Czech Shepherd Dog (Chodsky pes) – breed description and breeding

What are the characteristics of the Czech Shepherd Dog? This old breed of dog, which almost disappeared at the turn of the century, is definitely coming back into favor today, albeit slowly. Get to know these gentle, patient medium breed dogs better!
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The Czech Shepherd is one of the sheepdog breeds. Just like its better known “cousins”, German Shepherds, the Chodsky Pes is distinguished by its attachment to its handler, its calmness and its ability to guard. What else is worth knowing about Czech Shepherd Dog? Check it out!

Characteristics of Czech Shepherd Dog breed (FCI standard)

How does Czech Sheepdog look like? It is a medium-sized dog, whose height at the withers ranges from 49 to 55 cm. A dog of this breed usually weighs from 17 to 27 kg. One of its distinguishing features is its beautiful, dense and shiny coat. The length of the top coat ranges from 5 to 12 cm. Underneath is a soft, short undercoat. The FCI standard for the breed assumes that dogs will always have a black or black-brown coat with tan highlights.

The Czech Shepherd is a dog with an elongated body, built very harmoniously and proportionally. The muzzle is shorter than the skull, the nose is of medium size, and the eyes are almond shaped with a slight slant. Ears of dogs are set high, short and pointed. The back is characterized by a strong, straight appearance, the tail naturally carried is slightly bent. On average, the Czech Shepherd Dog lives from 10 to 13 years, although there are individuals whose lifespan has far exceeded the stated framework.

Chodsky pes character

The FCI of the breed states that the Czech Shepherd is a gentle dog, almost completely free of aggression. It is lively and at the same time very patient and protective – also towards children. It likes spending time with its owner and is suitable both as a guard dog and a shepherd dog. Czech Shepherd is distrustful of strangers, strongly defends his herd and his family. It has an excellent sense of smell and is very alert.

However, the Czech Shepherd needs a lot of exercise – a long walk should be provided every day. The dog is very sturdy, so even covering a dozen kilometers comes easily to him.

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The disadvantage of this breed may be overprotectiveness (strong defensive instinct towards other animals and people makes Czech Shepherds excellent shepherd dogs , but a bit more difficult companion animals). Many owners also complain about intense, periodic moulting of the dog

However, the Czech Sheepdog is easily socialized. It is obedient and learns new commands quickly. Its susceptibility to training does not fade with age – so it is easy to teach new things to puppies as well as adult dogs.

How to take care of dogs health?

Czech Shepherds have been considered very healthy dogs for centuries. They withstood harsh weather conditions well and rarely succumbed to conditions typical of larger dog breeds (such as hip and elbow dysplasia or stomach disease). However, due to the fact that they became almost completely extinct in the 19th century and the breed was recreated from a very small number of individuals, genetic problems are now common. The most common are problems with fertility, body conformation and coat color. A larger number of disorders have not yet been reported by breeders, so they have not been described in the literature.

Care of Czech Sheepdogs

Czech Sheepdog is not a difficult breed to take care of. Its coat only needs regular combing and bathing. During shedding period it is good to comb the dog every day, because it loses its hair very intensively . Once a week, while combing, it is good to check the condition of its eyes, ears and teeth in order to detect possible diseases or parasites as early as possible.

History of the breed

Czech Shepherds (Chodsky pes) are an extremely old breed of dog. They were very popular as early as the 14th century – especially in the area of West Bohemia inhabited by the Chods. The Chods were a free people guarding the borders of Bohemia. From 1325 they enjoyed privileges related to this work. In the 16th century (1576 to be exact), these privileges were extended to include the use of short and long arms and the use of medium-sized wolf-like dogs (ancestors of today’s Czech Sheepdogs) for work. When herds of sheep appeared in the Chod area and sheep farming became more popular, sheepdogs were also used as herding dogs.

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With time, the breed of Czech Shepherd Dog was losing its importance and slowly disappeared. Its rediscovery occurred at the end of the 19th century. How did it happen? Two factors influenced the renewed interest in the Czech Shepherd breed and the history of Chod:

  • the publication of the book “Psoglowie” by the Czech writer and playwright Alois Jirasek;
  • the erection of a monument (1895) in Hradek to Jan Kozina, the leader of the Chodov uprising. Kozina is accompanied on the pedestal by a dog.

Since then, work has been underway to recreate the breed from the few surviving individuals. Carefully selected dogs were allowed for breeding. In 1985, a group of breeders led by cynologist Jan Findejs announced the completion of the work and the restoration of the breed. However, the FCI did not recognize Czech Sheepdogs until 2019.

Today, there are several thousand Czech Sheepdogs living in the Czech Republic. Outside the borders of this country, the dogs are not very popular – although this is also slowly changing. In Poland, the number of individuals of this breed is estimated at about a dozen. The first Czech Sheepdog in Poland was imported from a Czech kennel in 2003.

Czech Sheepdog is a very friendly, gentle and family dog. So if you are looking for a companion for children, which at the same time will be obedient and willing to accompany you during your daily jogging, it is worth considering a representative of this breed. Even a complete amateur will be able to handle the dog!

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