Activities For A Slovensky Kopov

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Introduction

The National dog of Slovakia, the Slovensky Kopov, is a long, muscular hunting dog developed to hunt hogs in forests and woodlands of Slovakia. It is referred to internationally as a Black Forest Dog but has no actual connection to the Black Forest. They are still used as hog hunting dogs today and are known for their tenaciousness and endurance but are rare outside of their native country. This breed is extremely intelligent but they were developed to be able to think independently and can be quite challenging to train.

Hiking

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Secure Lead
First aid Kit
waste bags
Activity description

Hiking is an activity that provides physical exercise and gives many people a chance to renew their spirits by connecting to nature. It is also an activity that many people enjoy sharing with their canine companion. This breed of dog traditionally spends much of its time traversing the forests of Slovakia, searching for wild pigs. They are hardy dogs with a great deal of endurance and stamina, and they enjoy being out of doors with their chosen human as often as possible. The Slovensky Kopov was developed to have an extremely strong prey drive, however, and it is safer if they are kept on a lead when outdoors unless they are actively working.

Step
1
Preparation
Hiking can be very physically strenuous, causing strain to the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and the skeletal system. Before starting this activity, it is a good idea to ensure that you and your dog’s medical information is up to date. If either of you has not had a recent checkup, this would be a good time to get that updated. Those who have not done much in the way of hunting recently or are otherwise new to hiking should start with shorter, less intense hikes, gradually moving up to longer trails that are more difficult to traverse.
Step
2
The gear
In order to keep both you and your canine companion safe when venturing into the wilderness, you should bring along two first aid kits, one for you and one for your dog. This is particularly important if you are planning on taking a long hike or if you are traversing remote trails. Canine first aid kits should include bandages and antiseptic wash for injuries, tweezers or pliers to remove splinters or porcupine quills, saline water in case they get something in their eyes, an extra pair of white socks in case the pads of their paws are damaged, and dog safe antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medication.
Step
3
Avoiding hazards
Although your hunting hound may be used to running through the woods somewhat unencumbered, it is important that they are kept on their lead during hiking excursions. Your dog is less focused on a task when they are hiking than when they are hunting and keeping control of your dog can help avoid hazards like diseased carcasses or toxic plants. The hazard of dehydration, while less dramatic, is no less dangerous, so be sure to bring along sufficient quantities of fresh, clean water for both you and your canine.
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Hunting Preparation

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Tracking Collar
Protective Vest
Activity description

The Slovensky Kopov is still employed today as a hunting dog that specializes in tracking and holding wild pigs. This is an important role as feral and wild pigs can become more than just troublesome, they spread disease, eat crops, and are violently aggressive towards both canines and humans, and strong enough to kill. Dogs that assist in the hunting of hogs need to be smart, strong, and fearless, traits that have all been encouraged in this breed. Even so, this can be a dangerous occupation and the dogs trained to help assist with this activity benefit from early preparation and plenty of training, starting as early as possible. 

Step
1
Following the scent
When training a pup to hunt wild pigs, most hunters will procure a small, recently weaned pig to pique the dog’s interest, encouraging aggressive behavior towards their quarry. As the pups get older, trainers take the pig out into the woods that the dog will be hunting in, walk it through the woods, then secure it, typically in a crate, then drive the dog to the woods and with the dog on a leash, encourage the dog to search out the pig.
Step
2
Wearing the gear
The job of a hog hunting dog is dangerous, and most modern dogs wear gear to help protect themselves. It is a good idea to get your young hunting dog used to wearing the protective gear before taking them out in the field in order to avoid discomfort and confusion when the dog needs to be focusing on their job. Have the pup put on their tracking collar and protective vest for just a few minutes at a time at first, gradually increasing the time to several hours at a time.
Step
3
Startle proofing
Guns are typically used when hunting boar, and it could be a very bad situation if the sound of the gun startles your dog while they are trying to control a dangerous wild pig. In order to habituate your dog to the sound of the gun, load it with blanks instead of bullets and bring it along when first training your dog to track the animal. You can occasionally shoot the gun into the air, then praise and reward the dog when they stay calm.
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Search and Rescue

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Certifications
Training
Activity description

The Slovensky Kopov is a talented scenthound with a great deal of endurance and stamina, just the kind of dog you want looking for missing children or Alzheimer’s patients. They are driven to find their quarry, whether that is hogs or humans, and while they can be wary of strangers, when well-socialized they tend to be agreeable with both people and dogs, and they are not just highly intelligent canines, but they are also known for their good decision-making capabilities. These are all traits that can help to make dogs of this breed enthusiastic and effective search and rescue canines. 

Step
1
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is a challenging but rewarding endeavor for both the dog and their handler. Both the human and canine members of the team should be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, and will need to be examined prior to starting work in order to ensure that they will be able to handle the taxing nature of this important job. Dogs that are less than eighteen months of age are not eligible to begin the targeted training required to become an official search and rescue dog until they have matured.
Step
2
Handler training
As the human member of the search and rescue team, you will also require quite a bit of specialized education. Search and rescue handlers typically are required to earn certification in subjects like first aid, CPR training, and life support so that they can render aid once the canine member has located someone. The team may also specialize in a specific area, possibly requiring additional training in subjects such as Haz-Mat, tracking skills, and even lifeguard training.
Step
3
Official certification
Once you have completed training, you can then be evaluated and fully certified by one of several groups that are nationally recognized as official search and rescue organizations. Official establishments include the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA), Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States (SARDUS), FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, and the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR).
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More Fun Ideas...

Pack Walk

These dogs often need to work in groups in order to hold and bring down the wild pigs that they were developed to hunt. Walking in a group, also known as going for a pack walk, can help your dog to be more amenable to working with other dogs.

Scent Work Trials

The Slovensky Kopov breed was trained to both track and hold the boars, and they have a well-developed sense of smell that could be extremely valuable in the competitive sport of scent work.

Conclusion

These active and intelligent dogs require a great deal of guided physical and mental activity and they are happiest and healthiest when given a job to do. Although they are traditionally seen as hog hunting dogs, The Slovensky Kopov is a versatile canine who can easily master many different activities when patience and consistency are used during training.