Czech Army Border Patrol Dog
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.T his 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 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 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).
The breeding program, established in 1956, was under the direction of Mr.Jiri Novotny who, since 1981, has been the director of training. The main foundation of the breeding program has been focused on strengthening the power of bones, dark pigmentation, strong nerves and willingness to work in tracking, obedience and defense work.
While the kennel name remains "z Pohranicni Straze", it is now under the Pohranicni Policie (Border Police).
During the years under the communist regime, the Czechoslovakian border patrol and their dogs would apprehend 20 to 30 people on a daily basis. While nine out of ten people would 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 economical refugees from former Eastern Block entering Germany. Those who are not given visa's 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.
The "z Pohranicni Straze" German Shepherd Dogs continue to be called upon to respond daily in high risk, threatening situations. The training courses to prepare them are likewise demanding as are the requirements for breeding.
The border patrol established 3 breeding stations located in Domazlice, Libejovice, and Prackovice, in 1956 to provide a continuous supply of dogs for law enforcement. Each facility was located on Border Patrol bases and considered of prime national security. Entrance was allowed only to people of “top clearance” and employed at that facility. The females were bred and puppies whelped, raised and trained all within these breeding stations which were staffed by trainers, veterinarians, assistant breeders and kennel help. Once trained the Pohranicni Straze dogs were assigned a handler and patrolled primarily the border with Germany and Austria to prevent Czechoslovakian’s and any others from within the East Block from escaping.
Dogs were then bred under the Pohranicni Policie (Border Police), and under the direction of the head breeder, Mr. Jiri Novotny since 1981 (also the director of training). He is perhaps one of the only government officials to have made the transition from the communist regime to the present. The breeding stations where located within the bases, ran by the Czech Army. Entrance to the facilities continue to be strictly forbidden as in the past as a matter of national security.
The breeding program consisted of 80 or more breeding females and 30 stud dogs. Each stud dog was required to earn working titles and be on active duty. The breeding program utilized their own dogs with the exception of occasional special breedings which took place in partnership with 3 private breeders, “Jipo-me”, a kennel in partnership between Mr. Jiri Novotny and a close friend, “z-Jirkova dvora”, owned by Mr. Novotny's Father and z Blatenskeho Zamku owned by Zdenek Koubek. The breeding of these 3 private kennels was also under the direction of Mr. Novotny.
Obtaining a Pohranicni Straze German Shepherd Dog
There are three ways in which quality dogs from this highly desired "z Pohranicni Straze" kennel are available.
I. Studs Fees: The z Pohranicni Straze kennel breeds their females occasionally to dogs owned by civilians. The stud dogs chosen are outstanding working dogs selected for their ability to consistently produce dogs with exceptional working ability. The owner of the stud has the option of being paid or taking a puppy for payment. Most people take the latter option in order to own a "Z Pohranicni staze" dog.
II. Whelping litters: There are three kennels owned by civilians which the z Pohranicni Straze kennel works closely, Z Jirkova dvora, Jipo-Me and Z Blatenskeho zamku. These kennels, owned by civilians, are at times given the opportunity to take Pohranicni Straze breeding females and whelp the litters. In return, these private kennels keep half of the litter which bears the kennel name "z Pohranicni Straze".
III. Dog for dog: There are also times in which Pohranicni Straze Kennel trades dogs with these three kennels as another way to bring desired dogs and bloodlines into the Pohranicni Straze breeding program.
Center of Breeding
Through these three ways in which civilians have had access to z Pohranicni Straze dogs the kennel has managed to be at the center of breeding in both the former Czechoslovakia and the present day Czech Republic. Many of these dogs have been purchased by Schutzhund competitors in both Western Europe and the United States, often placing high at championship events.