During this interview, from our 4/5/20 program, Marc talked about how he fell in love with the Vlcak dog breed — he pronounces it on the podcast and I don’t — while visiting Italy. And how that whenever he walks her, someone asks whether Arya — which he also pronounces — is a wolf or a dog.
Not a spoiler, but she is a dog and a sweet, if challenging one, too. The Czechs, back in the 1950s, wanted something tougher/meaner than the German Shepherd Dogs they used for guard and other police/military duties.
Someone decided that in-breeding a Carpathian Wolf might accomplish that goal. It did not work, as the resulting animals, which have physical, mental, and emotional qualities of both breeds quickly formed a strong attachment to only one handler. Since the wolfdogs could not be easily passed around, the hoped-for assignments became impossible.
Mark has written a children’s book, entitled “Is That a Wolf or a Dog?” obviously enough, to explain Arya to her many admirers. You can purchase the book at Marc’s Wolf or Dog? website or here from Amazon.
You’ll find “wolfier”-looking pics of Arya on Marc’s site, as well.
If you are interested in the breed, Marc recommends the Czechoslovakian Vlcak Club of America as a great resource. He says they also do meet-ups for people interested in the dog breed across the country. The interview took place on Arya’s second birthday.
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