The Caucasian Shepherd dog is a bold, fearless, and kind dog. They are considered a giant breed and a more serious Shepherd than most others. They take their guarding responsibilities very seriously and rarely tolerate strangers. Yet Caucasian Shepherds are still loving, gentle dogs. They devote themselves to not only their owner but also other family pets.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Quick Stats:
- Breed Popularity: Fair
- Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
- Group: Working
- Height: Male 27″ – 30″ Female 25″ – 28″
- Weight: Male 110 – 220 lbs Female 100 – 180 lbs
- Temperament: Bold, Fearless, Kind
History of The Caucasian Shepherd Dog:
The Caucasian Ovcharka or Caucasian Shepherd Dog resides in the Caucasus Mountains.
The Kavkaz (Caucasus) Mountains include territories like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnia, Daghestan, Georgia, Ingushetia, Iran, Kabardino-Balkaria, Osettia, and Turkey.
Even though the breeds first appearance occurred in the 1930’s Western Show Ring in Germany, the Caucasian Shepherd has been around since ancient times and has a much bigger back story. History reveals that the breed is closely related to sheepdogs of the Balkans and Mastiffs located in Asia.
When the Caucasian Shepherd was originally bred it was to be used for guarding the herds and flocks from predators. The first time an immense molossoid canine like the Caucasian Shepherd was spoken of was by the army of Armenian Tsar Tigran the II. This dates all the way back to the first century BC.
1920’s USSR is when and where the breed’s selective breeding started. Mandatory qualities included physical power, fearlessness, sharp hearing, self confidence, good sight, and a dense waterproof coat were all added to the selection. These features make this breed great in all weather conditions.
Caucasian Dog Breed Standards:
The Caucasian Shepherd is a big stocky dog with a water proof coat and huge paws. They are very weather durable and have large sturdy paws. This dog is ready for whatever’s thrown at them.
The head overall is massive like the rest of the body. It has a broad base and cheekbones supporting it. The skull is large and the forehead of it is fairly flat, with a marked, yet not deep furrow. The ridges of the Superciliary are well developed but not bulging out in any way.
The dog’s stop is noticeable, but shouldn’t be too clearly marked. The nose of the dog is large and solid, spotted, or piebald black, with very good opened nostrils. Yet it should not proceed the muzzles outline.
As for the muzzle its wide and deep. Steadily tapering towards the nose, equipped with strong jaws and chin. The bridge of the nose is broad. The upper lines of the skull and muzzle run parallel.
The lips of the dog are thick, close fitting, and well pigmented. The dog should have healthy, white, strong teeth within the jaws. They should be either sitting in a complete scissors or pincer bite. Cheeks should have strong muscles and be well developed.
The ears of the dog are thick, triangular shaped, and a moderate size. They are both high and widely set. The inner lining of both ears are set close to the cheeks. Both are in equal value to one another. The last thing to cover are the eyes. The breed has oval shaped, wide, parallel, not too deep, moderately sized eyes.
The full body is well developed, muscled, and balanced in all dimensions. The breed holds a strong, low set, median length neck. The cross section should be round, and the crest should especially be pronounced in males. Withers are fairly long and well pronounced. The withers height lightly exceeds the height over the rump.
The back is large, sturdy, and straight. As for the loins of the dog they are short, fairly arched, and broad. The croup is somewhat long, deep, rounded, and hardly to the root of the tail. The chest of the dog should be long, large, and well sprung ribs. Ribs should not be long.
In the frontal part it’s deep, in the cross section it’s broad and oval. The fore chest of the dog is marked. The tail is set at a high curve. It should hang down enough to reach the hocks. Underline slightly tucks up by the rear.
Forequarters are well muscled like the rest of the dog’s body. The shoulders are broad and moderately long. The shoulder blade should be set close to the chest. The breed’s upper arms are close fitting and firm. Elbows should be parallel and set back, not turning in or out.
Forearms are parallel when seen at any angle and long and large. Rounding in the cross section. The pastern is short and very large, when viewed from the front and seems almost straight. Forefeet are rounded, well arched and knitted. They are large in size.
Set not too far back are the parallel hindquarters of the dog. The thighs are well developed, broad, and fairly long. The dog’s knees should be abundantly well angled. The lower thighs are very similar to the thighs. They are also well developed and muscled along with being broad, and fairly long.
The hock joint of the dog is large and angular, abundantly well bent. They should also be sturdy and not be pointing in or out. Now the rear pastern, it is moderately short, large, and almost straight when viewed from the front and side. The hind feet are large, well arched and knitted, and rounded like the forefeet.
Caring For A Caucasian Shepherd Dog:
The Caucasian shepherd is one of the very few low energy shepherd dogs. They are huge in size and require a big fenced in yard, along with at least one walk a day. You of course still need to give them a good bit of exercise a day to keep them healthy and happy.
Due to this breed’s temperament overall and their independence it’s safe to keep them contained wherever they are exercising. If they are playing in your backyard, have it fenced, and when going on walks keep a tight grip on their leash.
Also Caucasians are definitely not for you if you plan on adopting one while living in an apartment. The only reason to this is their giant size.
Caucasian Shepherds have wide varieties of coats. They can range from short to long. It depends on the dog, and how the owner grooms then. For long haired Caucasians you want to keep their hair brushed daily. As for shorter lengths you can spread it out through the week or month depending on the length.
Their nails grow fast. You need to keep them trimmed back. If they are too long it can cause discomfort. Make sure, if cutting them yourself, you stay away from the nail bed. Check their ears regularly to avoid any infections. Their teeth should be brushed regularly too with dog safe toothpaste and toothbrush.
Every dog breed has some sort of health conditions, whether they are common ones or more rare ones that the breed is more prone to. As for the Caucasian Shepherd, they are relatively healthy dogs yet do have some health problems the breed is specifically prone to. These include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Heart Problems
Make sure to take your dog to yearly checkups and visit the vet if you see any signs of health problems or a sickness. Some signs to take them to vet to get a checkup are vomiting, diarrhea, runny eyes or nose, red or swollen gums, difficulty urinating, excessive thirst or urination, repeated gagging, sneezing, or coughing, major change in personality, appetite, or sleep. If anything else unusual comes up then contact a vet.
Caucasian Shepherds are large-extra-large dogs meaning they need to be fed larger amounts of food than most breeds. The average cups a day depends on the dogs weight. If your Caucasian is 100 lbs then you start by feeding them 4 1/4 cups a day. For every 10 lbs over 100 lbs you add 1/4 cup.
For this breed I would recommend staying away from kibbles with low-quality ingredients, as they are harder for your Caucasian to digest. Clean fresh water should always be available to your dog.
The Caucasian may be a very intelligent dog, yet they are also highly independent, making it difficult to train them. Keep trying and stay consistent and you’ll get there. Be patient and try not to get too frustrated with them. That will just make it worse.
Remember that the Caucasian Shepherd is very protective and wary of strangers so don’t expect them to be very welcoming to a new person entering your home.
Are Caucasian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
Even though Caucasian Shepherds can be aggressive towards people, they can make great family dogs if you begin socializing them at a young age. Caucasian Shepherds are loyal and loving family dogs. They are perfect guard dogs if you’re looking for a dog that can protect your family under any circumstances. They will surely scare away any intruders.
The breed is usually not so good around other dogs. If you do have any other dogs just practice socializing them at a young age. Make it consistent so they don’t show any aggression when older. As for when they are around kids be careful and always have them in view.
Due to herding instinct they can be pushy towards little children, and if they see any rough playing they may see this as a threat to a family member of theirs. If they will be near any new children make sure you have a proper, slow, introduction so the dog knows they can trust the new kid.
Overall, to avoid any injures I would recommend this dog breed best in a home with no children or at least older children, and no pets, unless they grew up with them.
How Much Does A Caucasian Shepherd Dog Cost?
The average price for a Caucasian Shepherd puppy is $1500 – $2000. The best chance of getting one of these puppies is from a local breeder. This breed is fairly rare and can most likely not be found at a shelter.
10 Interesting Facts About Caucasian Shepherd Dogs:
- The Caucasian Shepherd is also called the Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, and Kaukasische Schaferhund.
- One of the few Giant Shepherd dog breeds.
- Ear cropping this breed is common.
- They are Molossers. These are mountain dogs that are large, muscular, and heavy coated.
- There are two types of Caucasian Shepherds. The Mountain type, the ones with longer coats, and larger bodies. Then there’s the Steppe type, the opposite, with a shorter coat length and a lighter body weight.
- Caucasian Shepherds are strong and so determined that they can sometimes win fights against bears, wolves, and even lions!
- USSR used the Caucasian shepherd to guard the prisoners and keep dogs in army kennels so they could create new breeds for the military.
- The Caucasian is one of the most ancient Molossers. They even have found traces of the breed all the way back from Mesopotamia.
- Females of this breed can only give birth once a year.
- Caucasian Shepherds were used by East Germany to help guard the Berlin wall. When they wall came down, the dogs were given to families to live out the rest of their days.
Even though the Caucasian can be an aggressive dog, they are also laid-back and loyal. This dog could be a great addition to your family. If it’s just you living by yourself, look into getting this breed. They can not only protect you but be your new best friend!
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