The Czechoslovakian and Saarloos Wofldogs are two very similar wolfdog breeds with similar ancestry, similar appearance, but very different temperament.
They are both creation of crossbreeding German Shepherd with the wolf. But of course, different lines of German Shepherds, different wolves and different number of animals were used in the breeding process, which created difference in the breeds. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is an offspring of Carpathian grey wolf, while the Saarloos Wolfdog is an offspring of Siberian grey wolf.
The wolf content in those breeds is typically between 10-30%. Different studies show different results, for example one genomic study from 2019 found that the amount of grey wolf ancestry possessed by the Saarloos wolfdog is 18–33% and the Czechoslovakian wolfdog 11–12%.
The utilizaiton of these dogs also played role in the breed development. While the Czechoslovakian wolfdog was succesfully used for police and military, especially as border patrol dogs, later also as search and rescue dogs. These dogs are true workers!
The Saarloos Wolfdog was also bred with the idea of creating less domesticated version of GSD, which will be much better for working purposes. But this was never reality, and the Saarloos Wolfdog was never used in large numbers for any utilization, other than being a companion dog.
So now you know, why there are differences between those two breeds, even though they are both GSD and wolf mix. But what are the actual differences? Lets start with the temperament.
The Saarloos wolfdog is more reserved, shy and timid around strangers. They take much longer to accept a complete stranger and they are harder to socialize to live in areas with a lot of people. They also have lower exercise needs. Dont get this wrong, they are always ready for long outdoor walks and hikes, and you should provide them with enough exercise, but they are not a real working breed that need excessive ammount of exercise and they are very calm and relaxed when they are indoors around their family.
On the other hand, the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is much more courageous. It is a very brave breed that should never be shy and they are also more confident and they accept strangers faster, if you show them that they are your friends. But they are still pretty reserved dogs, dont expcet them to be friendly with everyone, definitely not. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is very very active breed and they are only suitable for physically active people and families who will provide them with a lot of daily physical and mental stimulation.
But these dogs have a lot of common characteristics as well. First of all it is their absolute loyalty to its owners and family. They love its family and want to be around them all day long. And you should not let them alone for long periods of time, especially the Saarloos Wolfdog is known for having troubles with separation anxiety.
Both also typically have higher prey drive and they migh exhibit same sex agression, but of course, this can be vastly influenced by early socialization.
Another similarity is their intelligence. I would say that the Czechoslovakian is little bit easier to train, especially because they are more food motivated, but both breeds are excellent problem solvers. And escape artists. They are able to find any weak spot in your fence and escape in a moment, either by jumping and climbing over it, digging under it, clawing and biting through or pushing and sliding doors. They are really really good at this.
And what about the appearance? Again, they are both very similar and they have the typical wolf like appearance. First of all, the Saarloos Wolfdog is slightly larger and heavier than the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. You can see the size comparsion on the screen right now. The difference is not extremely big.
The second important difference is the color. The Czechoslovakian Wofldog comes in yellow-grey to silver-grey, with a light mask. The Saarloos Wolfdog comes in wolf-grey, red and white and also with white mask, but the mask is usually much bigger on the Saarloos Wolfdog.
Other than that, these two dogs look very very similar.
Despite being named English Shepherd, the origins of these dogs are in North America. They are descendants of various dog breeds brought to North America with early settlers from Great Britain and Ireland. Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Scotch Collie or Rough Collie are very likely some of the ancestors of the English Shepherd. The English Shepherd was valuable helper of early settlers in America and they were used as all around farm dogs, for herding, guarding and also for hunting. The breed was known under some other general names in the past, such as Shepherd dog or Farm Shepherd.
Even though very versatile, the main utilization of the English Shepherd is herding. This breed has a loose upright style of herding, they have extremely strong herding instinct and they are natural low heelers, which means they are managing the stock from behind, often times nipping their ankles. The English Shepherd is very loyal to the stock, they create a strong bond with it. It is also said, that they are not forceful when working with the cattle and they are relatively gentle and they are not using more force than needed to get the job done. Overall, the English Shepherd is considered to be one of the most capable herding breeds.
Many herding dogs are also used to guard their livestock. And as i mentioned earlier, the English Shepherd creates a strong bond with the cattle, so it is not surprising, that they have natural tendencies to guard them and that they are naturally nurturing towards them. This is very alert and pretty brave breed that will try to deter any intruders and predators, such as foxes or racoons. But of course, if you live in area with strong predators, such as wolves, coyotes or bears, the English Shepherd will not be strong enough to deter them. In this case, you should look for a big and strong livestock guardian dog that will be better at this purpose. The English Shepherd was also used to guard property, to be a watchdog, and because of their territorial personality, they are quite good at this as well.
The English Shepherd is a dog of many talents, and one of the talents is hunting. They are especially good at treeing squirrels and raccoons. They naturally have higher prey drive and they will try to tree almost any smaller animal, including cats. And it is not uncommon for them to try to climb the trees as well! The English Shepherd has good sense of smell, which makes it good at tracking the game as well. Some hunters also use them for retrieving birds. As you can see, this dog breed can be trained to do almost anything and it will be good at it!
Of course, even though this is multitalented and versatile worker, it is also a loving, loyal and playful family companion. This is an intelligent and sensitive companion dog that bonds strongly to its owner, but will be friendly and affectionate with the whole family. It is true that they are only suitable for active people, as they are highly energetic, playful and they need a lot of mental stimulation as well, but if provided with enough exercise, than they are pretty relaxed and calm dogs that will be always by your side. Literally. This is extremely devoted dog that will want to spend all day next to its favourite person. They can live with kids or other dogs as well, but of course you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
6) Dog sports
A lot of daily exercise, both mental and physical, is absolutely essential to have well behaved and relaxed English Shepherd. Without enough exercise, they will become bored and possibly develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or destruction. Long walks, hikes, vigorous playtime, regular training sessions, different puzzle toys… The English Shepherd will love it all. But thanks to their high energy level and intelligence they are also amazing adepts for various dog sports, like agility, disc, rally, obedience, dock diving.. You name it. The English Shepherd will do great in any dog sport. And it is a fun way how to bond with your dog, how to learn him new things and how to exercise him properly!
The English Shepherd has a similar appearance as the Australian Shepherd. It is a dog breed with well proportionate body that exudes stamina and strength. The average height is between 19-22 inch, which is 48-56 cm and weight between 40-60 lbs, which is 18-27 kg.
8) Coat and color
The coat of English Shepherd is designed to protect them from bad weather and other nature elements and it allows them to work all day long outside without problems. It is a weather and dirt resistant doublecoat of medium length. The coat is pretty smooth. Ears and back of forelegs typically have feathering. And what about the color? There are four predominant patterns, which are black and tan, tricolor, black and white and sable and white.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention maintenance and grooming as well. The dense doublecoat sheds quite a lot all year long. Regular brushing is definitely beneficial to remove the dead and loose hair and to minimize the shedding, but it is impossible to stop it. Regular brushing will also keep the coat mat and tangle free and it will redistribute natural oils all over it. You should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
The English Shepherd is fairly healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 14 years. They can suffer from the same health issues as most of other herding breeds, but the problems can be prevented by health testing and breeding responsibility. Some of the issues that can occur in the English Shepherd are associated with the MDR1 gene, which is causing sensitivity to certain drugs and medication. Other health problems can be hip and elbow dysplasia and some eye problems like Collie eye anomaly. But overall, this is pretty healthy and hardy breed.
The Cane delle Alpi Apuane is a medium sized herding dog from Italian Apuan Alps, with rustic appearance and powerful and athletic body and with alert and curious expression in their oval shaped brown eyes.
The average height of the Pastore Apuano is between 50-65 cm, which is 19-25 inch and weight is usually between 17-35 kg, which is 37-77 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The coat of this breed is straight and in medium length. It is a dense doublecoat, which is protecting the breed from harsh climate and weather and enables them to work outside for all day long without problems. The coat is longer around the neck, tail and back legs.
And what about the color? According to the breed standard, the Cane delle Alpi Apuane comes in black, black and tan, fawn, gray and merle. Merle dogs can also have one or both eyes in blue color.
The Cane delle Alpi Apuane shares similar temperament and personality with many other herding dogs. This means that it is very very lively and active, intelligent, alert, attentive and docile dog breed.
Indeed, this is very active breed that is always ready for any kind of an action. If they are not used for herding, than they need proper daily exercise, including long walks, jogs, but also mental stimulation like regular training or vigorous playtime. This breed is also excellent for various dog sports, like agility, rally, obedience or disc. Without proper exercise, they might develop some problematic behaviour, like destruction.
These dogs love to work and learning new things. They are able to learn almost any trick you want to. It is also a dog breed with docile and well balanced character, which just loves every member of its family. It can live with kids, other dogs or even other pets in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood. On the other hand, they might be alert and little bit distrustful towards strangers, but they should never be agressive without a reason.
Overall this is a passionate worker, but also loving family companion, especially suitable for active families.
The Pastore Apuano has a long history in the Apuan Alps, mainly in Italian regions of Liguria and upper Tuscany, where it was developed to work with local herds of sheep, goat and cattle.
This is a herding dog with long, but not very well documented history and ancestry. It is believed, that they are descendants of various ancient shepherd dogs of the Alps. But we will never know the exact ancestry or date of origin of these dogs.
Today, the Cane delle Alpi Apuane is a very rare breed and you can mainly find them in the mountainous area of Eastern Liguria and Upper Tuscany, with a prevalent density in the areas of Lunigiana and Lucchesia, where shepherding is still quite popular. The main reason for the decline in popularity of these dogs is general reduction of herding and also import of foreign herding breeds, such as Border Collie, into Italia. But the Apuan Shepherd is not on the verge of extinction anymore, even though, it is remaining very rare.
The breed is officially recognized by the official Italian kennel club.
Health and grooming
There is not much documentation about the health of this breed, but it should be rather healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 14 years. They should not suffer much from any serious hereditary health issues, but they can suffer from the typical doggy issues, such as joint problems like hip dysplasia, eye problems like lens luxation, different allergies and infections, but none of this should be very common in this breed.
And what about the grooming? The double coat does shed some deal of fur, which can be minimized by regular brushing. Regular brushing is the only thing needed to keep the coat in best possible condition, no other grooming is required. Of course, you should also regularly check the ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
Not so long ago i made a comparsion video between Caucasian and Central Asian Ovcharka. Following this video i have received several questions what is the difference between the Caucasian Ovcharka and Caucasian Shepherd.
And it will be very short video, because there is no difference at all between the Caucasian Ovcharka and Caucasian Shepherd. It is referring to exactly same breed and the only reason for the difference in the name is the language.
The Caucasian Shepherd was developed in former Soviet Union in 1920s from different livestock guardians of Caucasus mountains. And in Soviet Union, or todays Russia, they called this dog as Кавка́зская овча́рка, or Caucasian Ovcharka. In russian language, the word Ovcharka means the same thing as shepherd dog in english language. It is describing all the dogs that are working with livestock. And even the German Shepherd for example, is known as Nemetskaya ovcharka in Russia.
So yes, there is no difference at all between the Caucasian Shepherd and Ovcharka. There is also no difference in Central Asian Ovcharka and Central Asian Shepherd. The name Caucasian Ovcharka is mostly used in Russia and in the states of former Soviet Union, while the name Caucasian Shepherd is mostly used in western and especially english speaking countries. And sometimes, especially in North America, this breed is also known as Caucasian Mountain dog.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is an extremely strong dog breed with longer coat, native to Caucasus mountains, where it is traditionally used for protecting the livestock, but also the property. It was later used by soviet miliatry, for example for patroling borders. It is extremely independent, territorial, loyal and alert dog and it is an active protector, which means it will use its power and force to defeat any intruder without hesitation. The breed is very decisive.
The modern day Smithfield is considered as Australian or Tasmanian breed, but its origins are in England. The original English Smithfield dogs were used to drove cattle and sheep to the market and they were especially famous in the Smithfield Market in London. The ancestry of this breed is unknown, but they were most likely a mixing pot of different types of collie dogs. These English Smithfield dogs were solely working dogs, they were bred for their utilization and not so much for their appearance, nor for companionship.
2) In Australia
So how does these dogs ended up in Australia? They were brought to this country with the first settlers during colonial times. They lived in largest numbers around the Sydney, where they were used for the same purpose as they were in England, to drove cattle to the market. Some theories say, that Smithfields were further crossbred in Australia with some local dogs, with other European breeds and with Dingoes. But as i mentioned earlier, the exact ancestry of this breed is a mystery.
3) Almost extinct
The Smithfield dog was not perfect for the hard work in Australian hot climate. They had trouble to work on warm days, which is why ranchers started using other Australian herding breeds instead of Smithfield. This include dogs like Australian Cattle dog or Stumpy Tail Cattle dog. This brought the Smithfield dog nearly to extinction on mainland Australia, but they survived in larger numbers in Tasmania, an Australian Island in southern Australia, where they are still sometimes used for working with cattle and other livestock.
The Smithfield is quite good herding dog breed. It is a loose eyed dog and they are using mainly their barking and biting to move the livestock. They are described as fast and forceful, when they are working with the stock. Just like other herding breeds, even the Smithfield is very agile, intelligent, alert, they are good problem solvers and they simply just love to work. And just like most of other herding dogs,they are also excellent at various dog sports, like agility or flyball.
Of course, the Smithfield dog is not only a worker, they also make amazing companion dogs. They are much better suited for active people and families, as they need proper exercise to stay healthy and happy. They can happily live with other dogs or other pets, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood and they are good playful partners for kids. Of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. The Smithfield is a very friendly and patient dog, which are amazing qualities for living with kids. They enjoy being around the family and this is very affectionate and loyal dog breed.
The Smithfield is a medium sized dog breed. The average height is between 18-21 inch, which is 45-54 cm and weight between 35-55 lbs, which is 15-25 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Smithfields appearance is pretty unified. It is a shaggy coated, medium sized dog with floppy ears. The only exception is the tail. There are two varieties of the Smithfield dog, one having a natural bobtail and the second having a longer tail. Both types are acceptable and both types can exist within the same litter.
8) Coat and color
The Smithfield has similar coat as the Bearded Collie. It is a pretty long, coarse and shaggy coat. There are some shorther coated types as well, but vast majority of Smithfields have rather longer coat. They come in variety of colors, most commonly in combinations of black, grey, red and white.
The Smithfield dog does shed some deal of fur, but the shedding is not extreme. You should regularly brush their coat to keep it tangle and mat free and to remove all the dirt and loose hair. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
There are no scientific studies about the health of this rare breed, but this should be usually healthy and hardy dog breed with lifespan around 14 years. Of course, they still might suffer from the typical doggy health issues, such as some joint and bone problems, problems with ears, some allergies or infections.
On the first sight, the blond Hovawart looks exactly like Golden Retriever and it is easy to confuse one to another. But these two are completely separate purebred dogs with different ancestry and history and with big differences in their personality, but also in their appearance.
Lets start with the appearance comparsion. Of course, the main difference in appearance is the color. While the Golden Retriever is, well, always in some shade of a golden color, the Hovawart can be either black, golden or in black and golden color. Both breeds have long doublecoat, but the Golden Retriever has more feathering.
But if the Hovawart is in golden color, than it becomes extremely hard to tell these two breeds apart. The Hovawart is typically the larger, taller and heavier of those two breeds. You can see the size comparsion of both breeds on the screen right now.
The Hovawart also has larger hips, while the Golden Retriever has tendency to slope downward. There are also little differences in the head shape, The Hovawart has more triangular head shape than the rounder shape of Golden Retriever.
And what about their temperament? Well, there are definitely more differences in temperament, than there are in the apeparance.
Both breeds make excellent loyal and loving companions. The Golden Retriever is known to be friendly towards absolutely everyone, to be very playful, trustful, gentle and intelligent.
The Hovawart also loves its family, but they are alert and not so trustful towards strangers. They make superb watchdogs and most of them will not be that welcoming towards strangers as Golden Retrievers. It is a working breed, mostly used for guarding property. And even their name is a combination of German words Hof and Wart, which means yard-watcher, or farm-watcher.
So if you are looking for a companion that will also watch over your house, than the Hovawart is definitely the better option. The Golden Retriever would most likely happily welcome a burglar into your home.
But if you are looking forva typical gentle and active family companion, you will not go wrong with the Golden Retriever. They have the reputaion for being one of the best and one of the most popular companion dogs in the world, especially for families with kids.
But of course, the temperament is vastly influenced by early socialization and training.
Both breeds are also very active. They love being outdoors in almost any kind of a weather and they will love long walks, jogs, hikes, swims, playtime and fun training sessions. These dogs are no coach potates and they are best suited for active people and families.
The other important difference is a prey drive. Some Golden Retrievers still posses high prey drive and chasing instinct, which is because they were used for a long time by hunters to retrieve the game. Not all Goldens have it, but some, especially if trained for it, will chase and try to hunt other animals.
The Hovawart was never bred and used for hunting and they should never have high prey drive.
So now you know that both breeds were bred and used as working dogs. The Hovawart mainly for guarding, the Golden Retriever for hunting and retrieving. But what is the ancestry. They look so similarly, so they just must have a common ancestor, right?
The modern day Hovawart was developed from local Black Forest farm dogs crossed with Kuvasz, Newfoundland, German Shepherd, Leonberger, Bernese Mountain dog and African hunting dog. On the other hand, the ancestors of Golden Retriever are Tweed Water Spaniel and St. Johns Water dog. Later, a small infusion of Red Setter, Labrador Retriever and Bloodhound was added into the breed by breeders.
The Hovawart is considered to be German breed, while the Golden Retriever a Scottish breed. So indeed, there is no link between them and there are no common ancestors.