HISTORY OF CROATIAN KENNEL CLUB
Cynological activities in any country begin with owning and breeding purebred dogs, which regularly precedes the beginning of the organised cynological work that is the founding of a registered cynological organisation.
he beginnings of the organised cynology in Croatia date from the time when Croatia was still part of the Austro- Hungarian Monarchy, more precisely from 1891.
In 1881, a General Croatian Society for the Guard of Hunting and Fishing was founded in Zagreb. In the year 1891 already mentioned above, the Society became member of the Austrian society for purebred dogs in Vienna. In 1897 the then Hunting Society founded a Commission for the Studbook, who sent the data on purebred dogs in Croatia and Slavonia to the Austrian studbook for purebred dogs.
From 20th to 30th September 1894, a regional exhibition of domestic animals was held in Vrbovsko in the region of Gorski Kotar, in the framework of which 10 Istrian Hounds were shown, which was called "a small exhibition of hunting dogs". That was neither review nor show in the today's sense since there was no catalogue with the data of the dogs shown as well as no judging.
The first real dog show with a catalogue and a judging commission was held in Zagreb from 5th to 7th September 1906 in the framework of the great Croato-Slavonian Country Economic Exhibition, on which 103 dogs of different breeds were exhibited.
On the day after the show, 8th September, the fi rst artifi cial den trial for earthdogs took place. On the same day, a trial for pointing dogs was held on the hunting ground in Stupnik, according to the then valid regulations of the Austrian society for breeding dogs.
In 1912 the fi rst trial of international character for police and war dogs was held in Osijek, whereas in 1913 a show with 80 dogs took place in the framework of the then Zagreb fair. In the course of the First World War, when Croatia being part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy fought on the side of the Tripartite Pact, all cynological activities ceased practically. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, beaten at war, fell to pieces, and Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in 1918. In the new state, cynological activities were the most intensive in Slovenia so it was in Ljubljana that the Yugoslav Cynological Association (JKS) was founded on 1st October 1925.
On 25th February 1929, JKS became an associate, and on 2nd April 1936 a full member of FCI.
The then Union of hunting societies founded a cynological section for Croatia and Slovenia in 1926, which became a member of JKS in the same year.
On 10th October 1926 the fi rst dog show was held in Zagreb. Unfortunately, no more detailed information on this show is available.
n 1927, a cynological organisation “Society of Dog Friends” - DPPZ was founded in Zagreb, which later was renamed into Cynological Society. In 1932, they published the fi rst cynological magazine in Croatia, titled “Our Dogs”. In the same year 1932, the fi rst international dog show of all breeds was held in Zagreb (30.04.-01.05.). In the course of the Second World War (1941-1945), the activities were hampered and reduced in all segments of the social life, including cynological organisations. Slovenia, where the headquarters of the Yugoslav Cynological Association were located, was annexed to Germany, while cynological connections and co-operation in the area of the divided country stopped completely. In Croatia, in spite of very diffi cult circumstances, the cynological activities didn't stop entirely and there even existed an organisation, but the archives and documents haven't been preserved.
After the war, the new beginnings of the cynological work were related to the Hunting Association, and the fi rst dog review was held in Zagreb on 25th July 1848 on the playground of the Football Club Građanski.
On 28th August 1848, the Cynological Association of Croatia was founded in Zagreb. From 29th to 30th October 1949, the “First State Dog Show for All Breeds” was held in Zagreb, on the then premises of the Zagreb Fair (today Technical Museum). There were entered 350 dogs in 38 breeds.
In 1950, the Managing Committee of the Cynological Association of Croatia began to publish the “Circular of the Cynological Association of Croatia” with the purpose of informing the members on activities of the association and providing support to breeders and members. Notifi cations on matings and litters were published, cynological events in the country and abroad were announced etc. On 9th January 1950, the section for judges and judge trainees was founded. The same year 1950 was a year of intensive development of the cynological organisation. It was that year that sections for four main dog groups were founded: for pointing dogs, earthdogs, hounds and non-hunting dogs.
From April 1952, instead of the “Circular”, the Cynological Association of Croatia published the “Cynological News” on a monthly basis, printed modestly on one double sheet of paper. On the occasion of the fi rst issue of the “Cynological News”, the Managing Commitee expressed the hope “that one day the Cynological News would grow into a real expert publication”. So, on 1st July 1953 the magazine “My Dog” started to come out, which has remained the offi cial publication of the cynological association to the present day.
In 1954, with the development of cynological activities as well as the increase of the number of breeds and dogs, clubs were founded instead of sections for dog groups. There were founded Club for Pointing Dogs, Club for Earthdogs and Club for Sporting Dogs, which was later renamed into the Club for German Shepherds and Other Sporting Dogs. A year later that is in 1955 the Club for Hounds was founded, while the owners and breeders of German Boxers separated from the Club for Sporting Dogs and founded the Club for German Boxers.
n 1955, a Book of Regulations on the breeding of German Shepherds was published and obligatory breeding reviews were implemented in the Club for Sporting Dogs, besides fi les for all dogs were established, where hereditary characteristics were indicated. Courses for the training of dogs were held in the Club, and in 1958, the fi rst working trial for utility dogs was held in Zagreb, according to the regulations of FCI. In 1962, the editorial staff of the magazine “My Dog” published the “Handbook on the Training of Pointing Dogs and Earthdogs for Handlers and Trainers”.
In 1963, dr. Oto Rohr composed the fi rst standard draft for the Croatian Sheepdog.
On 23rd March 1966, the fi rst dog bred in Croatia - German Shepherd bitch Jutta od Luadare JRSp 2537 - was proclaimed International Beauty Champion by FCI.
After the Yugoslav Cynological Association was moved from Ljubljana to Belgrade in 1953, the studbook was run there centrally for the then cynologocial associations of all the Yugoslav republics. From 1969, the Cynological Association of Croatia started to run concurrently their own studbook for the dogs from their area. In 1980, the World Championship for Pointing Dogs was held in Umag, the organiser of which was Brasil.
In 1982, the Cynologocial Association of Croatia published the fi rst Book of Regulations for Sporting Cynology Expertise, so breeding reviews for all breeds of sporting dogs were implemented.
From 17th to 19th October 1985, the 8th World Hunting Championship was held in Umag. Beside names of cynologists mentioned in this short historical outline of the Croatian cynology, there are some other cynologists to be pointed out too, like Stjepan Romić, who spent a great part of his life as veterinarian in the area of Slavonia, where he studied Croatian Sheepdogs in detail and wrote a publication on that topic.
The name of Stjepan Mikulek is also outstanding, a Zagreb craftsman, longstanding and life-long president of the Club for Pointing Dogs, which was made strong and active owing to his efforts.
The name of Franjo Strunjak shouldn't be forgotten either. He was one of the best experts for hounds and the longstanding president of the Club for Hounds. Owing to his indisputable merits in recognition and popularisation of hounds he was also called “father of hounds”.
The name of mr.sc.vet. Ratimir Orban should be remembered too because, owing to his merits and efforts, a great deal of the knowledge on the history of the Croatian cynology was preserved. Also his researches on the history of the autochthonous hounds and especially Dalmatian are of great importance.
Political circumstances and happenings in the world announced dramatic events in our country too. The forthcoming period of the Croatian cynology was hugely marked by the fact that dipl. ing. Marko Medar was elected the President of the Cynological Association of Croatia on the general assembly held on 2nd September 1990.
On 24th March 1991, the Cynological Association of Croatia was renamed into the Croatian Kennel Club. On 11th September 1991, the decision was made about the separation from the Yugoslav Cynological Association.
From 28th to 30th September 1991, the national team of Croatia appeared for the fi rst time as independent country on the 13th World Championship for Pointing Dogs in Alessandria (Italy). It was for the fi rst time in the history that the Croatian fl ag was raised to the winning mast on an international cynological competition. Mr Hari Herak with his German Shorthaired Pointer Eros di San Foran became our fi rst world champion, and the Croatian national team were the winners of the team competition for continental pointing dogs.
On 5th April 1992, in the period of the Croatian War of Independence, the 1st National Dog Show was held in Zagreb. It was titled “For Croatia” and the whole income of the show was awarded to the formation for training dogs in the framework of the Military Police of the Croatian Army.
On 6th June 1992, the fi rst new Croatian pedigree was issued by the Croatian Kennel Club. From 3rd to 6th September 1992, the Croatian national team participated for the fi rst time in the 3rd World Championship for Utility Dogs. On 5th September 1992, the Croatian Kennel Club became an associated member of FCI on the General Assembly in Zurich. So already on 17th/ 18th April 1993, the fi rst international dog show for all breeds after Croatia is becoming independent was held in Zagreb. There were 1336 dogs entered. From 10th January 1994, the obligatory tattooing of purebred dogs was implemented.
On 19th March 1995, the Croatian Post has issued a series of three stamps depicting Croatian autochthonous hounds: Istrian Shorthaired Pointer, Istrian Wirehaired Pointer and Posavatz Hound. In addition to that, stamps representing Dalmatian and Croatian Sheepdog were issued too.
On 30th May 1995, the General Assembly of FCI in Brussels accepted unanimously the Croatian Kennel Club as a full member. On the World Dog Show held in connection with the General Assembly of FCI, the Croatian Kennel Club were represented by a large and well noticed group of our autochthonous hounds, which were presented by handlers in national costumes. That massive presentation of our autochthonous hound resulted in numerous titles of world winners.
In September 1995, the Croatian national team participated for the fi rst time in the European Cup for Hounds and won the fi rst place in the team competition. From 20th to 23rd March 1996, the Cup of Nations “For Peace and Friendship” (FITASC) took place in Umag with more than 500 participants. The Croatian national team won the 3rd place.
On 12th November 1996, the Executive Committee of FCI, on their meeting in Copenhagen, drew the conclusion that the autochthony and patronage for the Posavatz Hound should be awarded to Croatia, that is the Posavatz Hound is a Croatian autochthonous breed.
On 13th/14th October 1997, Croatia is again the host of an important cynological event. The World Championship for Pointing Dogs and the Cup St. Hubert were held in Umag.
30th May 1999 is an important date for Croatia because it was then that the Executive Committee of FCI, on their meeting in Mexico City, made the decision that Croatia should be recognised as the country of origin for the Istrian Shorthaired and Istrian Wirehaired Pointer as well as the Dalmatian. Croatia was awarded the patronage for the standards of these breeds.
On 18th/19th November 2000, the Croatian Kennel Club was the organiser of two great international CACIB shows, one of which was titled “Central-Eastern European Cup”. About 1500 dogs were entered to each of the two shows.
From 25th to 27th October 2002, the World Championship for Pointing Dogs and the Cup St. Hubert took place in Croatia again, this time on hunting grounds near Zadar.
The American Staffordshire Terrier Milwaukee de Ngorongngorong, owned by a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, achieved a great international success by having won the title BIS on the European Dog Show, held from 3rd to 5th October 2003 in Bratislava. That was the fi rst Croatian dog to achieve BIS on an FCI European Show.
On 6th October 2003, the General Assembly of the FCI European Section awarded the organisation of the European Dog Show in 2007 to Croatia.
n 21st January 2004, the longstanding president of the Croatian Cynological Assocition dipl.ing. Marko Medar died. In the annals of the Croatian Kennel Club, he will be known, among other things, for the following achievements in the course of his mandate: the Croatian Kennel Club became an independent organisation recognised by FCI, several hound breeds including Dalmatian were recognised as Croatian autochthonous breeds, the Croatian Kennel Club achieved a remarkable place among the members of FCI.
n the meeting of FCI in Barcelona on 7th June 2004, the President of the Croatian Cynological Association dr.vet.med. Damir Skok was elected a member of the General Committee of the FCI European Section.
From 27th June to 2nd July 2005, the members of the Croatian national team of rescue dogs Mirela Bosnar, Sara Mareković, Tanja Janeš and Tibor Lugar led by Ana Viller became world winners on the 2nd World Championship for Rescue Dogs, held in La Grande Motte (France).
Mr Hari Herak with his German Pointer bitch Rina Pradelinensis became individual world winner on the World Championship for Pointers in Vildbjerg (Denmark), held from 18th to 22nd October 2005.
n the meeting of the FCI General Committee in Madrid on 22nd February 2006, the sixth Croatian autochthonous breed tornjak was recognised provisionally under the name “Bosnian- Herzegovinian-and-Croatian Sheepdog Tornjak” and the breed standard was accepted. The patronage for the standard is shared by Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.