The Slovensky Kopov originated in the area of today Slovakia, where different hunting breeds were used since antiquity. The first mentions about the Slovensky Kopov are from the 17th and 18th century and the breed was first recognized in 1870s. Kopov is most likely related to other Central European hunting breeds, such as Magyar Agar, Chart Polski or Austrian Black and Tan Hound.
The main purpose of this breed always was, and still is, hunting. To be more specific, they were bred to hunt large game, most often boars, but also dangerous predators. And they are great at it! Slovensky Kopov is known as a tireless and determined hunter who is able to follow warm trail or scent for long hours while giving tongue. These dogs just love to hunt, they are smart, independent, endurant, athletic, they have great sense of smell, but also very good hearing, amazing sense of orientation and of course, they have high prey drive. Their hunting drive starts early so beware of early signs of independence and their ability to strive Overall, this is just extraordinary hunter.
This breed is officially recognized as Slovensky Kopov, but it is also known as Slovakian Hound or Black Forest Hound. The word Slovensky means Slovak, but the word Kopov is little bit a mystery. According to FCI, it is derived from Hungarian word „kopo“, meaning scent hound. Their other name, Slovakian Hound does not need any explanation. And the third name Black Forest Hound was probably made in North America for marketing purposes, because these dogs have no connection with the German Black Forest.
4) Modern Era
The new era of Slovensky Kopov breeding began in 1936, when 14 male and 12 female dogs were selected for new controlled breeding with the aim of weeding out any undesirable variation in color and height. Over few decades, the breed was standardized and accepted by the FCI in 1963. This means, that all the pure Slovensky Kopov dogs we have today, can trace their history back to the 26 dogs used in the first breeding in 1930s and 1940s. One person who is credited for standardizing this breed is Mr. Koloman Slimak.
The Slovensky Kopov is not only amazing hunter, but also lively, playful and excited family companion. It is not a companion dog for everyone, they are best suited for active people who will spend a lot of time outside with the dog. These dogs will be always ready for a long walk, hike or jog, but also to any kind of playtime or short and fun training sessions. These dogs are known to be kind of stubborn and sometimes it can be little bit challenging to train this breed, but with enough patience and consistency, they can learn all the basic obedience commands quite easily. Kopov dogs are okay with other dogs in the family and they are good playful partners for older kids. Other smaller household pets might be problematic, due to the dogs higher prey drive and natural hunting instincts, but this is vastly influence by early socialization. These dogs are also known to be alert and wary of strangers and other dogs, but again, this is influenced by early socialization.
This is a muscular and athletic dog breed with typical hunting hound appearance and average height between 16-20 inch, which is 40-50 cm and weight is typically between 33-44 lbs, which is 15-20 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Slovensky Kopov has a short coat in the great looking black and tan color combination. The topcoat is only about 2-5 centimeters long and it is coarse, very dense and fitting close to the body. The undercoat is also pretty dense and thick. Thanks to this doublecoat, the Slovensky Kopov can withstand even lower temperatures.
The Slovensky Kopov is quite common in its country of origin – Slovakia. But outside Slovakia, those dogs are very rare. They do live in other European countries and they were even exported to North America, but their numbers outside Slovakia are very low.
Great fact is, that the maintenance and grooming of this breed is very easy. Even without any grooming at all, the Slovensky Kopov will remain its coat in good condition. They do shed some deal of fur all year long, more heavily seasonally, so if you want to minimize the shedding, you should brush their coat regularly. Brushing will also remove any dirt from the coat. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Slovensky Kopov is usually pretty healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 12-14 years. Just like any other breed in the world, they may suffer from some health issues, which might include hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, some allergies or infections.