The 2015 CSVCA Annual Meeting
by Stacy McCrary
Colleyville, Texas and Bob Jones Park and Nature Center – Grapevine Lake, Texas
On a beautiful October evening, members representing both Coasts gathered at the home of President Stacy McCrary for a catered TexMex Dinner and annual meeting. It was wonderful getting to meet so many individuals that I have only known via Facebook or email. Leslie and her husband Jeff arrived with Baj after a very very long trip from South Florida. They get the prize for traveling the furthest and we got to see Baj work the Rally course like a pro the following day. They were greeted by Alex (an associate member) who flew in from San Diego, California. Alex’s interest in getting a Vlcak encouraged him to travel the distance to take this opportunity to meet the breed and their owners. Everybody gave him their honest opinions about owning a Vlcak and the challenges and rewards of doing so. Down from the beautiful state of Colorado, John and his new bride, Jessica, made the trip with Uzi and Amo (John’s German Shepard). Ray and Nelli made the trip from Lubbock, Texas with Bastion. This young pup was great meeting his new friends. Jason traveled in on Saturday morning from Weatherford, Texas with his two beautiful boys Be’Lial and Piter. Chris and Shadow joined us from Carrollton, Texas. Chris has worked with our guest speaker, Karen Deeds, at various clinics and agility workshops and was able to help Karen demonstrate techniques in working with dogs. The day ran much longer than I had planned and it was about 4:30pm on Saturday when we gathered for our hike. Ray and Nellie sadly had to get back on the road to return to Lubbock and Chris also returned home. However six of us and six dogs headed for the lake to swim and enjoy the late afternoon weather.
Rain and flooding from the early spring kept the park at Grapevine Lake closed and we had to change locations to my home. In hindsight this worked out great because we had everything we needed close by and were able to relax in the shade and talk while we ate and took breaks. The weekend before the event the AKC judge hurt her knee and had to cancel but thankfully Karen Deeds jumped in and took over everything.
Karen’s husband works with search and rescue on a national level (working 911 and Katrina) and stated she would help Leslie get in contact with the SAR group in Florida for Baj.
Thank you John for bringing the wonderful baked dog treats.
Thank you Petco for your amazing gift bags for each of the participants.
A very special thank you to my family for their support and help to make this event run so smoothly both days. My son Shannon took all the photos and my husband and son Justin held our dogs so they could participate while I was off doing things.
AKC / Eukanuba National Championship – December 14 & 15, 2013: Czechoslovakian vlčák meet the breed booth
by Ed Blood
While the AKC / Eukanuba National Championship show has always had meet the breed booths, two years ago (2011) was the first time they allowed “Foundation Stock Services” (FSS) breeds to participate in meet the breeds. The first year it seems like AKC didn’t anticipate the amount of support from the FSS breeds they’d get because they only assigned 4- 8 feet long tables for all the breeds. I do not know if it was AKC realizing the amount of support from us or the FSS breeds’ appreciation for the opportunity and requests for an actual booth. In 2012 the AKC allowed us to have our own meet the breed booths in line with other breeds in alphabetical order and again we were very thankful. This is the second year we were able to have our own booth and it’s great to see the club’s booth grow each year. This year was Luna’s (Galomy Oak’s Aurora del Mango) third consecutive year being the “meet the breed” dog.
We arrived at the show grounds on the morning of December 13th, 2013 to attend some of the events, set up the booth, and meet up with some friends. The show we wanted to watch was over early so I was able to get the booth set up early (by noon) and surprisingly we had quite a few visitors during the day. It was great to have this “dress rehearsal” the day before the big event so we could talk to some people in a relaxed environment and give Luna a lot of time to try to meet people. A friend convinced us (in a peer pressure kind of way) to try out dock diving with her. Of course, Luna didn’t want any part of it and wouldn’t even go down the ramp to get her toy. I guess I’ll need to find a better motivation for her if I want to try it again in the future.
I don’t know how late we were at the show but we had a slow, but steady, flow of people wanting to learn about the breed. If I am able to go back to the show next year I will be sure to have the booth set up much earlier and spend the entire day (Friday) there. If the booths are set up earlier, I may go earlier. I was also able to walk her around the grounds a lot meeting people, all the distractions, the splashing from the dock diving, and all the loud noises from speakers and people. Never once did she break any commands or act scared.
Saturday (Dec 14th we were at the show by 8am and were manning the booth. I don’t know why other breeds aren’t there all day but I do feel it is important to educate the public about the breed, especially a rare breed like our vlčáks. The day got busy quickly and Luna was quite social in the morning to early afternoon, coming out of her crate often (I let her decide if she wanted to come out or stay in). She even kissed some people including one person in a wheel chair. I was pleasantly surprised that she was more social than she was last year but I could tell it was stressful for her but being the vlčák she is, she trucked on. She never acted inappropriately and always clearly communicated with me what she wanted. I gave her as much “time off” that she wanted so it would not stress her too much but also make sure it was a positive experience for her.
Sunday (Dec 15th) was a less busy day (as it usually is) and died down quickly throughout the day. Again, though, Luna was a champ. Acting social from time to time and letting me know when she wanted to go in her come out of her crate. We started to break down the booth around 3PM but someone was at the booth until 4:30 (when we left). We had a few people stop by, most notably one of the directors of AKC who was extremely nice and loved meeting Luna. We left about 10 brochures at the table when we left for anyone who stopped by later, I don’t know how many were left when the cleanup crew stopped by. I really have no measure of success with the booth other than Luna acted appropriately the entire time and out of 250 brochures I requested I have about 20 left – meaning about 220 were handed out (plus the 10 left at the booth). I would like to think it was a success again.
On behalf of the Czechoslovakian Vlcak Club of America I would like to give the AKC a heart filled thank you for allowing us, and other FSS breeds, meet the breed booths again this year. I do enjoy doing these booths and educating the public about our beloved breed.
by Michael Daee
"Mutt" or "mongrels" - both words have can very negative or derogatory connotations, and as you become more involved in the Vlcak community they are words you will start to see more frequently. Without getting into a political discussion about the two terms, in this article I am specifically pointing to their use in the dog breed world. The American Kennel Club (AKC) defines purebred as a "dog whose sire and dam belong to the same breed and who are themselves of unmixed descent since recognition of the breed." A mutt or mongrel would be any canine deviating from that definition.
The myth of hybrid vigor or that mixed breed dogs – "mutts” - are healthier is exactly that: a myth, and very much not true. If you cross a Labrador Retriever that has hip dysplasia with a Poodle that has hip dysplasia, what do you get? Chances are, a “Labradoodle” with hip dysplasia. In addition to hip problems, Labradoodles are now being diagnosed with Addison’s disease (a deficiency in adrenal hormones) and elbow dysplasia - two genetic disorders that are common to purebred Labradors and Poodles, according to Dr. Bell. (Dr. Mary Fuller referencing the a study presented at Western Veterinary Conference by Dr. Jerold Bell, May 3, 2013). Speaking of the labradoodle, designer breeds are still a fad. This is bad news for everyone. Think of it like this: adding more breeds to a mix only increases the chances for that canine to inherit more diseases, since each breed has it's own set of problems, and as stated above, several breeds have overlapping diseases. Also, each breed has its own temperament. Mixing in different breeds together creates an unstable one, because you can never know what behaviors and characteristics will manifest in a mixed breed. The problem is augmented by the fact that designer breeds also go through a genetic bottleneck in their creation, since designer breeds eventually have a smaller breeding population, meaning more of the diseases and recessive disorders will show. Only through responsible and careful breeding can a canine have a healthier genetic profile. A responsible breeder will health test their canines with transparency being paramount, and only after getting the proper results back will the breeder consider going ahead and planning a litter.
A reputable breeder Vlcak breeder will have had their dogs hips tested using the Penn HIP method, as well as having their hips and elbows tested with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) techniques. There are also tests for the heart, eyes, teeth, and a test for degenerative myelopathy to evaluate. The sire and dam’s hip health can reduce the likelihood that the offspring of normal parents will develop hip dysplasia, and other problems. The results can all be posted online through OFA. Properly selecting mates for purebred dogs is a science. Breeders select not only for conformation (body type) but also for personality and character traits. It is a goal that is achieved over many generations, not a game of chance.
Canine rescues and dog shelters across the nation are overwhelmed with dogs that need a home. Many of the so called "designer dog breeders" are nothing more than puppy millers in disguise. They care nothing about their canines, and only want to produce puppies to sell. I've spoken with cross-breeders who are not puppy millers, but think what they do is creating the ideal pet. Several of the individuals I spoke to are breeders of the "Tamaskan cross-breed". The Tamaskan was initially marketed as the "wolfdog without the wolf". The truth of this lie was made public two years ago. The Tamaskan cross-breed includes Czechoslovakian Vlcaks, Saarloos, various American Wolfdog mixes, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes to name a few. More dogs and wolf-mixes are planned to be added to that genetic soup. The individuals creating this dog claim that they are being responsible, but various reports indicate otherwise as more and more stories of Tamaskan's with genetic health problems such as cryptorchdism pop up. Also, all those different breeds together, as stated above, will create a dog with an unstable and unpredictable temperament. When I add all of that, along with what I have been told - the price tag of $2,000 - I can not condone it at all. The results are sloppy, the purpose based on monetary profit and it only adds to the growing populations in shelters. Selling mixed breed dogs is endorsing unplanned, uneducated mating. It is a toss up and a crapshoot as to what will result. It is one of the reasons that unwanted pups end up in shelters awaiting euthanasia. Some Czechoslovakian Vlcak breeders in Europe created recent wolf-mixes in Italy, mating their Vlcaks to wolves which, when exposed, brought Italian law enforcement into play. Their dogs were seized by the Italian police, and they were issued heavy fines. In the US, depending on your state and community, if this were to happen, the wolf-mixes would be seized and destroyed. Certain European breeders have sold their Vlcaks to puppy mills, and Tamaskan breeders, which has created all kinds of controversy in Europe. Just to be clear, allowing ones dogs to be used for these projects or in this manner is grounds to be dismissed from the club.
I have owned shelter rescues which were wonderful companions, and I currently own two purebred canines. I have a Czechoslovakian Vlcak, and an Australian Shepherd. I researched both breeds, and looked at their dams and sires, their pedigree, and health results before acquiring them. I have not ruled out getting another shelter dog in the future, and many purebred dog owners and breeders also have adopted shelter/rescue animals. Providing the best pet parenting possible, love and attention, can vastly improve a rescue pup's life. Spaying and neutering a mixed breed animal can help undo some of the breeding wrongs. The well-being, health and love for your pet, be it a Vlcak, rescue mutt or other purebred canine is paramount in my thoughts. If you need help with your Vlcak before passing the animal to someone unknown please inquire with other club members or myself, and we will do our utmost to help. If you are looking to get another Czechoslovakian Vlcak please feel free to contact me or the club, and we will help to guide you with a list of trusted reputable breeders, or at least insights into certain lines. Rather than add to the problem, lets all work to improve it.
The 2015 CSVCA Annual Meeting
On a beautiful October evening, members representing both Coasts gathered at the home of President Stacy McCrary for a catered TexMex Dinner and annual meeting.
Czechoslovakian vlčák meet the breed booth at Eukanuba.
While the AKC / Eukanuba National Championship show has always had meet the breed booths, two years ago (2011) was the first time they allowed “Foundation Stock Services” (FSS) breeds to participate in meet the breed.
"Mutt" or "mongrels" - both words have can very negative or derogatory connotations, and as you become more involved in the Vlcak community they are words you will start to see more frequently.