The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.
Also known as the Slovakian Hound, Slovak Hound, or Black Forest Hound, the Slovensky Kopov is a medium-sized scent hound with a relatively light, but solid, build. His coat is of medium coarseness, close-fitting, dense, and always solid black with tan markings. It is an extremely intelligent breed with an excellent sense of smell and direction. Where he is known, he dominates the world of hunting by his endurance, character, and great courage.
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You are going to want to feed your Slovakian Hound a formula that will cater to his unique digestive needs throughout the various phases of his life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. The Slovensky Kopov is a medium-sized breed.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The Slovensky Kopov has a short, close-fitting coat which will only require occasional brushing. Since he has a dense undercoat, he sheds seasonally and, during this time, will require a more regular brushing. Beyond that, the occasional bath will keep him clean and looking his best. His strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed when needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. His ears should be checked occasionally to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed as needed.
Options for exercise could include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Some dogs may be faced with health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Slovakian Hounds are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.
A well-known type of hunting dog since antiquity, today’s breed was first recognized in the 1870s. The first written references about the Slovensky Kopov date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was forbidden to cross this breed with others. This suggests that the Kopov had already earned recognition among hunting circles. The name “Kopov” is derived from the Hungarian word “kopo” meaning scent hound. The breeds Brandlbracke (Austrian Black and Tan Hound), Chart Polski, and Magyar Agar (Hungarian Greyhound) are believed to have been used in this breed’s background.
A more unified approach to breeding Kopovs began in 1915, when a series of regulations on hound dogs forbid the use of tall breeds for chasing down deer. This was also a time when the color pattern of Kopovs began to be standardized.
The modern era of Kopov breeding began in 1936. A select number of individual dogs were chosen for a controlled breeding program with the aim of weeding out any undesirable variation in color and height. Eventually, over several generations, the Kopov population was stabilized and the genotype was standardized. In 1963, the FCI accepted the Slovensky Kopov as a hunting dog of scenthound type. The Slovak Hound Breeders Club was established in Bratislava, Solvakia in 1988.
Although extremely common in its area of origin, it is only now being discovered by dog enthusiasts in other countries.