Prior to the 1989 revolution which led to the fall of their communist government, the breeding of German Shepherd dogs in the Czech Republic was that of working dogs. These breedings revolved around one kennel, owned by the Czechoslovakian Army's Pohranicni Straze (Border Patrol). Under the communist regime, the Czechoslovakian Border Patrol and their dogs would apprehend 20 to 30 people on a daily basis. While most would give up when confronted, the dogs were often called upon to defend their handlers from those intent on crossing the border at any cost.
The border patrol established 3 breeding stations located in Domazlice, Libejovice, and Prackovice, in 1956 to provide a continuous supply of dogs for law enforcement. Each facility was located on Border Patrol bases and considered of prime national security. Entrance was allowed only to people of "top clearance" and employed at that facility. The females were bred and puppies whelped, raised and trained all within these breeding stations which were staffed by trainers, veterinarians, assistant breeders and kennel help. Once trained the Pohranicni Straze dogs were assigned a handler and patrolled primarily the border with Germany and Austria to prevent Czechoslovakian's and any others from within the East Block from escaping.
Dogs were then bred under the Pohranicni Policie (Border Police), and under the direction of the head breeder, Mr. Jiri Novotny since 1981 (also the director of training). He is perhaps one of the only government officials to have made the transition from the communist regime to the present. The breeding stations were located within the bases, run by the Czech Army. Entrance to the facilities continue to be strictly forbidden as in the past as a matter of national security.
The breeding program consisted of 80 or more breeding females and 30 stud dogs. Each stud dog was required to earn working titles and be on active duty. The breeding program utilized their own dogs with the exception of occasional special breedings which took place in partnership with 3 private breeders, "Jipo-me," a kennel in partnership between Mr. Jiri Novotny and a close friend, "z-Jirkova dvora." owned by Mr. Novotny's Father and z Blatenskeho Zamku owned by Zdenek Koubek. The breeding of these 3 private kennels where also under the direction of Mr. Novotny.
The demands of the Czech Border Police K9 has naturally changed since the end of communism, it has increased! The Czech Border Police share their stations with their German counterparts who maintain a tight control over Eastern Europeans, Ukrainians, and Russians entering Germany. Those not given visas to legally enter Germany attempt to cross this same Czech border on a daily basis. While many cross to seek a better life in Western Europe and usually don't resist arrest, an increasing number are connected with organized crime and pose a considerable threat often prepared to defend themselves with knives and firearms. The training courses to prepare the dogs are likewise demanding as are the requirements for breeding.
Mr. Novotny now operates his own breeding kennel in the Czech Republic, Jinopo and continues to raise dogs in the spirit of the true Border Patrol dog! Unfortunately, the z Pohranici straze breeding station is now under a new name, director, and producing dogs of a different character.