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Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Hällefors Elkhound

Hällefors Elkhound (Hälleforshund) is a Swedish dog breed.

History

The breed was developed in Svealand, but its more detailed area of origin has been argued. It is stated that despite of its name, it was not created in Hällefors, but in Frederiksberg village located in neighboring Ludvika Municipality. It has mainly been used as a deer-hunting dog and its most remarkable ancestors are the Finnish Spitz and the Ostyak Laika. The Swedish Kennel Club, Svenska Kennelklubben, recognized the breed in 2000 and nowadays it is also recognized in several other Nordic countries, such as Finland and Norway.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd (German: Deutscher Schäferhund, [ˈʃɛːfɐˌhʊnt]) is a breed of large-sized working dog that originated in Germany. The breed's officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language, sometimes abbreviated as "GSD", and was also formerly known as the Alsatian and Alsatian Wolf Dog in Britain. The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899. As part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding sheep. Since that time, however, because of their strength, intelligence, trainability and obedience, German Shepherds around the world are often the preferred breed for many types of work, including search-and-rescue, police and military roles and even acting. The German Shepherd is the second-most popular breed of dog in the United States and fourth-most popular in the United Kingdom.

History

In Europe during the 1850s, attempts were being made to standardize breeds. The dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany this was practiced within local communities, where shepherds selected and bred dogs. It was recognized that the breed had the necessary skills for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength and keen senses of smell. The results were dogs that were able to do such things, but that differed significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another.

 

To combat these differences, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the intention of creating standardised development plans for native dog breeds in Germany. The society disbanded after only three years due to ongoing internal conflicts regarding the traits in dogs that the society should promote; some members believed dogs should be bred solely for working purposes, while others believed dogs should be bred also for appearance. While unsuccessful in their goal, the Phylax Society had inspired people to pursue standardising dog breeds independently.

With the rise of large, industrialized cities in Germany, the predator population began to decline, rendering sheepdogs unnecessary. At the same time, the awareness of sheepdogs as a versatile, intelligent class of canine began to rise. Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was an ex-member of the Phylax Society who firmly believed dogs should be bred for working. He admired the intelligence, strength and ability of Germany's native sheepdogs, but could not find any one single breed that satisfied him as the perfect working dog.

In 1899, Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when he was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the product of few generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what Von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be. He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal's intelligence, loyalty and beauty, that he purchased him immediately. After purchasing the dog he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath and Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog). Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the society's breed register.

Horand became the centre-point of the breeding programs and was bred with dogs belonging to other society members that displayed desirable traits and with dogs from Thuringia, Franconia and Wurttemberg. Fathering many pups, Horand's most successful was Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with another of Horand's offspring and produced Heinz von Starkenburg, Beowulf and Pilot, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor's other offspring. This inbreeding was deemed necessary in order to fix the traits being sought in the breed. In the original German Shepherd studbook, Zuchtbuch für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SZ), within the two pages of entries from SZ No. 41 to SZ No. 76, there are four Wolf Crosses. Beowulf's progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link. It is believed the society accomplished its goal mostly due to Von Stephanitz's strong, uncompromising leadership and he is therefore credited with being the creator of the German Shepherd Dog.

Etymology

The breed was named Deutscher Schäferhund by von Stephanitz, literally translating to "German Shepherd Dog". The breed was so named due to its original purpose of assisting shepherds in herding and protecting sheep. At the time, all other herding dogs in Germany were referred to by this name; they thus became known as Altdeutsche Schäferhunde or Old German Shepherd Dogs.

 

The direct translation of the name was adopted for use in the official breed registry; however, at the conclusion of World War I, it was believed that the inclusion of the word "German" would harm the breed's popularity, due to the anti-German sentiment of the era. The breed was officially renamed by the UK Kennel Club to "Alsatian Wolf Dog", after the French-German border area of Alsace-Lorraine. This name was also adopted by many other international kennel clubs.

Eventually, the appendage "wolf dog" was dropped, after numerous campaigns by breeders who were worried that becoming known as a wolf-dog hybrid would affect the breed's popularity and legality. The name Alsatian remained for five decades, until 1977, when successful campaigns by dog enthusiasts pressured the British kennel clubs to allow the breed to be registered again as German Shepherds. The word "Alsatian" still appeared in parentheses as part of the formal breed name and was only removed in 2010.

Popularity

When the UK Kennel first accepted registrations for the breed in 1919, fifty-four dogs were registered and by 1926 this number had grown to over 8,000. The breed first gained international recognition after the decline of World War I, returning soldiers spoke highly of the breed and animal actors Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart popularised the breed further. The first German Shepherd Dog registered in the United States was Queen of Switzerland; however, her offspring suffered from defects as the result of poor breeding, which caused the breed to suffer a decline in popularity during the late 1920s.

Popularity increased again after the German Shepherd Sieger Pfeffer von Bern became the 1937 and 1938 Grand Victor in American Kennel club dog shows, only to suffer another decline at the conclusion of World War II, due to anti-German sentiment of the time. As time progressed, their popularity increased gradually until 1993, when they became the third most popular breed in the United States. As of 2012, the German Shepherd is the second most popular in the US. Additionally, the breed is typically among the most popular in other registries. The German Shepherd Dog's physique is very well suited to athletic competition. They commonly compete in shows and competitions such as agility trials.

Health

Many common ailments of the German Shepherds are a result of the inbreeding practiced early in the breed's life. One such common ailment is hip and elbow dysplasia which may lead to the dog experiencing pain in later life and may cause arthritis. A study conducted by the University of Zurich found that 45% of the police working dogs were affected by degenerative spinal stenosis, although the sample studied was small. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals found that 19.1% of German Shepherd are affected by hip dysplasia. Due to the large and open nature of their ears, German Shepherds are not prone to ear infections because there is no hair in the outer ear canal to hold debris or moisture. According to a recent survey in the UK, the median life span of German Shepherds is 10.95 years, which is normal for a dog of their size.

Degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease, occurs with enough regularity specifically in the breed to suggest that the breed is predisposed to it. A very inexpensive DNA saliva test is now available to screen for Degenerative Myelopathy. The test screens for the mutated gene that has been seen in dogs with degenerative myelopathy. A small study in the UK showed 16% of young asymptomatic GSDs to be homozygous for the mutation, with a further 38% being carriers.[53] Now that a test is available the disease can be bred out of breeds with a high preponderance. The test is only recommended for predisposed breeds, but can be performed on DNA from any dog on samples collected through swabbing the inside of the animal's cheek with a sterile cotton swab. Now that there is a test available, prospective German Shepherd buyers can request the test from the breeder or buy from a breeder known to test their dogs.

Additionally, German Shepherds have a higher than normal incidence of Von Willebrand disease, a common inherited bleeding disorder. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a degenerative disease of the pancreas. It is estimated that 1% of the UK GSD population suffers from this disease. Treatment is usually in the form of pancreatic supplements being given with food.

In popular culture

German Shepherds have been featured in a wide range of media. In 1921 Strongheart became one of the earliest canine film stars, and was followed in 1922 by Rin Tin Tin, who is considered the most famous German Shepherd. Both have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. German Shepherds were used in the popular Canadian series The Littlest Hobo. Batman's dog Ace the Bat-Hound appeared in the Batman comic books, initially in 1955, through 1964. Between 1964 and 2007, his appearances were sporadic. A German Shepherd called Inspector Rex, is the star of Austrian Police procedural drama program, which won many awards, where German Shepherd Rex assists the Vienna Kriminalpolizei homicide unit. The show was aired in many languages.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Stichelhaar

The German Roughhaired Pointer (Deutsch Stichelhaar) is a versatile hunting dog that originated in Frankfurt, Germany. The breed was developed in the early 1900s and is a cross between German sheepdogs and rough-haired "standing dogs".

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

St. Bernard

The St. Bernard or St Bernard (/ˈbɜrnərd/ or /bərˈnɑrd/) is a breed of very large working dog from the Italian and Swiss Alps, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its enormous size.

History

The ancestors of the St. Bernard share a history with the Sennenhunds, also called Swiss Mountain Dogs or Swiss Cattle Dogs, the large farm dogs of the farmers and dairymen of the livestock guardians, herding dogs, and draft dogs as well as hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, and watchdogs. These dogs are thought to be descendants of molosser type dogs brought into the Alps by the ancient Romans, and the St. Bernard is recognized internationally today as one of the Molossoid breeds.

 

The earliest written records of the St. Bernard breed are from monks at the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass in 1707, with paintings and drawings of the dog dating even earlier.

 

The most famous St. Bernard to save people at the pass was Barry (sometimes spelled Berry), who reportedly saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives. There is a monument to Barry in the Cimetière des Chiens, and his body was preserved in the Natural History Museum in Berne.

 

The classic St. Bernard looked very different from the St. Bernard of today because of cross-breeding. Severe winters from 1816 to 1818 led to increased numbers of avalanches, killing many of the dogs used for breeding while they were performing rescues. In an attempt to preserve the breed, the remaining St. Bernards were crossed with Newfoundlands brought from the Colony of Newfoundland in the 1850s, and so lost much of their use as rescue dogs in the snowy climate of the alps because the long fur they inherited would freeze and weigh them down.

 

The dogs never received any special training from the monks. Instead, younger dogs would learn how to perform search and rescue operations from older dogs.

 

The Swiss St. Bernard Club was founded in Basel on March 15, 1884. The St. Bernard was the very first breed entered into the Swiss Stud Book in 1884, and the breed standard was finally approved in 1888. Since then, the breed has been a Swiss national dog.

 

Naming

 

The name "St. Bernard" originates from the Great St. Bernard Hospice, a traveler's hospice on the often treacherous Great St. Bernard Pass in the Western Alps between Switzerland and Italy. The pass, the lodge, and the dogs are named for Bernard of Menthon, the 11th century monk who established the station.

 

"St. Bernard" wasn't in widespread use until the middle of the 19th century. The dogs were called "Saint Dogs", "Noble Steeds", "Alpenmastiff", or "Barry Dogs" before that time.

 

Related breeds

 

The breed is strikingly similar to the English Mastiff and Newfoundland. This can be attributed to a common shared ancestry with the Alpine Mastiff and the Tibetan Mastiff. It is suspected that these breeds were used to redevelop each other to combat the threat of their extinction after World War II.

 

The four Sennenhund breeds, the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), the Berner Sennenhund, (Bernese Mountain Dog), the Appenzeller Sennenhund, (Appenzeller), and the Entlebucher Sennenhund (Entlebucher Mountain Dog) are similar in appearance and share the same location and history, but are tricolor rather than red and white.

 

St. Bernards share many characteristics of many Mountain dog breeds.

Kennel Club recognition

 

The St. Bernard is recognised internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as a Molosser in Group 2, Section 2. The breed is recognised by The Kennel Club (UK), the Canadian Kennel Club, and the American Kennel Club in the Working Dog breed group. The United Kennel Club in the United States places the breed in the Guardian Dog Group. The New Zealand Kennel Club and the Australian National Kennel Council place the breed in the Utility Group

Health

The very fast growth rate and the weight of a St. Bernard can lead to very serious deterioration of the bones if the dog does not get proper food and exercise. Many dogs are genetically affected by hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) has been shown to be hereditary in the breed. They are susceptible to eye disorders called entropion and ectropion, in which the eyelid turns in or out. The breed standard indicates that this is a major fault. The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures, a heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy, and eczema.

US and UK breed clubs put the average lifespan for a St. Bernard at 8–10 years. A 2003 Danish breed survey (35 dogs) puts the median lifespan at 9.5 years while a UK breed survey in 2004 (53 dogs) puts the median lifespan at 7 years. In the UK survey about one in five lived to >10 years with the longest lived dog at 12 years and 9 months.

Famous St. Bernards

 

 

Fictional dogs

Legends

The famous Barry found a small boy in the snow and persuaded the boy to climb on his back, and then carried the boy to safety.

A St Bernard named Major is often credited with being the dog that helped save Manchester United, currently one of the world's largest football clubs, from financial ruin. The legend goes that in 1902 when the club owed sizable debts, the then captain Harry Stafford was showing off his prized St Bernard at a fund-raiser for the club when he was approached by a wealthy brewery owner, J.H.Davis, who enquired to buy the dog. Harry Stafford refused the offer but managed to convince him to buy the club thus saving Manchester United from going bankrupt.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Treeing Tennessee Brindle

The Treeing Tennessee Brindle is a breed of cur. Since 1995, its records have been maintained through the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service Program.

History

The breed's development began in the early 1960s with the efforts of Reverend Earl Phillips. Because of a column he was then writing in a hunting dog magazine, Phillips became aware of the existence of brindle curs—hunting and treeing dogs with brown coats, "tiger-striped" with black. He contacted their owners and fanciers, discovering that the type was highly regarded for its abilities, and in 1967 contacted them again to form an organization to "preserve and promote" the brindle cur.[1] The Treeing Tennessee Brindle Breeders Association was established in Illinois on March 21.[1] Foundation stock was obtained from various locations in the United States, particularly those between the Ozarks and Appalachian Mountains.[1] The Treeing Tennessee Brindle's records have been maintained through the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service Program since 1995.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh corgi /ˈkɔrɡi/ is one of two separate dog breeds known as Welsh corgis that originated in Wales, the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi. It is one of the oldest herding breeds.

 

Cardigan Welsh corgis can be extremely loyal family dogs. They are able to live in a variety of settings, from apartments to farms. For their size, however, they need a surprising amount of daily physical and mental stimulation. Cardigans are a very versatile breed and a wonderful family companion.

History

Pembrokes and Cardigans first appeared together in dog shows in 1925 when they were shown under the rules of The Kennel Club in Britain. The Corgi Club was founded in December, 1925 in Carmarthen in South Wales. It is reported that the local members favored the Pembroke breed, so a club for Cardigan enthusiasts was founded a year later (1926).[2] Both groups have worked hard to ensure the appearance and type of breed are standardized through careful selective breeding. Pembrokes and Cardigans were officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1928 and were lumped together under the heading Welsh Corgis. In 1934, the two breeds were recognized individually and shown separately.

 

Origins

Cardigans are said to originate from the Teckel family of dogs, which also produced Dachshunds. They are among the oldest of all herding breeds, believed to have been in existence in Wales for over 3,000 years.

Legend

There is an old folktale that says that Queen Victoria was traveling down a country road one day until her carriage came up on a fallen tree branch. While wondering how she would get across, a fairy came out of nowhere and, in order to assist the queen, produced two corgis out of thin air. One was the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the other the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The two Corgis moved the tree for the queen, and they say that is why the breed is currently prized by the Queen of England.

 

Another old folktale features a Cardigan Welsh Corgi battling an ancient dragon.

 

Popularity

 

Cardigans have never had the same popularity as Pembrokes, probably due to the influence of the Royal family. However they have found their own place in many parts of the world. Cardigan Welsh corgis can compete in dog sports also known as dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events.

 

Name

 

The phrase "cor gi" is sometimes translated as "dwarf dog" in Welsh. The breed was often called "yard-long dogs" in older times. Today's name comes from their area of origin: Ceredigion in Wales.

 

Modern breed

 

Originally used only as a farm guardian, they eventually took on the traits of a cattle drover, herder, and many more. They are still highly valued for their herding, working, and guarding skills, as well as their companionship.

Health

UK Kennel Club survey puts the average life span of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi at 11.7 years. The most common causes of death for the breed were cancer (28.3%), old age (24.6%), and neurological disorders (15.2%).

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi (/ˈkɔrɡi/; Welsh for "dwarf dog"), is a herding dog breed, which originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is one of two breeds known as Welsh Corgi: the other is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the younger of the two Corgi breeds and is a separate and distinct breed from the Cardigan. The corgi is one of the smallest dogs in the Herding Group. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are famed for being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned more than 30 during her reign. These dogs have been favored by British royalty for more than seventy years.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been ranked at #11 in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, and is thus considered an excellent working dog. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was ranked as the 25th most popular dog in 2011.

Genetic Issues

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are achondroplastic, meaning they are a "true dwarf" breed. As such, their stature and build can lead to certain non-inherited health conditions, but genetic issues should also be considered. Commonly, Pembrokes can suffer from monorchidism, Von Willebrand's disease, hip dysplasia (canine) and inherited eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy. Genetic testing is available for Pembroke Welsh Corgis to avoid these issues and enhance the genetic health pool. Pembrokes are also prone to obesity given a characteristic, robust appetite of herding group breeds. Body weights above 38 pounds (17 kg) are not uncommon, but are not within a healthy range.[1] Most Pembroke Welsh Corgis require some degree of portion control and exercise.

History

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi lineage has been traced back as far as 1107 AD. It is said that the Vikings and Flemish weavers brought the dogs with them as they traveled to reside in Wales. As far back as the 10th century, Corgis were herding sheep, geese, ducks, horses and cattle as one of the oldest herding breed of dogs.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are closely related to Schipperkes, Keeshonds, Pomeranians, Samoyeds, Chow Chows, Norwegian Elkhounds and Finnish Spitz. Pembrokes and Cardigans first appeared together in 1925 when they were shown under the rules of The Kennel Club in Britain. The Corgi Club was founded in December, 1925 in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. It is reported that the local members favored the Pembroke breed, so a club for Cardigan enthusiasts was founded a year or so later. Both groups have worked hard to ensure the appearance and type of breed are standardized through careful selective breeding. Pembrokes and Cardigans were officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1928 and were initially categorized together under the single heading of Welsh Corgis, before the two breeds were recognized as separate and distinct in 1934.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are becoming more popular in the United States and rank 24th in American Kennel Club registrations, as of 2012.

In popular culture

The anime series Cowboy Bebop features an extraordinarily intelligent Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Ein.

Lil' Lightning from 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

In the online series RWBY, Ruby and Yang have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Zwei, who is sent to them by their Father Taiyang.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Georgian Shepherd

The Georgian Shepherd (Georgian: ქართული ნაგაზი qartuli nagazi) is an Aboriginal dog from the Georgian mountains in the Caucasus. It is an ancient working breed from Georgia. The Georgian shepherd is related to the Caucasian Shepherd Dog and the Russian "Caucasian Ovcharka". There are two kinds of Georgian mountain dog: short haired kazbegian dog called "Nagazi"; long haired Georgian mountain dog. The shorter coated Georgian Mountain Dog is an ancient working breed from Georgia.

History

Georgians were calling this dog "Nagazi". It has been used as a sheep guard dog for centuries. The breed is extremely popular in Georgia.

The Cynological Federation of Georgia has had a strict battle with the Russian federation of Cynologs about Caucasian Shepherd dog. In 2012, the International Cynological Federation will decide which national breed is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog as a result of this heated discussion.

After removing most of the Georgian Nagazi from Georgia, Georgian enthusiasts with support from the Ministry of Environment began expeditions to the regions of Georgia to describe and take photos of the remaining Georgian shepherds. Georgia started advertising the breed using television broadcasting and printing articles about Georgian shepherds in order to popularize the breed.

After the soviet collapse, Georgia began once more to popularize this dog. Today the Georgian main goal is to breed Georgia's ancient white shepherds (also other Georgian shepherds) which are rare. Unfortunately, Georgian shepherds are still used in dog fighting.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Wire Fox Terrier

The wire fox terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is a fox terrier, and although it bears a resemblance to the smooth fox terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.

Grooming

Wire fox terriers kept for show are hand stripped; if the hair becomes too long, it is taken out by hand in order to preserve the colors and the glossiness of the coat. Many kept as pets are clipped monthly by a groomer. Clipping dulls the colors and makes the coat soft, curly and more difficult to keep clean, but it is preferred by many owners due to being a simpler (and cheaper) procedure than stripping.

History

The wire fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed to be descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also thought to have been bred to chase foxes into their underground burrows; the dogs' short, strong, usually docked tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out.

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII, did own a wire fox terrier named Caesar, the breed was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created. Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a wire fox terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared. Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a wire fox terrier.

In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to changing living conditions in the Western world and the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong prey instincts.

As of 2014, the wire fox terrier has the distinction of having received more Best in Show titles at Westminster Kennel Club dog shows (currently 14) than any other breed.[1] Matford Vic, a wire fox terrier, is one of only five dogs to have won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on more than one occasion. She won the competition twice, in 1915 and 1916. The only dog to win it on more occasions was Warren Remedy, a smooth fox terrier, who won it on three occasions between 1907 and 1909.

 

Noteworthy wire fox terriers

  • Archie, owned by Gill Raddings Stunt Dogs starred in ITV's Catwalk Dogs.
  • Asta, from the film adaptation of The Thin Man (the novel's breed was a Schnauzer)
  • Bob, from the Hercule Poirot episode Dumb Witness
  • Bunny, from Hudson Hawk
  • Bella, who played Snoopy in the movie "Moonrise Kingdom"
  • Caesar, the companion of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  • Charles, brought to Ceylon by Leonard Woolf in 1905
  • Chester, in the film Jack Frost
  • Dášeňka, the dog of Czechoslovak writer and journalist Karel Čapek - also featured as the hero of his book Dášeňka čili život štěněte
  • Dodger Herbie Tobacco (only a mutt in the film) from "Oliver & Company" is actually a Wire Fox Terrier.
  • George, from Bringing Up Baby (played by Skippy)
  • Ike Larue, from the Ike Larue series, written and illustrated by Mark Teague
  • Mickey, the companion of French composer Francis Poulenc.
  • Moll, from the book Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
  • Montmorency, from the book Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  • Mr. Atlas, from Topper Takes a Trip (played by Skippy)
  • Mr. Smith, from The Awful Truth (played by Skippy)
  • Pan, the companion of A.L. Westgard, AAA pathfinder. Pan was the mascot of the dedication tour for the National Park to Park Highway in 1920.
  • Polly, a white rough terrier companion to Charles Darwin
  • Scruffy, the Muirs' wire fox terrier on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir television series
  • Skippy, also known as Asta, starred in many films including The Thin Man (film) and Bringing Up Baby
  • Sky, winner of the 2012 Purina Thanksgiving Dog Show and the 2014 Westminster Dog Show.
  • Snowy (French: Milou), companion of Tintin
  • Van Gogh, Paul Meltsner's dog featured in his famous painting Paul, Marcella and Van Gogh
  • Vicki, Rudyard Kipling's dog
  • Wessex, the dog of British novelist (Tess of the d'Urbervilles) Thomas Hardy
  • Willy, from Ask the Dust
  • Wuffles, the Patrician's dog in the Discworld Series
  • Rufus from Open Season 2
  • Mel from Balto III: Wings of Change
Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, (sk. Československý vlčiak, cz. Československý vlčák) is a relatively new dog breed that traces its original lineage to an experiment conducted in 1955 in Czechoslovakia. After initially breeding working line German Shepherd Dogs with Carpathian wolves (Canis lupus lupus), a plan was worked out to create a breed that would have the temperament, pack mentality, and trainability of the German Shepherd Dog and the strength, physical build, and stamina of the Carpathian wolf.

The breed was engineered as attack dogs for use in military Special Operations done by the Czechoslovak Special Forces commandos but were later also used in search and rescue, schutzhund, tracking, herding, agility, obedience, hunting, and drafting in Europe and the United States. It was officially recognized as a national breed in Czechoslovakia in 1982. In 1989 it became FCI standard no. 332, group 1, section 1.

History

In 1955, when Ing. Karel Hartl began to consider crossing Carpathian wolf with a German Shepherd. Initially, the crossing was conducted as a scientific experiment. A few years later, however, the idea was born to cultivate a new breed. The first hybrids of a female wolf Brita and male German Shepherd Cézar was born on 26 May 1958, in Libějovice.

Puppies of the first generation in appearance and behavior resembled wolf. Their upbringing was difficult, the training was possible, but the results hardly match the effort. In adulthood was again associated with German Shepherds, so in the fourth final generation decreased the proportion of "wolf blood" up to 6.25%. Most individuals of the third and fourth generation was able to attend a normal course and could be placed in a service performance. Compared to dogs had better navigational skills, night vision, hearing and sense of smell. In tests of endurance, hybrids finished the entire 100 km route without being exhausted.

The lecture of Ing. Karel Hartl "Results of crossing wolves with dogs" brought major attention at the World Dog Show held in June 1965 in Brno and in Prague at the annual meeting of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and the International Cynologic Congress. In the following year Ing. Hartl compiled a draft of a standard of a new dog breed. The wolf Brita then gave the basis of the second line after the merger with the German Shepherd Kurt. The third line was made by joining the wolf Arga with female dog Asta from the SNB. In 1977, the individual of the 3rd generation named Xela of border guards, was covered by wolf Sarika, he then also mated female Urta of border guards. Last addition of wolf blood took place in 1983. The wolf Lejdy of ZOO Hluboká nad Vltavou gave birth to last line of a new breed, the father of the puppies became a German Shepherd Bojar von Shottenhof. Furthermore, breeding has been carried out only in closed populations and the hybrids began to be referred to as Czechoslovakian wolfdogs.

In 1982 it was recognized by the Czechoslovakian breeders associations as a national breed. It was officially recognized as a breed by FCI in 1989. It won the title of "World champion" at World Dog Show in Brno in 1990. Ten years after the recognition of the standard, the breed had to again confirm that the breed is further viable and met all the criteria. The recognition of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog breed has been definitively confirmed.

As of January 2014, most puppies a year are registered in Italy (up to two hundred), in the Czech Republic it's about a hundred and in Slovakia it's about fifty.