Monday, July 23, 2012

Unusual Breed: Český Fousek

This breed is also known as the Bohemian Wire-haired Pointing Griffon
As the name implies, this is a breed hailing from the Czech Republic, which was once Czechoslovakia. The breed was once a very popular working dog in its country of origin, but in the aftermath of World War I the breed nearly died out. The breed began recovering, but World War II only made things worse. The breed was later "regenerated," using stock that fit with what the breed was supposed to look like, mixing with pointers from Germany. The breed is once again a popular hunting companion in Slovakia and, of course, the Czech Republic.

"Fousek" refers to the beard
Exact breed history is arguable, with some claiming the breed dates back to the 1400's. However, though there are references to local dogs of the era, there aren't any specifics and it's very possible that the dog was very different from the Český fousek of today. The first reference that can be confirmed only dates back to 1883, so it's difficult to say when exactly the current type began to appear.

The Český fousek is an all around working dog, able to track, point and retrieve over land and in water. They have a high working drive, and the breed's trainability is one major reason why they are so popular in the Czech Republic. They are also gentle and social, making them rather good family dogs.

The coat is wiry and the color is liver, with or without roan, including dogs that are mostly roan. In appearance, there is at least some resemblance to the other liver roan pointing breeds, such as the German wirehaired pointer, wirehaired pointing griffon, and Stichelhaar. Due to the breed's versatility, it is beginning to become more popular outside of its native country.

Sources are the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Pointing Dog Blog, Klub chovatelů českých fousků, and Venaticus Major. Google translate used for pages not in English. Images are from Wikimedia Commons or under Creative Commons licenses: one, two.

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