Image of Barbarella
This is Barbarella.
She is Barak, a Bosnian wirehair hound.

So, what is this dog breed like?

coat and colour | history | at home... | ...and in the field | What next? | a picture of Cezar II


These dogs are rare. There are two main reasons why. One is, most of the literature is written in English, German or French about English (Scottish, Irish, Welsh, North American), German or French breeds. No mention of indigenous breeds of farout places. And books in Croatian are mostly translations! Another is that 99% of people owning hounds did not buy them or acquired them by other means because they red, heard or saw on TV or whatever how theese dogs are good etc, but got them because they had a real live experience in working with them, i.e. as their fathers did before them.

So, how did I, not a hunter and family owning no dog, end up breeding Bosnian Hounds?

Well, there is one breed from theese farout places that is well described in all of the aforementioned types of books, an that breed is the Dalmatian. Now, strangely enough, I am a Dalmatian too. Quite purebred. I also learned to read some English while I was still a kid, so I knew about the looks of the breed an was on the lookout for them whenever I visited Dalmatia (that was generally a couple of months during summer holydays). I saw no Dalmatians at all untill unto mid-sixties, but there were some white or mostly-white dogs that resembled the pictures of Dalmatians, only they had no spots on them. Naturally, I, knowing already that the colour of Dals was due to the T- dominant gene, assumed that these were same but showing recessive lack of spots. Fact is, these dogs were another FCI recognized breed, Istrian hounds, but English books naturally did not describe any FCI breed from some farout place like that, so I did not know untill much later, when I got hold of some Croatian dog magazines, usually available only to kennel club members (you can see the vitious circle at work here). Then I found out that there are several breeds of simylar type, some smooth some rough, mostly defined by their colouring (posavac is orange with some white, istrian is white with a little orange, tricolor is tricolor etc.) and one day a dog and a bitch fell into my lap that had grizzly-gray-ochre wiry hair and it turned out these were the bosnian hounds - Cezar and Lara, the first Baraks that I ever had. Or saw, for they were not common even in those days before the Bosnian war; now they've become rare and endangered. Lara was reported to be a cross between Barak and a wirehair Istrian, and abandoned by her owner who came to live in Zagreb and found out that hunting with hounds is banned around this city (the law is pretty simple - no hunting with hounds where there are deer) - so she was taken to the first Croatian dog sanctuary that was then being organized by Marija Randic, a pensioned scoolteacher. Cezar had been salvaged from Primošten, a small Dalmatian town, by Boris Papandopulo, the then greatest Croatian living composer, where he took him from people who kept him tied up on a very short chain for all his short puppy life - when I got him he was 5 months old and could not walk or trot without his hind legs bump into his front ones (it did not show in canter and did not prevent him going on his own “expeditions”). I never saw something like that before or after. It took a whole year walking on sharp stones to correct this fault, but afterwards he walked fine. Luck had it that I was at that time also engaged in dog rescue, so I bought off both dogs (Mr Pandpulo was a very old man then and was not really able to keep Cezar, as the family had a Peke already, but he wanted to place him with someone who can care properly for such type of dog; if you had a chance to hear his music... I guess no wonder he took liking to a hound) for a small sum which went to the sanctuary; and that was the beginning. I could have registered both of them, the stud book was open untill Cezar was two years old and Lara three, but I was not qute happy with all their features (ear shape, and funny walk that I mentioned), so that I did not want their genes into the pool before being tested; Later when I saw much inferior specimen being shown I was sorry, so that I eventually bred them and to these days I have some of their descendants. The characteristic of that line is excellent hair, not quite perfect ears, perfect nose and endurance. I am not wishing for the opening of the stud book for one reason: the genes of Baraks are dominant, i.e. crosses of Barak with everything else hound look like a Barak, with the other traits - short hair, unwanted color, apearing in third or subsequent generations. Well in my line I had some dogs with much too much white, so I believe that a wirehair Istrian has indeed been one of the ancestors. Why was I keeping this unregisterd line? Why, it looked very likely that because of the war, the need would arise for infusion of new genes (“new blood”) and I was keeping something ready. As it happened, this line is no longer around, except for two or three old males, but breeding of those helped a great deal 8n recognizing what the genotype of this breed is. There are other unregistered Baraks out there, and interestingly enough they all have imperfect ears - ears shaped like a Dalmatian, not quite those round hound shape. Those same ears can be seen on old photos of Baraks and now it seems obvious that most owners simply thougt at the time “my dog does not look perfect, look at those ears” and did not register his dog. Today's unregistered Baraks have inherited this characteristic that made their ancestors undesirable for registration! Thus my advice is to: breed the unregistered bitches to sires with longest and most penduluos ears, bar all else. Do not breed to unregistered sires (why would one?) unless it is an exceptional working dog - considering that working characteristic must be well preserved in non-show specimen, othervise they would not be there. Some days we will have tests to prove homozigotousy or heterozygotousy (is there some easier word to describe this?) and the problem of excluding crosses from being registered will be solved.

Coat and colour

The breed comes in several colours but the commonest is yellow-gray or earthengray, basically black-and-tan ( at at) with the tan areas lightly coloured and arrangement of the dark and tan areas in fact identical to the distribution of colour in the Balkan hound (in which black is reduced to black saddle pattern) or sometimes dark spreads in the classic pattern as in the now extremely rare mountain hound (which is the descendant of the old austro-hungarian hound, just as are Austrian, Slovak and Hungarian breeds of today), with the important exclusion that the dark areas are not black, but greyish. This greying is not the result of grizzle, roan or merle factors, it is the combination of length, structure and banding of the hairs that makes for the additional multicolouring effect, the lighter banding on the base of longest hairs being visible through the tousled outer cover. Thus a special effect is being created which is called “green colour”, and although this somewhat dubious green does not stand up to the colour of birds and even some mammals, when such a dog is seen in the field it is impossible to distinguish, if it does not move, from the grass...It is difficult to describe this unique colour by words only. Perhaps the pictures might give a better description; but the structure of hairs on the other hand can be only evaluated by touch.It must be neither woolly or silk-soft, nor hard-but-curled, but thick and flexible, straight, moderately elastic, more flaxen than wiry. It should sort of “cracle” when stroked against the grain, even the puppy coat. The coat is in fact a triple layer: the usual two-layer with dense underwool, which is supplemented with longer and coarser outer hairs, dense enough to serve as an efficient raincoat, but not curly or as wooly-soft as to form mats. The coat should be touselled but never matted, and it also never looks too tidy. Lenght of hair is abot 7cm on the back, even longer on tail, but quite short on lower legs and even shorter, only about 1 cm long on the ears (leathers). Undercoat is about 3cm. This is all very utilitarian, not a quirk of anyone's fancy, the hair on the back should be as long as to protect from weather but ears and feet should stay burr free. In summer it is efficient protection against moskitoes. The upkeep requirements are minimal: sometimes the outer layer is to be stripped and then the undercoat brushed out, done easily at the season the hair is shed naturally (usually in springtime, practical if you do not want too much hair around the house – the birds will gladly collect these sheddings for their own houses, that is, for nest linings), and you will be left for a time with a dog of a somewhat ordynary-looking coat and a bit of a bushy muzzle – no worry, the hair will regrow in few weeks. Or you can run the dog through thick undergrowth, which they are eager to do, and afterwards pluck by hand those burrs that got caught in the coat, that is often enough to set the exterior aright; this was in fact usually the practice in Bosnia as the owners did not like, perhaps a little overemphasizing (or, should I say, underephasizing?), their dogs’ looks be altered by too much artificial hairstyling, even the comb being scorned... However a dog that has not been brushed a long time can be tidied up in a matter of minutes, but if brushed and combed thoroughly, it will look neat for about 30 seconds, then it will shake and all hairs will fall into their proper tousled place and the next time you glance at him there will be that rustic shaggy dog look again. I have indeed often been comprimanded (outside the show ring, of course, and by laymen) of my dogs appearing unkempt even when they were really straight out of the bath. It is for this hair structure that Baraks are also quite easy to wash, whether rain-sogged or out of the swamp (they like mud better than clear water) they will be auto-quick-dried in several minutes. Those outerhairs are thin at their base and thick at the top, and the water droplets are (can't break the laws of physics) drained toward the outer tips where all liquid is easily shaken or wiped off. This feature comes clearly as the result of natural selection, and one also repeatedly finds reference to Baraks as an autochthonous Bosnian breed, when in fact the authors generally wanted to say “indigenous”; this misnaming comes from our dogs (Croatia also helped develop the breed in recent, FCI times) being so well adopted to climate and outdoor life that the imported breeds seemed weaker and too refined in this respect. “Autochthonous” acquired an ostensive meaning of “being developed by us ourselves, thus best adapted to local condition”.

There are other admittable colours, but they are frowned upon and thus not common. Currently the standard rules that such “faulty coloured” dog’s exterior cannot be graded better than “good” at shows – no “very good”, “excellent”, CAC, BOB etc. there, but this does not affect working titles. Those unwanted colours are: a little bit of white – not more than 1/3 anyway, so that at a glance the dog really does look solid-coloured; this areas are often ticked, and in heavily ticked individuals white is apparent only on paws – the dogs with those little spots on fingertips are not discriminated against in the show ring. And then there are two variants of yellow - the breeders generally don't care which is which, although it is important - they have different modes of inheritance; the recessive yellow (e e) can be recognized by being free from any black hairs, and dominant yellow (ay-) often comes with dark carboneé areas on the back or even a dark mask (ay- em-). And also some of the black-and-tans are more lightly coloured than some dominant yellows, which can be to such a degree darkened that they can be termed “green”. These darker yellow dogs are also not discriminated against... Interestingly, among the related breeds, the recessive yellow appears in Istrian and Posavac hounds, and dominant yellow in Styrian hounds. Although it is generally believed that one of the constituents Peitinger used for the Styrian breed was solid-coloured variant (today not recognized by the standard as such, but recessive yellow baraks match this category) of Istrian wirehair hound, also called “barbino”, that are today usually unregistered - it is documented that it was a “wirehair breed from the south”, this could point to the fact that those were possibly Bosnian dogs; at that time, though, the difference between Istrian wirehair hound and Bosnian Barak was not all that clear. Today is for instance impossible to determine for certain, reading the catalogue descriptions, which breed were some of the early exhibited dogs from the beginning of the XX century, either Baraks or Istrian wirehair breed...

(This is as good place as any to mention that wire-haired Istrian is in no way only wirehair form of shorthair Istrian, but that those are two each well determined breeds that are quite by chance (or perhaps as a result of fashion, or taste) of the same colouring. Althought the occasional cross-breedings here can't be ruled out completely, the constitution (conformation) of the wirehair Istrian is nearly equal to Barak, but quite different from shorhaired namesake, which is smaller, finer built, and rather better suited for different, rockier terrain and warmer climate.) Wirehair Istrians in their own turn were crossed with Italian Spinone to improve that breed (Beckman 1889).

One of the reasons that dogs in these countries were always uniformly coloured is the tradition (from ancient Greece, even! says the legend)... But the more realistic is the turbulent history of Bosnia. Because many wars resulted in number of stray dogs, and game reserves are patched into small areas, it was necessary to cull these strays not only to protect game animals, but also, in fact more important, to prevent the spreading of rabies. Thus the hunters had to be able to recognize a hunting or pastoral dog at a quick glance, and multicoloured hounds, by their natural style working far away from their masters, were easily mistaken for strays. The policy was usually “shoot first, find owner later”... even if the dog was not harrasing livestock or doing any damage. As, in 1970 a black champion Giant Schnauzer was shot in the park adjacent (not part, just next close) to the hunting grounds in the outskirts of Zagreb, the very capital of Croatia, and the excuse to the hawkeye was that it seemed to be a wolf (!) although there was no question of wolves being closer than 100 km from the city at that time. Thus, most popular hunting breeds are the chocolate German pointer, or the easily recognizable plumed spaniels and setters; the hounds are mostly yellow/white, and terriers are mostly German jagdterrier (which many hunters, who should really know better, mix up with Baraks, even at close range view!). Pastoral dogs too, the most popular Croatian sheepdog and Sarplaninac, are uniformly coloured so that can be easily recognized – one is black, the other gray. Another pastoral breed, Tornjak, that is now (re)gaining popularity, is broken-coloured - and that might be one of the factors that made it nearly extinct, it was pulled off the brink at the very last moment.

If in the future Baraks become more popular with hunters in other countries or in non-hunting circles, it is likely that other colours, recessive, that spring from time to time but are generally very rare, might become established. I myself like dogs with some white, and I have seen very attractive yellow-white dogs, (ee factor), the colour of posavac, which colour-cum-wiry-hair would be accepted as a breed of it's own if there were only enough of them, as it was one of the first to be described in literature (by Laska in 1905). As it is now they are tucked in with this other closely similar breed, but therefore without due recognition. The very pale e e dogs that spring up in the F2 and subsequent generations from crosses of these wirehair posavac with genuine baraks are not all that handsome, they look more like the colour of washed-out rugs. I have also seen dogs with large white areas, some were nice silvery white phenotipically alike the Dalmatian but splattered with typical barak slate-gray, those are though usually considered to be miscoloured Istrian hounds; and I have seen very attractive brown (bb) with bright orange tan areas, that looked like a coat of flame (I admit I don't know if this is acceptable - it was off the show ring). This may be a throwback, because one Franz Laska who first described the breed also mentioned that the colour of “dry leaves” was common. I suspect, but cant't argue with absolute certainity that this is indeed a bb brown; brown colored mix-breeds that I've seen did not have the same brilliance of color. He warned, however, that the pure (glossy) chocolate is typical for bird dogs, not hounds.


So, now we at last come to history.
(I did not put in up first, as some might think it is boring...)
The breed was first properly described, with photographs and size measurments and everything, by that Austrian travel writer of his time, Fr. B. Laska. Well, he was not exactly a travel writer, but a hunter who spent much time in the then freshly liberated Bosnia. (Although some say it was not exactly liberated. The war of 1878 ended in Austrian occupation of Bosnia, which was later (in 1908) annexed, not to everybody's liking. Some seeds of World War I lay there.) Laska described the rich fauna and beauties of Bosnia in his book (Das Waidwerk in Bosnia und der Hercegovina, Klagenfurt 1905) which included a chapter on Bosnian hounds. At the time, three varieties existed: shorthair, longhair and “barak”. The descendants of shorthairs are today's “yugoslav tricolor hounds”, also a very rare breed (Tricolor hounds exist elsewhere too, notably in northern Europe; some today's cynologist put up the theory that the “amber trade trail” helped to connect breeds from Scandinavia to those in the Balkans), while the longhair, which looked similar to the two other breeds in everything but that had coat much like today's spaniels, became extinct. The word “barak” means, in Turkish, “rough-haired” and although the Turkish language has lots of words off Arabian roots, this one is the word of proper Turkish, not Arabian origin. Sometimes horses are described as “barak” (if they are woolly coated) and it is also a common name, as for instance, Barak was the name of the brother of the Turkish noble that founded Sarajevo. And, but I do not know for sure, are not all those Baraks in Israel today are of sephardic descent? (There is, of course, also Barak the warrior mentioned in the Bible.) Arabic language has a similar word, baraka, meaning - apsolutely unrelated to dogs - a kind of blessing. There was the mentioning of the breed even before, as for instance a Russian, [...] Sabanyeev, mentions them, and quotes also that one A. Tchaikovsky wrote about them in magazines. Laska himself speculates, quoting an [16ct] dictionary, that the very word “bracke” (“scenthound” in German) comes from the mistake that the name “barak” stands for all hounds; subsequently the French “braque” and Italian “bracco” (all meaning “bird-dog”) come from the same origin, not quite contradictory if one has in mind the versatility of eastern scenthounds. To go even further back in time, the Byzantine author Arrian wrote about Celtic hounds of his time, who were rough-coated and had voices “like damned souls” - the first description in literature of dogs “giving tongue” on the trail, not only after they see game, as described by previous Greek cynologists, but while following the scent. (Those Celts were the easternmost Celtic tribes, who roamed Balkans and made war at one time with Greece getting as far south as Delphy.) This reference was the reason that at one time the breed was registered as “Celtic hound” (and one Slovenian author once had them as “Illiryan hounds”, Illiryans being another group of tribes in the Balkans), but the name reverted to the nice name Barak, as it was obviously preposterous to presume that this was one and the same line all those centuries; although some genetic relation is quite certain, the region has in the past seen too much cut&paste of human populations (just as today) to suppose that today's dogs are the direct unmixed descendants from those hounds of ancient Celts.

One fact is evident from all the literature of any time: this breed indeed does stem from ancient history, and was well established when at last it got to the show ring. However, it was not quite distinct at the time from Istrian wirehair hound, as both of those breeds had then wider range of colours than today; but it is easy to suppose that the breeds at adjacent sides of main east-west border in Europe, through which lot of trade went once the great 14 and 15ct wars ended, (making Venice and Dubrovnik stinking rich in the process!), had some genetic material seep throught too, as in the ancient times dogs were valued sometimes quite high; they were on various occasions given as presents to kings and nobles, exchanged for land (one medieval document in Bosnian city Vitez mentions a meadow as payment for a bitch), or for livestock - usually, the price was: a pregnant sheep of one's own pick, for a puppy - a good price even today.

At home...

At home, they tend to sleep the day away somewhere in the corner, but - do not be misled. The instant they smell that they can reach something edible, they go for it. Now of course most of dogs (bar some conscience-aware sheep herding dogs) will steal food and other things that they see as being of use (such as toys), but the distinction with Baraks is that they have such superb sense of smell that the instance they enter the room they seem to know where the food is, and how much of it. One of the Barak-Istrian crosses from my own line (Istrian wirehair hound being such a similar breed I did not think of him as a crossbred) used regurarly to beat one Bloodhound in this life-survival practice. Other than that, you have your ideal housepet. They get along excellently with other animals be it cats, rats, poultry, sheep, horses, other dogs including some quite sharp breeds like Sarplaninac. I have at this moment a pack of baraks and a family of four Pit bull terriers and they get along very well. The old barak bitch, Barbarella, befriended strongly the Pit Bull mum, especially when she realized that having the strong (albeit leashed) fighting specialist (the agressiveness of the Pit Bull breed is usually greatly exaggerated, but they are however not to be careless about) behind her back could solve many of her puppyhood problems with some Boxers and German Shepherds. It is clear how they were selected for being friendly with other animals when one considers how they were traditionally kept - or at least during the last 100 years - not in home or separate kennels, but individually, mostly in stables with small Bosnian horses (those were described as to resemble any other equine species more than horses), or tied somewhere in the yard or under the staircase, where chicken might roam and cats come in to warm themselves next to the big shaggy fella. Any dog that would attack livestock or any other domestic animals under such circumstances would not be considered worth of breeding. And while it was observed that Bosnian nobles in the times of Ottoman empire used these dogs to scare serfs, it was probably the look and bark that did it, not the bite.

Image of Cezar
This is Cezar II, grandson of Old Cezar and Lara, by Argo, out of Barbarela (more here)

...and in the field

When you take your hound for a walk, it will probably happen like this: In the beginning, when you have yet not come to the park or the hunting grounds where you plan to spend that day (note please, “day”, not an hour or two), or when you have barely left the car, the dog will be the epitome of obedience, walking to heel if he has been trained to and generally if it’s your first encounter with a scent-hound you can’t guess what you’re up to. Now when you let him walk freely in the bushes he will at first mostly sniff around and try to get oriented around the space. (Baraks, together with other eastern hounds (this includes Dalmatians, too!), are perfect in orientation and it is impossible that one ever gets lost.) He will dart hither and thither into thickets and then reappear to check if you are still around. This pattern will go on for some minutes or half an hour or so, until the dog detects a scent trail worthy of investigating. He will then “give tongue” (start barking in particular way, half-yodeling-half-howling) and be off in pursuit. It is difficult to recall him in this phase. What you are to do, is of two choices: you can either sit, paint landscapes in watercolour or watch birds or whatever, and wait for him to return, usually in an hour-and-half or two hours, and if it is getting dark and cold, you can go leaving something that belongs to you, a piece of clothing, or a dog’s toy, as a place mark which he will “guard” until you obediently come first thing in the morning. Or you can alternatively go after him, in the same time giving him sound signals (a whistle carries farther then a voice, if you have no traditional horn) so that he knows your position. As I have already said, he is perfect at orientation. If he is chasing a hare or a fox, he will try to make them run in your direction, much as wolves hunt, and sheepdogs fetch sheep, too - think of a sheepdog with really wide outrun. To sight such an otherwise elusive animal as hare or fox is exciting even if you are not a hunter. If you eventually catch up with him and find that he got, even more exciting, a wild boar at bay, obviously better don’t come too close (if you are unarmed), recall the dog and the boar won’t have attack on his mind, he will be happy to get away from that annoying pooch rather than shredding him to pieces... The worst scenario is if the dog is chasing deer, then the deer can run a long distance without retracing their path, and your dog will not be back quite a while. Thus nobody likes the dogs to chase deer, because this also upsets deer, especially hinds with young, but these oriental hound breeds CAN be taught not to. Various techniques produce varying results. What I prefer to do, is, most important, first have a dog that is taught not to chase cats, chicken, sheep etc. I find this stage easy. Then find someone who keeps deer in an enclosure and willing to help you with the training.. Try to get the idea across that this is just another kind of sheep and especially that you are not interested in them, and also you have more interesting things around, toys, food etc. It would be best if you had your own tame deer, especially if they be not afraid of dogs, but not everyone can afford that. Also avoid at all cost the killing of deer which your dog might witness, and do not allow your dog to hunt or associate with dogs that are known deer-chasers. There are also many other techniques, some of dubious value (artificial deer scent is supposed to work in some stages of training and not in another and thus is best left to trainers which have a lot of experience with this method.) - The radiocollars are supposed to work well, but here again do not expect wizardry - you and your dog have to work on it... Even when you are sure that your dog won’t chase deer, make sure that other hunters in the area can recognize him and not mistake him for a stray. Here the typical hound voice helps, for instance I have been told that many times my foundation bitch was nearly shot, but saved by being recognized in time by her voice, thereupon witnessed as being great with wild boars, and as everybody around knew me and her, although I never hunted - let alone wild boars, people afterwards asked for puppies instead. Some dog owners even say that they can guess by the voice which game their dog was chasing, but us who are tune-deaf can’t boast at that...

What next?

There's multiple goals in front of today's breeders. The first and a most urgent one is the increase in number (this might sound unreasonable in wiew of ever-present owerflows of unwanted dogs, but I am not wasting my resourcers on arguing here, because whoever doesn't think an ancient breed should continue, is not reading this anyway). The prospect is good, last year (2000) there were 35 pups born in Croatia, not as much as in 1999 (65), but an increase over 25 the year before that (1998). Next goal is toward the uniformity. There's still much diversity in exterior appearance, which should be chiselled out without diminishing the diversity in unseen genetic inheritance, such as disease resistance, endurance, and the work-related properties such as nose and voice. To make the exterior more uniform that way, it should be done either with great knowledge of genetics or very slowly. It is progressing slowly at the moment. The drive in the 80es was to make the colour more uniform, which is not exactly what I think uniformity is. I would like to keep various colouring, and watch that the proportion of particular colours does not change - that is, neither should the rare colours vanish, nor should they prevail: if about 2% of dogs today is yellow (I'm evaluating from the dogs entered at shows), that percent of same colour should be retained. Eradication of this colour was the aim of those people who wanted this uniformity of colours, but on the other hand there are hunters in some areas (like on the Dalmatian - Hercegovinian border) who prefer it, and ask for pups of this colour.
If all this is achieved, there is the prospect of improving the breed. The goals are mostly two: one is to watch over the possible genetic disease. There was none observed at the moment, but something is bound to happen in such a small base population some day. We should be on an outlook so such problems should be noticed immediately, luckily today there are numerous tests available for an increasing number of inherited faults. In our breed they must be stopped before spreading as happened in some breeds that suffer so heavily today. Best practical method is to create several inbred lines - Croatian and Bosniad breeders do not like inbreeding, but several lines have been formed over the years, mostly through geographycal limitations (breeders prefered to breed their bitches to dogs that they have seen and heard at work, than to show winners), some are:
In the future other lines may spring up or replace these. One scenario might see one line specializing in boar hunt, another in blood trail search, or obedience, SAR for instance. Establishing a breeding population in some foreign country will be also mean creating a new line. Thus, I beg all those owners not from Bosnia or Croatia, do NOT spay-neuter your Baraks and DO take them to shows, unless the dog is lame or toothally toothless - you are without competition and very likely to win some (well, inexpensive) cups and ribbons :-)!
And finally, is there anything else left that has to be improved in Baraks as a breed? - Schematically, it can be summed up like this:
 - increaing numbers - more lines               
 - uniformity                      
 - improving - genetic disease watch - more lines
 - improving - anything else
This is always an open question in any breed - where do we go from here? Obviously we do not want some extremes as longer or shorter coat or change in size or general anatomycal changes. More emphasize on the hair lenght pattern could be done (7cm on back, longer on tail, quite short on legs, 1 cm on ears). Also in my opinion the quality of the voice can be improved upon; the problem for some breeders might be that they might never actually hear the prospectuous sires if they choose them at the shows (which should be the means if we are to strive for more uniformity in exterior). The improvement should go for a fuller and longer-lasting howl, some of today's hounds give out a funny high squeaky sound that does not carry far enough, suitable for a pet pooch, but not quite the real thing. Soon all the hunting dogs in Croatia will have to pass the hunting test, so there'll be more info on prospective sires. Yet, selecting towards these goals is almost impossible with so few registered males around - so you see I do know what I mean when I say that the next first imperative is the increase in numbers. So I am willing to help anyone who wants a barak puppy, I can locate the breeder(s) and help arrange the deal. The average price in Croatia is readilly affordable for outlanders, including possibly more investing that may go into transport, additionall shots etc. Some people might find it fitting to come to Dalmatia for holidays, visit the breeder(s) and take a pup back home at return - this is certainly not the so much despised buying-on-an-impulse!
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last revised june 2001