The Kromfohrländer, or Kromi, is a German breed that was developed during the 1940s and 50s. This breed is descended from a military mascot dog from World War II that was known as “Original Peter.” This dog was found wandering in France by American soldiers. The soldiers brought Peter with them, but when they reached Germany they were separated. Peter was then found by Ilsa Schleifenbaum, who then bred him with with griffon and terrier type dogs to develop the Kromfohrländer breed over the next 10 years. Schleifenbaum’s goal was to create a high quality companion breed that was healthy and long lived. The name comes from the description of the local landscape. “Krom fohr” means crooked furrow, and Schleifenbaum that this was a unique sounding and catchy name for the breed. The Kromfohrländer made its way to the United States during the 1970s, but they are still very rare. These dogs are not yet officially recognized by the AKC, but they are currently being recorded in the Foundation Stock Service. The purpose of this service is to keep records of breeders and information for breeds that are rare or still being developed.
The Kromfohrländer is a medium sized breed that stands at about 15 to 18 inches tall at the withers and they should weigh between 24 and 31 pounds. These dogs are slightly longer than they are tall. They come in two different coat varieties, the rough and smooth coat. The Kromfohrländer’s head is slightly rounded with an average length muzzle that has well defined stop. The medium sized nose is usually black and can also be brown. The eyes are medium sized and oval shaped. They are slightly slanted and are dark or medium brown in color. The semi-drop shaped ears are high set and the sides of the head. They are triangular in shape with rounded tips and lie close to the head. The medium length tail has a strong base and is usually curled up in a sabre shape. The rough coated Kromfohrländer has a coat that is slightly longer with a rough texture. They have long hair on the head and muzzle, with a beard. The smooth coat is thick with a smooth texture and no beard. The coat lies close to the body. The color of the coat is predominantly white with patches that are shades of brown or tan in color. The Kromfohrländer is an easy to groom breed. They are relatively clean and they are light shedders. They need to be brushed regularly, and these dogs are also free of that unpleasant doggy smell.
The Kromfohrländer is a happy breed that loves spending time with its family. They are docile and able to adapt to many different living situations. Although they are a friendly breed, they are somewhat reserved with strangers. These dogs get along well with people and other animals, even small ones. Although they were bred from hunting breeds, these dogs have retained none of their hunting instinct. These dogs do bark sometimes as well as dig, but neither behavior is excessive and they can be trained to stop when commanded. The Kromfohrländer, like any breed, should begin their obedience training early on. This is an intelligent breed that can learn quickly. Their training should be firm and consistent, but not too harsh. These dogs are also somewhat independent and will often play and entertain themselves. Kromfohrländers should also be well socialized while they are puppies. This is a process that should include taking them out to expose them to new people, places, and situations to make sure they grow up to be well rounded adults.
The Kromfohrländer can live happily in an apartment or other small home happily. They just want to be around their family and will not be happy in a kennel situation. These dogs need regular exercise outside the home in order to stay happy and healthy. A long walk or jog will help and playing games will also keep these dogs happy.
Kromfohrländers are a breed with a few known health issues and a small gene pool, which can contribute to health issues being widespread throughout the breed. Known issues include epilepsy, keratosis, patellar luxation, and cystinuria. Patellar luxation is when the kneecaps dislocate and cause mobility issues, especially later on in life. Cystinuria is a buildup of amino acids in the urine. Keratosis is a growth of keratin on the skin that is sometimes known as “corny feet” by dog breeders. There are some breeding projects underway in order to expand the gene pool and improve the overall health of the breed.
Overall the Kromfohrländer is a very rare and unique breed. They have been bred specifically as companion dogs and they adapt well to almost any living situation. These dogs are intelligent and friendly, getting along well with both people and other animals.