The Caucasian Shepherd, also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, is a large livestock guardian dog that hails from the Caucasus region.
This breed is native to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan, and Ukraine.
Though they are not considered working dogs, they are popular pets for owners. While their origins are unknown, they have numerous uses and are used as therapy dogs in many areas.
Despite their powerful guardian nature, the Caucasian Shepherd is a loving and loyal family pet. The breed is named after the mountainous region of the Caucasus, which is home to the oldest living Molosser dog breed.
Aside from being a wonderful family pet, the Caucasian Shepherd can be an excellent watchdog. Here are some of the common traits of this breed.
The Caucasian Shepherd is an excellent companion.
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They are friendly but can be aggressive towards new people and animals.
But they are loyal and loving dogs that will make great guard dogs. You can find a Caucasian Shepherd for adoption from your local shelter.
You can also search online for puppies or rescue dogs in your area. A typical Caucasian Shepherd can live up to 12 years if you provide the right environment for it.
A Caucasian Shepherd is a great companion for an active family. Although they are not the gentle giants some people imagine, they are extremely devoted to their families and children.
A Caucasian Shepherd is a very intelligent breed with strong wills. It is known to be stubborn and aggressive when threatened.
They are best suited for homes with children but are not recommended for apartments or families with small children.
Let’s find out a bit more about them
History & Temperament
These security dogs were developed in the Dagestan region, located in the north Caucus mountain ranges between the Black and Caspian Sea.
The hard temperature and terrain of this location transformed the Tibetan dog into the Caucasian Shepard dog we know today. They transformed into a strong type with exceptional endurance, capable of working long hard days.
The high elevation led their chest to enlarge to allow for higher intakes of oxygen, giving them the iconic huge barrel chest.
Big Dogs Need Big Harnesses!
They have thick, protective fur to protect them from severe cold, and short, muscular legs that can propel them up to harsh slopes.
Caucasian Shepherds also display somewhat longer canine incisors which is evidence of their old heritage.
The protection dogs were utilized by shepherds in this region for approximately 600 years. They were trained to protect their family (including humans, livestock, and other canines) from threats at any cost. They have been known to take down humans, wolves, and even bears if necessary to give protection.
This historical training has given them an instinctive fear of outsiders.
They will attack anyone on their turf who does not belong. These guard dogs spent numerous days in only the companionship of their shepherd.
They are inclined to have a naturally strong attachment and affinity to one person who they perceive as their leader.
This training makes them very serious personal defense dogs.
They will thoughtlessly stake their lives to protect their boss. This also brings in the requirement for sociability training.
An untrained Caucasian Shepherd might be a hazard to close friends the dog has not yet been exposed to.
A strong hand and the presence of the dog’s leader are essential to secure the safety of guests until the dog has accepted them into the pack.
During the chunks of time spent herding sheep, shepherds and their dogs would walk for miles guiding the flock from one grazing spot to another.
These long travels have minimal sustenance, which allowed the Caucasian Shephard to adapt to extended workdays with few resources.
They can travel long miles without tiring on little food and drink.
They also naturally take advantage of the downtime by resting to recoup and preparing for the upcoming expedition. They are normally a slow and steady breed. They do not rush or get excited unless some type of action is expected of them.
This breed would suit admirably for any long-distance solo hikers seeking company and security on the trip.
Caucasian shepherds are known to suffer from a variety of ailments.
However, while the Caucasian is a generally healthy breed, he does suffer from a number of health concerns that should be taken into consideration, especially if you are not picky about where you purchase your dog.
Hip dysplasia and cataracts are two examples of such conditions.
Several genetic health concerns, including dysplasia, are associated with some breeds because of poor breeding techniques.
Not every dog of that breed will be affected by those diseases; rather, they will be at a higher risk as a result of the breed’s genetic makeup.
An issue for your Ovcharka may be stiffness in his elbow or hip joints, which will get more severe as he grows older. You may notice that he becomes lame in his legs or that he has difficulty getting up from a lying-down position as time passes.
To decrease discomfort and agony associated with arthritis, it is important to treat it as soon as possible.
If you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to research whether hereditary disorders are frequent among the breeds you’re considering.
Whether your possible pup’s parents or other relatives are in poor physical health, you may want to see if your local shelter or rescue has information about them.
How Much Do They Cost?
These are not cheap dogs to buy or feed. Typically, you would be looking at anywhere from $1000 to over $3000 for a pedigree Caucasian and maybe even more.
Always do your due diligence and check out the breeder article above so you know you are getting a quality and healthy dog.
These are big dogs and big dogs can be incredibly lazy.
Even though they enjoy lounging about and will attempt to be your 170-pound lap dog when you are at home, a Caucasian shepherd requires a moderate amount of daily exercise to maintain their health.
This should include taking nice, lengthy walks and playing in a fenced-in backyard.
Is a Caucasian Shepherd a good family dog?
Considering a Caucasian Shepherd as a family dog?
The Caucasian shepherd is a highly protective dog. It is known for being alert, protective, and works in mountainous regions.
They do not have a lot of socialization needs and do well with children. They need plenty of exercise and playtime each day. If you plan to have a large family and lots of visitors, a Caucasian shepherd puppy may not be the best choice for you.
Although Caucasian Shepherd dogs are generally friendly to other dogs, they can be very aggressive toward new people and animals.
This makes them an ideal choice for families looking for a loyal and loving dog. Despite these qualities, this breed is not suitable for all households.
If you are looking for a loyal and loving companion, a Caucasian Shepherd is a great choice for you.
A Caucasian Shepherd dog is a low-energy dog. They are large dogs that can be strong guard dogs.
They are best suited for families with small children and do not like being around strangers.
They make excellent watchdogs, therapy dogs, and family dogs.
They reward a patient and consistent trainer, but they do need room to move around and play.
A Caucasian Shepherd’s personality is soft, calm, and gentle.