The year 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of the Eurasier breed!
On June 22, 1960, the first litter of what would become the Eurasier breed was born to Julius Wipfel in Germany. This date is considered the breed anniversary. In honor of this breed that we all love so much, here is a short summary of the origin of the Eurasier breed and the people behind it. (Note: Please see the references, to read the detailed history of the Eurasier dog breed; it’s quite fascinating.)
After the Second World War, a young German man, Julius Wipfel, who was always a canine enthusiast, befriended a black dog he named, “the Canadian.” It’s believed this dog was left behind by Canadian troops when they vacated Germany. Wipfel describes the dog as independent, charming, intelligent, and unrestrained. “It was a devil much loved by us; and, until now, I have not encountered another dog that I could compare with the ‘Canadian.’”
After the passing of “the Canadian,” Wipfel and his family began to look for the next family dog. He came across the Wolfspitz in the 1950s. The family acquired Bella von der Waldmühle, a female Wolfspitz; however, Wipfel was still not satisfied with his search to find a dog like “the Canadian,” As much as they loved Bella, she didn’t have the characteristics that he loved so much in “the Canadian.” It was Julius’ wife, Elfriede, who said, “Why don’t we just go ahead and create our own breed, similar to ‘the Canadian’ and our Bella?” The idea was born to breed a “Canadian-Bella-Dog.”
Along this new journey of developing a new breed, Wipfel began studying Prof. Konrad Lorenz’s work. Lorenz described the wonderful character of a dog that was a Chow Chow and German Shepherd Dog mix. Wipfel began furthering his research and studies of genetics, biology, and the law of hereditary. Wipfel believed that to understand dogs we must understand its ancestors. The characteristics that Lorenz described of this Chow Chow/German Shepherd Dog mix peaked Wipfel’s interest in the Chow Chow breed. In 1959, Wipfel bred Bella to a Chow Chow.
There was a total of three original Chow Chows chosen to develop the breed. It has been noted in several writings of the breed history that the Chow Chow of Wipfel’s era was built much more similarly to the Eurasier versus what we know as the Chow Chow of today, with a “pushed-in” face. Along with Bella, three other Wolfspitz females were chosen to breed to the Chow Chows.
Charlotte Baldamus, a well-experienced and knowledgeable breeder of the Jaegerhof kennel, obtained one of Bella’s daughters. Ms. Baldamus began working with Wipfel on this new “i.” In 1960, Wipfel defined his breeding goal: “The new dog should be a polar dog type with nice and attractive fur colors. Its exterior should be dignified and substantially different from other breeds. Last, but not least, it should possess an amiable and exciting character adapted to our living conditions.” This eventually led to the creation of the Wolf-Chow. The breeding association, Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Wolf-Chow-Polar Hunde, came into existence in 1960. Wipfel also defined a standard, and this was accepted by the Union Canine Internationale.
The Wolf-Chow offspring were defined as three types:
- Type I being very “chow-like.”
- Type II was described as very wild-like and extremely sensitive, and very wolf-ish.
- Type III appeared in few numbers, but grew to resemble the dog Wipfel was looking for. From 1960-1972, eighteen Wolf-Chow kennels came into existence.
This new breed caught the attention of Konrad Lorenz who took home a female puppy from Charlotte Baldamus, Jaegerhof Kennel, in 1972. As breeding continued, problems arose due to the high rate of inbreeding. Wipfel sought consultation with scientists about introducing new bloodlines. Konrad Lorenz and Wipfel discussed the possibilities of crossing in the Siberian Husky before settling on the Samoyed. The hope was that the Samoyed would help to refine the Wolf-Chow breed. After the introduction of the Samoyed in 1972, the breed became gentler and more social in nature.
In 1973, the breed was officially acknowledged by the German Kennel Club (VDH) and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The only exception was that the breed name was required to change. The Eurasier name was born and derived from the origins of the breeds; Europe and Asia. Since that time, the Eurasier clubs of origin continued to cross-breed with Chow Chow, Samoyed, and Wolfspitz to further the genetic diversity. This continues to happen today under the sanctions of the clubs and the national registries.
As with all things human, not everyone agreed to the directions taken, so clubs were formed, and groups split apart and formed new clubs.
The history of the clubs of origin in Germany are as follows (Feder 2017):
- Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Wolf-Chow-Polarhunde – 1960.
- In 1971, the name changed to Deutscher Zuchtklub fuer Wolf-Chow-Hunde e.V.
- In 1973, the name changed to Eurasier-Klub e.V., Sitz Weinheim (EKW).
- In 1973, a second Eurasier club formed by splitting from the EKW, Zuchtgemeinschaft fuer Eurasier e.V. (ZG).
- In 1978, there was a third club formed by another split from the EKW, Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft Sitz Weinheim e.V., which changed its name in 1993 to Kynologische Zuchtgemeinschaft Eurasier e.V. (KZG).
- In 2008, the Pro Eurasier e.V. was formed.
- In 2007, the Eurasier-Freunde Deutschland e.V. (EFD) was formed.
- In 2009, the EurasierZucht-Vereinigung e.V. (EZV) was formed.
Summary of the Eurasier in North America
In the year 2000, a small group of Eurasier enthusiasts, mostly in North America and some in Europe, came together to share photos and stories online in a Yahoo! forum. (You know, that time before Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) There was a “core” group of individuals from the Yahoo! forum that decided to form a committee in North America. In 2002, Canadian and American volunteers came together to form the North American Eurasier Committee (NAEC). This committee had a goal of preserving the Eurasier breed in the same idea as its country of origin, Germany. This idea is referred to as the “Eurasier Way.” This idea describes the philosophy behind the Eurasier breed: Eurasier breeders should be family-oriented, not for profit, and focused on adhering to the breeding and guidance of the Eurasier breed clubs. This committee also focused on preserving and protecting the breed here in North America.
The original Voting Members of the NAEC were:
- CANADA: Dianne Cameron, Josee Dessouroux, Margaret Knight, Wayne Nelson, Johanne Parent, and Dietlinde Wall.
- US: Nancy DaCosta, Griffin Kessler, Ute Molush, Jackie Murtha, and Clark Waldrip.
The NAEC published several newsletters and launched a website, and organized a Eurasier Rescue and an educational meeting to hold presentations with guests from Germany. The first edition of the NAEC newsletter was published in November 2004. Their website was launched earlier that year in March. The NAEC agreed that in the best interest of the Eurasier, national breed clubs should be established in the US and Canada.
In 2015, two new Eurasier clubs were formed. The United States Eurasier Club (USEC) and the Eurasier Club of Canada (ECC).
The Founding Board of Directors of the USEC are:
- Nancy DaCosta,
- Kristin Gerlach,
- Gisele Kusmik,
- Ute Molush,
- Jacqueline Murtha.
The Founding Executives of the ECC are:
- Wayne Nelson,
- Margaret Knight,
- Dianne Cameron,
- Dietlinde Wall,
- Josee Dessouroux,
- Colleen Sutton,
- Tracey Kurtz,
- Judi Neumeyer.
In Canada, the Eurasier had been a recognized breed since 1996 in the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). The ECC was officially recognized by the CKC as the National Breed Club for the Eurasier breed in Canada, in 2007. t In the United States, as of today, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the breed.
The Eurasier is currently entered into AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which is the first step toward obtaining full recognition by the AKC. In order for the USEC to pursue the AKC’s full breed recognition, the USEC would need to prove, by show of vote, that the majority of the membership is in favor. The Eurasier breed is not yet fully recognized. Therefore, to obtain a permanent registry, American Eurasier breeders currently register their puppies with the Canadian Kennel Club.
Since the USEC’s formation, the club has been striving to reach its commitments to preserving and protecting the Eurasier breed. The club has held its responsibility close to its heart, continuing breeder education by offering opportunities to take seminars from representatives of the clubs of origin. Many times, these have been combined efforts between the ECC and the USEC. The USEC has had incredible support from international friends who have influenced the mission, philosophy, and policy of the USEC. Without that help, we wouldn’t be the club we are today! These members are recognized as our Honorary Members.
The USEC Honorary Members are:
- Helga Casper
- Annelie Feder
- Kurt Kotrschal
- Lothar Mende
- Cornelia Burk
- Karin Vorbeck
To further the USEC’s ability to adhere to the philosophy of the “Eurasier Way,” the USEC was accepted as an Associate Member of the Eurasier Breeding World Union (IFEZ) in 2006, with thanks to Ute Molush for facilitating this partnership. The IFEZ is a network of European Eurasier clubs with the common goal of breeding healthy Eurasiers. With this associate membership, the USEC can help to provide data to (and receive data from) the IFEZ database. The data received is breeding-relevant data, suggestions concerning proposed breedings, health information, and calculations such as inbreeding coefficients. All of these are tools for determining a proper mate for a Eurasier. For more information regarding IFEZ, please visit: https://ifez-eurasier.com/en/.
Feder, Annelie. 2017. Eurasiers Yesterday and Today. (To order, contact Annelie Feder at: email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Wipfel, Julius. 2003. Euraiser. Origin, Development, Present Situation. (This book is no longer in print.)
Müller, Alfred. 2003. Origin and History of the Eurasier. (https://www.eurasier-online.de/index.php/der-eurasier/ursprung-und-geschichte)