How to Train a Czechoslovakian Vlcak

Very intelligent, self-thinking, not well suited to do repetitive tasks or service type work where the dog must stay on task for long periods.

An alert, primitive canine that resembles a wolf in appearance. They are highly intelligent, powerful, active, loyal and devoted to their owner. They have superior eyesight, hearing and sense of smell and are known for having excellent stamina and endurance. The Czechoslovakian Vlcak (CSV) was originally bred for working border patrol in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. They are currently used in Europe and the United States for search and rescue, tracking, obedience, agility, drafting, herding, and working dog sports. The CSV is bred for versatility and hardiness in harsh elements and is much more independent in nature than many other working breeds. They are an excellent choice for tracking or trailing sport/work, or as a companion for active owners who enjoy spending time doing outdoor activities such as biking, running, or hiking. They are not, however, recommended for first time owners. 


In 1955, a biological experiment took place in the CSSR of that time, namely, the crossing of a German Shepherd Dog with a Carpathian Wolf. The experiment established that the progeny of the mating of a male dog to a female wolf as well as that of male wolf to female dog, could be reared. The overwhelming majority of the products of these matings possessed the genetic requirements for continuation of breeding. In 1965, after ending the experiment, a plan for the breeding of this new breed was worked out. This was to combine the usable qualities of the wolf with the favorable qualities of the dog. In 1982, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, through the general committee of the breeder’s associations of the CSSR of that time, was recognized as a national breed.

Quick Facts

Temperament: loyal / intelligent / active

Height: 23.5 to 25.5 inches

Weight: 44 to 57 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-16 years

Foundation Stock Service


Czechoslovakian Vlcaks are a very healthy and robust breed. It is wise to ask the breeder what health concerns they have seen in each genetic line.


Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test
  • DNA Repository
  • Cardiac Evaluation (Optional)
  • Pituaitary Dwarfism DNA Test (Optional)
  • Eye Examination by a board Certified ACVO Ophthalmologist
  • Elbow Evaluation


Czechoslovakian Vlcaks have a weather resistant coat; it naturally cleans itself of mud and dirt. They seldom need a bath and have little to no body odor. They shed twice-a-year and at that time daily brushing is required. The winter coat is thicker, heavier and longer than the shorter, thinner summer coat and this may require more grooming during the colder months of the year. Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.


This breed is known for having boundless energy, especially during puppyhood and young adolescence. Daily long walks/runs combined with mental stimulation work well. Turning them out into the back yard by themselves does not work. A Vlcak does best when they have a ‘meaningful’ job they can devote themselves to. They like to have an interactive experience with their owners. Activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. A CSV may have prey drive towards small animals, so fenced enclosures and/or on-leash are always a good idea.


The Czechoslovakian Vlcak is a primitive breed of dog with a dominant and independent personality and so requires a different approach to training. Consistency and patience is a must. The CSV is confident, lively, active, high stamina, high energy, tough and obedient with quick reactions. They are also highly intelligent, versatile and curious. Early socialization and training is very important. With proper training, Vlcaks can excel in many different types of activities, but they need to see a purpose for the desired task. They bore very easily, do not like to do repetitive tasks and often refuse to perform the tasks regardless of treat incentives. Positive reinforcement training methods are highly recommended. The Czechoslovakian Vlcak is not recommended for first time owners as they need strong pack leadership and structure.


A raw diet is preferable for the Czechoslovakian Vlcak, but a high quality, grain-free kibble with raw supplements is also acceptable. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. Czechoslovakian Vlcaks are a medium-sized breed.     What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.