Prior to the 1989 revolution in the Czech Republic, which led to the fall of their communist government, the breeding of German Shepherd Dogs was predominantly that of working dogs. All German Shepherds, including those with a Czech heritage, ultimately can be traced back to Germany. What is unique about the Czech German Shepherd breeding program is that revolves around one kennel: Z Pohranicni straze (z PS), which was owned by the Czechoslovakian Army’s Pohranicni Straze (Border Patrol).
The Kennel Z Pohranicni Straze was founded in 1955 solely to produce and train dogs suitable for protecting the borders of the Czechoslovakian People’s Republic, or, since 1968, the Czechoslovakian Socialist Republic. Most of the dogs used in the program were acquired from the territory of the former East Germany, as well as dogs from Czechoslovakia that excelled in desirable character qualities. The breeding program was under the direction of Mr. Jiri Novotny from 1981 to 2001. Mr. Novotny was also the director of training during this time.
The Z Pohranicni straze breeding program
There were three breeding facilities with a total of 80 breeding females and 30 stud dogs that made up the Z Pohranicni straze Kennel. All of the stud dogs were on active duty with their handlers. The breeding facilities were located within the Czech Border Police compounds in Domazlice, Libejovice and Prackovice. The stations were staffed by trainers, veterinarians, assistant breeders and kennel help. Only those working within the specific facilities were granted access; security was tight.
The breeding program had numerous objectives to include improving strength of bone in the dogs and producing darker pigmentation, strong nerves and willingness to work in tracking, obedience and protection. Z PS dogs typically had big heads, strong bones and studly expressions. They had hard and balanced temperaments with pronounced courage and willingness to fight.
Work as border patrol dogs
All dogs were trained for about 12 months at the Kennels before being assigned a handler and relocating to Border Patrol training facilities. During the years under the communist regime, the Czechoslovakian border patrol handlers and their dogs would apprehend 20 to 30 people each day and cover 1,165 miles of border. Most trespassers gave up quickly when confronted by the dogs, but some did not. In those situations, the handlers called upon their dogs to defend them from illegal trespassers. The dogs made excellent border patrol dogs as they were powerful, tenacious and capable of running anyone down – and keeping them down once caught.
Conditions were harsh for the dogs. They routinely faced subzero temperatures and extremely deep snow. They had to be hardy and required quality coats to survive the brutal conditions.
After the fall of the iron curtain, the Czech Border Police shared border stations with their German counter parts who maintained tight control over economical refugees from the former Eastern Block entering Germany. Vigilance at the borders was enhanced and the need for Czech Border Patrol Dogs increased! Those who were not given visas to legally enter Germany attempted to cross the Czech border. While many were seeking a better life in Western Europe and usually did not resist arrest, others were connected with organized crime and posed a considerable threat. The Z Pohranicni straze German Shepherd Dogs were continually called upon to respond daily to high risk and threatening situations. The training courses to prepare them were as demanding as were their requirements for breeding. The kennel name is now under Pohranicni Policie and the dogs are used to maintain tight control over economic refugees attempting to flee Eastern Block countries and enter Germany by crossing the Czech border.
Z Pohranicni straze today
Z PS was one of the longest running breeding operations in the history
of the breed. Breeding is very hard work and very time intensive. In 2001, Mr. Jiri Novotny retired from the Czech Republic Police. The name of the kennel changed and was replaced by a new kennel name, “ol Policie Ceske Republiky.” Dogs from Z Pohranicni Kennels were then bred under the registered names Z JIRKOVA DVORA and JIPO-ME. Many of the dogs were purchased by Schutzhund competitors in both western Europe and the United States and went on to place high in national championships and world events.
Our protection dogs' ancestors
A few of the notable Pohranicni straze Czech Border Patrol Dogs found in our Protection Dogs’ pedigrees include:
Tom was born in 1994. He was a large dark sable male who was an active Police Dog in the Czech Republic. He had high balanced drives with strong nerves and much hardness. He is known as one of the greatest working German Shepherd studs of all time and the 1999 International Stud Dog. His influence was very influential to the success of the Czech (CZ) lines.
A World Renown Sire, Grim was bred by the Czech Border Patrol Kennel and went on to be a World Level Competitor. He participated in the World Championship several times and took 7th place in 1997 with the highest score in protection. He was one of the best producers for the Czech Border Patrol and produced dogs with excellent hardness and overall quality. He has a long line of tremendous offspring.
Grim’s most famous and long standing producing son, Xero’s offspring have been unmatched in quality, structure and sound temperament. Xero is used in breeding programs to correct pigment issues and improve head, bone and body overall. He produces dogs with civil aggression and high hunt drives.
The sire of the World Famous Reno Jipo-Me, Xac is a very large dark sable male German Shepherd and is considered to be one of the best producers to date. Xac stamps his progeny with hardness and quality working abilties. Xac’s sire, Gero z Batenskeho is the 2x Czech Champion who is a very self-confident dog that is uncompromising towards strangers. He was considered to be a very hard dog with perfect biting and tracking. Throughout his career Gero produced a huge number of puppies in the Czech Republic.
It is an absolute honor to be raising and training dogs with such strong and outstanding dogs in their pedigrees. We know our dogs are destined for greatness. And we strive to do everything in our power to help them reach their maximum potential not as border patrol dogs, but as Family Protection Dogs who will stop at nothing to protect their families, homes and loved ones.
To view our protection dogs’ pedigrees, click below: Be sure to click on the “7” to view the 7 Generation Pedigree.