German Shepherds might seem to have the same general appearance. However, some of them are working…
It is generally known that show line German Shepherds are different from working lines. However, few know that there are actually different types of working line GSDs. Among them is a line that originated from Czechoslovakia and was thus called the Czech German Shepherd.
What Is A Czech German Shepherd?
Czech German Shepherds are a type of GSD that is known for their remarkable drive. Like other types of working line German Shepherds, this one has a straighter back and a more athletic build that enables them to do very rigorous physical work.
Today, the Czech German Shepherd is not as popular as other working lines like the DDR or the West German variants. Nevertheless, these dogs are preferred for some types of work, including roles in the military, law enforcement, and personal protection.
Brief History Of The Czech German Shepherd Line
All German Shepherds can be traced back to Horand von Grafrath, the breed’s founding stud. By setting and maintaining breed standards, the subsequent offspring displayed the temperament, intelligence, and athleticism GSDs became loved for. Because of this, the breed proliferated in many parts of the world.
In communist Czechoslovakia—before the early 90s when the country was separated into the modern-day Czech Republic and Slovakia—working line GSDs were bred from neighboring East Germany and were, therefore, originally DDR German Shepherds.
The Czechoslovakian military selectively bred DDR German Shepherds and made an already impressive courageous pedigree into one that was even more fearless and formidable. This was necessary for their work as border patrol dogs.
Modern Czech working lines are no longer as tenacious as they were once bred to be. This makes them more manageable. Nevertheless, they are still known as dogs with nerves of steel and will require an experienced and authoritative handler in order to thrive.
What Type Of Work Do Czech German Shepherds Excel At?
Given that this working line was developed by the Czechoslovakian military to protect its borders, it’s no surprise that these dogs are most useful in assisting military and law enforcement.
Czech German Shepherds are excellent at sniffing, tracking, and herding—all the roles GSDs generally excel in. However, this working type is best suited for even more demanding work.
Along with their stronger and leaner bodies, the focus and intense drive that was selectively bred into the Czech GSD make them incredibly effective dogs for patrolling and assisting in criminal apprehension.
Their incredible protective instincts also make them useful in guarding spaces from intruders, stopping people from escaping, and protecting their handlers from any physical harm.
Typical Attributes Of The Czechoslovakian GSD
Czech German Shepherds share many of the same characteristics as other working lines and even show line GSDs. They all can be traced back to a single sire after all. Nevertheless, the Czech GSDs are different in many ways.
Czech GSDs typically have sable coats but could also be solid black. They have straighter backs than their show-line counterparts.
This makes them less susceptible to bone and joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. Additionally, this makes them more agile and athletic.
Among all the GSD types, the Czech variant looks most like the grey wolf. Apart from their pointed ears and bushy tail, they tend to have larger heads, broader chests, and more solid musculature than other working lines.
Since these dogs were developed to be extraordinarily headstrong, they can become more prone to aggression. They are instinctively more protective and will not hesitate to attack anything they perceive as a threat, even when they’re not taught to do so. If trained and socialized properly, however, these traits can be incredibly useful.
Czech German Shepherds are also intensely loyal to their handlers. This can border on unhealthy obsession. Even so, this ability to bond with one person can be extremely valuable to an experienced handler.
Although Czech GSDs are generally regarded as super-soldiers, they can also have the same adorable personalities that most GSDs have. Even still every dog will have a slightly different and unique personality.
Nevertheless, these dogs can be just as sweet, goofy, and loving but will quickly switch to full-on work mode if needed.
Czech German Shepherds Require proper socialization and intensive training at a young age to hone all their good qualities and keep from developing bad behaviors.
For the experienced hander that’s up for the challenge of having a headstrong canine partner, training these highly intelligent dogs with remarkable work ethics can be incredibly fulfilling.
Apart from plenty of physical exercise, Czech German Shepherds will need ample opportunities to exhaust their mental energies and flex their natural canine abilities. They thrive best when they’re made to work mentally and physically demanding jobs.
In terms of physical care, Czech GSDs require larger quantities of high-quality food as they burn more calories at work. Their dense coats will also need frequent brushing, especially during the shedding seasons that prepare them for the winter and summer months.
Are Czech German Shepherds Good Household Pets?
Because of their harsher temperament and intense work drive, Czech German Shepherds are not typically kept as household pets.
Their intense loyalty to their hander can lead to over-protectiveness, which can lead to aggression towards other people and pets in the household. Their strong prey drive is especially dangerous in homes with small children and animals.
Additionally, their bullheadedness can also cause many problems in an unstructured home.
Despite all these issues, they could still serve as excellent companion animals for someone that can offer firm leadership and proper socialization.
How Rare Are The Czech German Shepherds?
Czech German Shepherds are the rarest among the working lines. This is because they are best suited for highly specialized work. There are, however, many breeders around the world that are dedicated to maintaining the Czech working line.
Breeders of Czech German Shepherds are often those who produce and possibly even train specialized working dogs. So, although you are not likely to find these dogs being sold in pet stores, you should be able to find reputable breeders if you’re keen on getting one.
How Much Do Czech German Shepherds Cost?
Every dog’s price is influenced by a number of factors, including the breeder’s reputation, the dog’s lineage, conformation, coloring, and temperament. Prices also increase after health screenings, medical expenses, and training.
Given all these factors, it’s no surprise that Czech German Shepherds are much more expensive than the average show line GSD. Non-working line German Shepherds purchased from breeders can cost $800 on average, with many puppies costing up to $1,900 each. Breeders of Czech GSDs fetch significantly higher prices for their dogs.
For example, puppies from Florida’s K-9 Specialists typically cost between $3,000 and $3,500. Adults that have received specialized training can cost as much as $24,500.
How Long Does A Czech Working Line Live?
The average German Shepherd has a life expectancy of up to 14 years.
However, the careful selection and breeding that goes into maintaining the Czech working line mean that these dogs typically live longer and healthier lives than their show line counterparts. They’re also less prone to diseases as well as bone & joint conditions throughout their lifetime.
Czech German Shepherds are remarkable workers that can reward you with intelligence, trainability, and exceptional loyalty. However, you need to be ready to provide the training, socialization, and leadership they need to be the wonderful dogs they’re known to be.
If you’re interested in the Czech German Shepherd for property or personal protection but do not yet have the experience of handling such headstrong dogs, check out this list of guard dogs for first-time dog owners.