AN EXHIBITION of Slovak čuvač (sheep dogs) held at the Museum of Liptov Village in Pribylina set a modern record for the number of pure-bred dogs being exhibited. On May 29 organisers welcomed more than 80 Slovak, Czech, German, Belgian, and Swiss sheep dogs, the highest number in the last two decades for the event.
During the federal Czechoslovak state, two hundred čuvačs often exhibited at prestigious dog shows in Brno but by the early 1990s there were only about 30 of these dogs left. Lately though, it seems that the čuvač is making something of a comeback.
Jana Goliášová, owner of a čuvač kennel in Pribylina and the main organiser of the 41st year of the ‘Memorial to Antonín Hrúza’ told the TASR newswire that the čuvač is one of the natural symbols of Slovakia and a part of its cultural heritage. Goliášová added that even though čuvač now serve mainly as family pets, the breed remains a loyal and brave guardian for all kinds of situations and weather, adding that recently several cases have been recorded of čuvačs frightening off animals as large as bears which approached herds of cattle or invaded areas of human habitation.
About 1,200 čuvačs are currently registered in Slovakia and last year approximately 15 kennels bred about 80 puppies. The huge dogs with long white fur were traditionally working dogs kept by shepherds and by owners of sheep and cattle.
14. Jun 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská