Slovakian Hound (Slovenský Kopov)
The Slovakian Hound originates from Slovakia where it has been used as a Scent Hound for several centuries. The dog is a true expert in hunting a wild boar although it’s also capable of tracing foxes, deer and other medium-sized game. The breed’s population is mostly concentrated in the Eastern Europe region as it’ virtually unknown in other parts of the world.
In its native land the Slovakian Hound is also called the Slovenský Kopov but the etymology of this nickname still remains unclear. It’s well-known though that this dog came to existence somewhere in the Dark Ages. It received final recognition as a unique canine variety only in the 70s of the XIX century. The Magyar Agar (Hungarian Greyhound), Brandlbracke (Austrian Black and Tan Hound), and Chart Polski are its most probable progenitors, which endowed this breed with acute sense of smell and unsurpassed stamina.
The Slovakian Hound is an assiduous breed with a superb hunting drive and has a great reputation among Slovakian hunters. It can trail the scent of its prey for hours on end without the slightest signs of tiredness. Unlike the vast majority of modern breeds, presently the breed is still actively applied in its main role. Of course lots of these dogs are adopted solely for companionship or as fearless guardians of human domains.
Slovakia granted the Slovakian Hound with the status of a national breed, as it’s the only Scent Hound developed in this country. The most considerable contribution to the reconstruction of its numbers after the Second World War was made by Koloman Slimak, a celebrated Slovakian cynologist. Under his control and leadership, in 1936 a complex study was fulfilled in order to find high-quality dogs for a breeding program. Ten years later the program scored absolute success and the breed eventually received its first standard and first stud book. In 1963 it was formally recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and in 1988 a separate club for breeders of the Slovensky Kopov was established.
The Slovakian Hound is a playful, brave, stubborn, faithful and self-dependent dog with great supplies of excessive energies. Thanks to all these traits it usually makes a wonderful addition to a family of any size. It’s essential to know that this breed needs an all-around and early socialisation in order to be kept alongside small kids. But on the whole it’s fond of children to whom it usually gets touchingly attached. However, this dog won’t put up with too much teasing and can snap to defend its personal space so teach the younger members of the family unit to handle their four-legged buddy with proper respect.
The vast majority of Slovakian Hounds is intensely wary of unfamiliar people and can even manifest their distrust by aggressive actions. Train your pet to the presence of strangers while it’s still a kind and curios puppy otherwise these aggressive tendencies may completely get out of control. This dog is endowed with a superb nose and keen ear so it detects every minor change in its surroundings and reports about it to its masters with its sonorous voice. This dog is keen on barking, which can become the source of the constant annoyance for you and your neighbours. But your property is totally safe from harm while this breed plays the role of its guardian.
Although the Slovakian Hound is a pack-oriented dog, it can live peaceably only with those canines with which it got acquainted in an early age. It treats all unknown dogs fairly belligerently and must be never released off-leash outside a securely fenced area. Other types of pets may be perceived by this breed as prey objects and only extensive socialisation can ensure its tolerance to a household cat.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· knee dysplasia;
· luxating patella;
· eye problems.
The Slovenský Kopov demands very elementary care. Its short shiny coat should be carefully brushed just once or twice a week to always look neat and well-groomed. After each and every hunting adventure it’s usually necessary to bathe this dog and check its fur for the traces of any external parasites.
Don’t forget to pay essential attention to its ears as well since they are prone to attract dirt and debris. Trim the nails of your pet every couple of months and brush its teeth on a weekly basis. Regular dental hygiene is a guarantee for good teeth health and freshness of breath.
The Slovakian Hound has earned the repute of a self-willed dog but its quick-wittedness and desire to please make its training a task of a reasonable difficulty. It’s advisable to treat this dog in a firm yet respectful manner and reinforce its interest with delicious treats and generous praise.
Because of its bossy nature it’s also vital to deserve the dogs’ recognition as a pack leader otherwise your pet can completely refuse to train under your supervision. Avoid resorting to harsh voice or physical punishments in the work with this breed because it always responds to such handling with even more unmanageable behaviour.
The Slovenský Kopov is a tenacious hunter, which can cope with such a fierce animal as a wild boar. No wonder that this breed has fairly sizeable exercise requirements and won’t do well in a small city apartment. Nonetheless its excellent stamina will be appreciated by a runner, bicyclist or a family who prefers active pastime in the open air.
It’s also a great idea to regularly offer this dog some kind of a task, which replicates its hunting duties. Shortage of physical outlets always becomes the reason of such serious behavioural issues as continuous barking, over excitability and even unpredictable aggressiveness.