Breed: Flock guard dog
Height: 25-28 inches
Weight: 99-154 pounds
Coat Type: Long or short (two varieties), thick and dense
Most popular in Russia, the Caucasian shepherd is known by different names. It is commonly called Caucasian ovtcharka, which means “sheepdog” in Russia. Other names of this breed are Caucasian mountain dog, Caucasian sheepdog, Kavkaski ovcar, Russian kavkazskaya ovtcharka and Circassian sheep dog. The dog is a strongly boned, muscular and even-tempered Molosser. It is regularly exhibited at various dog shows in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. The Caucasian shepherd is very territorial and fairly dog-aggressive, requiring early and careful broad socialization. Read on further to know more about the Caucasian shepherd dog breed.
The Caucasian shepherd has been developed from the pre-historic molosser breeds in Caucasus (Russia), by the local herders. The dog is commonly used for protecting sheep from predators and thieves. Due to their outstanding working qualities and striking appearance, Caucasians always attracted attention from everyone. Sine they were not recognized and registered, these dogs vary in types, from country to country and locale to locale. They initially existed only in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas and neighboring Turkey and Iran. Today, the breed is commonly found in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Southern Russia. Countries like Hungary, Poland and the Czech and the Slovak Republics are taking various steps to popularize the breed.
While the dark eyes of a Caucasian shepherd are moderately deep-set, the ears are densely covered with hair for insulation. The long forelimbs are straight and densely boned. The large and heavy paws have hair in between the toes, to provide excellent insulation and protection. The black nose is prominent with well opened, large nostrils. The tail is covered with a long feathering of heavy hair. The thick and dense coat is weather-resistant and enables the dog to keep away from cold. The color of the coat can vary from gray, fawn, tan, pied, brindle and pearl white to creamy white, golden-yellow and reddish-brown.
Though the Caucasian shepherd is a low activity dog and mostly lethargic when not working, it becomes extremely agile and convincing when it feels its family is threatened. The dog is alert, assertive, brave, strong, hardy and courageous to a fault. It greets family friends warmly, but does not entertain strangers. Since it requires a lot of space for running and moving freely, the breed is best suited for living in houses with large yards; not apartments.
The Caucasian shepherd is generally healthy and lives for around 10 to 11 years. Some of the known health problems include hip dysplasia, obesity and occasional heart problems.
The Caucasian shepherd has two coat varieties, namely short and long. The longhaired variety should be brushed frequently, with main attention to the spots where tangles can occur. The shorthaired dog demands less grooming, but should be regularly combed and brushed.