If you’re after a quality hunting dog that makes a superb family companion, a CFNA bred Cesky Fousek might be just the pup for you. You want a great dog, and we want a great home for our pups. Let’s explore that. From the club’s perspective, “puppy placement” is probably a more accurate descriptor than “selling you a dog”. We want every puppy that we produce or import to live with owners where the dog’s potential as a hunting and family dog will be fully developed. Our progeny testing program depends on each pup having been given ample exposure to game and hunting situations as well as living in a family environment. That’s what brings out the pup’s innate potential. So, in a way, the owners of our pups are an extension of a dog-breeding experiment. Owners get the chance to have a first-rate hunting dog and family companion, and in return, CFNA expects the owners to fulfill certain responsibilities.
A lot of resources and energy go into producing a puppy. The breeding committee carefully selects sire and dam based on breed registry, test performance data and knowledge of breeding principles. We work closely with the Cesky Fousek breed organization in the Czech Republic to select and import pups that will enrich genetic diversity and vigor in our breeding program. In addition to our frozen semen bank, we utilize the best breeding techniques to produce quality puppies. The owners of the dam invest much time and energy rearing the litter for the first ten weeks of the pup’s life. The breeding committee provides breeders with detailed instructions covering the first ten weeks of the pup’s life. Experienced club members assist with all phases of raising the litter. For example, the breeders use stimulation exercises on young pups that have been demonstrated to improve adult performance; they make sure that the pup has a positive introduction to water and swimming with the dam. Pups are socialized with people, handled by children and encouraged to explore their world. Breeders provide all these early learning experiences to produce pups with the potential to be great hunters and fine companions in the home.
So with that kind of investment, we naturally want owners who will continue the pup’s development, socializing the dog to become a well-behaved companion dog and giving the dog’s hunting potential ample opportunity to develop. Exactly what must an approved owner agree to do? Three commitments are essential:
- Complete a CFNA Natural Ability Test before age 16 months. Of course, doing the test implies that the owner will have worked with the dog prior to the test, exposing it to game, hunting with it and giving it swimming opportunity. Conformation, coat and temperament are also judged at the test.
- Complete a CFNA Intermediate Hunting Dog Test before age 24 months. This test happens after more serious obedience and retrieving training. The dog is expected to retrieve to hand. both from water and land, track a duck and pheasant. Conformation, coat and temperament are also judged. This test is critical for making breeding eligibility decisions.
- Complete a PennHIP evaluation. (Required of all dogs considered for breeding.) This x-Ray evaluation provides data on hip quality of the dog—especially important for assessing hip dysplasia potential. This genetic condition is present in most breeds, including the Cesky Fousek, but careful breeding can greatly reduce its prevalence. Some breeders only test dogs they plan to breed; we test all of our dogs to make sure that hip dysplasia is not present anywhere in our litters. Only dogs with high PennHIP scores are used in breeding, regardless of hunting ability or appearance.
That may sound like a lot to go through. It is, but the training and testing also generate a lot of pleasure, pride and sense of accomplishment for owners. We also take these commitments into account in pricing our pups. We’re not out to make a profit. Compared to independent breeders, our prices are relatively low.
How do we decide who gets a pup? First, we attempt to estimate how many eligible applicants we have and then breed and import only enough pups to meet that demand. Of course, there’s a lot of guesswork in that because not all breedings are successful and some litters are much larger than others. BWPGCA members contact the Breeding Committee and request to go on the waiting list. The Breeding Committee generally applies these guidelines in determining priority:
- Experienced CFNA dog owners who are now without a dog
- New approved CFNA members without a dog
- Current CFNA dog owners who are requesting another pup
- Length of time on the waiting list is also taken into consideration. Sometimes there are special considerations such as geographical distribution of a litter, etc., but CFNA approved applicants generally receive a puppy within a year.