Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer
Slovensky Hrubosrsty Stavac
This breed originated in Czechoslovakia. After the second world war a number of good working dogs were lost and the way of farming and hunting changed, this necessitated a dog that could fill this new role.
The hunters wanted a dog that was biddable and did not range too far (the Czech test rules looked for a dog seeking at 30 paces in front and 80 paces to each side). The emphasis lay on work after the shot, which meant a particular aptitude for finding shot game, being reliable on a scent trail and retrieving.
All this lead to the development of the Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer (SRP). The SRP is an amalgamation of three breeds, the Czeskey Fousek, the Weimaraner and the German Wirehaired Pointer; crosses between these breeds took place in the 1950's and entered into the Slovakian 'experimental' register. Only dogs and bitches of sound temperament and excellent hunting ability were bred from and this was under the strict control of the breed wardens.
A mistake in the translation of the Weimaraner standard into Slovakian, was the reason for the breed been registered as a Rough Haired Weimaraner, it was not until 1975 that the mistake was identified by the German Weimaraner Club, the club did not approve, and the breed was removed from the Weimaraner classification. Until this time breeding between rough and smooth had been carried out with the approval of the breed wardens.
The dogs were then registered with the Slovakian Hunters Union, the breed was developed and was admired for its working ability. By 1981 the breed had developed and could be split into three genealogical lines and three unrelated breeding groups, by this time there where about 400 dogs registered and approval was sought from the FCI.
On 6th June 1982 approval was gained from the FCI, becoming breed number 320, by the end of 1984 there were 550 dogs registered in the studbook. Of these 260 had passed autumn tests, 30 with forest and special work tests and 26 with full utility tests.
The breed was first introduced to the UK in 1997 by Margaret Holmes and Kevin Bingham, they were Amie and Amaretto vom Kapffelsen from Germany, then Spek, Santal and Supa zo Sorosa from Slovakia, these five are the foundation of stock in the UK. The breed was included on the Kennel Clubs import register in 1998 and the first litter registered in March 1999. Nicholas Elder imported five SRP into Ireland and there have now been a few select litters.
As yet the breed can not be shown in this country, as it does not have an approved standard to judge the breed by, but its inclusion on the import register means that it may be entered into any Kennel Club Working event or Field Trial, of which its is more than capable of doing.
As the breed does not have an approved breed standard in this country I can only give you a brief guide to how they should look. It is important to remember that these dogs where bred to work and hunt all day and so nothing has been exaggerated, they are a sound dog with loads of working ability.
They are medium sized and strongly built, being longer in the body than height. The maximum height for dogs around 27" and the bitched 25".
They are basically grey in colour although they are allowed white markings and may be roan or splash marked.
The head is moderately long and lean, with a large dark nose, the eyes are almond shaped and amber in colour and they have long and smooth ears, set just above eye level.
They have a moderate neck, well-laid shoulders and a level back, the ribs are well sprung and the flanks moderately tucked up. They stand on strong legs with well-arched feet that are dark in colour with dark coloured nails.
The coat is the most distinguishing feature, it has a very fine undercoat that is mostly shed in summer, the outer coat is harsh, straight hair approx. 4 CMS in length, the hair is longer on muzzle and eye brows and smooth on the ears
Temperament and working ability
It is hard to believe that two breeds as in The Weimaraner and the German Wirehaired Pointer could be combined and the result be so different. As I own both of these breeds I can see traits of both in the Slovakian, but they are so different, everything they do is different.
They are a very loving easy breed to live with; they are affectionate, willing to please, laid back, easy to train and amusing! They never cease to amaze me with their different approach to life and often act the fool.
However don't be fooled, this a class one working dog with an excellent nose and heaps of staying power! They will cover the ground at a good pace, they are in general an air scenting dog but I have found them to work out a ground scent before lifting there head and taking in the wind. They are good steady pointers and are excellent after the shot, being natural tracking dogs and good retriever with lovely soft mouths, they are also good in water and have good protection from the cold.
I have owned and worked Weimaraners for a number of years and nothing has come close to my favourite breed, until now! This is a breed that will win its way into people's hearts and once you realise the unspoilt working ability that lies beneath, you will, like me, be hooked.
About the author : grew up having had dogs all my life, first the family Collies and then later my constant companion, Twiki the Jack Russell. It was with one of the collies, Tessa, that I got into Obedience and Working Trials, I passed grade one and two of my Instructor's course with The British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers. I also ran a Dog Training Club for a number of years before moving to Lancashire. I got my first pedigree dog in 1986; this was Bertha the foundation bitch of my Ansona Weimaraners. We had great fun together, she was made up in the show ring and later qualified as a full champion out in the field, we also had a dabble at obedience and agility, but it was working out on the shoots that we both enjoyed the most. Bertha was also a good brood bitch and produced a number of champions, the most famous being Sh Ch & Ir Sh Ch Ansona Purdey, Bitch CC record holder, most of the Ansona Weimaraners have Bertha behind the pedigree. It was through working my dogs that we decided on a Slovakian Rough Haired Pointed and we where lucky enough to get Beth from the first litter born in this country. Beth has provided us with endless entertainment and some very good days out on our local shoots, it will be nice to see her offspring do the same for their owners.