Bearded Czechs | Prague International Radio

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

Of all domesticated breeds of Czech origin, the Czech bearded dog is the only one recognized by the International Federation of Cytology, and this has been since 1964. This organization has classified it in number of dogs of the Continental Chiffon breed and describes it as “a noble, medium-sized poodle whose appearance indicates endurance and strength.” And for whom photographs will not suffice. To understand where “český fousek” got its name from, the “Coat” section of the FCI standard couldn’t be more complicated: “The lower part of the cheeks, as well as the lips, have longer and softer hair, forming the distinctive beard of this breed. »

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

“Produced for the Czech countryside”

The Czech Beard – hence the aptly named – is a medium-sized dog, with a dark brown or tan coat color, with or without spots. Having the genetics for working in fields, water and woods, it is a versatile and useful hunting dog. So, the Czech Beards Club says of him that he is “made for the Czech countryside”, quite simply. His distinctive coat seems suitable for outdoor work and the bearded Czech would be very unhappy if he had to lock himself in, explains Vladimíra Tichá, cytologist and spokesperson for the company. Czech-Moravian cytological union:

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

“Czechbeard can locate the game and get it, to track the game, water activities, in the fields and in the woods. He is a versatile hunting dog. The only thing it can’t do is follow a fox into its den – because it’s too big to get inside. »

“Moreover, it is a very manageable dog with a friendly nature that does not tend to be aggressive or fight with other dogs. He sounds a bit silly, but he isn’t! It is an intelligent dog. »

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

Three types of hair

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Ales Braza

“He has what is known as a three-tiered coat, which means he has a soft, thick undercoat, over which grows a rough, stiff coat and on top is long, stiff, straight ‘fur’. This extremely hardy coat allows him to easily support being outside in a crate or kennel, so it’s a dog we don’t see a lot in cities. »

But beware: his love of the great outdoors doesn’t make the bearded Czech a loner. Vladimir Ticha:

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Drahomíra Matějáková

“If a Czech guy likes something, it’s good to have people around him. And he especially loves children. I’m surprised the chiropractors still haven’t taken care of him, despite his kind nature and kindness towards people. »

The first traces of the Czech bearded man date back to the 14th century, in a document dated 1348 and titled “Things of the master hunter” (Věci jagermisterské”), which appears to be King Charles IV gave it to the Margrave of Brandenburg. Louis V of Bavaria had three hunting dogs, called canis bohemicus, for hunting, making the Czech Beard the oldest known short-haired breed in Europe. .

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Drahomíra Matějáková

hunting lodge icon

A popular breed in the Slavic countries and Germany, it is said that every hunting lodge had its beard in the Czech Republic in the 19th century. Furthermore, in 1896, a pedagogue from Písek was founded. The Czech Association of Shorthair Bearded Dogs. But by the end of the Czech National Awakening, politics and patriotism were even mingling with cytotechnics, and the canine club activity did not last long. Vladimir Ticha:

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Libuse Rodova

“Dog breeding reflects not only the history of mankind, but also the history of politics. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Professor Sekyrka lived in Písek, who founded a club of Czech geese breeders there. The Austro-Hungarian Empire authorized this club on one condition: the official language was German. But the members did not want to accept this condition, thinking that in the mustache club, you must speak Czech! And so the club quickly disappeared. »

World War I led to the decline of many crossbreed dogs, and the Czech Beard is no exception. Indeed, these dogs were not trained for defense, and the practice of hunting was not possible in war.

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Drahomíra Matějáková

As a result, the breed’s regeneration continued after the First World War, and currently the Czech Beard is second among the hunting breeds used in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. There are currently about 114 breeding dogs and 250 breeding bitches; moreover, every year 400 to 600 puppies are registered in the pedigree register of the Czech Cytological Union. It is not less, but it is less than before, as Vladimíra Tichá explains:

“The most important pointer breed in terms of registrations is the German Shorthaired Pointer, with 700 individuals per year. The breed with the most numbers in the Czech Republic is still the German Shepherd, but even then they are not in the tens of thousands as they used to be. The big problem is that in the days of communist Czechoslovakia, there were far fewer breeds of dogs raised in the country. Today there are about 290 breeds of dogs in the Czech Republic; At that time, there were about 120 of them. Due to the newly imported varieties, the original varieties were already crowded. And bearded Czechs are no exception to that rule. »

Bearded Czechs |  Photo: Iveta Zehakova

The bearded Czech in the song

If he’s less famous than he used to be, the bearded Czech still seems to inspire music production – at least by Czech artists. So, in addition to Moravian singer František Segrado and his song “Český fousek”, the inimitable Jaromír Nohavica also dedicated an allegorical work to the Czech bearded man in which he wears his skin. himself – or rather, his beard.

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