Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Pets Feed
Faithful, strong and courageous, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a formidable family protector, raised to care for herds and defend the home of wild predators in the wild Caucasus Mountains.
This massive breed is highly territorial and will not retreat, even against bears and wolves. The Caucasian shepherd or ovtcharka is a large breed of dogs, especially known in countries like Armenia, Georgia or Russia, places where grazing has always been one of the main activities and where the needs of dogs for guard were raised.
Not every dog is able to withstand the wolf, the Caucasian shepherd is included in the list of daredevils, whose forces are to defeat the predator. No wonder the Caucasian shepherd is often called the Caucasian wolfhound.
They are also known as Caucasian mountain dogs, Russian bears, Baskhan (Karachay) Pariy, Caucasian Ovcharka, and there are many types and variants of them.
Caucasian Shepherd photos
The height and weight of Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are quite large, and due to their very thick and lush coats, these dogs sometimes look really huge.
The minimum weight of a purebred male Caucasian Shepherd is 50 kg. However, most dogs do not stop at such modest indicators, often exceeding the mark of 70, and sometimes even 100 kg with a height of 70 -75 cm. The females are lower and thinner than the males: the minimum authorized weight of a female is 45 kg, with a height of 67 -70 cm or more. But, as with any rule, there are also exceptions.
Depending on the length of the coat, there are three types of sheepdogs:
1. Short hairs. The length of the coat does not exceed 7 cm. Due to the short coat and the identity of the physique, it is very similar to the Alabai.
2. Long hair. The length of the coat does not exceed 12 cm. The elongated hair gives the dog presentability, therefore it is in great demand among buyers.
3. Intermediate. The coat is elongated, but the decorative elements of the hairs are weakly represented.
- Head: The head is wedge-shaped with a flattened frontal part and well-developed convex cheekbones. The skull is massive, but the occipital region is not sufficiently developed. The muzzle is rather broad, tapering gently towards the nose. The stop line is clear, but not sharp.
- Jaws: The teeth are large, powerful, white as snow. Complete dental formula. The bite is straight or scissor.
- Ears: The ears are small, pendulous, close to the head. Often anchored, which is not prohibited by the breed standard.
- Eyes: The eyes are oval with a wide and slightly oblique set. The color of the iris is light brown to dark brown. The gaze is focused, carefully evaluating.
- Body: The body is elongated, tall, strong and muscular. The neck is athletic, of medium length with a well shaped nape. The back is broad and strong with a short loin. The croup is slightly rounded, elongated and slightly sloping. The chest is spacious and deep, with a pronounced width. The belly is turned up.
- Limbs: The legs are sinewy, muscular, robust, parallel with a broad set. The paws are large, “bear” type, arched. The fingers are strong, clenched into a fist.
- Coat :
- Coat of hard, dense texture. The undercoat is soft, fine and dense. On the neck, the coat of long-haired individuals is longer, forming a thick mane. The color is white, fawn, wolf, spotted, brown and reddish. Perhaps the presence of a dark mask.
Character and behavior
Although it is believed that this breed is aggressive in nature, the truth is that the Caucasian Shepherd is a very balanced and generally calm dog. It is very loyal to its owner, but it will have to earn its trust and respect. This breed shows great bravery and security, so it is able to make good decisions in all situations.
His intelligence is another point to consider, because it helps him to discern whether or not to trust a stranger, although his natural tendency is to be wary. He can be territorial and aggressive within his property, which is why he needs a qualified person to treat him, understand him and educate him.
The Caucasian shepherd is a dog who will only accept as owner capable of showing leadership and balance, so it is very important to earn their respect from the first moment. It is a very protective dog, very attached to its family, which will defend all its members in the way it deems appropriate.
The Caucasian Shepherd normally perceives children in his family, but nevertheless, given the size and specifics of the dog, it is better not to leave undersized children alone with these pets.
With other animals
The Caucasian Shepherd coexists peacefully with other pets, however, large dogs are often seen as territorial rivals, so the relationship may not work out or he will try to gain control over them in every way. possible.
However, he shows favor and patronage towards miniature dogs. He is extremely suspicious of strangers and strange animals.
Nature rewarded the Caucasian Shepherd with good health, but the owner must constantly monitor the condition of the pet.
The following diseases are inherent in the Caucasian Shepherd breed:
- Cardiovascular diseases – often large males with a large weight suffer from heart failure.
- Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease inherent in all representatives of large breeds. This is a pathology of the joints, which takes various forms in the course of development. In critical cases, it leads to immobility.
- Obesity is one of the most common problems this dog faces.
With proper care and nutrition, the Caucasian Shepherd can live up to 11-12 years.
When caring for a Caucasian Shepherd, the thick, shaggy coat that often tangles requires extra attention. The rest of the grooming procedures are the same as for other dogs:
- The coat is combed 2 to 4 times a week, avoiding the formation of knots. During the moulting period, comb daily.
- Eyes are cleaned 2-4 times a week with chamomile decoction or special drops.
- Ears are examined and cleaned 1-2 times in 7-10 days, but in spring and summer an examination is done daily for ear mites.
- Partial grooming is performed on the legs and paws with periodic frequency.
- Teeth are brushed once a week.
- Nails are trimmed monthly.
- They bathe only with heavy pollution or once a month.
Overweight dogs usually have high rates of diabetes and usually live shorter lives. Dogs love running and jumping, and anything that hinders them will have a negative impact on their quality of life.The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is already at the limit of a dog’s size and heaviness without experiencing any problems.
This type of dog requires regular physical activity, and this will prevent it from becoming restless or bored. Bringing a Caucasian Shepherd Dog for walks and errands will help keep it fit.
1. For a walk, make sure your Caucasian Shepherd wears a muzzle and a shortened leash for your pet.
2. Do not allow pets to be walked by persons under the age of 14 and adults under the influence of alcohol.
3. The duration of the walk does not exceed 1 hour, Caucasian shepherds do not particularly like long walks.
History of the breed
The homeland of the Caucasian shepherd dog is the USSR, that is, the territory bordering the Caucasus Ridge and the steppes of southern Russia. The roots of the history of this formidable breed are lost in the distant past. In the 7th century BC, images of dogs, extremely similar to greyhounds, were discovered.
Thus, the Caucasian shepherd dog is one of the oldest breeds.
The ancestors of modern representatives of the breed are ancient Caucasian watchdogs. Basically, the breed was formed in a natural way, by selection, during which only the strongest, bravest and healthy survived. But the formation of character and work data was also influenced by Caucasian traditions.
The purpose of Caucasian shepherd dogs was to protect herds from predatory animals. Sheepdogs not only guarded pets, but also the homes of their owners. In addition, they also served in the army of the Assyrian state. In 1765, representatives of the breed stood guard in the Turkish troops.
During the period of the conquest of the Caucasus, the Russian army also used greyhounds as fortress guards in the war zone.
Caucasian shepherd dogs were valued for their fearlessness, power, endurance, excellent eyesight and hearing, waterproof wool, in short, for the fact that these animals are able not only to survive, but also to work even in the most severe weather conditions.
Breeders began to work on the Caucasian Shepherd Dog in the twenties of the last century. There are several versions of the origin of the breed, but there is no one hundred percent certainty as to their reliability. The following assumptions are most often made:
- The history of the Caucasian shepherd dog has its origins in the ancient Urartu-Ararat kingdom.
- The Chinese call the stripping dogs greyhounds; the ancestors of the breed are the Tibetan Great Danes.
In the modern world, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs still perform guard duty, guarding cattle herds, government facilities and private estates. A family that has such a pet is always under reliable protection.