Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are slender, powerful, intelligent, kind-faced wolf-like dogs that have come to be recognized as reliable working dogs. They are the result of cross-breeding German Shepherds and Carpathian wolves. Working dog breeds require certain traits, including intelligence, trustworthiness, responsiveness, and determination. All features of which can be found in the Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs. This national breed of the Czech Republic is fiercely loyal and good-natured and would make a worthwhile addition to any working household.
- Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
- Height (from ground to withers): 23.5-25.5 inches
- Weight: 44-57 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Short History of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
A biological experiment that was undertaken by the Czechoslovakian government in 1955 in the Czech Socialist Republic (now the Czech Republic) resulted in the breeding of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. The experiment entailed mating both a female german shepherd dog to a male wolf and a male dog to a female wolf. After carefully examining the results of the experiments they found that the resulting progeny possessed the required genetic traits for further breeding. One of these traits was the resulting breed’s capability to naturally reproduce without human intervention. Where the mule, a horse and donkey mix, is infertile and incapable of reproducing, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog IS fertile, and therefore able to continue.
Experimenting ended in 1965 with the final Czechoslovakian Wolfdog breed we know today. By 1982, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog was recognized as the official national dog breed which possessed the powerful traits of a Carpathian wolf, along with the preferred personality of a dog.
The breed’s exposure internationally spiked in 1998 when the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) gave this stunning new wolfdog hybrid breed full recognition as a member of the Herding Group. Demand for the breed then resulted in Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs being imported across Europe. This raised the question of who could have the final say on breed standards and expectations. Slovakia was given this task, meaning all of the breed specifications were to be decided by Slovakian breeders.
In 2001, the breed was entered into the Foundation Stock Service (AKC-FSS) as Working Dogs with the American Kennel Club (AKC), listed under the name Czechoslovakian Vlcak. The United Kennel Club (UKC) then granted the breed full recognition as a member of the Herding Dog group in 2006.
the Czechoslovakian Vlcak Club of America (CVCA) was then founded in 2008 following an initial unofficial gathering of 7 owners and 6 dogs in Wintergreen, Virginia. By 2012, there were approximately 70 Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs between 16 states across the United States.
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs were bred in an attempt to avoid the genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia that is often found in German Shepherd dogs, in order to create a more reliable working breed.
- Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs also go by Czechoslovakian Vlcak, or Ceskoslovensky Vlcak (in Slovakia).
- The Slovak Wolfdog is often favored over other dog breeds for border patrol and in search and rescue missions by the Czechoslovakian military and police forces.
- Czechoslovakian Vlcaks have stronger hunting instincts than many other dogs owing to the Carpathian Wolf genes.
How Big Does a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Grow?
The differences between the male and female Czechoslovakian Wolfdog size is not very much, with the male measuring around 26 inches in height when fully grown, and the female measuring around 25 inches. The weight is where you might spot the most noticeable difference, as males tend to weigh around 10 pounds more than females, with males weighing at least 54 pounds, and females weighing a significantly lighter 44 pounds.
These measurements can of course vary slightly depending on the specific puppy you have adopted. Much like with humans, some are born with slightly larger frames, where others may be more slender. If you’re ever worried about your wolfdog’s body shape, feel free to contact your veterinarian for a second opinion. It may be that their food intake needs to be more carefully monitored to ensure they reach their proper size.
These stunning hybrid dogs are high-energy, height maintenance pets. Meaning you should be prepared to take them for plenty of exercise and be willing to engage them in frequent mental stimulation activities to keep them occupied.
The Czech Wolfdog tends to have quite an independent personality as a result of its wolf blood. It is common knowledge that wolves are pack animals, however, they are also wild. This means there is a natural instinct in these wolf hybrids to want to break away and go about their business in their own way – this does also make for a stubborn pup. They are also highly protective and have a tendency to be defensive around strangers if they feel they are looking after their family.
The German Shepherd in this hybrid gives it a loyal, and kind nature, making them the trustworthy breed they are today. However, unlike other breeds, such as companion dogs, which may seek attention and fuss from their owners, the German Shepherd is also generally more aloof as a working dog, and so you can’t expect to have a particularly affectionate Czechoslovakian Wolf dog.
Energy Level and Exercise
Czech Vlcaks are a robust breed with a lot of energy. This means they can often behave in a hyperactive manner and be quite demanding when the mood takes them. Additionally, if your Wolfdog becomes bored or restless they are far more likely to start barking or even become destructive – so watch your furniture closely, especially in those early, more temperamental stages. To any pet owners looking for a quiet, docile dog: you should be warned that this is not the ideal dog for you (as beautiful as it may be).
Intelligence and Mental Stimulation
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog makes such a good working dog owing to the fact that the breed contains both the German Shepherds and the Carpathian wolf’s intelligence, whilst also having the unbeatable work ethic, determination, and focus of the German Shepherd as well. As a result, proper mental stimulation and early socialization are key to ensuring they develop the right personality.
Without that early socialization, Czechoslovakian Vlcak puppies can become reclusive and cautious of all those it meets and so they need to be taught to accept others easily. Furthermore, without the correct mental stimulation to keep their highly intelligent mind active, they can become destructive, loud, stubborn, and irritable. Here are a few quick ideas that can help to work their mind if they’re not being kept working:
- Regular training sessions
- Puzzle toys
- Teach them new tricks
- Food Dispensers
- Scavenger hunt treat games
- Play games
- Regular socializing sessions/play dates
Because of its intelligence level, a Czechoslovakian Vlcak puppy can be quite quick to potty train as they’re able to understand instructions quite quickly. However, this is entirely based on just how stubborn your Czech Vlcak puppy is. Seeing as they are known for being a stubborn bread, you may find the biggest problem you have is them trying to push their luck and take control of the situation which could lead to some intentional “accidents” you may have to deal with.
Are Czech Wolfdogs Good Family Dogs?
Though they are fiercely loyal dogs with a tendency to form deep bonds with their families (thanks to their natural pack mentality), Czech Wolfdogs would not be recommended as family dogs. This comes down to the wolf side of the breed. They are not dangerous, as was proven in order for them to gain full breed recognition.
However, they are powerful and can be more irritable when it comes to young children, especially if they are mishandled. Therefore it is better to avoid having a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog in a home with small kids.
Do Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs Get Along with Smaller Animals?
These dogs have particularly high prey drives and strong natural hunting instincts, meaning it would not be a good idea to have a Czech Wolfdog in a house with other small animals. They are not known to kill cats or other small pets, but they may chase them or have an undesirable reaction to them which could cause immense stress to both the dog and the pet it is responding to.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Care
Caring for a Czech Wolfdog takes patience, perseverance, a firm hand, and plenty of love to form a true bond. But before committing to adopting or purchasing a Czech pup, you need to familiarize yourself with their care requirements, including grooming, diet, training, and general health.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are known to be stubborn and hard-headed as a result of their high intelligence and wolf blood. Therefore this breed of dog works best with someone that is willing to be firm and un-flinching whilst training (preferably someone with prior experience with large stubborn dogs).
You will also need to be able to exercise a lot of patience and perseverance when it comes to teaching new commands, as they are likely to become distracted during training sessions – especially at a younger age. That being said, once you get into a good rhythm with them and have developed your bond, training will get significantly easier. They are smart enough to learn an extensive variety of tasks and make effective working dogs as a result.
Seeing as they are predominantly used as working dogs, they need to keep active and on their feet for long hours of the day in order to properly use up those seemingly never-ending energy reserves. This means if you’re thinking of having a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog as a pet you need to be prepared to walk them frequently to keep up their required level of exercise.
You may even want to consider additional activities that could help to burn off some of that excess energy. Seeing as Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs quite enjoy being in water, you might consider setting up doggy swimming lessons. Alternative there is a host of other activities you could look into, most of which could also benefit your own fitness levels, such as:
Seeing as Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are the product of combing German Shepherd Dogs with Carpathian wolves, their prey drive is high as a result. Though wolves are a primitive breed with a strong hunting instinct, this does not mean you need to take them hunting in order to keep them fed, but rather you should look towards a raw diet. You may also find that your Czech pup has a heightened appetite owing to its highly active nature.
If you’re not confident with the idea of feeding raw meat to your dog, then there are some dog food brands that focus their formulas on emulating raw feed as much as possible. Should you go with this option then it would be best to either combine dry biscuits with wet food toppers or feed your dog with wet food. This is to replicate the more natural texture, as you may find your Czech pup struggles with adapting to a dry biscuit texture.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog breed has especially thick (typically silver-grey or brown-black) fur made to help the wolf-part of their lineage survive in cold climates. This thick weather-resistant coat consists of an underlayer and outer layer. This means that shedding hair is commonplace for these wolf hybrids.
A Czechoslovakian Wolfdog will blow its thick coat several times a year, meaning you will be eating, breathing, and sleeping fur during these hairy weeks. This is often in rapid response to a change in the environment, meaning a shift from a winter coat to a summer coat. (seasonal changes are the typical trigger).
Like other breeds of a similar fur thickness, they need a lot of grooming and will shed constantly. Frequent brushing is an absolute must, meaning they will need to be brushed at least twice a week to ensure the fur doesn’t become matted or tangled. Special focus will need to be put on brushing their rear end, as loose fur will move down the body and amass around the hind legs and tail.
As was intended when creating the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog hybrid, their chances of developing severe health problems are significantly reduced as the genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia found in German Shepherds has been significantly watered down through the breeding process.
However, hip dysplasia is still the most likely health problem to affect these dogs, as is the case with many breeds that are the product of inbreeding. This is an orthopedic condition that affects the dog’s mobility and can cause significant discomfort, or even pain. There are several ways in which this condition can be treated, however, they are not cures. The treatment available usually works to improve the dog’s quality of life and help them to cope with the issue long term.
There are also several other recommended health tests as listed by the AKC that may be worth looking into:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Eye Examination by boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Dentition (full)
- DNA Repository
- Cardiac Evaluation (Optional)
- Pituitary Dwarfism DNA Test (Optional)
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis (Optional)
How to Find a Good Breeder
Incorrect breeding is resulting in an increased number of Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs with undisclosed birth defects and degenerative health problems that could cause complications in the future. If you are thinking of purchasing a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog puppy you need to ensure you are purchasing it from a reputable breeder with proof of the breeding process and the puppy’s health. The AKC marketplace would be the best place to look for such information as it contains only AKC registered litters from pre-checked and AKC approved responsible breeders.
Adopt a Dog From a Rescue Center or Shelter!
adoption helps to significantly reduce the amount of improper and inhumane breeding taking place as well as reducing the likelihood of Czech pups ending up in dog shelters. In recent years the number of dogs in households has risen exponentially. Therefore it is important that we try to keep to the dogs that have been rescued or abandoned in order to give lost pups a new forever home and a chance at happiness.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Rescues
Should you decide to adopt a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, you can find a good range of Czech Wolfdog rescue groups all around the country that may be able to aid you in your search. Before looking too far afield, however, be sure to check with your local shelter. They may also be able to provide you with information regarding Czech Wolfdog rescue groups that could be of help.
We have also listed below a couple of potential options for Czechoslovakian Wolfdog rescues that may be worth a look:
What Is The Average Price For a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog?
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs can vary quite a lot in price depending on the breeder you select and whether or not you are thinking of adopting. Not including those that have been pre-trained before being sold (which can go into tens of thousands), the typical price range for a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is anywhere between $800-1,500. The adoption fee for a dog breed like the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog usually sits at around $300-400. You should also consider any additional care expenses that will need to be kept up throughout their life, such as:
- Medical care
- Monthly food supply
- ID tag & collar
- Pet health insurance
- Dog treats
- Monthly supplements (if required)