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.