Activities For Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs

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Introduction

Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs, also known as Czechoslovakian Vlcak,  are a fairly new breed that was developed in the 1950s as a military dog in Germany utilizing German Shepherds and the Eurasian Wolf, a wild canine that is found in Europe and the Former Soviet Union. While the first and second generation offspring were deemed to be untrainable, third generation dogs and beyond were employed as border patrol and special operations. These are high energy dogs with a strong desire to be part of a team but may have some unpredictable behaviors and tend to have a strong prey drive, making them more suited to becoming working dogs than family companions. 

Search and Rescue

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

These dogs are extremely high energy dogs that are at their best mental and physical health when they are raised as working dogs with a clear job to do. Search and rescue operations were sometimes part of the work that they were originally developed for and they tend to have heightened senses including hearing, smell, and vision, particularly night vision. They also work particularly well as part of a team and enjoy being part of the type of human/canine team that is required for this important occupation. These traits make most Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs well-suited to the job of a search and rescue dog, providing that training and socialization start early. 

Step
1
Eligibility
The job of a search and rescue dog is both physically and mentally taxing and dogs, and their owners that are considering this endeavor, should be both mentally and physically fit. The dogs that are employed in this capacity will need to be composed and obedient in a number of different situations, so socialization and the training of basic commands should start as soon as possible. Targeted training for Search and Rescue will have to wait until your dog is at least eighteen months old, however.
Step
2
Human certifications
As the human half of a Seach and Rescue team, there are classes and certifications that you will need to complete before the two of you will be able to really get started. Depending on the area of search and rescue you choose to specialize in, certifications that you may be required to attain could include categories like basic life support and CPR, HazMat training, backcountry survival skills, and navigation techniques.
Step
3
Canine certifications
Groups like the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR), Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States (SARDUS), FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Certification program and the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA) offer nationally recognized SAR training programs that can provide certification for dogs that are suited for this job. There are several categories of Search and Rescue that you can train for including trailing, area, human remains, and disaster or avalanche responders.
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Skijor

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 25 min
Items needed
Skis
Poles
Boots and Bindings
Harness
Skijor belt
Towline
Activity description

During the Nordic sport of Skijor, a person on skis is pulled by a motorized vehicle, horse, or dog. Canine Skijor is most frequently used as an outlet for Arctic sled pulling dogs like Huskies, Samoyeds, and Malamutes, but any breed of dog over thirty-five pounds should be able to participate safely. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a strong and enduring canine, perfect for the work of pulling someone over long distances, and they have a thicker, warmer coat than most due to their wolf heritage. Although Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs don’t tend to get along with most other dogs, they are known to work fairly well with others of their breed, particularly if they are of opposite genders or have grown up together, which also makes them suitable for tandem Skijor as well as solitary. 

Step
1
Gear up
It is important to have the correct gear when skiing, either with or without dogs. Well built and properly fitting skis, poles, boots, and bindings are just as important when participating in Skijor as they are when you are skiing in a more traditional manner. Along with the traditional gear, you will also need gear specific to this sport, both for you and your canine. Your dog will require a specialized harness, and you will need to wear a skijor belt that goes around your waist or hips and a specially designed towline that allows your dog to safely connect the two.
Step
2
Train up
There are a number of different commands that your dog will need to have mastered in order to pursue this high-speed sport safely. They will need to know commands like hike, to start pulling, easy, to slow down, and particularly the on-by or leave-it command, in order to tell your dog to keep moving even if there is a distraction nearby. Once your canine partner or partners are consistently following your commands when you are on foot, you can start training with the skis as well. There are many groups and classes available to mentor you and your canine when first learning the sport of Skijor.
Step
3
Hit the trail (safely)
It’s a good idea to scout out the trail that you will be navigating before running it with your canine companion, particularly when first starting out with Skijor or when you will be traveling the trail in the dark. Protective gear like helmets and elbow pads may also be recommended when starting Skijor, although they are not strictly required to participate. Either Skijor with another enthusiast or let someone know which route you are taking, particularly when Skijoring in remote or wilderness type areas.
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Swimming

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Canine Life Vest
Activity description

 Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs were developed from German Shepherd dogs and Wolves, and while neither of these canines is known for swimming, they are both capable of becoming very skilled at it. In fact, a Canadian cousin of the Eurasian wolf is an accomplished fisher-canine, with salmon making up nearly a quarter of its diet. This breed is somewhat prone to hip dysplasia, and swimming offers a great opportunity to improve stamina, strength, and cardiovascular health in a way that protects their joints.  In some cases, it may take a little more effort to convince your Wolfdog to start swimming initially, but most of them enjoy swimming once they have been properly introduced to the water. 

Step
1
Find a place
There are several hazards to be aware of when swimming outdoors in natural bodies of water such as wildlife, bacterial or viral infections, and dangerous, unexpected currents. There are, however, several beaches on oceans and lakes that are designated as dog-friendly for canine swimming which may lessen many of the risks. Another option is to locate a canine swimming pool. These facilities are free from most of the hazards found in natural water and have typically have trained staff to help introduce your dog to swimming and often have canine life vests on hand as well.
Step
2
Life Vest
Canines that are new to swimming, elderly, or arthritic are safer if they are fitted with a life vest in most situations, and when swimming in water with strong currents, all dogs should have one on. These vests come in many shapes and sizes, and it is important to ensure your dog’s life vest is snug but not so tight that it interferes with the dog’s ability to run, play, and swim. Canine swimming pools will often have these vests available, but you will need to bring your own if you are swimming in a natural body of water.
Step
3
Entering the water
When introducing your canine companion to the water for the first time, it is important not to use force or fear to get them into the water. It is better to get into the water yourself first, then coax them more gently into the water using praise and play as a motivator. If you are at a canine swimming facility, a trained instructor is likely to handle that part of the experience while you encourage your dog from the sidelines.
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More Fun Ideas...

Schutzhund

Schutzhund is a German training technique for protection dogs and was developed specifically for German Shepherds, the breed of dog that was combined with the Eurasian Wolf during the development of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.

Sledding

While this breed is not specifically bred to be a sled dog, they do have the strength, endurance, and ability to weather the cold that is needed to excel at this job.

Socialization

Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are known to be somewhat aggressive towards other dogs, and occasionally towards people, when unsocialized but dogs that receive adequate socialization are less likely to develop aggressive tendencies.

Conclusion

 The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is an intelligent canine with a great deal of both physical strength and stamina. They were developed as a military animal and are at their best both physically and mentally when they have a job to do, particularly if that job is one that allows them to work closely with a human partner.  This breed tends to become anxious and destructive if not given enough to do during the day. Fortunately, the activities listed here are only a few of the activities these dogs are able to participate in, giving pet parents several options to keep their dog happy and busy.