This Web page was created by Ivana Marinkovic peregrina@altavista.net dec 1999 <--------------------------------------------> FAQ
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BARAK FAQ

What is a Barak?

Barak is a rare breed of wirehair (coarsehair) eastern scenthound from Bosnia. A Barak is larger than a Beagle and smaller than a Dalmatian, to whom he is probably related. Barak hair is somewhat longer than a wire dachshund's, but not as long as an Otterhound's. Barak Colouring is particular distinctive, it is a combination of metal-gray with pale tan markings. Sometimes, in the grass and distant, a Barak may appear green. Other colours in Barak sometimes occur - white markings, or pale yellow all over, but those are undesired. The most notable characteristic of the breed is that they are extremely hardy, able to withstand all weather conditions and capable of running for hours or days, if required.
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What kind of grooming does it need?

This is one of the most natural of the natural breeds. The judges would probably frown if one as much as brushes a dog near the show ring. (Although, the matted up dogs are disqualified). The hair is not too long so that it needs very little care, traditionally the "brushing" of a sort was done by making dogs run through thistles which were then digitally (using fingers) removed. With this breed, much more time must be spent outdoors than at the gooming table. None of the owners for sure even own a grooming table.
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What's this about "Eastern scenthounds"?

The usual picture that pops up in the one's mind on the cue word "scenthound", is a sad face with enormous drooping ears, red weeping eyes, sometimes short legs and often untrainable characters. These characteristics go with the hounds of Britain, France and Switzerland, while those of Germany, Austria and further east and south are quite different. (There are also Italian dogs of somewhat middle-ish type.) The Eastern dogs are trainable, have close fitting eyelids, only two breeds are short-legged, and their ears are longish, but not pendulous and not so prone to ear diseases. Dalmatian is the best known and widest spread dog of this group, although it is only exceptionally used in hunting. The pictures of Baraks from the beginning of 19th century show ears very much like Dalmatian's, but today those have been through selection a trifle lenghtened.
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What about the registration?

Barak is registrable with the FCI - No. 155 b (jan15 1973) as "Chien courant de Bosnie a poil dur". Both parents ought to be registered, have passed conformation and field test in order to register a litter, and, in Croatia, the pups are inspected by one of the senior club members. Other organizations may be have less requirements, or impose additional ones.
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What is the situation today?

There is now around 300-350 of these hounds left, most of them in Bosnia and Croatia. This may mean both "is" and "is not" enough for a viable population, depending of how seriously will the breeders take to their doings. Establishing a population outside Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia, preferably in another FCI country, would help a lot. Two unfortunate details are most threatening at the moment: 1. - many dogs are exported to Italy, where they are neither exhibited nor bred from and 2. - The rules for attaining a status of breeding bitch or a dog at stud are very strict and selective, and the prices for the pups rarely cover the cost of showing and competing only. Many owners therefore do not want to spend their good money, and thus either breed unregistered puppies, or do not breed at all. Needles to say, the laxing of the rules (they include a field working test) would allow for a "softening" of the breed. It is of utmost importance that these dogs retain their working abilities and do not become mere show puppets.
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Are Baraks trainable?

Yes, the hunting methods in continental Europe, where areas set aside for hunting are not all that vast, require a well-trained hound. They have to respond to comands even when quite distant to the trainer, and they also have to learn which game to abstain from (in French: créancer). For instance, the test obligatory for the championship title includes abstaining from chasing deer.
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Do Baraks make good pets?

Yes, although they are primarily a working breed, they make excellent pets. They are family - oriented, learn easiyly to make friends with other animals, including cats, horses, and even get along well with more agressive dogs. However, as with a many other dynamic breed, some requirements have to be fulfilled, notably, the dog has to have enough exercise (and I do mean enough! The other dog's quarter-an-hour-a-day is by no means satisfactory, think more along one-day-once-a-week) and also some basic obedience, in order not to run across the street after a cat (very dangerous, not only to the cat, but regarding traffic accidents).
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Are Baraks good guard dogs?

Not in general, though some individuals may do as alarm dogs, which is somewhat different. Scenthounds are supposed to work with, not against people and other dogs strange to them. They have to be able to adapt to pack conditions, and this means that they will easily make friends, with unknown people as well as with other dogs, and even other animals (cats, for instance).
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What to look for in a puppy?

General soundness of conformation is before any outstanding features, as there are not any extremes in this dog. However, some care must be made to inspect the hair structure: while a fluffy or curly pup may or may not outgrow it's coat, the pup with the correct hair will retain the same hair quality as adult for sure. If there is enough space for the pups to run, and there should be in a good environment for a kennel of this breed, choose the most lively and noisiest one that runs the fartherst out (and does not necessarily seem to be the most obedient one).
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How to obtain a Barak?

E-mail to me or fax to Hrvatski Kinoloski Savez at +38541426448. The price of a 2-months old puppy is about 200$ (transportation cost not included); you should make certain that the breeder had applied for the registration. When he/she does, the puppies are tattoed. Older dogs with show results are around 1200 DM, that is some 700 $.


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