With their impressive stature, intelligence, and devotion, the Czech German Shepherd Dog makes an excellent canine companion for active owners. This breed’s working heritage means they thrive when given a job to do and require plenty of vigorous daily exercise.
While their needs for training and activity are substantial, they repay the effort with unwavering loyalty and protection. If you’re looking for an athletic partner who will stick by your side through thick and thin, then the magnificent Czech Shepherd could be the perfect match.
This in-depth guide will provide an overview of their history, temperament, health, exercise requirements, and suitability for your lifestyle. Let’s delve into what makes this breed such an outstanding canine companion!
History and Origins
The origins of the Czech German Shepherd Dog can be traced back to 1899 in Czechoslovakia. They were primarily bred and utilized by the Czech border patrol to guard and patrol the borders. In 1955, the Czech Army began professionally breeding these dogs for military and working applications.
The original bloodlines of the Czech Shepherds were from former East Germany and Russia. These Eastern bloc nations shared breeding stock to develop rugged, high-drive working dogs with strong defensive instincts and athleticism. Their service in the military and police honed the breed’s traits for protection work.
The Czech Shepherd has a similar physique to the classic German Shepherd Dog breed standard but with some distinct differences:
- Head – The head is large and wedge-shaped with a strong muzzle and black nose. Their ears are tall and erect like other shepherds. They have an alert, intelligent expression.
- Eyes – The eyes are medium in size and brown. They have a focused and keen look.
- Body – A muscular and athletic build with a straight, solid back. The chest is deep and well-sprung.
- Coat – Thick double-layered waterproof coat. Common colors include solid black, sable, and bi-colored black and tan.
- Size – Males 24-26 inches, 60-65 lbs. Females 22-24 inches, 50-60 lbs.
- Tail – The tail reaches the hock and has a slight curve when relaxed. Bushy hair on the underside.
The temperament of the Czech German Shepherd Dog is best described as:
Czech Shepherds bond very closely with their handlers and family. They are lively dogs that need mental stimulation and physical exercise daily. Their working dog roots make them excel at many canine sports and jobs.
With strong territorial instincts, early socialization and firm leadership are essential. This prevents any unwarranted aggression or overprotective tendencies.
These intelligent, high-drive dogs need extensive obedience training and socialization. Their heritage as working dogs makes them extremely responsive to instruction. Positive reinforcement strengthens the dog’s abilities.
Common training program for the Czech Shepherd include:
- Puppy kindergarten – Early socialization with other dogs and people. Introduction to basic cues.
- Obedience – Heeling, recall, sit/stay commands. Handling exercises and agility foundations.
- Advanced obedience – Off-leash control, distraction training, and task-focused work.
- Protection sports – Shutzhund, French Ring, and KNPV are suitable outlets for their abilities.
Dedicated owners can tap into the Czech Shepherd’s athleticism and working abilities with proper guidance. Their trainability allows them to excel in many roles and dog sports.
The Czech Shepherd has a thick double coat that requires considerable weekly grooming. Their heavy shedding can fill your home with hair if not managed properly!
Brushing the coat thoroughly at least once per week, preferably twice, helps remove loose hair and distribute skin oils. During seasonal shedding cycles in spring and fall, daily brushing may be necessary to control the amount of shedding. Many owners find that using an undercoat rake easily pulls out the loose undercoat hairs before they get scattered around the house.
Occasional bathing every 4-6 weeks with a dog shampoo suited for double coats will help keep their skin and coat healthy. Overbathing can dry out their skin. Always fully dry the coat after a bath to avoid matting.
Nails should be trimmed every 2-3 weeks to avoid cracking and overgrowth. If you can hear them clicking on floors, they likely need a trim. Introducing nail trims slowly with positive reinforcement will help your Shepherd accept this task.
Brushing teeth 2-3 times per week reduces plaque buildup and chance of costly dental issues later in life. Daily is ideal, but aim for at least several times a week.
Checking and cleaning ear canals weekly removes dirt, moisture and debris that can lead to infections. Only clean what you can see, and use a veterinarian-approved solution.
In addition to grooming, providing nutritious food, adequate exercise, and access to clean water helps maintain a healthy skin and coat year-round. With some time invested each week into grooming, your Czech Shepherd’s coat will stay manageable and looking their best.
Health and Care
With an average lifespan of 10-14 years, the Czech German Shepherd Dog tends to be a hearty, healthy breed. There are some common health issues that owners should be aware of:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Malformation of these joints. Can cause arthritis and lameness. Screening is recommended.
- Bloat – Rapid accumulation of gas in the stomach. Requires emergency treatment. Don’t allow vigorous exercise after eating.
- Allergies – Environmental or food-related allergies may cause skin irritation or digestive issues.
- Degenerative Myelopathy – Progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. Causes hind leg weakness and paralysis.
Providing excellent nutrition, regular vet exams, proper exercise, and mental stimulation are the best ways to minimize health problems.
Exercise and Activity
The Czech Shepherd is an extremely energetic breed that requires intense daily physical and mental exercise to stay happy and well-balanced. Without adequate outlets for their energy and intelligence, these athletic dogs are prone to boredom and destructive tendencies.
At a minimum, Czech Shepherds need 60 minutes of vigorous activity per day such as running, hiking, swimming or other sustained exercise. However, many Czech Shepherds thrive with 90-120 minutes of daily exercise to satisfy their high stamina and endurance. Interactive games like playing fetch, tug of war and agility activities also provide vital physical stimulation.
Mental exercise is just as important for this highly intelligent breed. Obedience and trick training, scent work, tracking exercises, and food puzzle toys engage their active minds. Combining physical and mental exercise by teaching them new skills or commands during walks keeps them stimulated.
While a securely fenced yard allows room to run and play, it does not fulfill their workout needs on its own. Czech Shepherds require structured daily activity and interaction with their owner to be satisfied. Walking or jogging together establishes an important bonding routine.
These dogs excel at canine sports like agility, obedience trials, rally, and dog parkour. Such activities channel their impressive abilities. Keeping Czech Shepherds physically and mentally enriched takes dedication, but it is key to having a happy, calm dog at home. An under-exercised Czech Shepherd can become stressed and destructive.
The Czech German Shepherd thrives in an active home environment that can properly meet their extensive physical and mental needs. Given their working dog background, they have strong exercise requirements and benefit from clear leadership. Prospective owners should ensure they can provide adequate outlets for energy and training before bringing one of these powerful dogs home.
Secure fencing is a must as these athletic and driven dogs have a high wandering tendency and can cover large distances quickly. Several long walks or runs each day help satisfy exercise requirements that can reach up to two hours of vigorous activity. Interactive playtime provides not only physical but mental stimulation. Puzzles, obedience work, and nosework activities engage their intelligence.
While lively and energetic, Czech Shepherds also have a strong-willed streak from their guarding and protection heritage. Establishing yourself firmly as pack leader and providing extensive obedience work is key to managing behaviors. Setting boundaries, reinforcing commands, and socializing properly shapes these dogs into disciplined companions.
Czech Shepherds can develop aggressive tendencies towards other dogs or pets without proper socialization during puppyhood. Introducing them to a wide variety of people, animals, places, and situations helps build tolerance and reduces territorial behaviors.
Their thick double coat also requires a considerable time investment to keep tidy. Expect to brush several times a week and have grooming tools on hand to maintain the heavy shedding undercoat. First-time owners may struggle meeting this breed’s intense exercise, training, and grooming regimen. Their needs make them better suited to those with prior large breed experience.
Puppy Prices and Breeders
Finding a responsible breeder is crucial when looking for a Czech German Shepherd puppy. While the upfront cost may be higher, it is an investment that pays off in the long run. Reputable breeders care deeply about bettering the breed and producing healthy, well-tempered puppies. They invest significant time and money into health testing their breeding dogs for conditions like hip dysplasia. Responsible breeders also socialize puppies extensively and start training and housebreaking early.
When screening potential breeders, be wary of any red flags. Breeders who don’t health test or ask buyers lots of questions should be avoided. Additionally, responsible breeders keep puppies until at least 8 weeks old as this critical socialization period is vital.
While multiple litters may occasionally occur, quality breeders focus on just one or two litters at a time to devote proper care. The conditions puppies are kept in is another essential consideration. They should be housed in clean spaces with adequate room to exercise and interact with litter mates.
While $1500 to $3000 may seem high, it ensures you get a puppy bred to breed standards from health tested parents. This diligent breeding often continues through generations, producing Czech Shepherds with steady temperaments and strong health.
Connecting with the national breed club and getting referrals is advisable to identify reputable local breeders. The higher upfront investment in a properly bred Czech Shepherd puppy pays dividends through potentially avoiding expensive health issues and behavioral problems.
Popular Czech Shepherd Mixes
Some popular Czech Shepherd mixed breeds include:
- Czech Shepherd/Golden Retriever – Friendly and eager to please family dog. Moderate energy levels and exercise needs.
- Czech Shepherd/Belgian Malinois – Very driven and intensely active dog best suited for experienced owners. Needs extensive training.
- Czech Shepherd/Border Collie – Energetic herding dog that needs a job to do. Intelligent and highly trainable.
- Czech Shepherd/Labrador Retriever – Excellent family companion. Fun-loving and easier to handle than a purebred Czech.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Czech German Shepherds good family dogs?
Yes, with proper training and socialization, the Czech Shepherd can be a loyal, loving family companion. Their protective nature makes them excel at watching over children.
Do Czech German Shepherds bark a lot?
They can be more vocal than other breeds. However, barking should never be excessive. Proper training and exercise keeps barking normal.
Is a male or female Czech Shepherd better?
Males tend to be larger in size while females are often a bit quicker to train. Either gender makes a fine pet with early socialization and obedience work.
Are Czech German Shepherds easy to train?
This intelligent breed is very trainable and aims to please their owner. Positive reinforcement training yields the best results with this sensitive breed.
How much exercise does a Czech German Shepherd need?
At least 60 minutes of vigorous daily exercise is ideal for these high-energy dogs. They also need mental stimulation through training, play, and interaction.
For an active individual or family seeking a brave, bright, and dutiful companion, the magnificent Czech German Shepherd Dog checks all the boxes. Their imposing presence and protective personality form deep bonds with their human pack. Despite their imposing physical presence, Czech Shepherds are affectionate and thrive when included in family activities.
This breed brings experience, intelligence, and loyalty to the table. Their needs for leadership, training, and activity are considerable but worthwhile for the person able to provide it. If you value an athletic partner with spirit and heart, the Czech Shepherd may be your perfect match!