Moscow Watchdog (Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka)

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red-skew-bald, spotted: white with red, red-black, black-red, sable spots; red shadings are required; white colour on the chest, forearms up to the elbows, rear pasterns up to the hocks and tip of tail
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The Moscow Watchdog is a perfect combination of gentle and loving pet with outstanding abilities of a watch and guard dog. This beautiful giant originated in Russia after the World War II and up until recently it has been bred exclusively in its homeland. The breed is now gaining more popularity in the United States but it’s still recognised as rare.

The Moscow Watchdog emerged in 1950 thanks to experience and efforts of the general Gregoriy Pantelenovich Medvedey in the army’s «Red Star» kennel situated in the suburbs of Moscow. He crossed three breeds including the Caucasian Ovcharka, the St. Bernard, and the Russian Spotted Hound in order to get the dog with incredible character and enormous size. In interbreeding process the general also used the Russian Harlequin Hound, the German Shepherd, and the Russian Wolfhound.

The Saint Bernard passed to the Moscow Watchdog its prodigious size and soft character, while the other main contributor, the Caucasian Ovcharka, endowed it with excellent guarding and pushing traits. The breeders got the dog which possesses Siberian health, impressive stamina and was highly adaptable to Russian climate. In the late 1960s the first standard of the breed was written in which it was named Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka («Moscow Watch Dog» from Russian).

It served as a guardian of areas for rocket launching and in military airports as well as participated in military parade marching alongside with troops on the Red Square. This breed was prohibited from adopting by civilians until the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

The dog has lately reached the America and European countries and is earning more and more fans there. The Moscow Watchdog is not acknowledged by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or any other significant kennel clubs but the efforts are now being applied to achieve recognition of FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

The Moscow Watchdog is a powerful and well-built breed, which can become an amiable companion and a fearless protector. This breed has a calm and even temperament and is an optimal choice for the owner, who can provide this dog enough space. It will make an affectionate family member though it requires a thorough speculation before adopting it if you have young children. As the matter of fact it’s too big for them and can accidently hurt a child in the heat of the game. The dog is fine with older children with whom it will play endlessly hours.

The guarding of the property and the family is a primarily goal of the Moscow Watchdog so it’s no wonder it stays always on alert with strangers. A well-trained dog will be polite and decent around them but most likely it won’t appreciate if the stranger intends to pet it. This exceptional guard dog will bravely and without hesitation confront much stronger adversary and will sacrifice its life to defend its territory and family.

Other dogs can be accepted by the Moscow Watchdog only if they have been raised together. It’s not advisable to keep this breed and other non-canine animal at the same household since the size of the dog is already enough threat not mentioning the possible aggression issues.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• gastric torsion.

As you might have noticed the Moscow Watchdog is a hairy beast so the regular brushing is mandatory. A weekly grooming will ensure that the coat of the dog stays tangles-free and good-looking. The tangles and the mats on the plumed tail can become especially difficult to get rid of when they are not handled in time. Bathe your Moscow Watchdog three to four times a year so its coat retains natural oil.

The main purpose of training the Moscow Watchdog is not to improve its supreme guarding qualities but to establish an appropriate pack order for the dog. Humans must always stay in superior position in relation to the dog otherwise such a huge animal will be tough to handle even in the everyday life.

The only way of successful training and socialisation of the dog is to set concrete rules and hard boundaries in its communication with the world. The trainer should be firm, assertive and confident and preferably use positive reinforcement and reward-based training techniques.

The Moscow Watchdog is demanding when things concern physical exercise. Daily vigorous prolonged walk is a must for this breed. During the walk the dog should go one step behind the owner which designates its stance of the leader. The leash should always be on the dog since it is an essential mean of controlling it. Nonetheless it would really enjoy a free run in the safely enclosed territory.