Living with Czechoslovakian Vlcak
Czechoslovakian Vlcak are not a breed for everyone. Everyone says this about ‘their’ breed and there is no breed that is for everyone, but there are a number of characteristics that make Czechoslovakian Vlcak unsuitable for many people. And it's important to preface with all the reasons why they are not for everybody, due to the rate of placement failures of the dogs, especially around the time they become adolescents. Contained here are my generalizations of the breed - tendencies and likelihoods - from my observation of not only my own dogs but the many many dogs I have seen and met through the years. I don't purport to know everything, every dog, and certainly I do know of a few that defy what is written below, but I do not think that one should consider a CsV unless one is willing to accept the likely possibilities of the breed temperament. And it is complex enough that it is not something that can be determined when you go to pick up a 10-week old puppy!..that being said..
Czechoslovakian Vlcak are of course, intelligent. That doesn't mean that they are easy to handle and train. It means that they can figure out many things, how to open locked doors, how to open windows, how to raid refrigerators, how to open crate doors, and more... They find things to entertain themselves with when they're young, and can be very destructive. Being intelligent also means that they learn quickly and get bored quickly. They are not a breed that is impressed by long routine training, and their motivators can vary seemingly from day to day. They are strong-willed and when they don’t want to do something, it seems impossible to train them otherwise, as if you were making the same repetition for the thousandth time. Czechoslovakian Vlcak are highly observant and wary. This is their basic breed nature.. even outlined in the breed standard. As a result it will be very difficult to train a Vlcak in precision work which requires trialing in new environments and situations as they become very preoccupied with observing the new situation and all the little details. Although the bond between the trainer and dog can make them one of the most entertaining and fun training subjects, their basic nature can make it extremely difficult to successfully become sporting dogs in the traditional venues. For this reason, I do not recommend purchasing a Vlcak if one's foremost goal is training and titling in some sport - the dogs should foremost be brought because one wants a Vlcak. All other training and sporting aspirations should follow depending on the individual character of the dog.
Czechoslovakian Vlcak, especially the males, are large, rambunctious, physical dogs. Their preferred way of playing and greeting can be very physical and most owners have - at least - stories about accidental bruises, black eyes.. Of course, training will help, but some things may not change… Along with their physicality they are also powerful and agile. It means that they can scale or jump most fences especially if they are left alone. Many also have a healthy amount of prey drive. These dogs are naturally grabby and mouthy and it must be tempered through a combination of training and simply waiting for mental maturity. If you want a dog that is naturally gentle, Czechoslovakian Vlcak, especially a puppy, is likely not the dog for you...
Czechoslovakian Vlcak typically mature into dominant, same-sex selective/aggressive dogs. This does not mean that they mindlessly attack just every same-sex dog, but it does mean that for the most part males will not get along with stranger large, intact males especially of the same age, at least not without a few scuffles to start, at best. Females although not as forwardly unfriendly to other females also mature with a tendency to be same sex-aggressive to stranger females. It may not be all new dogs they meet, it maybe not even be half. But every Vlcak has an archenemy in the same sex. It means that at maturity Czechoslovakian Vlcaks are not dog park dogs that you can just take to any dog park full of stranger dogs. People new to the breed often marvel at how social and how good their puppy Vlcak communicates with other dogs. All puppy Vlcaks are social.. the real test awaits when the dog reaches sexual maturity starting at about a year and a half…. These are dogs that breed naturally, whelp easily, and by their basic nature, have a strong sexually competitive instinct. Families that wish to keep multiples of the same sex (especially with other Czechosovakian Vlcak or other large breed of the same sex) should be aware of the likelihood of the dogs not getting along in adulthood, particularly if the dogs are not related like a mother and daughter, and/or are close together in age. Separated living of a particular dog or dogs is a matter of fact among most people who own multiple Vlcak of the same sex. If one is not prepared to provide separated living circumstances and to tightly manage this type of arrangement, one should not entertain the idea of keeping multiples of the same sex.
Czechoslovakian Vlcaks are dogs that require a high amount of management. Training is important but management of any unwanted behaviors even more so. You will never teach your Vlcak not to scale the fence when you are not home, for example. You must manage them appropriately. They are dogs that mature very, very slowly and late, both mentally and physically. They will behave like clueless puppies for much longer, and it means that expectations on training must be also similarly adjusted. Pushing immature puppies too fast, too soon will result in broken bonds between the owner and the dog.
These are dogs that become strongly bonded to their people, and as a result separation anxiety is not rare in the breed. And importantly – Czechoslovakian Vlcak rely on their humans to show them the world. They want somebody which they trust to show them that strangers and new situations and objects are safe. Socialization must be consistent, thorough, and on-going. Shyness in Czechoslovakian Vlcak is a known problem and a strongly developed bond with an owner who guides the dog through life is an absolute must. Trust is something that must be earned. And it means that rehoming an adult dog is often traumatic and very difficult for many Vlcak. Family is an integral part of their identity and a means from which they draw confidence.
Now that I have outlined the various difficulties of the breed, life with Czechoslovakian Vlcak can be enjoyable, but a person has to have the right humorous and self-effacing personality, since they will always teach us humility.... They are dogs that are active, smart, strongly bonded, and lively. They want to be involved with everything you do as a partner. They are not the easiest dogs to live with but they are also incredibly expressive, quirky, and funny if you are the right person for a Vlcak... To have a Vlcak is a lifestyle, not just another nice pet dog to have easily in the backyard...