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The Eurasier - A History of the Eurasier Breed

Joy and Maja

On the boat

Nixie and Bohdi

puppies on 4th of July

In 1960, Julius Wipfel, the founder of the Eurasier breed who lived in Weinheim an der Bergstrasse in Germany, searched to find a successor to his big, black Spitz-type dog which was very intelligent, independent, and wolf-like in his behavior. He decided to adopt a female Wolfspitz named Bella. Although life with this Wolfspitz female was by far easier than that with his independent black dog, Wipfel nevertheless missed the "primitivity" of his first dog. He wished for a dog that would show the adaptability and the social behavior of dog's ancestor, the wolf, a dog that would be a wonderful family dog - and he decided to create a breed with that goal in mind.

Wipfel cherished the characteristics of the Wolfspitz, one of the oldest dog breeds in Central Europe. The Wolfspitz looks impressive with its attractive silver-grey coat; it can endure harsh weather; the dog is healthy, robust, and it excels in its longevity. It is attentive and alert, lively, intelligent, and highly attached to its family. Because of its good fertility and its insignificant hunting instinct, the Wolfspitz was a good choice upon which to base the new dog breed.

Inspired by the Nobel Prize winner and behavioral scientist Konrad Lorenz, and the description of his Chow Chow and German Shepherd crosses, Julius Wipfel considered the Chow. The Chow is very affectionate and will bond closely with his family. He shows little interest in strangers and may even be distrustful of them. He is not a barker. The Chow is a calm dog, headstrong, with a strong desire for freedom, but nevertheless loyal and a staunch guard of his home. He is not easily mastered, does not want to be ordered about, and dislikes being subordinate.

In 1960 Julius Wipfel clearly defined the goal for the new cross between the Wolfspitz and the Chow Chow and the "Wolf Chow" was born. He wanted to achieve a medium spitz-type family dog in nice colors with an attractive appearance that still commands respect, with a calm and even-tempered nature. It was to be a dog that adapts well to all kinds of domestic life so long as it lives closely with its family in the household.

In 1961, in order to promote this new breed, Julius Wipfel founded The "Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Wolf-Chow-Polarhunde" (Canine Breeding Association for Wolf-Chow-Northern Dogs), which he officially registered under this very name in Weinheim, Germany in 1966. Shortly afterwards, he renamed the association "Eurasier-Klub e.V., Sitz Weinheim" (Eurasier Club, officially registered in Weinheim) (the "EKW"). In the same year, he established a breed standard for the Wolf-Chow and the breed was accepted by the UNION-CANINE-INTERNATIONALE ("UCI"). The standard defined a dog with a healthy and natural body, ancestral, and not overly refined. In those days the Wolf-Chow came in the colors red, black, wolf-grey, and black and tan. Due to the foresight of Julius Wipfel, one basic mistake was avoided right from the beginning, namely breeding for certain colors. Breedings were performed for proper temperament and good health without consideration of colors of the chosen dogs. Therefore, the existing genetic pool was not split up as it happened in many other breeds by deliberately drawing borderlines for color.

 

Chow crossbreeds had become popular and were considered very charming and interesting. Therefore, it is easy to understand that a new Chow crossbreed aroused the curiosity of canine researchers. Well presented media reports helped to make this breed become well-known. The first Wolf-Chows must have been very impressive as it was no problem to find supporters for this new breed or homes for puppies. Even Eberhard Trumler, the famous German/Austrian canine researcher, called "this mixture" a success, but he also emphasised early that the new breed should derive from a wide variety of individual breeding animals to ensure a sound breeding foundation.

In 1972 Konrad Lorenz, who took an active interest in the breed's development, bought a small female from Mrs. Baldamus and referred to her as "one of the dogs with the best qualities I have ever had". Charlotte Baldamus played an important role in the development of the breed with her dedication to bringing out those qualities in the dog breed that Wipfel strived for. She was one of the primary breeders with whom Julius Wipfel worked.

Eurasier Walk

The Wolf-Chow was of a suitable size, not too small, not too large, so that he could live in an apartment as well as in a big house with a yard. His coat needed no special care. He was, from an "environmental/social" standpoint, well-developed, which meant he was not a barker, and he would not bark at every cyclist or person that passed by the fence. Towards children he was kind and good-natured. His behaviour towards strangers was friendly but reserved. Within his own family he held close contact, not just to one person. He was easy to train and willing to learn, guarded the house and property, but did not run off on his own and showed no tendency to hunt. The variety of colors caused a sensation everywhere and the luxurious coat and strong personality combined to elicit people's admiration of this beautiful creature.

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Jin

Aki

Eventually, problems occurred due to the high proportion of inbreeding. In order to overcome the problems and lower the proportion of inbreeding, Julius Wipfel determined that a new blood-line should be introduced. He decided on the Samoyed. Since every now and then some Wolf Chows had appeared with a rather "rough" behaviour, the friendly attitude of the ancient Siberian breed, the Samoyed, was meant to improve this.

By crossing in another breed, the new breed was supposed to become more unique and would differ more from the Wolfspitz and the Chow. So the male Samoyed, Cito von Pol, was bought, raised, and used for breeding in 1972. Indeed, the effects that had been hoped for were achieved. The general appearance improved, and the vigor of the breed was restored. The friendly nature of the Samoyed had a positive effect on the social behaviour of the animals. In addition to the animal behavioral scientists, Konrad Lorenz and Eberhard Trumler, Eric Zimen also praised this new breed in his book "Der Hund" (The Dog) as an "ideal family dog of medium size, independent but still devoted and domestic, vigilant without being aggressive and without any hunting passion". In October of 1974 the standard was re-written.

The "Verband fuer das Deutsche Hundewesen" (The German Kennel Club, known as the "VDH") and the "Federation Cynologique Internationale" ("FCI") officially acknowledged the breed in 1973, but the breed name Wolf-Chow had to be changed. The VDH did not allow existing breed names as part of a new breed name. Even the German Spitz Club protested strongly against the name Wolf-Chow. And so Julius Wipfel chose the name "EURASIER", because it emphasises that this dog originates from European and Asian breeds.

Based on an FCI decision to re-write all standards to include modern terminology, in 1992 the three German Eurasier Clubs composed a new version of the standard which was then published in 1994. A translation was published by the FCI in 1999.

It is important to emphasize that the Eurasier is represented by three main clubs in its country of origin. All of the clubs have very strict breeding rules and do not allow breeding for commercial purposes. The breeding is controlled and health testing is mandatory for all dogs that receive breeding permission.

Today the Eurasier breed exists in many different countries, mainly in Europe. It is successfully represented by the International Federation for Eurasier Breeding ("IFEZ"), a federation that watches closely over the Eurasiers' health and controlled breeding. Currently, there are about 6000 Eurasiers in Europe and about 450 in North America, with more than 150 in the United States.

 

 

Reference: "Eurasier Heute" [Eurasiers Today] by Annelie Feder [Former President of the German Eurasier Club EKW], published in 2000 by Kynos Verlag, Germany