It may look like an untamed wolf fresh from the steppes, but the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a relatively new breed. The result of crossing wolves with German Shepherd dogs, in the hope of combining the physical strength and agility of the wolf with the shepherd's loyalty and ease of training, the Wolfdog was originally intended for military and police work, but today the breed is more likely to be found as a companion animal. Wolfdogs rarely bark, being more likely to communicate in grunts, growls, and other quiet noises, as well as with body language, which makes them less suitable for some working roles where clear signals from dog to handler are needed.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is officially recognised by the FÈdÈration Cynologique Internationale, but not by the British or American Kennel Clubs. Following the breakup of Czechoslovakia, it is a national breed of Slovakia.
Is it a wolf? Is it a dog?
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is similar in appearance to its European wolf ancestors, with large, erect ears, amber eyes, a long muzzle, and a coat of grey and brown with a facial mask and lighter underparts. Its gait is wolflike, with long, loping strides, and it shares some physical characteristics, like late maturity and a long life, with wolves, as well as some behavioural traits, like the use of teeth in play.
Its striking appearance...