Eurasier breed: It was one of Konrad Lorenz’s favorite breeds

Molnár Enikő

2024. July 9 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

While most dog breeds can adapt well to family life, for many of them, it's not their ideal condition. However, there are dogs specifically bred to excel in various aspects of household life, and the Eurasier is among them.


Balanced, family-oriented, calm yet attentive and alert… all these characteristics can be attributed to the Eurasier breed. The Eurasier can be an excellent choice for those looking for a medium-sized family dog who is unlikely to chase even a cat. Moreover, they are not just single-function dogs; they can also excel as excellent watchdogs while remaining loyal companions to every member of the family.

The Eurasier specifically enjoys the closeness of its owner

History of the Eurasier

The Eurasier has a relatively short history. Its story began in the 1960s with a German gentleman named Julius Wipfel. Wipfel’s beloved dog was a large, black Spitz-type dog that was intelligent, independent, and somewhat wolf-like. The successor to this dog was a wolfspitz named Bella, who, although considered excellent, loyal, and social, lacked a few traits that Wipfel admired in his previous favorite, which had a more “primitive” personality. Wipfel decided to create a dog that would possess the desirable qualities he sought.

The breed that he considered perfect eventually received the name Eurasier

The “foundation” was the Wolfspitz because of its good personality and convincing appearance. It’s lively, intelligent, very loyal, generally healthy, and long-lived. Due to its hunting instincts, there was no need to worry, as they were quite minimal. The question then was what breed should be the desired dog’s other component. Inspired by Konrad Lorenz’s compelling descriptions, Wipfel considered the Chow Chow. It had everything he needed in a breed: affection for the family, strong bonds with them, wariness or neutrality towards strangers, and bravery in protecting loved ones. Additionally, it possessed those “wild” qualities that Wipfel missed in the Wolfspitz: stubbornness and a certain dignity, making it uncomfortable with being treated as inferior. Originally, he called the mix of these two breeds “Wolf-Chow” and began promoting it. While appearance was important to Wipfel, temperament and traits primarily guided his breeding efforts.

In 1972, Konrad Lorenz himself acquired a smaller female dog from a renowned breeder. The lady was named Charlotte Baldamus, who was committed to collaborating with her colleagues to create the “perfect dog,” at least according to their standards. Lorenz commented on the dog, saying, “She is one of the best dogs I have ever owned, possessing excellent qualities.

Correcting errors

Unfortunately, over time, diseases emerged, considering that inbreeding was quite intense. Not only did health issues manifest, but some undesirable behaviors became more common. Because of this, in 1972, they enriched the existing genetic stock of dogs with another breed, namely the Samoyed. Thanks to its friendly nature, the behavior of the Wolf-Chow improved in a positive direction, and as a bonus, their appearance became more impressive.

Due to these changed characteristics, the breed standard was rewritten in 1974, and a year earlier, it was recognized by the FCI. However, the name unfortunately proved inadequate, so they came up with the name Eurasian, considering that it originated from the mixture of European and Asian breeds. The currently valid standard was published in 2019.

Breed standard of Eurasier

The Eurasier is a medium-sized dog, with its height ranging from 48 to 60 centimeters depending on gender, and weighing between 18 and 32 kilograms. It has a robust appearance, characterized primarily by its long body, firm back, wide loin, and powerful hindquarters. Its deep chest and slightly tucked-up abdomen also contribute to its appearance. Limbs are often described as “column-like.” The head is wedge-shaped, resembling its ancestor, the Chow Chow, especially in individuals with fewer wrinkles on the face and nose. Tail curls over its back. The coat is long, except on the head and the front of the legs. The color varies, displaying shades of red, sandy, gray, or black.

Character of the Eurasier

The Eurasier is a human-centered, family-friendly dog that forms strong bonds with its owners. It is calm, balanced, and confident. It has a curious nature, but not overly so. Although reserved with strangers, it is not aggressive. It does not possess an excessive amount of energy; a good daily walk and some playtime are usually sufficient. Given the opportunity, it enjoys being energetic and accompanying its owner (or owners) on hikes or longer trips.

It is a loyal and devoted breed, quick to learn, but it can get bored with repetitive tasks, so it’s beneficial to keep training sessions exciting. Being a sensitive dog, it’s important to approach its training with love, patience, and consistent (but gentle) guidance to bring out its full potential.

Ideal environment

The breed was bred with the intention of creating a dog that is adaptable, thus comfortable in apartment living as long as it receives sufficient exercise. Like most dogs, the Eurasier enjoys having a garden, but contrary to appearances, it does not tolerate outdoor living well primarily due to its need for closeness. It prefers being in the same living space as its family, making it perfect for owners who treat their dog as a family member. In return, it becomes an excellent companion and, if needed, can even guard the house with moderate barking.

It has minimal hunting instincts, making it suitable to live alongside other pets and it can also be well-trained around small children. Socialization is a crucial part of owning a dog, and its many good qualities shine brightest when it is handled properly.

The Eurasier also appreciates active rest

Care of the Eurasier

Due to its double-layered, voluminous coat, grooming the Eurasier may initially seem like a challenging task. But actually it doesn’t require more care than other breeds with long fur. They shed twice a year for about three weeks each time. During shedding season, the frequency of brushing multiplies, turning into a daily routine of thorough combing every week or two. It’s unavoidable that they will shed everywhere during this time, so cleaning tools become essential allies during these few weeks. They don’t need frequent bathing, but it’s advisable to check their ears and paws more often. As always, attention should be paid to nail length and dental health.

Common health problems

Basically, it’s a tough breed and mostly healthy. There are conditions that may occur, which responsible breeders pay attention to. However, errors can always occur in the system, so it’s worth paying attention to these:

  1. Hip dysplasia
  2. Patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation)
  3. Distichiasis (double row of eyelashes causing eye irritation)
  4. Thyroid issues
  5. Gastric torsion

It’s important to watch out for these as the Eurasier is generally hardy but susceptible to these conditions.

Click here to meet 6 other uniquely devoted dogs whose owner is everything to them.

Literature: János Szinák –István Veress: A világ kutyái I. (Dogs of the World I.)

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