In his work „De re rustica“, book VII, on domestic animals and qualities demanded from a farm dog, written around 60 A.D., the Roman autor Lucius Julius Moderatus, better known as Collumela, states : „Its task is loudly to warn man when a wild animal or a thief is approaching the land tendend by him. That is why every farmer should keep a dogs and prefer it to all other animals, because the dog will quard his yard, his crops, the people, the cattle and the house.
When obtaining a dog, we should choose, depending on what we need it for, from the followin kinds : the first stall quard the yard and buildings and announce the presence of strangers. The second stall ward off attacks by people or wild animals, and stall gard not only cattle placed in sheds in the yard but aslo cattle grazing outside…. It should be of one colour, namely white, if it stays with the herd…. The herd requires a white dog because it cannost be confused with any wild animal.“
What does Collumela´s description have to do with the Slovak Chuvach?
The Slovak Chuvach is a herding dog of the region stretching below the High and Low Tatras on to the Beskydes. It used to be kept mainly in villages inhabited by the Wallachians, an ethnic group now assimilated with the Czech nation but originaling in the Romanian Carpathians, from where this pastoral people came to Moravia between the 15th and 17th centuries. And this is where Collumela comes in : on the territory of present-day Romania – their original homeland – they were colonized and strongly influenced by the Romans.
Sheep have been kept in practically all parts of the Old World with favourable geographical condition, from Central Asia on the westernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, for thousands of years. In Asia and Europe alike we can thus find many varieties of white Sheep-dogs.
The main credit for the preservation of the white variety of the herding dog on the territory of Czechoslovakia belongs to Profesor A. Hrůza of the Veterinary College in Brno, who acquired originál longhaired white dogs in the early 1930´s in the Tatra and Liptov regions, and set up the „Golden Well“ (ze Zlaté studny) kennel, thus laying the foundations for the modern breed of the Slovak Chuvach. His breding work was continued by Dr. Eng. V. Kurz, who takes credit for the intermational recognition of this breed in 1965.