Czech German Shepherd Dog History


The following brief history is merely to give some general background information on the working heritage of the Czech GSD. All GSD’s including dogs with a Czech heritage, ultimately lead back to Germany.


Prior to the 1989 revolution in the Czech Republic which led to the fall of their communist government, the breeding of German Shepherd Dogs was predominately that of working dogs. What is unique is that this breeding has revolved around one kennel, owned by the Czechoslovakian Army's Pohranicni Straze (Border Patrol).

The Kennel z Pohranicni Straze (Z PS) was founded in the year 1955 for the sole purpose of producing and training dogs that would be exclusively used for the protection of the borders of the Czechoslovakian People's Republic or, since 1968, the Czechoslovakian Socialist Republic. Most of the dogs used for breeding were acquired from the territory of former East Germany, as well as dogs from Czechoslovakia that excelled in their character qualities.

The stud dogs, females and puppies were cared for by military service conscripts. The dogs were trained at the Kennels for about 12 months, and then relocated to Border Patrol training facilities (nowadays they're quartered at Czech police training facilities).  Conditions were very trying for the dogs, temperatures typically being well below zero, with extremely deep snow being commonplace.

These dogs had to be extremely hardy and needed a quality coat to survive these conditions.

The breeding program, established in 1956, had various objectives, including strengthening the power of bones, and producing dogs with dark pigmentation, strong nerves and a willingness to work.  

While the kennel name remains "z Pohranicni Straze", it is now under the Pohranicni Policie (Border Police).

Depended upon Daily

During the years under the communist regime, the Czechoslovakian border patrol and their dogs would apprehend 20 to 30 people on a daily basis (covering 1,165.00 miles of border).  While nine out of ten people would quickly give up when confronted, the dogs were regularly called upon to defend their handlers from those intent on crossing the border at whatever cost.

Today, the Czech Border Police share border stations with their German counter parts, who maintain a tight control over economic refugees from former Eastern Block  countries entering Germany. Those who are not given visas to legally enter Germany attempt to cross this same Czech border. While many are crossing to seek a better life in Western Europe, and usually do not resist arrest, an increasing number are connected with organized crime and pose a considerable threat. Unfortunately for them, they are up against a very capable foe in the Border Patrol dog.