Our club was founded in 1951 as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America (WPGCA) for Korthals type griffons. In the late 1980s we began outbreeding Korthals WPG with the Cesky Fousek, and in 2014 we officially converted to representing the Cesky Fousek breed in North America.
The club first established our studbook in 1972. Club members were some of those that were involved with the early development of North America Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and that is when we began our testing program. In the 1980s a portion of the club felt that the breed needed to have an outcross to restore some of the health, conformation, and hunting qualities. After long deliberation the closely related Český Fousek was chosen as the outcross breed.
New genetic evidence now indicates that the Český Fousek was likely the earliest rough-haired versatile hunting breed in Europe and was therefore probably a major part of the development of the early Korthals Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Further, the FCI allows planned and controlled outcrosses to be carried out by a parent club. Therefore, the breed wardens in the 1980s felt that Fousek into WPG was a wise choice. Although it may have been a sound breeding decision, outcrossing caused a schism; a fraction of the club left to form the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association (AWPGA. This group was subsequently recognized as the AKC Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Parent Club. Because we no longer had access to the Korthals Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breeding stock we turned to the development the Český Fousek in the US. Our club then began importing both breeding stock and frozen semen from Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) and adopted the FCI Český Fousek standard of excellence in 1995.
During the 2000s, John Pitlo and Jim Seibel of the club’s breeding committee visited the Czech Republic. The late Dr. Jaromír Dostál was especially instrumental in developing our ties with the Czech breed organization. He visited our club in 2008 as keynote speaker at our annual Judges Seminar. Our breeding and testing programs are similar to those of the FCI Český Fousek Parent Club, Klub Chovatelů Českých Fousků. Although WPGCA bred dogs have essentially been bred from Český Fousek stock since 1985, it was not until 2014 that a formal name change was made to the club. FCI recognizes, ”Bohemian Wirehaired Pointing Griffon” as the English name for the breed, so that label was selected to reflect our club’s long history of devotion to griffons as hunting and companion dogs. Mr. Gary Pool, our past club president, visited the Czech Republic in 2014 and forged a closer bond with the Klub Chovatelů Českých Fousků by signing a formal agreement of collaboration. Our goal is to breed hunting Český Fousek using the breeding guidelines set out by Klub Chovatelů Českých Fousků and develop the best available population genetic science, including the use of estimated breeding values (EBV), population cluster analysis (PCA), and coefficient of inbreeding (COI) analyses. Klub Chovatelů Českých Fousků representatives have been actively assisting us in selection, breeding, and importation of Český Fousek since 1989. Their collaboration has been crucial to our entire import and breeding program.
Because the Český Fousek has a worldwide effective breeding population below 500 animals it can be considered a “breed for conservation”, therefore, we have established a centrally controlled breed warden system whereby dogs cannot be bred unless they pass conformation, hunting performance tests, and health requirements. This is a method that has been successful for many generations in the Czech Republic where they set up ten breeding lines and their Breed Wardens select suitable mates to maintain genetic diversity and health. We have used advice from the Czech Breed Wardens for importation of dogs, puppies, frozen semen, as well as for mate selection.
In 1985 our first imported dog was Erik od Jezárek. As of 2016, we have imported 33 adult dogs, or puppies, as well as frozen semen from 14 proven stud dogs. We continue to import puppies selected by the Czech Breed Wardens to support our breeding program here in North America as well as semen from proven stud dogs. In addition, the Klub Chovatelů Českých Fousků will have semen shipped from North America to the Czech Republic, thus helping build our international collaboration.
We have maintained a hard copy studbook since 1972 and our pedigrees also have a statement that the animal is not to be used for breeding unless cleared by our breed warden committee (“Breeding Restricted” stamp). This is important to insure that breeders are using the appropriate conformation, hunting tests, health scores, as well as EBV, PCA, and COI to maintain health, hunting, and companionship qualities.