Height: Male:26-30 inches, Female: 24-28 inches
Weight: 73-113 pounds
Coat Type: Smooth and dense
East European Shepherd dog is Russia’s version of the German Shepherd dog. Commonly known as Vostochnoevropekskaya Ovcharka (VEO) and Owczarek Wsohodnioeuropekski, this dog is the most popular dog breed in Russia. The dog has a dense coat, allowing it to withstand the harsh and extremely cold winters of Russia. The dog is reared for its wooly cashmere-like undercoat which is used for making undergarments. It has a confident and stable demeanor, which makes it an ideal family companion though it is leery and suspicious of strangers. Read through the following lines to know more about the East European Shepherd dog.
East European Shepherds are believed to have originated in 1930 from the cross breeding of other dogs such as German Shepherds, Molosses, local northern breeds, and other breeds. As these dogs could withstand the harsh climate of Russia, they were created to assist the army in various tasks. The first breed created was found in the region of Byelorussia and came to be known as Byelorussian Ovcharka. Several types of this breed were developed by 1941. Eventually, the dog was renamed as East-European Shepherd. In 1964, the first standard of this breed was approved by the Cynologic Council of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
East European Shepherd is an above medium or large-sized canine. A strong and well-developed dog, it has dry, relief muscles. The dog is larger and heavier than its female counterpart. It has a massive and wedge-shaped head proportional to its body. The length of the muzzle equals the skull length. The forehead is slightly rounded in shape. As for the eyes, it has dark, medium oval eyes that are obliquely set with well-colored eyelids. The medium sized ears are pricked and high set. It has straight and strong legs with good angulations. The dog has a medium length coat that is smooth and dense, while the undercoat is well developed. Though the most common coat colors of this dog are brown and black, the canine can also be found in colors of grey and red, black and red, black and tan, solid black, solid liver, and sable. Rare colors like blue (saddle, blanket-back, and solid), silver and solid white are also possible.
A balanced and confident dog, the East European Shepherd is very loyal to its owners. It is a working dog and is always keen to do some kind of job. Playful yet intelligent, the canine makes a great watchdog and guard dog. Although it is social and mild-mannered, the dog does not make a great pet for kids at home, since its playful tendency can be dangerous for them. When exercised sufficiently, this dog can do well in an apartment. It is well adapted to living outdoors even in cold climates. Since it is a working breed, it requires extensive exercising. The dog can accompany its owners on daily, brisk, long walks or jogs.
There are no health concerns or issues associated with the East European Shepherd dog, as it is considered as a healthy breed. However, some dogs are susceptible to getting afflicted with hip dysplasia and skin allergies.
East European Shepherds are heavy shedders and thus, should be brushed daily. The dog should be bathed once a week to keep the coat clean and healthy, as frequent bathing can remove the natural oils that moisturize the coat and skin. Since the shedding becomes uncontrollable in summers, the dog should be professionally groomed during this time.