«For sure, the Caucasian breed is not for meek, unconfident, self-centred people with lots of complexes, and also this dog doesn’t suit those people who think that their dog “must do something”», Yevgeniya Manykina (Gamaun Kennel)
Interview with Yevgeniya Manykina, the owner of one of the oldest and biggest kennels of Caucasian Shepherds and Buryat-Mongolian Shepherds «Gamaun».
For how long have you been breeding Caucasian Shepherds?
Since 1980s. At that very time the first Caucasian lady entered our home. We have several tales about her on our website, and here is a short part of our love story:
“I often recall that warm day in the end of August 1991. Tatosha was already 11 years old. We were hanging the lingerie. Yes- yes, exactly so – WE.
The rope was stretched up high and to hang the lingerie you had to pull it a bit down, but then it was not possible to reach the basin where all things were. So normally we did it together with some of the kids or with my mom: one was giving, another one was hanging up. Everybody was arguing and no one had time to change the current situation. But this is not the point.
On that day nobody was home: children were in pre-school, mom was at work, so I had to ask Juta for help. I put down the basin with lingerie and box with clothespin and reached the rope.
- Tatosha, pass me the clothes, - asked I the dog. Exactly so – I asked, as the commanding tone in our relationship was used only if I was dissatisfied with something.
Juta stood up, went to the basin, took clothes in her teeth and gave me it.
- And now the clothespin.
She put her mouth into the box, took out the clothespin and pushed it into my hand.
- Clothespin... Good girl, thank you!
After some time Tatosha started to make mistakes. Then I said:
- Not this, - and I put the thing on its place.
The basin was huge, there was a lot of lingerie and Tatosha by that time already outlived most of the dogs of her age. She was tired and just wanted to stretch her legs basking in the sun or go for a swim, but she honestly helped me.
I still recall this day: warm light of the almost evening sun, heated wall of our house, lacy shadows of trees and my old dog – tenderly beloved, passionately respected and simply very beautiful.
I didn’t know then that there was not much time left for our friendship and that she would pass away on 1st September.”
Why you chose this breed?
My choice of the breed was odd to some extent. My husband proposed three “courses” to choose from: the Russian Terrier, the South Russian or the Caucasian. I told him that in my house there would never be a dog whose eyes I cannot see. The reason for that was my experience with zoo animals when I could understand their intentions only looking in their eyes. So we chose the Caucasian. And I never regretted it!
What are pros and cons of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog?
The most difficult feature of the Caucasian character is the dogs’ independency and self-reliance. If for a German Shepherd, the Riesenschnauzer, the Boxer and other “Europeans” the owners’ authority is pre-existing and is not doubtful, for the Caucasian Dog the subordination is something uncertain. To gain the authority you have to prove to your puppy that you have a right to be an alpha: you have to prove that you can and want to take responsibility for yourself and for your dog, that your demands are fair, necessary and you are ready to insist on the fact that your dog need to perform them.
These proofs of your alpha mustn’t be only in forms of punishment. You have to be more cunning and resourceful than your own dog. You have to be in time to catch your puppy, to praise it, to scold or to take out of its mouth its “trophy” that wasn’t supposed to be there; you have to be able to insist on its coming to by command, sometimes going down on all fours for that. And all these might happen only during one walk with your puppy.
Which person should not buy the Caucasian Shepherd?
For sure, the Caucasian breed is not for meek, unconfident, self-centred people with lots of complexes – this is the portrait of a typical subdominant. And also this dog doesn’t suit those people who think that their dog “must do something”. Its not a dog that must it is the owner who must be cleverer, more cunning, and more responsible... And then you will be able to reach the mutual understanding. All these things I was taught by my dogs. There were millions of times when I had to apologize to them and they always accepted my apologies. Are there many people who are also so generous?
In your opinion, the growing popularity of larger breeds is a good or a bad thing?
It is nor bad, nor good. This tendency is just a matter of time as we live in the era of big changes. People want someone to rely on, something to be sure in, and the shoulder of a big furry friend calms down your soul.
Is it possible to combine dog shows and working trials?
The problem of modern dog shows is that they are not the same that they used to be. Today the dog show is no more a zoo technical event it is a parade where the outmost importance play handling, grooming, owner etc... How can you talk about the dogs’ exterior when one can set the dogs’ jaw and teeth by visiting a pet dentist, one can colour the nose, do the lifting of dogs’ eyelids and powder out the actual coat colour. On one of the Mono-Breed Caucasian Shepherd Shows I saw a dog with unusual strikingly white coat (actually, a defect), but when I saw the dogs’ face it was of a normal beautiful grey colour with black nose and a mask. The dogs’ handler simply powdered its pet and the beauty was gone. With working trials things are pretty the same.
All these problems can be solved only when people would understand that the breeds’ standard is, first of all, about the dogs’ user features. Today there are many dishonest owners and breeders whose main criteria for breeding practices is “I like it like this”, and we get dogs with poor health and behavior problems.
What do you think about the fact that Caucasian Shepherds are popularized by some writers? Is it good or bad for the breed in general?
It depends on a book and an author. For example, once on a dog show I met the Russian writer Oleg Divov whose book “The Master of dogs” became very popular. I cannot say that I am fond of his books, I don’t support usage of curse words in literature, but he then visited my kennel and in the further coming trilogy “Profession: inquisitor” he used the features of character of my dog Emma and she was also placed on his books’ cover. Such popularization when each author writes about the breed he/she knows it not bad for the breed.
With films things are much worse. People watching the movie don’t realize and see all the work of professional trainers and handlers that is done behind the scene. As the result they think that every breed member they saw on a screen will be the same in their household: clever, obedient, devoted... And when they finally buy a puppy they encounter all the difficulties they didn’t realize.
Do good pure-breed dogs need an advertisement?
Advertisement is good for everyone. But what is good everyone decides personally. Good working dogs don’t look ideal in a ring: they don’t have gloss. On the other hand, those dogs that are “stars” of the conformation show are not very good for work: they are too heavy and lack for the endurance.
Photo: © Yevgeniya Manykina (pitomnikgamaun.ru)
Мне понравилась статья. Приятно видеть, что человек не зациклен на зарабатывании денег, а разбирается в том, что делает, и относится ответственно.
О каких деталях экстерьера можно вести речь, если зубы выставляются, прикус правится хирургическим путем, нос красится татуировкой, веки подтягиваются блефаропластикой, а шерсть напудривается до полной неузнаваемости окраса?! Как-то шла на одной из монок за кавказом странного белесого окраса, по идее, брак по окрасу... Каково же было мое удивление, когда я сумела обогнать его и увидела голову нормального серого окраса с черным носом и маской. Просто на корпусе под слоем пудры этой красоты стало не видно.
Господи, Боже мой, и зачем все эти извращения
А за статью спасибо, оно интересно, и познавательно.