Český horský pes (Czech Mountain Dog)
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The Czech Mountain Dog (Český horský pes) is a large working dog, which was produced by Czech breeders in the late 70s of the XX century. It gained popularity for its versatility and excellent robustness, which allow using it not only in sledding but also as a shepherd and rescue dog. This dog will make a wonderful companion animal for a sport-minded person.
The first litter of the Czech Mountain Dog was produced in the 1977 by purposeful crossing of the Slovakian Watchdog with a black-and-white sledge dog, which was brought to Czech Republic from Athabasca. The primary developer of the breed was Mr. Petr Hanzlík who was inspired to create multifunctional, highly trainable and sturdy dog, suitable largely for working in mountainous areas.
In order to enhance such characteristics of this dog as stamina, robustness and strength some other breeds were added to the mix in the 80s of XX century. Among the most probable candidates for this role were the Central Asian Ovcharka, the Landseer and the English Setter, but it hasn’t been formally confirmed.
The Czech Mountain Dog is mainly used for mushing sports, including sled-pulling, skijoring, bikejoring and others. The value of this breed consists in its supreme intelligence, docility and endurance. With its trainability it proved to be useful in search and rescue operations as well as for managing livestock. Nevertheless today this dog is generally acquired for guarding purpose and as a family pet. Its dense double coat serves it as a reliable protection against the most freezing cold so it can be kept outdoors on the permanent basis.
Despite minor differences in appearance among working specimens of Czech Mountain Dog, it’s completely standardized and can be met in Dog Shows in European countries. As a fairly newly-invented dog’s variety, it hasn’t yet achieved recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). However it was acknowledged as a national Czech breed in 1984.
The disposition of the Czech Mountain Dog is amicable and self-assured. It’s also an even-tempered and docile breed, which will make an excellent pet for an active individual. This dog tends to compete for the leader status so timely obedience training will help it to understand its position and the rules of behaviour in its human pack. It’s generally ok with children but it’s too strong and lively to be fully trusted with a toddler.
The Czech Mountain Dog is instinctively distrustful of unfamiliar people. However unmotivated human-aggressiveness is fairly uncommon for this breed. Well-socialised dog will behave politely in the presence of a stranger although it will still remain slightly reserved and distant. Thanks to its strong protective drive and inborn watchfulness it can be turned into a highly effective watchdog. This big and ferocious dog is also suited perfectly for the role of a guard dog.
The Czech Mountain Dog has bad reputation with strange dogs. It always wants to take a dominative position among the group of other canines and it’s quite ready to fight for it. That’s why it should be walked muzzled and leashed at all times. This dog has an average prey drive and can co-habitate with other family pets with relatively few problems. Nevertheless it should get acquainted with the existence of other species of animals as early and as accurately as possible.
Very healthy breed that can live a long life.
The Czech Mountain Dog is a working breed and therefore it demands insignificant amount of care. Its long and thick coat includes rich undercoat, which provides it good protection against the cold of winter. The dog should be brushed at least every other week to maintain its hair free of tangles and mats although this dog will definitely benefit from more frequent brushing.
The rest consists of such basic maintenance routines as nail clipping once in every couple of months and ears cleaning if they look dirty. The breed is a seasonal heavy shedder.
The complaisant and smart Czech Mountain Dog is characterised with superb trainability. This breed requires rather basic instructions in everything which concerns herding or sledding activities. At the same time some of its specimens can be quite wilful and obstinate so their training may require some extra efforts.
Anyway this confident and powerful dog won’t follow commands of the person whom it doesn’t acknowledge as a full-fledged leader. It responses best to firm but fair handling. It should be motivated to work only with reward-based methods, which should certainly include its favourite treats. Screaming or physical abuse won’t bring desirable results in the training of the Czech Mountain Dog.
The Czech Mountain Dog is an incredibly hardy and energetic breed, which is able to drag the sled tirelessly for hours on end. This means that even a long and brisk walk won’t provide it an adequate outlet for it exuberant energy.
Ideally this breed should be kept in the house with spacious and securely fenced yard where it can move and play without any restraint. If the dogs’ exercise need isn’t satisfied in a proper manner then it will be highly prone to such behavioural deviations as destructiveness, nervousness and even aggressiveness.