When you think of a stocky dog that can run after criminals, just like in cartoons; or a dog who can sniff bombs and save the day, a German Shepherd will perfectly paint the picture.
German Shepherds are indeed quite a popular breed.
However, have you heard of the Czech German Shepherd? If you are curious about this line, you are on the right page.
What is a Czech German Shepherd?
Not to overemphasize but German Shepherds are indeed very famous! This confident, courageous and smart canine is American Kennel Club (AKC)’s top 2 most popular dogs, just next to the friendly Labrador Retriever!
One of the lesser-known and newest breeds of a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is the Czechoslovakian German Shepherd, or simply Czech German Shepherd.
Some people think that it is one and the same with an Eastern German Shepherd (or DRR German Shepherd) breed but while they are similar in a lot of ways, they are an entirely different dog.
History of a Czech German Shepherd
No matter the line, they are all bred from the first official German Shepherd, Horand von Grafrath.
A German named Max von Stephanitz saw Horand at a dog show and he thought that with its sturdy built, this herding breed will be a great working dog. Stephanitz then bought Horand and became its foundation breeding stock.
Other regional or native shepherd dogs in Germany such as the Thuringian, the Wurttemberg Sheep Dog and the Swabian Service Dog can trace its DNA back to the GSD. In 1901, the German Shepherd became an official breed of dog.
After World War II, East Germany and Czechoslovakia shared a border. Similar to East Germany, dogs in Czechoslovakia in 1955 were also bred in isolation and were restricted only to border stations. Local Czech dogs have been thought to be bred with the East German working line of Shepherd that is why they look closely similar.
From Europe, this working breed spread to the United States and Canada.
Due to diluted bloodlines, present Czech German Shepherds are often bred to be obedient family pets versus their highly-focused ancestors.
Czech German Shepherd vs East German Shepherd or DRR
As mentioned, the Czech German Shepherd and East German Shepherd (DRR) can be mistaken as one and the same. And it is not far-fetched since they basically came from the same bloodline. But here are a few differences between these two sides or lines of GSD:
As their namesakes imply, Czech German Shepherd came from Czechoslovakia while DRR originated from East Germany and Russia.
East German counterparts have darker and more solid colors than the Czech breed.
Czech German Shepherd is larger, heavier and stockier.
Czech German Shepherds mature slower than the DRR and have more drive and are too loyal to the point of obsession.
The high-energy Czech German Shepherds were bred primarily as a working dog for border protection while during that time because the East/West German border fell, the breed was almost neglected.
Czech German Shepherd And Other Types of German Shepherds
Czech German Shepherd is just one of the five lines of purebred German Shepherd and they are:
- North American and Canadian Show Line German Shepherds
- West German Show Line German Shepherds
- East German/DDR Working Line German Shepherds
- West German Working Line German Shepherds
- Czech Working Line German Shepherds
Generally, all German Shepherds exhibit similarity in almost all facets such as attitude, size, grooming needs, life span, common health issues, intelligence, diet and a lot more. They just mostly differ in fur pigmentation.
How Does a Czech German Shepherd Look Like?
The appearance of a Czech German Shepherd is basically a GSD but people say they are more “wolfish” in appearance versus other lines because of their strong jaws, pointed ears and large, blocky head. This line is also said to have a deep chest, thick paws and bigger bone structure that makes them really look burly and ready to pounce on a perpetrator.
In terms of the color of their fur, they are 60 to 70% black or dark color with 30 to 40% tan or red patches. This coat coloring is often called Sable (also called Agouti pattern). But sometimes, while they can have patches of color, they can appear all black.
How Big Does a Czech German Shepherd Get?
According to AKC, a standard German Shepherd can weigh 65 to 90 pounds for males and 50 to 70 pounds for females. In terms of height, it is 24 to 26 inches tall if male, and slightly shorter at 22-24 inches for a female.
Considered as a large breed, a Czech German Shepherd will not fall far at 24 to 26 inches for males weighing between 66 to 68 pounds. Females will be slightly shorter at 22 to 24 inches and 49 to 71 pounds.
A pup will also grow until it’s 12 months of age.
How to Groom a Czech German Shepherd
If you are looking for a hypoallergenic breed, a Czech German Shepherd is not the one as it sheds a lot especially when seasons change. To take care of the fur of a Czech German Shepherd, at least twice a week brushing is required. But of course, daily brushing is still best to prevent that “tumble of weeds”.
Unlike other breeds, grooming is not necessary but a bath will especially be needed when they become too dirty from their activities. Since they have oils on their skin and you want that protected when they bathe, use a canine shampoo that will take that into consideration. Ask the vet for some recommendations.
In terms of taking care of their pearly whites, weekly brushing is recommended with canine toothpaste. Train them in brushing while still at puppyhood since most of them will really not enjoy this grooming task.
Always also check their ears as they are prone to having minor issues. Make sure to gently clean their ears for dirt and check signs of irritation and infection. An ear wash or ear wipes will also come in handy in cleaning those upright ears.
For their nail care, if they are very active, it will wear down naturally. If not, clip it especially when you hear it clicking against the floor already.
The Temperament of a Czech German Shepherd
Basically, across all German Shepherd lines, the disposition or personality is the same. This working dog is very energetic and smart. Although compared to the working dogs bred for endurance and awareness befitting a border protection job, today’s Czech lines have softer personalities.
With this, they make great family pets and will definitely enjoy playing with toys at home or even just cuddling their families. The Czech line, like other GSD, is also a very loyal breed.
Exercising a Czech German Shepherd
Because they were hard-wired for work, thus very energetic, this ball of power needs to be worked off, or else they get rowdy, noisy and disruptive.
A Czech German Shepherd needs its daily dose of exercise requiring no less than 30 up to 60 minutes of play, run, walk or any physical activity. Fetch toys and tug games are also a great way to burn off their energy.
If you are a couch potato, this breed is not for you; or else get up and make this breed your exercise buddy. In terms of space, they will be better off in a household with a fenced backyard they can exercise around.
Training a Czech German Shepherd
German Shepherds are very intelligent. In the list of most intelligent dogs, they rank high again at the number 3 spot, beating the popular Labrador on the 7th. This smart dog can understand new commands in less than 5 repetitions! More so, if you make them follow a known command, they can do so 95% of the time without fail.
With this intelligence, Czech German Shepherds are easy to train and they learn fast! They are also eager to please making training a breeze.
To train your Czech German Shepherd efficiently and effectively, employ positive training techniques where you give them affirmation or encouraging gestures when they do a job well done. It is also crucial to be patient, assertive and consistent when training them, preferably starting as a pup.
The training method Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) will also be effective for Czech German Shepherds. Basically, it teaches your dog to say please. Meaning, the dogs must ask for what they want and offer something in return for good behavior. For example, if he likes jumping on you, ignore the bad behavior so that they will be discouraged to repeat it again.
An intensive training called Schutzhund is also a good option since DRR dogs are great at it. Schutzhund is a German word which translates to “protection dog”. It is a sport that focuses on the three parts that develop those traits and make them more useful and happier.
Taking Care of a Czech German Shepherd
Two to four cups a day of high-quality dry food, split into 2 or 3 meals is the recommended diet for this highly energetic canine. Since this line is very full of energy, consider also giving them supplements that will aid them in their daily activities.
Access to clean and freshwater is also very essential. Make sure to refill their bowls twice or thrice daily.
In terms of providing treats, make sure you do not go overboard with the 10% rule. It is also best to supplement them with low fat, low calorie and healthy treats.
If your dog has a special condition or requires a specific diet, it is best to consult your vet for a diet plan.
Common Health Issues of a Czech German Shepherd
The same health issues GSD are prone to are the usual concerns for this breed and nothing more. This will include conditions concerning the eye and vision and hip dysplasia.
Be sure to deal only with a reputable breeder and not with puppy mills as they are more prone to issues than the normally bred German Shepherd.
The Lifespan of a Czech German Shepherd
With proper diet, right grooming, exercise, a regular visit to the vet and tender loving care, Czech German Shepherds can live from 7 to 10 healthy years.
How Much is a Czech German Shepherd?
While there are many Czech German Shepherd breeders in the US, breeders in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany are highly regulated for strong bloodlines and overall good health.
Expect to pay for a Czech German Shepherd at $500 to $1,500 or at par with the price of a GSD.
Rescuing a Czech German Shepherd at a local shelter is also a great idea and adoption fees can range from $50 to $500.
Conclusion: Is a Czech German Shepherd For You?
A Czech German Shepherd is a very energetic dog. If your lifestyle suits this canine, then go ahead and get it.
If space at home is also not a concern, this is another good sign that a Czech German Shepherd is suited for you.
If shedding dogs are not an issue, another plus point.
Most of all, should you decide to bring home a cute one, remember that it is a lifelong commitment. It is like caring for a child and you stick with it forever.
Do not worry, because definitely, a Czech German Shepherd will pay back with loyalty and lots of love.