The “Czech Shepherd”

Our curiosity was piqued after watching the heartwarming video below:

What, we wondered, is a “Czech Shepherd?”

After a little homework, this is what we gleaned:

The Czech Shepherd is a line of German Shepherd Dog that traces back to the first officially registered German Shepherd, Horand von Grafrath.

After World War II, Czechoslovakia shared a border with East Germany, and dogs were bred in relative isolation that was restricted to the border stations on that border. The majority of these dogs were remnants from the former East Germany, but dogs from the Czechoslovakian Army’s border patrol, or Pohranicni Straze, were also used in the strict breeding program.  For anyone who’s wondering, Czech line German Shepherds and East German DDR German Shepherds are essentially the same bloodline.

As compared to German Shepherd Dogs we’d see in America, Czech German Shepherds tend to be smaller,their ears are often slightly smaller, and instead of the traditional saddle coloration, most are more uniform in color ranging from a wolfish grey (like “Ikar” in the video) to dark brown, and even solid black. Some people think Czech Shepherds also have slightly more wolfish features than other lines.  The dogs were bred to be working dogs, and we discovered that Czech Shepherds are often preferred by both military companies and police organizations for their agility, strong work ethic, and tremendous tracking ability.

19 thoughts on “The “Czech Shepherd””

  1. My wife and I have an all black German Shepherd(Czech) with orange eyes. She is 2 years old. A lot of people think she is a hybrid wolf. She weighs about 70 pounds. As far as temperament she does not like going into stores and does not like strangers. With my family she is the most loving dog. She is always in protection mode though. She sleeps at night in a large kennel in our bedroom with the gate open. She does not wander. Ever since we brought her home she has loved sleeping in the kennel. As far as exercise she gets ran pretty much every day in an open field by our house. We have 2 cats that she gets along with. Other cats though she dislikes. When we first adopted her at 5 weeks we did not know of her blood lines. It was through a friend my wife works with that trains dogs for protection that we learned about her being a Czech Shepherd. We both love her very much and are glad she is part of our family.

    • A lovely description of your dog, Doug, and of her work ethic. It sounds as if she is very lucky to have been found by a family who understands her temperament and needs. If you ever get the chance, we’d love to see a picture of her.

  2. We have a female Czech GSD in sable coloration. I’ve had many dogs over my life, but Marley is the most intelligent and beautiful dog I’ve ever known. Sharp as a knife, incredibly fast learner. She’s also very wary of strangers, as you mention, very protective, and on guard even in her sleep. What a gal! I dread to think what life would be like without her.

    • She sounds quite amazing, Jim. How did you get interested in the breed?

  3. My Kona Boy will be 2 in December. Beautiful Sable gray Czech. A bit crazy at times, but a wonderful family dog. The other day, while on a walk, he actually growled at a person walking, first time he has done that. Smart, athletic, protective, excellent breed of dogs.

  4. My Kona Boy will be 2 in December. Beautiful Sable gray Czech. A bit crazy at times, but a wonderful family dog. The other day, while on a walk, he actually growled at a person walking, first time he has done that. Smart, athletic, protective, excellent breed of dogs.

  5. I have a beautiful female Czech GSD (about 50 lbs) that I rescued a year ago from a bad home. She was in horrible condition, and was also suffering from Crohn’s disease. It took us a long time to get her healthy and comfortable. She was shy and suspicious of us for a few months after we brought her home.

    However, she has really come into her own, and has a huge personality. She is incredibly protective of my husband and I- especially around other people/strangers. But is the sweetest and smartest dog I’ve ever had, a total love bug. A very happy pup. She loves to play in water, and chase bugs/lasers/etc.

    • Bless you for taking her in, Madelyn, she is quite beautiful, no doubt because of your patience and attention. Well done you, and thank you for sharing her story and photo with us.

  6. I found her at a shelter. I am guessing from her morphology she is a CGSD. I have had GSD’s my whole life. She is the smartest dog I have ever lived with.

  7. My boy is 12 months. He is totally sound. Not wary of strangers, not a nervous bone in his body. He is by far the most affectionate dog I’ve ever had. I typically prefer an aloof dog, but this guy has melted my heart.

    • Lisa, he is quite stunning, and scary-intelligent looking. Good thing he’s affectionate!!

  8. My Czech baby girl is absolutely amazing. The has the cutest most spunky personality and is extremely loving. She loves giving kisses and loves to play ball. She is definitely protective and quite scary to anyone who doesn’t know her. I couldn’t imagine life without her.

    • She’s lovely, Krystal, thank you for sharing her photo with us.

  9. My baby is 11 months old. She’s GSD and Czach. High energy, loves attention and is so loveable. She hasn’t been out in the public much but loveing and affectionate to everyone who I allow in the house. She is very protective and I have no doubt she’d ptotect me with her life. She’s my 3rd German Shepherd, though my last two didn’t have the Czach in them. My new baby girl has Czach and she has so much energy, makes it hard to keep up with her. Talk about smart, she learns quickly and follows commands. She sleeps in.her kennel at night, just tell her it’s time for bed, she walks right into her kennel. Again she’s only 11 months old but she’s a good size, beautiful baby that’s loved so much and yes, spoiled! The picture was from when she was 9 months.

  10. I think my puppy Ray is of Czech Bloodline his parents are a tad smaller than other German Shepherds he is smart as whip super agile and extremely friendly. I got him from neighbors who are both of Eastern European background! I’ve house broken puppies before and never had one so good and compliant he either goes on paper and cardboard I’ve laid out every time or goes to the front door on his own to let me know! He’s about 18 weeks old now and he has also fully integrated with my other two dogs a Great Pyrenees Maremma mix and a large off while German Shepherd they say mix both about 120 or more pounds!

  11. I have a 15month old male DDR/Czech shepherd. He is an amazing animal, strong as they come, almost too smart for his own good ( or mine😂) I had to switch out the door handles in the house because could open them from watching me. He his fearless, strong protective instincts, never leaving my side, always micro analyzing my interactions with others. High working drive, mentally and physically. Stubborn with a high pain tolerance made training interesting ( I used an experienced trainer that worked with his breeder for over 20yrs). But what I love most about him is how affectionate and goofy he can be. He is as strong as he is gentle ❤️ Something I have def noticed with most Czech shepherds they are not your typical social dog park type. They are suspicious of everyone. I would recommend this breed to someone with a lot of time to train and exercise them regularly

    • We love hearing from owners whose experiences are invaluable! Your Dutchie is beautiful!

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