While Bohemian Shepherds aren’t particularly well known in the United States, these dogs are friendly, intelligent, and devoted to their people. Also known as Chodský pes, the Czech Sheepdog, or the Bohemian Herder, these dogs are lively and take to almost any activity put to them. They’re usually 19-22 inches tall and weigh 33-55 pounds, making them medium-sized dogs with long hair.
Today, Bohemia is the westernmost and largest region of the modern-day Czech Republic. Bohemian Shepherds originated during the 14 century when the Kingdom of Bohemia existed and were originally thought to guard the southwestern borders in the Chod region of the country. This region borders Bavaria and in 1325 as an attempt to stop a possible Germanic expansion, the Kingdom of Bohemia monarchy allowed the Chodové people who lived in the region to breed special dogs to help with border patrol. Those dogs then became Bohemian Shepherds and have been used as guard dogs and for pastoral work. Unfortunately, the breed was almost lost and forgotten during the mid 20th century but Dr. Vilem Jurz and Jan Findejs worked to restore the breed in 1984.
Fun fact: the Bohemian Shepherd breed was one of the first to have a king’s consent to be bred for a particular reason!
These medium-sized shepherds have a long, straight coat, which means they’re often confused as a long-haired German Shepherd or a Shiloh Shepherd. They’re a fluffy double-coated breed and their undercoat is soft and dense while their topcoat is long and harsh. During the year, Bohemian Shepherds do lightly shed but heavily shed a couple times a year. They should be brushed at least once a week year-round so their coats don’t get tangled or matted. These dogs have brown eyes, a black nose, and develop tan markings among their primarily black coat around 6-7 months old. These tan markings are usually above the eyes, around the ears, and on their belly, feet, and muzzle.
Bohemian Shepherds are great guard dogs and will protect their family, including sounding the alarm when someone suspicious or a stranger approaches their home. However, they’re not aggressive and are can be a very well-adjusted family member. They love children, other dogs, and small pets and would make great therapy or service animals. However, they still need training and socialization.
The good news about this breed is they’re intelligent and eager to please, meaning training can be fun and rewarding! They have plenty of energy so long walks and/or playtime can really make a difference. Like many other sheepdogs, Bohemian Shepherds are agile and smart and thrive at dog sports like agility, obedience, and scent work. While a fenced yard is great for these dogs, they shouldn’t be outdoor only dogs, as they’re very social and can become depressed if left alone for too long.
Ultimately, Bohemian Shepherds aren’t a popular breed around the world but would make a great family dog or a running/hiking buddy for an active person. They’re friendly and playful but can be suspicious and wary of strangers. But training and socialization can turn these dogs into wonderful companions!
Have you ever met a Bohemian Shepherd before? Let me know in the comments!