Bohemian Shepherd Dog
The Bohemian Shepherd is a lively, intelligent, versatile breed. These athletic pups make excellent watchdogs, enthusiastic sidekicks, and devoted family pets.
Bohemian Shepherd Dog History
Also known as the Chodský Pes, the Bohemian Shepherd dates back to 1325. That's when the King of Bohemia—concerned about German expansion—tapped the Chodové people to guard the border between Bohemia and Bavaria. And he allowed them to breed dogs to help patrol the area. In addition to their role as guard dogs, the resulting Bohemian Shepherds worked as herding dogs and farm helpers.
Two world wars depleted the pool of these hard-working dogs, as it did for many breeds. They may have disappeared entirely if not for the dedication of Dr. Vilem Kurz and Jan Findejs. In the mid-1980s, the duo created a breed standard and breeding program for the Bohemian Shepherd and restored the breed. The first litter from their program was born in 1985.
In 2019, the FCI provisionally recognized the breed. That same year, the AKC accepted the Bohemian Shepherd into the Foundation Stock Service.
Bohemian Shepherd Dog Traits
The Bohemian Shepherd is a medium-sized sheepdog with a compact, graceful appearance.
Coat and Colouring
This breed's coat is long and glossy with a coarse texture. It can be straight or slightly wavy and has a shorter undercoat. Bohemian Shepherds' long hair covers their earlobes and forms brushes at the base. Their tails have thick fur with wavy fringes on the underside.
Bohemians come in black to gunmetal black with rich tan markings on the ears, face, throat, legs, feet, and tail.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Bohemian Shepherds have short, erect, triangular ears and medium-sized, almond-shaped brown eyes. Their necks are long and graceful, and their backs firm and straight. They're known for their noble appearance and energetic, pleasing expression.
Bohemian Shepherd Dog Temperament
Lively, fearless dogs, Bohemians are devoted to their people and love a good adventure. Their athleticism and eagerness to be involved in activities make them a good fit for active households.
These pups are typically calm and not overly demanding. They get along well with children and make loving family members and excellent watchdogs. Their stable, friendly personalities also make them well-suited for work as emotional support animals.
Bohemians are built to withstand cold weather, but they can overheat in the summer. So, they're happiest spending hot afternoons indoors lying on a cool floor near their humans.
Bohemian Shepherd Dog Care
Bohemian Shepherds thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). Since obesity is on the rise in dogs, it's important to keep an eye on their food intake. Measuring their portions will help prevent overfeeding and keep them at a healthy weight. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily calories.
Weekly brushing will keep your Bohemian's coat in tip-top shape. During periods of seasonal shedding, you may need to brush more frequently. Regular nail trims should also be part of their grooming routine—as overgrown nails can cause pain and potentially lead to problems running or walking.
Dental disease is one of the most common conditions in adult dogs and, left untreated, can contribute to other serious health issues. Professional cleanings combined with regular at-home teeth brushing will help keep your pup's teeth and gums healthy (and their breath fresh).
Bohemian Shepherds originated as working dogs, and they like to keep busy. Daily walks, hikes, and play sessions are all good ways for them to stay in shape. Due to their athletic nature, they also excel at dog sports—such as agility, dock diving, and competitive obedience. When adequately exercised, Bohemians are willing couch buddies in the evening.
Intelligent working dogs, Bohemians are typically easy to train. They're quick studies and eager to please their people and learn new commands and tricks. They can be on the sensitive side. So, gentle, reward-based training methods work best for these pups.
Lastly, socializing your Bohemian Shepherd as a puppy will help them develop into a well-adjusted adult dog.
Reviewed 16 June 2021 by Annette Louviere, DVM