Galomy Oak Kennel
Czechoslovakian Vlcaks
Breeding for excellence in Temperament, Health, Working Ability and Conformation
Idaho Springs, Colorado
***Be sure to check out the extensive section devoted to Training with a
Czechoslovakian Vlcak, with photos and videos ***
Click Here

How it began...

The fascination with this breed began while I was in the hospital with my son, Christian. Christian's brilliant neurosurgeon
was from former Czechoslovakia, and shared with us some of his past. Our deep respect and admiration for the doctor led
us to have an interest in the central European nations of the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Our journey with the Vlcak has
become a tremendous part of our healing since Christian's passing...

One day, while browsing the AKC website, I stumbled upon a link for the "Czechoslovakian Vlcak" - which contained a few
photos, a brief history - and no information on contacts for the breed. As I continued my exploration of the "Vlcak", I learned
that there were no breeders, and less than 20 of the dogs in the United States, One litter was born in Canada a few years
back.

When I knew that my son's cancer was terminal, I spent 3 months living at the hospital and ROnald McDonald House before
his passing. My son, sick from chemo and the disease itself, slept for many hours. My computer was my escape in those
quiet times. As I learned more about the CSV, and began to consider how my life would continue after my son's death,
ownership of a CSV seemed like a healthy goal.

Life with Vlcaks
My first Vlcak, Anthea, came to me as a 12 week old puppy. Purchasing a dog from overseas - well before I knew many of
the CSV community members that I know today - was an adventure that involved language barriers, money getting lost (and
thankfully found!) in the wire transfer process, 2 trips to NYC, and a journey through the cargo and customs area of JFK.
Anthea, at 5 years old has been a blessing. She is a dominant bitch, sometimes very jealous, very obedient and smart, an
awesome tracker and good mama who excelled in the show ring and the training field.

The next Vlcaks to come into my life were Roni (at 11 months old), followed by his little sister, Ice. With the purchase of Roni,
I also got a great friendship with their breeder, who flew from FInland to my house to make sure things were going to be
okay. It was a great week - which led to another great week spent in FInland, the year after, for me. Following my divorce
with Ryan, Roni and Ice went to live with "their dad". We are cordial though, and I still get to see them every now and then
when I venture back home to Virginia.

In 2009 I was able to attend a bonitation and national breed club meeting in the Czech Rep., as well as visit with several
breeders and owners in central Europe. This was a most amazing trip, where I was able to interact with some of the canine
legends of our breed - as well as one of our breed founders, Karel Hartl. I was able to experience the essence of what our
breed should be, and gain some experiences in my goals of breeding.

Bongo came to me in the summer of 2009 from Italy. He was a golden child - super social, and dubbed "the Italian Lover".
He is a wonderful dog in the show ring, and also out tracking. Following my first breeding (the first in the US), I decided to
keep one of the male puppies from the litter - Corgan. Corgan is a perfect blend of both of his parents - a cuddler in the
house, a little sharp, obedient, dominant with other dogs, and totally driven in tracking. Asha came in 2011 - an incredible
blend of Slovakian lines, gorgeous in structure, and absolutely an outgoing dog with all people - fearless. She has also
been a pleasure in the show ring, and will get a chance to prove herself in obedience and tracking this year (2012). Paco
came to me as a 5.5 year old male - smart, bold, stubborn. He was truly a gift, moving here after his owner fell ill. He brings
the addition of some of the old, sought after lines to the US breeding program, as well as good health, training ability, social
nature and good looks. And finally, goofball Jewel came to me in 2012 from the Czech Republic - an awesome, awesome
dog in training. I was "reacquainted" with B Litter puppy Jacoby when I moved out to Colorado with Mike.

The past 5 years have also brought 3 litters, and wonderful friendships with owners and co-owners, as well as increased
involvement with the national breed club, and local dog clubs. We look forward to welcoming more litters in the future,
building the Vlcak community in the United States in coming years, and improving the breed for future generations through
careful selection for health, temperament and structure. Currently, there are around 100 CSVs in the US, active in showing
and training.

A brief History...

The Czechoslovakian vlcak or vlciak (pronounced "vul-chalk")  (CSV) originated from an experiment performed by the
government of Czechoslovakia in the 1950's. In it's search for the ideal border patrol dog, the government made an attempt
to cross the working abilities of the German Shepherd Dog with the Usable qualities of the Carpathian Wolf, such as a
tough, weatherproof exterior (coat and build), good health, independence, and endurance. The experiment was Successful
- and through many more decades of refinement in breeding, and eventual recognition by Czechoslovakian Kennel Club in
1982, the CsV has come to be.

The breed was bred from the hard working line of German Shepherd Dogs known as "Z Pohranicni Straze" - these dogs
were not bred for beauty or as lazy housepets - German Shepherd fanciers today still recognize the hard working qualities
of the descendents from this line. As such, the Vlcak also carries many of those hard working qualities (in addition to wolfish
characteristics) - and may not make a suitable pet. Brief history of the z Pohranicni Straze line:

Jinipo.cz

Who recognizes the CSV as a dog breed?
The CSV is recognized by:
The American Kennel CLub FOundation Stock Service
The United Kennel Club
The Federation Cynologique International

Why the CSV and Why Not for Some people?
The CSV is not a status symbol. Nor is it a dog for the beginner. These dogs are intelligent in a way that I have rarely seen
in other dogs. They do not forget things or people - including mistakes. The Vlcaks learn commands much more quickly
than many other breeds - but do not blindly perform them as many other breeds do - They think first, and will sometimes
make their own decisions about given situations. Motivation (such as food or toys) can be a powerful training tool, Training
must be short and frequent, and in a variety of places, to prevent boredom. Dogs will generally perform best for their
owners. It is best to keep training positive and pain free. Tools such as shock collars and prong collars can have negative
consequences which may not be immediately seen in the young dog, but may resurface as the dog enters adolescence or
adulthood, if used for general purposes  Adolescents can go through some "trying" phases (just like human teenagers), but
with persistence, consistency and patience, eventually make it through their growing pains to become great companions for
the properly matched home.

Galomy Oak's CSVs hate to be alone. As puppies, they would bark, whine and howl for hours if left on their own while
crated- which could have been a problem if there were nearby neighbors. This disappeared completely as they matured, but
they still always seek out the comfort and security of ourr pack. The dogs are able to make contact with the other dogs when
people aren't around. Some CSVs will act very suspiciously towards strangers - not aggressively,not shyly, but with a distinct
aloofness - they are loyal to their owner, and will tolerate new humans and dogs playing with them, and eventually accept
new people - but they need to have their master's approval first, and they need to trust the person. Some dogs become dog
aggressive (especially with the same sex) as they enter adulthood. This may not be acceptable to a social family that is
looking for a dog that quickly and easily accepts strangers like a beagle or a retriever. It is very common for our dogs to give
strangers a cold-shoulder, and ignore attempts to get their attention. Shyness is a known problem for CsVs (it is forbidden
in the standard), and must be addressed through breeding, and proper socialization from a puppy's first days.
Housebreaking can take longer with the csv - Anthea was nearly 9 months before she could be fully trusted, The boys seem
to housetrain a little more quickly.

For the right owner - who is willing to share their home and family with their CsV, as well as devote time and energy to the
correct care, socialization, upbringing, and training, the CsV is an amazing creature. Owners must also be willing to accept
the unique challenges of this breed (such as high energy, difficulties in containment, personality, and diet requirements.)
bred for versatility, CsVs work in Search and Rescue, SChutzhund, Therapy, Agility, Endurance, sledding, herding...if it can
be done by a dog, the CsV is able to do it, though not always by the same route as another breed, or (debatably) as well as
a specialized breed. Speaking only from my experience, the Csv is the most loving, spirited, challenging, humiliating and
rewarding breed that I have had the pleasure of being owned by.

Currently, the dogs of Galomy Oak train in tracking, obedience and agility.

A wolf, or a dog?
One of the most stunning qualities of the CsV is it's extremely wolflike appearance. While walking the dogs in public, there is
almost always a nervous onlooker who will ask if the dogs are hybrids, or even pure wolves or coyotes. The answer is a
resounding "NO!". There are wolf genes in the Vlcaks, as there are in all dogs. In fact, the DNA from a dog is almost
indistinguishable from that of a wolf. The vlcak's wolf heritage is just more recent - which gives the breed very unique
qualities (good and bad) over other breeds. The biggest difference between the Czechoslovakian Vlcak and hybrids, is that
Vlcaks have been selectively bred over many decades for character and working ability in addition to conformation - dogs in
the original breedings of the 1950s were culled if they did not meet the standard. The studbook has been closed for over 30
years after the careful early selection of German Shepherds and 4 wolves used to create the breed. The AKC recognized
breed with possibly the next most recent addition of wolf blood is the German Shepherd, which was at one time called "The
Alsation Wolfdog" in the United Kingdom.(For an interesting article on this topic,
click here  Taken from another site, but the
original link was changed or removed). In a more legal sense, a hybrid is marked in generations - with f1 being the first
generation of a cross between a wolf and a dog, f2 when that cross is bred to another dog, and f3, f4, and so on. The
Humane Society of the United States doesn't recognize any dog after an f5 as a hybrid. Galomy Oak's dogs are all f8 or
beyond - there has been no wolf in 8 generations of breedings, and only one in that generation, in the early 1970s. In fact,
the breed is comprised of the genes of only4 wolves - and roughly 40 German Shepherds! That said, however, in the
creation of the breed mixes were line-bred to other mixes, so the percentage of wolf genetics is somewhat higher than that
of a true f8. But again, selective breeding has stabilized the temperament and appearance of the breed...while genetics do
play some part in temperament, largely the breed is a design of selective breeding for dog qualities. New owners can have
the expectation that their dog will relatively embody (no dog is perfect and within every breed there is some variation) a set
standard of characteristics - that which is accepted by the FCI and AKC/FSS.

In terms of personality, Czechoslovakian Vlcaks generally prefer their human friends above their dog friends - but they
certainly enjoy tearing up the yard with the other dogs. Vlcaks have more dominant personalities than many other breeds,  
they will test their owners, especially as adolescents. It is imperative that CsV owners maintain control of their dogs, and that
the dog knows who is in charge - not through aggression by the handler, but rather through a built respect using positive
reinforcement.  Galomy Oak's dogs do not stalk people or challenge humans aggressively (although adolescents of any
breed are capable of trying to test the limits, especially males). They will sometimes try to dominate other dogs, particularly
of the same sex - knowing the body language of dogs is very beneficial to the owner. Especially as older
puppies/adolescents, Vlcaks may show their wariness of strangers - again, addressed through socialization and training.

It is important to never forget that
ALL dogs are strong, intelligent carnivores...albeit domestic. Dogs usually look to please
us, and enjoy working at various tasks. Wolves, and many hybrids are much more independent and instinctual in their
behavior, and do not immediately look for guidance from humans. The key to a good working dog and companion? the dog
must work with their humans, and enjoy a mutual relationship based on trust, understanding and respect. The owner must
strive for great communication with the dog; the dog must know it's leader will protect, correct, love and guide it. A trained
dog is a journey, not a destination...and they develop into what we allow them to become...
Czechoslovakian Vlcaks around the world