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The breed


Health by Czechoslovakian wolfdogs

I will realy not translate the health issues in english. My english is not so good and you will find all the important things in your language on different pages or by asking the vet. What i will write down are basic health problems in the breed, please use google to search more info about them in your language.

Although the breed is young and relatively healthy, yet there are diseases, that occur in it.

The "typical" problem for large breeds is the dysplasy, especially of the hip. That particular disease is controlled by wolfdogs and is mandatory in breeding in Slovakia - X-rays to determine the degree of dysplasy. Slovakia recognizes as studs only dogs with a degree 0 and 1, ie. A 0/0 - B 1/1. In the Czech Republic is it up to 2, ie. C 2/2.

From other diseases, is presence of gene for dwarfism. When mating two positive parents, puppies are born affected by the disease. The disease causes that puppy stops growing of its body, functioning of organs is weaks and need treatment. Newly mandatory in Slovakia too.

Degenerative myelopathy is a disease of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis. Newly mandatory in Slovakia too.

Other problems by CsW are: Cryptorchidism (missing testicles), kinked tail, epilepsy, cancer, problems with teeth (missing, deformations, teeth extra), thyroid, leucaemia.

Problems with fertility, mortality of not born puppies or health problems in rising of puppies: False gravidity, herpes virus, mycoplasma, strep G, pyometra, demodex, giardia, parvovirus, canina distemper, borrelia, worms. 

You may have problems with: alergy, anal gland, gastric torsion, laryngotracheitis, poisoning, babeziosis


Dysplasy is an inherited disease, that causes, that the joints do not hold as tightly as they should. Is abnormal growth of head of joint. This causes the dog pain and stiffness of the hind legs, so that the movement is problematic. Czechoslovakian wolfdog has this disease. HD is known as hip dysplasia, ED - dysplasia of the elbow joint.

Genetic influence on the dysplasy is 60-80%, the remain is food and environment. The most important phase of development is ut to about 9 months, dysplasy occurs most often between 4-6 months. Another statistic is that when both parents are negative for HD or ED, is born of healthy puppies 80% and 20% of disease susceptibility. When one or both parents had dysplasy, it is the opposite. In the statistics are differences and some sources say up to 30% assumption. It is necessary to test not only dogs in breeding, and their progeny, to show the factor of heredity and predisposition of transmission.

Puppies are not born with dysplasy, but can be born with a tendency to it. Changes may be gradual, but also obvious. Loose joints can sometimes cause attrition of bone, which can lead to pain from of arthritis. Dog limps and tries not to burden the limb. In any case is it essential to to ensure the dog warm, quiet place, minimal movement. However make a wolfdog rest is nearly impossible, so we need to do it with force - close the dog. To identify the disease, it is necessary to wait until about 6 months of age, when the disease can be clearly recognized. X-rays for inclusion in breeding are made up from 1,5 years, ideally from two years, when is a higher probability of correct determination of a negative or a positive finding.

Xray of hips and elbow, both zero grade

Xray of elbow

If the dog is prone to hip dysplasia, it is necessary for us to avoid

do not overstretch feet - do not overfeed the dog and keep it slim

we avoid overdose of calcium, which makes it difficult to grow cartilage and also the abuse of vitamin D, in the diet is appropriate to add chondroprotectives

  do not overdose movement and exercise, but not neglect - swimming keeps the dog fit, does not burden the joints, with bicycle and the like wait, until the dog is mature

 dysplasy is a hereditary disease and if the parents are possitive, the puppies have higher chance to have dysplasy too

 ideal age to be investigated is when the dog 24 months or more old

Breeding of CsW in Slovakia and HD

Condition for breeding of Czechoslovakian wolfdog in Slovakia is that the dog is tested for hip dysplasy, sadly, still not for the elbow. Evaluation is doing only one veterinarian in Slovakia, so evaluation is the objective. Screening is done using X-ray, is painless. The images are made of both joints, by the HD, also ED. Dysplasy is a hereditary disease, it is therefore necessary to monitor the development.

In Slovakia is mandatory for breeding hip examination by X-ray and evaluation by club veterinarian. The test may be done also by dog, with no breeding plans. Its essential to make hip and also elbow test. The best age is the end of the development of the bones, in 1,5 to 2 years, and then later in older age. Ideal age is in 2 years and older. The age of the dog affects the accuracy of the result. Accuracy in 3-6 months is 89.6%, in 7-12 months already 93.8% and from 13 to 18 months 95.2%. Very early testing, so as soon as possible (1 year of age), can not be recommended, the result must not be correct.

A very important aspect is the quality of the image, vet, who prepared it, should look, that the head of joints is sharp and visible, to avoid of doubt in the evaluation. The dog is under low narcosis, as the position in which the shootings are done, may not be comfortable. Narcosis is a burden for the dog, but for a healthy individual does not present a danger.

The Xrays of a female - positioning for elbow testing.

Result of X-rays is in Slovakia sent to the club's vet, for evaluation in degrees. For each joint separately. For breeding are allowed only A to B.

Grades of dysplasy by FCI
Grade A

(mark in SVK 0)

Without signs of dysplasy Anatomically regular joint, femoral head and the hole are parallel, articular gap is narrow and uniform, angle of 105 degrees or more.
Grade B

(mark in SVK 1)

Transient, almost normal joint Mild anatomical irregularity, non-concurrent use mild head angle is more than 100 degrees.
Grade C

(mark in SVK 2)

Easy dysplasy Observable anatomical irregularity, head well and are non-concurrent, joint angle formed by more than 100 degrees, small signs of osteoporosis.
Grade D

(mark in SVK 3)

Medium dysplasy Clear irregular, clear asymetric well and head, the angle formed by the joint more than 90 degrees, head loses round shape, symptoms of osteoporosis.
Grade E

(mark in SVK 4)

Severe dysplasy Significant anatomical irregularity obvious shallow edge of the hole, head deformation, osteoporosis, angle is below 90 degrees.


Dwarfism test is now mandatory breeding term in Slovakia.

Is a horrible incurable disorder which you don’t wish to any dog. A dwarf has a badly developed pituitary, which means that certain hormones (such as growth hormones) are not, or less, produced. Due to the shortage of the production of the thyroid stimulating hormone, they have a slow functioning thyroid. Besides the fact that these dogs stay small, they are also haunted by various horrible side effects when they are not treated with medicines on a daily basis. (e.g. baldness, itching, inflammations, malfunctioning of the liver and kidneys, development disorder of cervical vertebrae, dental problems, metabolic problems, slow behaviour, abnormal blood vessels ).

Many dwarfs die in the uterus, or die during the birth. And 90% of the living born dwarfs die in the first week. Pups behind in growth are often not recognised as dwarfs. After (4 weeks or later) people see that a pupp is different in comparison with the other pupps. Dwarfism is known in the breeds German Shepherd, White Sheperd, Karelian  Beardog, Saarlooswolfhond and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. And when 1% is dwarf in a population, 18 % will be carrier of this mutated gen, the number of carriers in practice is often much higher than thought.

Unfortunately also in CsW breed are several dwarfs (from different lines). To prevent another CsW dwarf will be ever born, you only have to test your CsW's that will be used for breeding! Because of the DNA test can be established if a dog is carrier of this mutated gene.

The only thing is not to make any crossings between carrier x carrier! (of this mutated gen). With carriers you can breed in combination with free dogs! Not any dog has to be out of breeding program when he/she is carrier! Carriers of this mutation are not “ill” and can be still important for the gene pool of the breed! photo: and Gorthan kennel (PL)

Survival prognosis of older age is individual. On average it is 4-5 years, but there are also cases of survival elderly and even without treatment.

The genetic test

After years of research the veterinary university of Utrecht in 2008 did find the gen mutation for Pituitary Dwarfism. They did develop a genetic test that can determine based on DNA the Pituitary Dwarfism mutation.

A dog can get as a test result:

Genotyp N/N - "free", this dog has no gen mutation

Genotyp A/N - "carrier", this dog carries the mutation but is not ill or dwarf, can be dysplayed as N/DW

Genotyp A/A - "affected", this dog is a dwarf, can be dysplayed as DW/DW

(N - normal, A - abnormal)

If both parents a free, all the pupps will be free too.

If a dog is carrier, one of his parents could be a carrier too. So if one parent is carrier and one is free, one half of the pupps will be free and one half carrier.

If both parents are carriers, will be the puppies half carrier, one quarter affected and one quarter will be free.

Sure, genetics is complex and it can happen, that there are different numbers of clear/affected and carriers born.

Degenerative myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy test is now mandatory breeding term in Slovakia.

Even relatively healthy breed as CsW has the same conditions for the disease, which is in the world of dog breeding not new. As a legacy of German Shepherd, the Czechoslovakian wolfdog also inherited the disease, mainly occurring in large breeds. Its a paralysis of the hind legs, with time gets worse, may experience loss of bladder function,... Dog has no pain because the tissues of the spinal cord are destroyed. It is a disease of the spinal cord and not the joints. The first symptoms may resemble dysplasy, the unequal use and ballasting hind legs, carry unusual tail, muscle wasting - all these are not getting better and can not be reverse. The symptoms can be observed around the age of 8 years, and the process can take up to 3 years. Myelopathy can not currently be cured. (photo: wolfdog health info)

For help with disease - but not reverse the disease process - we can provide vitamins C, E, A, coenzyme Q10 and other.

Today, this disease can be diagnosed. Each dog has two copies of the gene SOD1 and the DM will occur if both copies of it are damaged. An individual with one damaged and one normal copy, or two normal copies,  become sick. It should be added that as dysplasia, a genetic disease is also transmitted to progeny, but also influenced by the outside environment. Neither by the genetic analysis can we clearly say, if individual becomes ill, even with both genes with mutations. (photo: wolfdog health info)

On video is an affected CsW... (not for too sensitive persons)

On video is the same affected CsW after 4 months... (not for too sensitive persons)

The test result can be:

Genotype N/N - "free" or clean, disease-free, all his descendants will be healthy, even mated to a carrier or affected individuals.

Genotype DM/N - "carrier", which is however healthy, DM does not occur by him. It should be combined with a dog N/N, because in combination with another carrier, can occur a percentage of affected progeny.

Genotype DM/DM - "affected" or sick. In combination with healthy one, carriers are born and worse, dogs affected by disease too. BUT, there is not 100%, that the animal will get ill.

Test result, which is done by swab or blood sample (pictured below - taking swab samples from the gums), can help in creation of breeding pairs. As the disease breaks out in about 8 year of life, an individual must be tested before its inclusion in breeding. That was one of the reasons, why its now breeding rights mandatory.

Worldwide 50-60% of dogs are healthy, 40% are carriers and 5-10% are sick dogs (according to the latest results, increasing the number of healthy dogs, about 30% are carriers and only minimum dogs are sick).

As the dog carrying one mutated gene do not becomes sick during his life, there is no reason to discard him from breeding, it would be too radical intervention into an already small population.

DM is not a new disease has always been here, but the possibility of its diagnostics has not yet been here and was often bad diagnostic for their symptoms such as dysplasy.

The summary for breeders:

If both parents are clear, than all puppies will be free too.

If one parent is carrier DM/N and the other free N/N, the half of the pupps will be clear N/N and the half carrier DM/N.

If both parents are carriers DM/N, than 25% puppies will be N/N, 50% carriers and 25% will be affected DM/DM.

If one parent is free N/N and one affected DM/DM, than all puppies will be carrier.

If one parent is carrier DM/N and second affected DM/DM, than 50% will be carrier DM/N and one half will be affected DM/DM.

If both parents are affected DM/DM all puppies will be affected DM/DM too.

Sure, genetics is complex and it can happen, that there are different numbers of clear/affected and carriers born.