Caucasian Shepherd Dog (Kavkazskaïa Ovtcharka)

Country of origin:
Soviet Union, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
any solid colour (except for solid black, genetic blue or liver brown colour), piebald or spotted colour
very large
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a ferocious and powerful breed that is popular in many countries and especially in Russia. It performs its duty of a flock guardian on the vast and rough territory of Caucasus Mountain between Europe and Asia. The dog can also be trained to be an outstanding property and personal guardian as well as a loving domestic companion.

It is commonly believed that the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a descendant of an ancient breed from Caucasian mountains and the Steppes of southern Russia. In historical perspective the dog was bred to become a guardian of the livestock and human premises. For centuries it developed in total isolation and predominantly played a role of defender of the cattle.

There is a theory that the crafty breeders used number of Molloser breeds to enhance dog’s appearance and natural skills. It is also suggested that the Tibetan dog took part in the creation of the modern Caucasian. Its history has begun around 2500 years so the breed is truly ancient.

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog greatly varies in kind from country to country which can be explained by shortage of established kennel clubs and absence of paper standards. In Russia the breed is a common participant of the dogs show. In Hungary, Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics, the breeders have put in tremendous effort to support the popularity of the Caucasian although it is used as shepherd to much lesser extent than previously.

It has been imported to East Germany in the late 1960s to become a border patrol dog, particularly along the Berlin Wall. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the 7000 dogs were dismissed and got new homes with families all over the Germany.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) acknowledged the breed in 1995. In 1996, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog got an admission to an American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service (FSS). The dog has a right to contest in events, such as rally and obedience, since 2008.

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is very serious about its responsibilities of a guardian, which strongly reflects on its temperament and demeanour. The breed is forceful, courageous, vigilant, wilful, and bold. The socialization and training carry crucial importance for this dog since without them it tends to turn into a ferocious and unmanageable animal. Everyone who is considered by the dog as a part of its family (children, cats, other dogs, etc.) will be defended and honoured.

Strange people are perceived by the Caucasian Shepherd Dog with outmost suspicion and vital aloofness. Therefore the owner should exhibit extra carefulness with communication of the dog with strangers. Children shouldn’t be left with it unsupervised since if the game becomes too rough the dog won’t hesitate to resort to violence to protect its own child from the fellow friends.

The dog’s dominative character means it’s going to act pretty aggressive in front of strange dogs. It’s tough to introduce the Caucasian Shepherd Dog in the household with other canine habitant. Its big size may lead to sad consequences of introductory fight. Cats and other home pets can be trusted with the Caucasian only if they have been brought up together.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• eye problems.

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog possesses dense and rich double coat, which perfectly suits for the most adverse weather conditions. The upper layer of the coat is long and rough, while the undercoat is tender and exquisite. In different specimens there are three types of the hair length: long, medium or short.

The dog’s coat won’t require too extensive grooming though it should be brushed twice a week. The Caucasian sheds heavily once a year. During this time, the brushing should become more frequent so it will assist in getting rid of old hair much faster thus cutting down the volume of fur that will stick to your possessions. For the same reason regular warm bath is also recommended during the shedding period.

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog demands a very diligent approach to its training. It is clever and a quick learner but apts to defiant and wilful behaviour. Essentially the obedience training is a must for the dog since unruly Caucasian poses a great danger for the outer world.

The trainer should exploit exclusively positive techniques and not screaming or threatening which can only deepen stubborn streak of the dog. A dog asserts its alpha status habitually by using a growl or a bite that’s why it’s so crucial that the Caucasian accepts its inferior position to all human members of the family. For instance, on the walk it must follow the master a heel distance behind according to concept that the leader leads the way.

Well accustomed to the endless hour of work in the field with sheep, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is advisable for the owner with big rural house and spacious domain. There the dog will be able to take care for the exercise need itself.

Anyway the long daily walk is necessary to keep the dog healthy and happy. This powerful dog should always be kept on a leash and shouldn’t be taken for a walk by kids or senior citizens. It will joyfully accompany you in your hiking since it’s impressively hardy and robust.