Czech Sheepdog: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

An adult Czech sheepdog on a sandy beach

Paul Postema / Unsplash

The Czech sheepdog, also known as the Bohemian shepherd, is a medium-size herding dog breed from the Czech Republic that has a medium-length, wavy coat and overall looks very similar to a German shepherd. It has a well-proportioned, compact build with erect ears and an elongated neck, and it moves with a fluid, graceful gait. Czech sheepdogs are generally very bright, alert, and loyal to their family. They also are quite rare, making acquiring one difficult for most people.

Breed Overview

Group: Herding

Height: 19.3 to 20.5 inches (female), 20.5 to 21.7 inches (male)

Weight: 37 to 53 pounds (female), 41 to 60 pounds (male)

Coat: Medium-length, wavy double coat

Coat Color: Black and tan

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Temperament: Friendly, active, intelligent

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Czech Republic

Characteristics of the Czech Sheepdog

The Czech sheepdog generally has a friendly personality and is very affectionate with its family. Its temperament also is marked by its moderate energy level and high intelligence, making exercise and mental stimulation a must.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Czech Sheepdog

The Czech sheepdog can trace its roots back all the way to the 14th century in what’s now the Czech Republic. People bred them to be loyal guard dogs for their property and family. And they used them for herding and other farm work. 

The dogs were developed for their family-friendly temperament and working abilities rather than looks. The breed remained rare throughout the centuries and largely limited to the Czech Republic lands. 

In the 1980s, a breed standard finally was established, with the first puppies bred according to this standard being born in 1985. It wasn’t until 2019 that the American Kennel Club accepted the breed into its Foundation Stock Service, a program that keeps track of rare purebred dogs.

Czech Sheepdog Care

Czech sheepdogs prefer an active lifestyle, and they generally take well to training. Their medium-length coat does shed a moderate amount, but grooming it is fairly easy.


Czech sheepdogs enjoy being active and should receive at least an hour of exercise per day. Ideal activities include walks, jogging, hiking, and vigorous games of fetch. Dog sports, such as agility and herding, also are great ways to burn both mental and physical energy. When they receive sufficient exercise, Czech sheepdogs are typically calm in the house and happy to cuddle on the couch.

It’s important to keep in mind that due to this breed’s heavy coat, it doesn’t tolerate hot weather well. So limit outdoor exercise sessions in the heat.


Plan to brush your dog’s coat at least once a week to remove loose fur and prevent tangles and mats. Your dog will likely experience seasonal periods of higher shedding, often in the spring and fall, at which time you should increase your brushing frequency to keep up with the loose fur. 

A bath roughly once a month should suffice, depending on how dirty your dog gets. Check its nails monthly as well to see whether they’re due for a trim. And look in its ears at least weekly for wax buildup, debris, and other irritation. Finally, aim to brush its teeth every day.


Czech sheepdogs typically are eager to please and intelligent enough to pick up on training cues quickly. Begin both training and socialization from a young age. A puppy obedience class is ideal for your dog to learn basic skills and manners. Also, aim to expose it to different people, other dogs, and various locations from an early age to boost its comfort and confidence.

It’s important to be consistent in training cues and always to use positive training methods. These dogs can be sensitive at times, and harsh corrections can cause them to shut down and not learn. They also like varied training sessions to keep them mentally engaged.

Common Health Problems

The Czech sheepdog is a relatively healthy breed, but it is still prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

Diet and Nutrition

Always make sure fresh water is accessible to your dog. Feed a high-quality canine diet that is nutritionally balanced. It’s typical to feed two measured meals per day to prevent overeating. But make sure to discuss both the food type and amount with your veterinarian. And be mindful of treats and other extra food to prevent your dog from gaining excess weight.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Czech Sheepdog

The Czech sheepdog is a rare breed that you're not likely to encounter in North America. But it's still worth checking animal shelters and rescue groups for a dog in need of a home. See whether animal shelters have a breed wait list that you can get your name on. Moreover, the American Kennel Club does not list any Czech sheepdog breeders. So if you're interested in acquiring the breed, you might have to contact breeders in the Czech Republic. The average cost of a breeder dog is around $1,250, but that can vary widely, especially for a rare breed.

Czech Sheepdog Overview

  • Generally friendly and affectionate

  • Usually good with kids

  • Typically takes well to training

  • Can be difficult to find at rescues and breeders

  • Can be sensitive at times

  • Doesn't tolerate heat well

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Always do diligent research before bringing a dog home to make sure the breed is right for your lifestyle. Talk to Czech sheepdog owners, veterinarians, rescue groups, and reputable breeders to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • What’s the difference between Czech sheepdogs and German shepherds?

    The Czech sheepdog and German shepherd look very similar, largely thanks to their typically black-and-tan coats and upright ears. However, Czech sheepdogs tend to be slightly smaller than German shepherds, with a more compact build. 

  • Are Czech sheepdogs good family dogs?

    With proper training and socialization, Czech sheepdogs can be excellent family pets. They tend to be tolerant of children, though dogs should always be supervised around young children.

  • Are Czech sheepdogs aggressive?

    Czech sheepdogs are typically a friendly breed that does not display aggression, as long as they have training and socialization. They might alert you to perceived threats, but they generally are open to meeting strangers.

Article Sources
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  1. Bohemian Shepherd. American Kennel Club.

  2. Cost Of Owning A Dog: Averages & Most Expensive Breeds. WalletHub.