Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Czech Republic 2016
Puppies - Czech National Breeds of Dogs: Czech Spotted Dog

COUNTRY: Czech Republic
ISSUE DATE: 3 February 2016
STAMP SIZE: 26 x 36 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Zdeněk Daněk

The Czech Spotted Dog (formerly Horák’s Laboratory Dog), commonly known as a spotted dog or “strakáč” in Czech, is a medium-sized breed of sociable dogs of Czech origin. The breed is not recognised by the World Canine Organization FCI. Although the dogs had nearly become extinct, careful breeding has been increasing their numbers.

The Czech Spotted Dog was created in the 1950s in the Institute of Physiology of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, in the laboratory of František Horák, who gave the dog its original name. The original Horák’s Laboratory Dogs were the result of breeding a 25 kg, female, sable Riga with a 10 kg, male, tri-coloured Míša. Both dogs were crossbreeds of unknown origin, owned by the Institute. In the first litter on 4 April 1954, Riga bore 9 puppies, two of which were selected for further breeding. From the beginning, both Míša 1 and Dáša 6 had the typical tri-coloured coat with white spotted markings. The brown coat traits were added by crossing the breed with a German Shorthaired Pointer. Further attempts to improve the breed included crossing with Shepherd, Bull Terrier and Pointer dogs, but eventually no traits of their offspring remained in the breed. In 1960, the breeding standard was approved and the breed was registered with the Czechoslovak Small Animal Breeding Union as Horák’s Laboratory Dog. Horák’s laboratory at the Institute was the only place where the dog was seen. The first public appearance took place at the National Working Dog Breeds Exhibition in Prague on 27 August 1961.

The Czech Spotted Dog is a medium-sized breed. Its height at withers is 45-53 cm (male) and 43-51 cm (female). Its body length is 110-120 percent of the height at withers. The dog is square-built with balanced proportions and not very heavy. The ears are tilted forward. The double coat can be short or long. The short coat is flat. The long coat is flowing and only slightly curled.

The coat is always tri-coloured in an equally valued combination of either black, tan and white or brown, tan and white. The proportion of the dark (black or brown) and the white part of the coat is 1:1. The dark colour is the underlying colour covered with tan markings. There are tan and dark spots on the white patches in the tan part and in the dark part of the coat, respectively. The spots must be distinctive without creating the impression of blending.

The breed’s creators deliberately bred in character traits that would make them easy to deal with in the laboratory, and their descendants are still eager to please and cooperative. They are good with people and other dogs. If trained from the beginning, they will be very good with other pets. The dogs are very social and form a strong bond with their owners. They make good and reliable guard dogs that will bark without becoming aggressive. They are lively and agile without being overly boisterous. They excel in agility and other canine sports. Their friendly and receptive character makes them very good therapy dogs. Overall, they are easy to breed and are as happy in small apartments as they are in houses or gardens.

Stamp image and description thanks to Česká pošta