
She-wolf and great mother Brita
The crossing attempts between the 24 carefully selected shepherd dogs and the four Carpathian wolves were to take place in facilities of the border guard of the Czech Republic. Three arduous years passed before the first litter on May 26, 1958. The she-wolf Brita - today the primal mother of the Czechoslovakian wolfhound - had previously refused to mate and injured all selected stud dogs. The mating only came about when the aggressive and extremely dominant male shepherd Cézar z Březového háje accidentally got into the wolf's enclosure.
Unfit for duty wolf-dog mixed breeds
Hartl continued to mate the first-generation wolf-dog hybrids with German Shepherds and over the years developed four breeding lines into which he repeatedly crossed wolf-dog hybrids. The last wolf crossing took place in 1983.
Although the first generation was already able to be educated, the hybrids were still too shy and aggressive for use in the army. It was not until about the fifth generation that a few dogs could be used as service dogs, but only after extensive and early socialization through which they bonded closely to humans. This effort was probably too much for the army - in any case, they refrained from their desire for a new breed of service dog. In 1971 the breeding of the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound almost came to a standstill. Many wolf-dog hybrids were killed as a result of this resignation.
The path to dog breed recognition
After the army had resigned as a client, the breeding of the wolfhound was long gone. It was not until ten years later that interested breeders and cynologists founded the “Club for Czechoslovakian Wolfhounds” in 1982 and thus resumed breeding efforts. The cynological umbrella organization of the ČSSR soon recognized the breeding results as a new national breed. The FCI followed in 1989, initially with a provisional recognition. Another ten years later, in 1999, the Czechoslovak Wolfhound was finally recognized. Since then he has been listed under FCI standard number 332 in Group 1 (herding dogs and cattle dogs), Section 1 (Shepherds).
Even if breeders from different countries have adopted the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound today, the dog breed is still quite rare. The reasons for this are probably that other dog breeds appeared to be more suitable as service dogs and that keeping them as family dogs is comparatively demanding. Despite its versatility and its many positive qualities such as high intelligence, enormous perseverance and unconditional loyalty to its master, training this dog requires a lot of time and skill. The acquisition of a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog should therefore only be made after careful consideration.
High demands on the owner
Anyone who is attracted to the wolf-like appearance and behavior should first ask themselves whether they can meet the requirements of this particular dog. Do you already have experience in keeping dogs? Do you have enough free time to devote to training and raising your dog? Where would your dog live? Do you have a large, fenced property on which your four-legged friend can move freely? Do you have the wherewithal to keep this dog? The cost of feed, good liability insurance and of course veterinary costs should not be underestimated.
Buying a puppy
Only when you have answered “yes” to these questions and your entire family is convinced that the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound is the right dog for you should you start looking for a suitable breeder. Even then, it will still be a while before you can take a little puppy home with you. Since bitches of this breed, like female wolves, usually only give birth once a year, the wait for newcomers can be correspondingly lengthy. Use this time to calmly consider the purchase, get to know the breeder better and make all the necessary preparations in your home. After all, not only will you need a lot of food and dog supplies, but you will also need to make your home "puppy-proof". The Czechoslovakian Wolfhound is extremely temperamental and especially puppies love to test their limits. Objects that can break and that are very important to you should be put away before your four-legged friend moves in.
Can the THW also be kept outside?
If you have a well-fenced property, the sturdy wolfhound can also be kept outside. However, since he likes to be around and doesn't like to be alone too long, a second dog would certainly do him good in this case. He also needs the opportunity to retreat to a dry, sheltered hut in bad weather. Being outdoors for a long time and running around freely on your property does not, of course, replace the common walks and excursions into nature that you should take your dog on every day. The Czech needs a firm bond with his “pack leader” and should by no means be left on his own for too long.
A person who is away from home to work several hours a day and likes to put his feet up after work is certainly not a suitable holder for this active and sensitive wolfhound. In addition to a lot of physical and mental activity that you have to offer your dog on a daily basis, the upbringing of the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound requires a lot of time and consistency. Lack of upbringing, senseless violence, or neglect can have dangerous consequences for this pedigree dog. Even if he is by nature good-natured and would not attack a person for no reason, he is a very self-confident and strong dog who will revolt at some point in the wrong position to take over the pack himself.
Who is in charge for you?
To prevent such situations, it is important that you show your dog who is in charge from an early age and prove to him that you are suitable as a pack leader. Authority, self-confidence, experience, but also patience and the ability to praise your dog appropriately are essential qualities that you should bring with you if you want to train your dog. It is important to assign him to his role as the "lowest ranked" in the family from the very beginning and to let him have good experiences with this position in all areas of life. Get used to the sensitive and slightly scared four-legged friend early - but carefully, to new surroundings, people, noises or other animals. Show him something new every day - even if it's just a child on a scooter or a tractor in the field - and make him feel that he can feel safe with you as the pack leader and that there is no need to intervene himself .
Everything for health: care and nutrition
A good upbringing and extensive socialization are extremely important with this dog, but of course not everything. After all, the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound - like all dogs - needs adequate grooming and a balanced diet to maintain its robust health and vital lifestyle. A proper grooming, regular dewormer and the annual vaccinations should be part of every dog owner. The change of coat of this dog, which occurs twice a year and in which the coat changes between summer and winter coat, is certainly a major challenge. Especially when losing the thick winter coat, the amount of hair that the wolfhound loses over several weeks is almost impossible to get under control. Even if the vacuum cleaner barely stands still, you will likely find tufts of hair in remote corners of your house again and again. The ability to turn a blind eye to the lack of cleanliness in your home will certainly help at this stage. Apart from shedding during the change of coat, this pedigree dog brings surprisingly little dirt into the house. Even bathing is usually not necessary with his firm stick hair.
What does the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound eat?
The Czechoslovakian Wolfhound has few demands on its food and so it can usually tolerate any good dog food - whether dry or wet, home-cooked or raw (barf method). The important thing is that it contains all of the necessary nutrients your dog needs. What your dog needs depends on its age, weight, size, level of activity and other living conditions. For example, if your dog is still young, does a lot of sport or is kept outside in the cold season, it certainly needs a more nutritious food than an older senior citizens' THW who lives in the house and only goes for daily walks the door is coming. A look at a precise nutrition table, but also a conversation with your veterinarian, can give you more detailed information on the individual needs of your dog. A lot of meat (approx. 70-90 percent), vegetables (approx. 20 percent) and valuable fats (e.g. omega fatty acids from fish oil) should always be included in every feed. Grain and sugar, on the other hand, do not belong in the food of our four-legged friends, if at all.
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