The Chodsky Pes or Bohemian shepherd dog is a small shepherd from the Czech Republic.
The breed is not yet international acknowledged by FCI but it is an official recognized breed in the Czech Republic. The breed has a very small population from a very old breed. The website of the breed club says: "The breed Chodsky Pes is very old. The first proof about the Chodsky people – local people from the area of Chodsko in South Bohemia – originate from the year 1325, when king John of Luxemburg was reigning."
The Chodsky people were free people. For hundreds of years they guarded and defended the area of the former Czech-Bavarian borders and did so with weapons as well as with loyal dogs that would accompany them everywhere. Since the year 1576 they were formerly allowed to do so by Emperor Rudolph II. The dogs of the Chodsky people also were used for protecting their owners, their land and forests and the dogs also served as hunting dogs and guard dogs. All these dogs came from villages in the South of Bohemia. Breeding them was tradition in some of the families and many dogs were sold to Bavaria. The Chodsky dogs were known to be stable, powerful and with strong health and good endurance. These characteristics were what made them the reliable companions of the Chodsky people.
In 1984 a call was written in a magazine about the breed; it asked people who owned a dog like this to report about their dogs. Based on the dogs that actually were put forward the breed was made an inventory of, which was the start of actually writing down the typical specifics of the breed. With the dogs found the breeding started. A wonderful endeavor aiming to keep this lovely landrace on the map. And it did appear to be a success. Breeding started with a number of animals and some years later the initiator, mr Jan Findejs, founded the “Klub pratel chodskeho psa”(Association of Friends of the Chodsky Dog). The breed was acknowledged by te Czech Kennelclub in 1984.
The Chodsky Dog spread to several countries, amongst which the Netherlands. Several lovers of the breed found one and other and the Chodsky Pes Club Netherlands was founded. The main goal of this club is “to maintain a balanced and healthy development of the breed Chodsky Pes in the Netherlands.”
After some years though the Dutch ran into a problem, being the number of founders (unrelated dogs the breed was founded with) was extremely small, thus creating a very small gene pool. This caused a very high population coancestry very rapidly and the Dutch feared problems because of this. The Dutch breed club contacted the Czech club but in the homeland the breeders din’t think there were any problems.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands research was done in the database and the Dutch found 12 founders had been used, but only 6 managed to remain present in the population.
the breed is built with six founders. Founders are the first dogs in a breed, one could call them progenitors.Theoritically founders are genetically unrelated, but whether or not that is actually true is not known since DNA-testing was never done and could not be done at the time. But since the dogs looked a lot alike chances are there actually was a genetic relationship.The six founders were:
Six founders is a very small basis and one wondered how responsible it would be to breed with such small basis. It would give tremendous problems very shortly, or so the club feared.
After consultation with several external parties the whole population was mapped, which was possible thanks to the very well-kept and public database of the homeland. The numbers resulting were reason for concern. After deliberation and yet again consultation with external experts the conclusion was fresh blood was needed.
Because this breed is recognized in the Czech Republic but not yet internationally the Dutch aimed for cooperation with the country of origin, but it turned out the Czech breeders were not ready nor open to this (yet). It induced the Dutch to a special members meeting which took place on 26th November last.
On this meeting that was well attended the board laid out a new Breeding Plan to its members.
The club is aiming for fresh blood, entered in the breed in small doses, in order to positively boost the breed. The club will be working with the University of Wageningen, and research will be done after the way the breeding was done so far. The results of this research will present a breeding advice.
The breeding plan the board has offered its members contains both a breeding policy that will allow outcross under strict monitoring by the breed club and the Wageningen research.
The Dutch club has set hopes on the future advice of Wageningen to help the breed club in the Czech Republic realizing breeding the way it is done now is a dead end street. The first signs already showed; reduced fertility is not uncommon in the breed.
On the meeting the votes were very clear: members were – apart from one blank one – all in favour of the new breeding policy and the analysis of the population. This is of great importance because, as was clearly emphasized, the breeders and owners are the ones that have to actually do this. And hopefully a sub-population will be built this way, and hopefully in the future the Czechs will be willing to use these animals to make the Chodsky Pes healthier. The Dutch ones and all other Chodsky Pes dogs worldwide.
(english below photo)
Uiteindelijk zijn er van de 12 founders 6 dieren overgebleven waarmee is doorgegaan. Dan hebben de founders Celina en Karus alleen Alex voortgebracht die weer is ingezet. Fox en Nera hebben een dochter Bessy die als fokdier is ingezet.
Out of 12 founders 6 animals remained into breeding. Founders Celina and Karus only produced Alex who was used in breeding. Fox and Nera have a daughter, Bessy, that was used in breeding.