With a courageous heart and social nature, it is no wonder that people around the world are quickly falling in love with this wolfdog breed. Known as the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, Slovak wolfdog and Ceskoslovensky Vlcak, the breed is a wonderful blend of the beauty of its wolf heritage and the loyalty of its canine parentage.
Playful, intelligent and a great family dog are some of the key descriptions of this interesting breed. Originally developed to be a versatile working dog, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog was created by crossing the Carpathian wolf with the German shepherd. The result was an exceptional breed that is known for their courageous and loving demeanor.
The breed is energetic enough to fit into a busy family but will often set its needs according to the needs of its family. The Ceskoslovensky Vlcak does well in multi-animal homes and is loving and attentive with children, although they are better suited to homes with holder children. The breed excels in dog sports and competitions and has been very successful as Search and Rescue dogs in Italy where the breed is flourishing.
For anyone looking for an alert guard dog with a touch of the wild and an expressive and large heart, then the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak is definitely the breed for you.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog History
Like many of the wolf hybrid breeds, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog was developed by crossing the German shepherd with the Carpathian wolf. The breed was developed in the Czechoslovakian Republic, the first breedings were done in 1955, and the majority of Slovak wolfdogs can trace their heritage to a single female wolf named Brita and a male German shepherd named Cezar. From those first hybrids, the wolf like puppies were raised and bred to more German shepherds until the wolf blood was diluted to only 6.25% in the fourth generation.
The overall goal of the breeding by their breeder, Karel Hartl, was to create a better military dog that had an enhanced sense of smell and hearing, better night vision and better navigational skills. These traits were seen in the fourth generation along with an increase endurance where Czechoslovakian wolfdogs could run up to a 100 kilometers before they became exhausted.
Even after the success of the hybrids, the breeder continued to advance the lines with additional line being added to the pedigree. One line was from Brita the wolf and Kurt the German shepherd and another was from Argo, a male wolf, and Astra, a female German shepherd. The breed remained under strict control of Karel Hartl until his death in 1969.
After that time, the Slovakian military took over the breeding under the supervision of Vice-commander Major Frantisek Rosik. Under him, the wolf Sarika was introduced into the pedigree as was the wolf Lejdy and the male German Shepherd Bojar von Shottenhof in 1983. From the descendents of all of those dogs, the breed was established and close breeding was done from the population of those lines.
During the 1990s, efforts were made to establish a breed standard and the Czechoslovakian wolfdog earned full recognition with the FCI in 1999. Today, the breed is continuing to gain in popularity and while they are still uncommon throughout most of the world, strong breeding programs have been established in Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czechoslovakian wolfdog was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006 as the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak.
Slovak Wolfdog Appearance
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is an impressive breed that is athletic, powerful and strong in appearance. The breed should have the appearance of a wolf and should have a large, barrel shaped chest. There should be a good tuck up on the stomach and the back should be slightly sloped. The tail should be set high and should be long. The breed should be muscular with long legs; the forelimbs straight and turned out, and the hind limbs with a long calf and instep. The head should be wide with a long muzzle and a full set of 42 teeth in a scissor or pliers bite. The ear should be short and triangular in shape and the eyes should be amber in color. An important part of the appearance of the Slovak wolfdog is his step: the stride should be long and light and be more of a canter.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Size
The Ceskoslovensky Vlcak is a large sized breed and there is actually no limit to how large these dogs can be. According to the breed standard, there is only a minimum height that the breed should be but they can be any height above the minimum. For that reason, new Slovak wolfdog owners may find their small puppy has grown much larger than anticipated. The minimum for height is no less than 26 inches for a male and no less than 24 inches for a female. The same is said with weight and the Czechoslovakian wolfdog should never weigh less than 54 pounds for a male and 44 pounds for a female. It is important to note that there should be a distinct difference between males and females when it comes to appearance. Females should look distinctly feminine between the sexes.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Coat
The coat of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog is very similar to that of its wolf heritage with a short length hair that is straight and very thick. The hairs of the coat should be close together and it should be very dense.
Colors that are seen in the Slovak wolfdog are a wolf grey that can range from yellow-grey to silver-grey. The dogs should have a mask that is lighter in color than its main coat.
Slovak Wolfdog Grooming
Due to their coat type, the Slovak wolfdog does not require a lot of extra grooming; brushing once a week should keep their coat free of excess hair and dirt. Bathing only needs to be done when necessary and can be limited to every few months.
The nails tend to grow quickly with this breed so their nails will need to be trimmed several times per month. Teeth should be brushed several times a week. Like many prick ear breeds, the Slovak wolfdog can get a lot of debris and wax in their ear so it is important to check their ears on a regular basis.
One point that should be stressed with grooming is that it provides you with a bonding experience for your pet and this is a very important part of owning a Czechoslovakian wolfdog so try to find ways to do quick health checks/grooming sessions so you can bond with your puppy.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Personality and Temperament
Although many wolfdog hybrids tend to be a bit aloof and shy, this is not the case for the Czechoslovakian wolfdog. In fact, any type of timidness in the dog is considered an undesired fault and the dog would be removed from the breeding program. Instead, the breed should be a very courageous dog that is lively, active and intelligent.
In addition, the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak is a very social breed that does well as part of a busy family. They tend to bond with everyone in their family and thrive when they can be part of it. Left isolated, this breed will quickly become aggressive and destructive so it is important to not leave them outside on their own.
The breed is extremely versatile and will often fit themselves into their humans, or pack, lifestyle. For instance, they will become nocturnal companions for those up during the night or shift to being up mostly during the day. The breed is very expressive; however, they are not known for being barkers. Instead, they will make quiet noises and use body language to speak with their family.
Czechoslovakian wolfdogs can be independent but when they have a task that gives them purpose, will look to their family for direction.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Life Span
The Czechoslovakian wolfdog is a long-lived breed that has an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Health Problems
Overall, the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak is an extremely hardy breed with very few health problems seen in the breed. That being said, it is important to always check the health of the parents when you are purchasing a puppy. The breed’s only known health problem is hip dysplasia.
Slovak WolfdogLitter Size
Like many wolf hybrid breeds, the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak usually has small litters with the average sized litter being between 4 to 8 puppies. Occasionally, larger litters are seen, as are smaller litters.
One of the most surprising facts about the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is that they do very well in a range of dwellings including apartments. The breed does require frequent exercise, including time in a secure enclosure off leash. If they have the exercise, they are calm, quiet companions that can live anywhere. However, a house with a yard is the ideal. The breed does well with other pets as long as they are properly socialized from a young age.
Slovak Wolfdog Training
When approaching training with the Slovak wolfdog, there are two things you need to take into consideration: one, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog gets bored quickly with repetitions and two: they need motivation to learn something. This breed does not learn a command simply because they are told to learn it. Once you understand these two things, training the Czechoslovakian wolfdog can be quite easy as they are an intelligent breed that learns quickly.
One of the main recommendations for training is to be a strong leader who gives firm, consistent rules and boundaries. They are a breed that will admire their trainers and once they have built that admiration, the Slovak wolfdog will follow commands quickly. Training is also more successful when it is fun and playful and short, usually 10 to 15 minute sessions. Focus should not be on one command during a training session or you will lose the interest of your Ceskoslovensky Vlcak.
Another important part of training your Ceskoslovensky Vlcak is socialization. This breed needs to be socialized from a young age to a variety of situations. Surprisingly, despite their wolf ancestry, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog can do very well in a home with other pets and domestic animals when they have been socialized to them. However, it is important to always monitor the breed when they are introduced to strange animals as their hunting instincts may be triggered.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Exercise
The Ceskoslovensky Vlcak requires quite a bit of exercise in a day and should be taken for several walks every day. Owners should be prepared to dedicate 1 to 2 hours a day to exercising the Slovak wolfdog both on leash and off.
In addition to physical exercise, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog should have mental stimulation every day through puzzles and training. This is an intelligent breed and if they are not offered mental stimulation, they will find another way to entertain themselves, which can be quite destructive.
The breed make excellent jogging companions after they reach a year of age to protect their hips and they can go very long distances before they feel any fatigue so with proper training, they make excellent sledding and biking dogs.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Feeding
Although the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak can do very well with a dry kibble diet, however, the breed thrives when they are on a RAW or BARF diet, which consists of meat, bone and organs. Introducing the BARF diet to them as puppies will ensure the best growth and development for this breed. Generally, puppies should eat 6 servings a day, decreasing slowly until they are down to 1 serving at 16 months and on.
In addition to the RAW, the breed does enjoy some variety through treats of fruits and vegetables but the calories of those treats do not need to be counted in his daily calories.
Water should be offered constantly for the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak throughout the day.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Puppies
As mentioned above, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog should not be a timid and shy breed and this should be translated into the puppies. Ceskoslovensky Vlcak puppies should be outgoing, playful and energetic. They are very inquisitive and their courageous nature makes for some interesting puppy months…puppy proofing your house is a definite must as they can often find things to get into trouble with.
One of the most important parts of Czechoslovakian wolfdog puppy’s development is socialization. The breed is known to have natural hunting instincts and this instinct needs to be trained and socialized out of the puppy at a young age. If it is not, the Slovak wolfdog can become aggressive. In addition, the breed needs to be introduced to a range of social settings to help it become a calm and versatile adult dog.
Owners should be aware that the Czechoslovakian wolfdog puppy will go through a turbulent adolescence and can be quite the challenge. Firm rules are very important during this stage, as owners will be challenged for their leadership frequently at this time.
While the breed has a lot of energy, it is important to not over exercise the Czechoslovakian wolfdog puppy. Jogging should not be done until they are over a year and owners should try to keep them from jumping down from high steps to prevent hip dysplasia.
Ceskoslovensky Vlcak Suitability
The Czechoslovakian wolfdog is a breed that is wonderful as a family pet. They are generally active and affectionate to children and will often accept them into their pack. It is important to always supervise the breed with children, especially when they are young and still being trained and socialized.
The Ceskoslovensky Vlcak does require a strong owner and they are not recommended for new or timid owners. Only those experienced with canine behavior should own the breed. They should never be kept isolated from their family and if you are looking for a dog that lives outside, it is bet to choose a different breed. With proper training, care, exercise and socialization, the Ceskoslovensky Vlcak can be a wonderful part of the family.