Owning a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are an amazing loyal, highly intelligent breed of dog, that can fit into family life beautifully, but there are a number of characteristics that make them unsuitable for many owners. It is important to preface with all the reasons as to why they are not for everybody due to the placement failures of the dogs especially around the time of adolescence.
Wolfdogs is extremely intelligent but this does not necessarily make them easy to handle or train. It means they can figure out for themselves how to open locked doors, how to open windows, how to raid refrigerators, open crates and much more. They find things to entertain themselves when they become bored and can be extremely destructive.
Being so intelligent also means that they are a breed that is not impressed by long routine training and their motivators can vary seemingly from day to day. They are strong willed and when faced with something they don’t want to do it can be impossible to persuade them otherwise. This being said the bond between wolfdog and owner / trainer can make them the most entertaining and rewarding training subjects and when given job they enjoy and are motivated in they can excel beyond expectation.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, especially the males, are large, rumbustious, physical dogs, whose greetings and preferred ways of playing can be physical and rough. This of course can be dealt with with training and perseverance but some may never fully grow out of their rough ways. Along with the physicality they are a very agile and powerful breed, meaning they can scale most walls and fences or dig under if left alone.
These dogs are naturally grabby and mouthy and this must be tempered through a combination of training and simply waiting for mental maturity. If you want a dog that is naturally gentle then a Vlack, especially a puppy, is not the dog for you.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog can be a very social dog with the right exposure but can, at sexual maturity, be same sex selective/aggressive so families wishing to keep multiples of the same sex that are not family (mother/daughter etc.) must be prepared for them to possibly not get along.
The bond that can envelop with the family can be so rewarding, wolfdogs rely on their humans to show them the world, they want somebody they can trust to teach them that strangers and new situations are safe. Socialisation must be consistent, thorough and ongoing. Family is an integral part of their identity and a means from which they draw confidence.
Life with a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog can also be enjoyable but an owner has to have the right humorous and self-effacing personality as they will always teach us humility, they are dogs that are active, smart, strongly bonded, lively and loyal. They want to be involved in everything you do as a partner. They are not the easiest dogs to live with but they are incredibly expressive, quirky and funny.
To own a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a lifestyle, not just another nice pet dog to have in the backyard.
Is it the right breed for you?
When considering if a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is the right breed for you, you should discuss your options with:
- Experienced Czechoslovakian Wolfdog owners where possible; the CWDCGB attends events such as Discover dogs and the National Pet show among others during the year which is a great time to come and meet the breed and chat to experienced owners
- Breeders from whom you may consider purchasing a puppy
- Those involved with rescue organisations
- Your prospective veterinary surgeon although depending on experience this source may be limited
- Do as much research as possible into the breed and take your time in making your decision as these dogs are a lifestyle choice not your average pet
Experienced Czechoslovakian Wolfdog owners are usually happy to share their experiences and opinions with you, and should give you a good range of things to think about and consider. The best place to start is contacting the Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog Club of Great Britain as they can offer unbiased information to help you on your quest to evaluating if this beautiful breed is the right fit for you and your family.
Questions to ask yourself
- Would a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, in relation to its size, suit your home, garden/outside space, car (safe transport), children and exercise plans, and suit friends or family that might look after it during the holidays?
- Can I make a lifelong commitment? A Czechoslovakian wolfdogs average life span is 12-15 years.
- Is my home/garden big enough to house a dog? – If it’s not can I stimulate the dog appropriately every day to ensure it does not become destructive?
- Do I really want and can I exercise a dog every day?
- If I work full time can I afford to have someone visit the dog every day?
- Will I find time to train, groom, stimulate and generally care for the dog?
- Can I afford to have a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog? Ongoing expenses such as food, vets fees and insurance can cost on average £25 a week.
- Will I be able to answer YES to these questions every day for the next 12-15 years
- Can I devote myself to doing intensive socialising of a puppy for the first 20 weeks of its life and maintain a good level of social interaction past two years of age.
A Czechoslovakian Wolfdog typically costs £1500 in the UK and Typically €1500 in Europe (excluding transport fee’s)
A rough guide to the cost of owning a CSV Per month;
Food; On average £45-50 (raw food diet)
Worming/Flee Treatments; £10
Dog walking (for full time workers) – £200
Total: £315 a month (£115 – excluding dog walker)
Specifics of CSV and choosing the puppy
As a club we would not recommend getting two CSV’s at once due to the commitment of training and Socialising a puppy.
You should seek out parents with a good temperament. Having the opportunity to meet both parents to confirm the temperament of the puppy’s parents is ideal but not always possible but at least the mother should be available.
If you are importing a puppy from outside of the UK and do not have the opportunity to meet the parents of the puppy you should look for evidence of good temperament. This can typically be found in the form of a Bonitation test or in various countries a temperament test carried out by a qualified judge or breed specialist.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs play with their mouth (a lot) as puppies and their puppy teeth can be very sharp; this should be considered carefully if you have small children.
Shedding / Allergies
A Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is not a hypoallergenic breed so please ensure you or your family have had appropriate time with the breed. Checking allergic reactions to ensure you will have no issues should you commit to taking on a CSV.
A common question that is asked is do CSV’s shed and how often; Typically a CSV will shed twice a year if the seasons are stable but there is a caveat to this; if the majority of the dogs time is spent indoors in a temperature controlled house it is likely their coat will maintain a medium/low coat content and so will shed all year round. If you’re able to track the ambient temperature outside the level of shedding will be much reduced; methods includes using cold rooms in the house for sleeping and secure area’s outside during the day.
For all health tests your breeder should be able to provide you with evidence of all health tests carried out on both parents.
Degenerative Myelopathy denoted as DM – Parents will be marked as follows:
- N/N – Clear of Degenerative myelopathy
- DM/N – Carrier of the Degenerative myelopathy gene but not effected (as long as other parent is not a carrier)
- DM/DM – Effected with Degenerative myelopathy; DO NOT PURCHASE
- Dwarfism denoted as DW – Parents will be marked as follows;
- N/N – Clear of Dwarfism
- DW/N – Carrier of the Dwarfism gene but not effected (as long as other parent is not a carrier)
- DW/DW – Effected with Degenerative myelopathy; DO NOT PURCHASE
Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) is the narrowing of the exit of the left ventricle of the heart (where the aorta begins). This can be hereditary so it is advised that all breeding dogs be tested for SAS. Again results should be provided from your breeder.
Canine hip dysplasia is a developmental malformation of the hip joints resulting in secondary joint disease (arthrosis, arthritis) and corresponding clinical symptoms such as pain and lameness. The disease is hereditary, with heritability up to 95%.
Diagnosis of CHD is commonly based on radiographic findings and is standardized method of scoring below is the European Hip Scores vs UK Hip scoring.
For more detailed content on Hip Dysplasia please visit The Kennel Club Health Page on Hip Displasia.
Like Hip Dysplasia elbows are also scored an outline of the scoring system used in the UK can be seen below:
- 0 – Normal
- 1 – Mild Elbow Dysplasia
- 2 – Moderate Elbow Dysplasia or a primary lesion
- 3 – Severe Elbow Dysplasia
Evidence should also be provided for such tests by your breeder. For some great content on Elbow Dysplasia please visit the UK Kennel Club.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) operate a screening programme for hereditary eye disease in dogs is run in conjunction with the Kennel Club (KC) and parents should be tested for any hereditary eye diseases.
You need to be able to confirm the pedigree of your puppy and your breeder should be able to provide you with your puppy’s pedigree. If the paperwork for he puppies is delayed they should have copies of all the parents registration documents and pedigree.
If you are interested in buying a puppy from the UK or abroad and need some advice please do not hesitate to contact the club. Someone is always on hand to help advise or point you in the direction of further information.