Slovensky Kopov

April 12, 2012

Slovensky Kopov, Slovakian Hound and Black Forest Hound all refers to a medium sized dog with a rectangular body, a rather large head and a black and tan coat the gives the dog an elegant appearance. This breed has great similarities with the Black and Tan Coonhound of United States owing to the black and tan coloring of the coat. On closer inspection though it will be noticed that the Sovensky Kopov is a rather small breed but one with a heavier built.

The Slovensky Kopov’s country of origin is Czechoslovakia. This breed is the only scent hound native to this country. A Black Forest Hound is most commonly seen in Europe though this breed is rarely seen in other parts of the world. The Slovensky Kopov is a hardy hardworking breed that is also known for its courage and great endurance. This breed was originally developed to hunt wild boar. This tenacious hunter will follow a scent for hours. The dog is in fact considered as a wild boar specialist given that unlike other hunting dog that would hunt a variety of game, wild boar is the only quarry of the Slovensky Kopov.

The hunting ability and the temperament of this breed are comparable to the traits of the more popular Beagle, Foxhound and Harrier. The Slovensky Kopov is still hunted extensively in Czechoslovakia’s mountainous regions but the dog has also found another occupation… that of being an alert and diligent watchdog and an affectionate and loyal home companion. The dog has an innate distrust for strangers. Tough against attack and quick to the defense especially if provoked, this dog is truly a dependable guard. A Slovensky Kopov is loyal, loving and calm… that is if the dog is well trained and well socialized. A Sovensky Kopov is strong willed, male dogs would even be more difficult to handle and would never be subservient to a weak owner. Firm obedience training and socialization is imperative for this breed.

Information

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Appearance

A Slovensky Kopov is a scent hound with sleek and elegant appearance. This breed has a light body build but it is evident that this hunting dog is well able to pursue its prey because it is hardy, strong, and vigorous and has great endurance. The dark brown to black skin that closely fits the body without any folds or loose skin is covered with 2 to 5 cm long hair that is dense and slightly coarse to the touch but its gleaming black color and the striking brown and mahogany markings give the dog an elegant and impressive appearance. Longer hair covers the back, the neck and the tail of the dog. The dense undercoat grows thicker during the cold winter months.

This breed has a fairly long skull. It is rectangular in shape and slightly domed. The long muzzle is not too broad and the stop forms an angle of about 45 degrees. Straight nasal bridge leads to a rather large black nose with slightly tapering nostrils. Lips are close fitting. Regularly shaped jaws are firm and teeth have well developed complete bite. Dark almond shaped eyes are somewhat deep set and show courage and liveliness. Medium length ears have rounded tips and set on above the line of the eyes. The rather short but muscular neck is well set and does not have loose skin. A Slovensky Kopov’s back is straight and medium in length, the broad forechest is well developed and medium deep, the croup is rounded, and the not too long loin is broad and muscular. Ribs are arched and the belly is moderately tucked up. The tail is set on rather low… below the topline. The strong tail tapers to the tip and reaches the hock. At rest, the tail hangs down. When the dog is on the move or alert, the tail curves upward and takes the shape of a saber. Forequarters are somewhat short but well developed and muscular. Hind quarters are well muscled. Oval feet have tightly arched black toes.

Personality

If you have opted to have a Slovensky Kopov in your home you will have a hunter, a guard dog and a loyal and affectionate pet that will be the playmate of the children and the companion of the other dogs in the household. This breed is quite independent minded. The dog even hunts alone. But it is also highly intelligent and manifests a strong desire to be with the human family. This means that the stubbornness and the distrust it has for strangers will be corrected with the right training methods. Socialization is necessary for this breed as it is known to be aggressive with other dogs and with other smaller pets. The Slovensky Kopov is a versatile and highly adaptable breed. This breed can live in an apartment as long as it is provided with the chance to expend its excess energies. If not, the dog will be destructive. This breed is a barker. It barks continuously while hunting. A bored Slovensky Kopov would irk the neighbors with its incessant barking. If you are an apartment dweller you need to take the dog on daily long walks. Like any other working breed, the Slovensky Kopov would thrive in a home in the country where the large open space will be the dog’s playground.

Care

The short hair of this breed would need vey minimal care. A once a week brushing would be enough to maintain the good condition of the coat especially if the dog is kept indoors. Although a Slovensky Kopov that is hunted would need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt on the coat and any external parasites that may have been picked up by the dog while hunting. Ears and teeth must be cleaned and the nails must be regularly trimmed.

History

The Slovensky Kopov is also known as Slovakian Hound and Black forest Hound. This breed has existed since the Middle Ages. This is a hardy scent hound that is noted for its great endurance as well as for its superb tracking ability. This breed is highly prized for its ability to patiently follow and track a scent for hours as well as for its great sense of direction. The Kopov in the breed name was taken from the Hungarian word kopou although the choice was not etymologically clear. Neither is it clear how this breed came to Slovakia. It was assumed that this breed have developed from the ancient scent hounds that have inhabited Eastern Europe. It was further speculated that the Polish Hounds and the Balkan Hounds were crossed with gundogs and with other breed of dogs and resulted to the creation of the Slovensky Kopov.

The Slovensky Kopov is considered as national breed as it is the only scent hound breed of Slovakia. This breed has been utilized for centuries but it was only recognized as a breed after World War 11. In the 1770s crossing with other native breeds or with breeds from other countries was prohibited to maintain the purity of the Slovensky Kopov. This breeding restriction continued even after the Second World War. Koloman Slimak, the famous and legendary Slovakian cynologist is considered as the father of the Slovensky Kopov. He was actively involved in the breeding of the Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer and the Slovensky Kopov. Koloman Slimak operated the Z Povazie breeding station. Under his supervision, a survey for dogs suitable for breeding was conducted in Banca Bystrica in 1936. Ten years later another survey was made to ascertain the results of the breeding program. The first stud book and the first standard for the breed were also developed. During this time a club for breeders of hunting dogs was formed with the objective of promoting the typical conformation and the hunting abilities of the dogs. In 1963, the Slovensky Kopov was officially recognized by FCI and in 1988; a special club for breeders of Slovensky Kopov was founded.

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