We all know that dogs descend from wolves, but some of the breeds we have today are a little closer than most. The word hybrid, in animal terms, refers to the deliberate crossing of two different species to create another. In the case of canines, this usually refers to crossing a wolf with a domestic dog, in order to preserve the useful traits of both. One of the breeds that have come out of this is the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.
A biological experiment
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, also known as the Czechoslovakian Vlcak, is a pretty new breed. Back in the 1950s, in what in the 90s became known as Czechoslovakia, a biological experiment took place. The goal was to create a hybrid. This was done by mating German Shepherds with Carpathian Wolves, which proved successful enough to continue. By 1965, once the experiment had ended, a plan was worked out of how to continue these efforts further and refine the breed. It was a success; in 1982, the breed was officially recognized as a national breed. Focus was placed on combining the useful traits of a wolf with the favorable traits of a dog. This had proved to be a very effective combination, and continued to be.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a working dog, and has now for decades been used within both European and American police and military. They’re also used in search and rescue, as well as tracking and other working dog sports. That said, it’s still a very rare breed, and difficult to find in the US.
Size and appearance of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
If you look at a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, it’s pretty easy to spot its heritage. At first glance, it looks kind of like a gray German Shepherd, and they’re both 24-26 inches tall. This breed is very well-built, though, and its wolf-side is just as evident in how it moves. They have a long, steady gait, head held low and with a strong tail, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog can be quite intimidating. Their colors come in different shades of gray and tawny brown, with markings that resemble those of a German Shepherd. In terms of grooming, the coat of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog differs greatly in winter and summer. The winter coat is thick and coarse, while the summer coat is a little less heavy.
Temperament and personality
It goes without saying that this is not a breed for beginners. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog may be half domestic dog, but they’re still headstrong and independent, and they have a very utilitarian approach to training. In other words, what they do and learn needs to serve a purpose, so it’s important to find some proper motivation for training. Spontaneous training isn’t really their thing. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog bonds deeply with their family, is very protective, and can easily get along with other animals if socialized properly. It’s important to keep their prey instincts in check, however, and early socialization is key. This is not a dog that does well being isolated, if you want a happy and well-adjusted companion. They’re particularly fond of working and hiking outside.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog can be difficult during adolescence, more so than other breeds, and it’s important to be patient and firm in one’s training. They’re also playful and temperamental, so make sure to keep them entertained, and make use of their keen intelligence. An interesting thing is that, due to their wolf nature, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog rarely barks. Barking is something that needs to be taught, which can be challenging to do.
Things to consider
It takes a certain type of person to have a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. They can be a handful, and anyone who gets one needs to be fully aware of the challenges involved. But if you can find this rare breed to begin with, and offer them an active lifestyle, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog might be the dog for you.