Here is some background history on the Czech lines (as I know it….).
A Brief History of the Czech Border Patrol German Shepherd and its current day status…..
Prior to 1956
The Czech GSD bloodlines have a lot of German bloodlines bred into their own native herding dogs. What amount of German influence there was depends on the time during history to which we are referring.
In the beginning, shortly after Max von Stephanitz founded the GSD, the Czechs began importing German stock to improve their bloodlines by breeding to their native dogs. Many of the native Czech dogs were very similar to the Southern German herding dogs of that time. Smaller and slighter of build but a bit sharper and harder dogs.
In 1923 the Czechoslovakian Seiger was Klodo vom Boxberg. While few people, who were involved in the serious breeding of German Shepherds had heard of the results, Max von Stephanitz was fully aware. It had been bothering Max that the dogs of Germany were becoming too short and too tall and because of this were loosing their fluid movements. Max studied the results of that show and in 1925 with the German Seiger show about to take place he made a decision. After his decision was made, Max (the Rittmeister) took his place in the ring and after several days of judging, made Klodo vom Boxberg the new Seiger of 1925. This dog was to be used to mold the standard for the German Shepherd for generations to come in Europe as well as North America.
In 1955 — The Z Pohranicni Straze
The kennel Z Pohranicni straze (Z PS) was founded in the year 1955 for the single purpose of production and training of dogs that would be solely used for the protection of the Czechoslovakian People’s Republic’s, and since 1968 Czechoslovakian Socialist Republic’s borders. Most of the dogs were acquired from the territory of former East Germany (DDR) and also there were dogs from Czechoslovakia used for breeding; the ones that excelled in their character qualities.
The breeding program, established in 1956, was under the direction of Mr.Jiri Novotny from 1981 to 2001. Mr Novotny also was the director of training during this time. Since the foundation of the breeding program, it was focused mainly on strengthening the good power of bones, dark pigmentation, strong nerves and willingness to work in tracking, obedience, and defense work.
There were three breeding facilities with a total of 80 breeding females that made up the “Z Pohranicni straze” kennel. Combined to these 80 females were 30 stud dogs, all of which were on active duty with their handlers. The breeding facilities were located within the Czech Boarder Police compounds in Domazlice, Libejovice and Prackovice. These compounds had a high security status with access to them strictly forbidden to anyone, including Czech Border Police, who did not work at the specific facility.
The females were bred and puppies whelped, raised, and trained all within these breeding stations by military service conscripts. These stations were staffed by trainers, veterinarians, assistant breeders and kennel help. Once trained, the Pohranicni Straze dogs were assigned a handler and patrolled primarily the border with Germany and Austria to prevent Czechoslovakian’s and any others from within the East Block from escaping.
The dogs were trained at the kennels for about 12 months and afterwards relocated to Border Patrol training facilities in their quarters. (Nowadays they’re located in Czech police training facilities.)
During the years under the communist regime, the Czechoslovakian border patrol and their dogs would apprehend 20 to 30 people on a daily basis. While nine out of ten people would give up when confronted, the dogs were regularly called upon to defend their handlers from those intent on crossing the border at what ever cost.
After the fall of the iron curtain, the Czech Border Police shared border stations with their German counter parts who maintained a tight control over economical refugees from the former Eastern Block entering Germany. While one might think that the falling of the iron curtain might lessen the vigilance at the borders, that thought would be wrong. The need for the Czech Border Patrol Dogs increased! Those who were not given visa’s to legally enter Germany attempted to cross this same Czech border. While many were crossing to seek a better life in Western Europe and usually did not resist arrest, an increasing number were connected with organized crime and posed a considerable threat.
The “Z Pohranicni straze” German Shepherd Dogs continued to be called upon to respond daily in high risk, threatening situations. The training courses to prepare them were as demanding as were their requirements for breeding.
Since 2001, after the retirement of Mr. Jiri Novotny from the Czech Republic Police, the name of the kennel changed and it is no longer z Pohranicni straze. The name was replaced by a new kennel name “od Policie Ceske Republiky”. The breeding program of this kennel has changed substantially. The remaining dogs from the original breeding program of this kennel are mainly owned by Jinopo.
Obtaining a z Pohranicni Straze German Shepherd Dog
There were three ways in which quality dogs from his highly desired “Z Pohranicni straze” kennel were available.
I. Studs Fees:
The Z Pohranicni straze kennel bred their females occasionally to dogs owned by civilians. The stud dogs chosen were outstanding working dogs selected for their ability to consistently produce dogs with exceptional working ability. The owner of the stud had the option of being paid or taking a puppy for payment. Most people took the latter option in order to own a “Z Pohranicni staze” dog.
II. Whelping litters:
There were three kennels owned by civilians with which the Z Pohranicni straze kennel worked closely:
“Jipo-me”, a kennel in partnership between Mr. Jiri Novotny and a close friend,
“z-Jirkova dvora”, owned by Mr. Novotny’s Father
and z Blatenskeho Zamku owned by Zdenek Koubek
The breeding program utilized their own dogs with the exception of occasional special breedings which took place in partnership with these 3 private breeders. These kennels, owned by civilians, were at times given the opportunity to take Pohranicni Straze breeding females and whelp the litters. In return, these private kennels kept half of the litter which bears the kennel name “Z Pohranicni straze”. The breeding of these 3 private kennels where also under the direction of Mr. Novotny.
III. Dog for dog:
There are also times in which Pohranicni Straze Kennel traded dogs with these three kennels as another way to bring desired dogs and bloodlines into the Pohranicni straze breeding program.
Through these three ways civilians had access to Z Pohranicni Straze dogs and the kennel managed to be at the center of breeding in both the former Czechoslovakia and the present day Czech Republic. Many of these dogs have been purchased by Schutzhund competitors in both Western Europe and the United States, often placing high at championship events.
Dogs currently are being bred under the registered kennel names Z JIRKOVA DVORA and JIPO-ME. The blood lines were obtained from former East German dogs and also from old Czech working dogs’ blood. The most dogs have their origin in the kennels:
Z Pohranicni straze (z PS), Z Jirkova dvora CS and Z Blatenskeho zamku.
All of the individual dogs used in the breeding program have at least velmi dobry (very good) body conformation, strong bones, good pigmentation and strong health. They are also significant for their high food drive, high working drives and early working maturity. The selection of their stud dogs and females is focused on their trainability, solid nerves and ability to protect their territory. The males and female come from the 6 basic blood lines, or more precisely from their individual branches that proved themselves in the breeding program of former z Pohranicni straze kennel. Today this blood is combined with the blood of significant working German Shepherds from outside the Czech Republic that have proved themselves in breeding programs and that have the above described breeding features and traits.