Bohemian Shepherd (Chodsky Pes)
The Bohemian Shepherd is an average-sized working breed, which has thrived in the Czech Republic since time immemorial. Presently this dog earned wide appreciation as a wonderful companion animal. Thanks to its docile nature it suits well both for a novice and experienced canine lover.
Photo: © KPCHP (kpchp.org)
It’s speculated that the forefathers of the Bohemian Shepherd (Chodsky Pes) have traversed the territory of the Czech Republic since at least the XIV century. This canine variety was especially popular in the Chodsko region where it was exploited as a property guardian, sheepdog and family pet. Actually the dog was so revered in this area that its images often adorned various pennants. Multiple enthusiastic reviews about this breed in Czechoslovak literature also prove how much local people relied on their four-legged companions. This dog is also reckoned to be an immediate forerunner of such a popular breed as the German Shepherd.
Unfortunately during the XX century the Bohemian Shepherd fell into oblivion and was on the verge on total demise until Mr. Findejs published an article with its description in a cynological journal. It sparked off interest of other Czechoslovak breeders and under the leadership of Mr. Findejs they began a modern-day breeding program. They could find three dogs of obscure ancestry whose appearance and temperament fitted best the characteristics of the Chodsky Pes. The program scored first success in 1985 when the first litter of the present-day Bohemian Shepherd was born. Several decades later it won the repute of a robust, even-tempered and very smart working dog that can be also successfully used as a companion animal.
The Club of the Chodsky Pes’ lovers was established in November 1991. Thanks to the efforts of its members the breed was admitted to various local canine events. In 1997 the creator of this dog, Mr. Jan Findejs, wrote and published a book about his breeding work. Eight years later it was translated into other languages, which greatly increased international awareness about this breed. Nonetheless specimens of the Bohemian Shepherd can be very rarely seen outside its native land. Apart from being an ultimate family dog, today it also excels in all kinds of canine competitions including tracing trials, agility, flyball, rescue tasks and so on.
The Bohemian Shepherd combines the characteristics of an excellent working dog with the traits of a fabulous family pet. It’s endlessly devoted to its human masters and commonly displays great tenderness in communication with them. Remember that this dog deeply detests being alone and without proper amount of your attention can start misbehaving itself indoors. In most cases it’s great with children of different ages although early basic socialisation is still a must for this friendly yet very boisterous breed.
The Bohemian Shepherd expresses unceasing alertness in the company of unknown people. But this dog has very little aggressive tendencies in its disposition and commonly receives houseguests somewhat coldly but politely. It’s highly protective of its favourite people and territory so it becomes a very decent guardian. It will unfailingly warn its masters about any strange activity in the vicinity of the house and makes a great watchdog.
This breed stands out for average reputation as long as it concerns its counterparts. The Bohemian Shepherd will be happy to live in the group of other canines although it certainly prefers human company. It’s a fairly confident dog, which won’t back down from a fight if provoked. So the owner should practice necessary caution when introducing two unfamiliar dogs to each other. The breed treats other species of animals comparatively peacefully. Be aware though that it may attempt to herd household cats as well as family kids. Such type of behaviour can be partially eradicated by early obedience training.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· canine hip dysplasia;
· eye problems;
The Bohemian Shepherd is a proud owner of long thick coat, which isn’t prone to tangling and therefore needs average amount of brushing. This easy-to-care-for dog will always have a tidy look if you brush its hair only twice a week. It sheds averagely but turns into an intense shedder during summer months.
The rest maintenance comprises of such usual procedures as monthly nail trimming, regular teeth brushing and periodic examinations of the dog’s ears. Frequent bathing is really unnecessary unless your pet likes romping in the mud.
The Bohemian Shepherd can be trained fast and easy if you manage to establish trust-based relationship with the dog. It always wants to make its masters happy so it can learn very difficult commands with fairly insignificant amount of repetitions.
Make sure to whip up interest of your pet with its favourite food and generous praise since it will never react in a positive way to negative reinforcement. Thanks to the keen mind of this breed and its obedient nature it commonly performs at the highest level in almost all kinds of canine competitions.
As a tenacious and intelligent working dog, the Bohemian Shepherd welcomes any type of physical activity regardless of its intensity or duration. A couple of daily walks won’t be enough to satisfy its desire to roam and play. That’s why it fits better into countryside than to urban environment.
Additionally the Bohemian Shepherd requires exercise not only for its athletic body but also for its curious mind. Advanced obedience training and other similar activities are highly recommended for this breed. The dog that doesn’t get either physical or mental discharge will eventually develop propensity to unreasonable barking or become too active indoors.