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 the same as my own opinion of uniformity. 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. This would make the percentage of
"e" gene itself around 15% (in plain language, this means
that if we breed close relatives
generation by generation we will end with 15% of the dogs being yellow).
There is no sense in throwing away 15% of something that is in no way
harmful. Eradication of this colour was the aim of the 80thies when the
uniformity of colours was in vogue, 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
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
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 :-)!
- Line from Lika, most influenced by one of the best dogs ever,
Bobi JR 21991. This dog was from Derventa, a city that suffered
greatly in the war, and he dissapeared in it - his owner managed
to escape to Croatia but the dog had to be left behind. Luckily
we had some of his offspring in Croatia already.
- Slavonian line, important breeder “od Pintarića” kennell,
most of the dogs are iron-gray with tan points, yellows
have been selected heavily against.
Many of this line have been lost to breeding due to being sold to Italy.
- Sarajevo line, strong dogs with good coats, various colours,
many working champions. Some of the dogs were sharper that desired.
(This however does not mean they were unmanaegable.)
My foundation bitch is from this line,
her coat could do with some improvement but she is quite a gentle character.
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:
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. Already all the hunting dogs in Croatia should pass the hunt 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.
Though I admit I am not too keen on sending dogs to non-FCI countries
where they are lost to the pool. Even in some FCI countries you will not be able to
register a litter locally untill the number of the dogs of a breed reaches
some preset number, which is darn difficult if puppies can't be registered.
True catch 22 situation. Still, people from central/north Europe might find
it fitting to come to spend holidays in Dalmatia, visit the
breeder(s) and take a pup back returning home - this is certainly not the so much
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