The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog 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, and was officially recognized as a breed by Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1989.
2017 Italian Ave Lupo operation
In January 2017, 229 Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs were sequestered by the Environmental Protection Unit of the Carabinieri following a nationwide investigation. The investigation started in 2013 and it was taken over in 54 Italian provinces and was stating that Italian breeders were crossing the Czechoslovakian dog-wolves with wild wolves from the Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia and even from North America. Following this crossing, the newborns were considered to have a stronger bone structure and a more similar aspect to the wild wolves allowing the same breeders to improve their performances at expositions. Because of this, puppies were sold on an average price of €5,000. The operation was part of a major international operation that was investigating on the illegal traffic of wild wolves in different European countries.
In 2015, a DNA study of the breed compared to German Shepherds and Carpathian wolves found only two maternal mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and two paternal Y DNA haplotypes within the breed. The two mDNA haplotypes and one yDNA haplotype originated with German Shepherds and was the result of back-crossing. The other yDNA haplotype was unique to the breed. All four haplotypes were distinct from those of the parental populations.
Both the build and the haircoat of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog are reminiscent of a wolf. The lowest dewlap height is 65 cm (26 in) for a male and 60 cm (24 in) for a female, and there is no upper limit. The body frame is rectangular, with the ratio of the height to length being 9:10 or less. The minimum weight is 26 kg (57 lb) for males and 20 kg (44 lb) for females. The expression of the head must indicate the sex. Amber eyes set obliquely and short upright ears in a triangular shape are its characteristic features. The set of teeth is complete (42) and very strong; both scissors-shaped and pliers-shaped dentition are acceptable. The spine is straight, strong in movement, with a short loin. The chest is large and flat rather than barrel-shaped. The belly is strong and drawn in. The back is short and slightly sloped; the tail is high set, and when freely lowered reaches the tarsi. The forelimbs are straight and narrow-set, with the paws slightly turned out, with a long radius and metacarpus. The hind limbs are muscular, with a long calf and instep.
The coat color is yellow-grey to silver-grey, with a light mask. The hair is straight, close, and very thick. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a typical tenacious canterer; its movement is light and harmonious, and its stride is long.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is more versatile than specialized. It is quick, lively, very active, and courageous. Distinct from the character of the Saarloos Wolfhound, shyness is a disqualifying fault in the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog develops a very strong social relationship - not only with their owner, but with the whole family. It can easily learn to live with other domestic animals which belong to the family; however, difficulties can occur in encounters with strange animals. It is vital to subdue the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog's passion for hunting when they are puppies to avoid aggressive behavior towards smaller animals as an adult. The puppy should never be isolated in the kennel; it must be socialized and get used to different surroundings. Female Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs tend to be more easily controllable, but both genders often experience a stormy adolescence.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is very playful, temperamental, and learns easily. However, it does not train spontaneously, the behavior of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is strictly purposeful - it is necessary to find motivation for training. The most frequent cause of failure is usually the fact that the dog is tired out with long useless repetitions of the same exercise, which results in the loss of motivation. These dogs have admirable senses and are very good at following trails. They are very independent and can cooperate in the pack with a special purposefulness. If required, they can easily shift their activity to the night hours. Sometimes problems can occur during their training when barking is required. Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs have a much wider range of means of expressing themselves and barking is unnatural for them; they try to communicate with their masters in other ways (mainly through body language, but also with quiet noises such as growls, grunts, and whining). Generally, teaching the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog stable and reliable performance takes a bit longer than teaching traditional specialized breeds. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has been successfully employed as a Search And Rescue (SAR) dog in Italy, although, admittedly, handling one requires much more work than other breeds.