Species group: Unrecognized and Rare Breed dogs
Other name(s): Caucasian Sheepdog; Caucasian Ovcharka Guardian Dog; Caucasian Shepherd's Dog; Kavkaskaya Ovcharka;
The Caucasian Ovcharka is a large, powerful livestock guarding dog native to the mountain regions of the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani Republics, as well as the steppe regions of the northern Caucasus. For centuries, it has lived in a semi-wild state functioning as a watchdog, a herding dog, and sometimes as a fighting dog, while surviving the fierce climate and terrain. They are popular in the nations of the former Soviet Union for their hardiness, strength, and ability to withstand any climate. Indeed, they have been known to fight wolves and coyotes.
As a result, this breed has been developed into a tough, independent-minded dog that demands an experienced owner who knows how to provide consistent training and socialization. If you are fragile or easily intimidated by a large dog, this is not the right choice for you. The ideal owner is a confident trainer with deep insight into dog psychology, coupled with the time and desire to train the pet to do something worthwhile.
The American Kennel Club registers Caucasian Ovtcharkas as part of the Foundation Stock Service-- the first step on the path to official recognition for the breed in the US. It has already been assigned to the working group.
Appearance / health:
The Caucasian Ovcharka's head is massive, wedge-shaped, and tapers slightly to a blunt muzzle with high-set hanging ears. The slightly almond-shaped eyes are set deep. The skull is wide with well developed pronounced cheek bones. The forehead is wide and flat. The bone structure is massive with well-developed muscles. The thick tail hangs down but may be carried above the back as a sickle-shaped hook or ring when the dog is excited or moving.
They shed heavily once a year. Regular brushing and combing removes dead hair. The coat of the longhaired variety requires frequent brushings, paying special attention to the spots where tangles may occur. The shorthaired variety needs less grooming, but should still be combed and brushed.
They require moderate amounts of exercise. Short sprints of 15-20 minutes are necessary to keep them happy. Dogs may accompany their masters on a bike ride as they run along. Walking is a good form of exercise, but with large breeds, it may not be sufficient.
Caucasians are a relatively healthy breed. However, as with all large dogs, they can be afflicted with hip dysplasia, a condition marked by abnormal hip formation that can cause lameness.
Behavior / temperament:
The Caucasian Ovtcharka's original purpose was to protect livestock and hence they protect their family as "flock." They are very catlike. Caucasians are serious dogs and are not usually very playful though some of them can be. They virtually fear nothing though they are not aggressive. They are not attack dogs but their protective instincts are strong. They do not trust strangers and dislike unfamiliar situations. They love snow.
Early socialization and obedience class are necessary to help Caucasians adapt to different people and situations. Training needs to be consistent, firm, and patient. Harsh training methods may not work for a Caucasian.
They are not very noisy though they may bark at anything they think is suspicious.
gentle giant, best guard dogs, alert protector, tough dog, working dog, livestock guardian dog
natural aggression, aggressive dog, strong defense drive
great primative breed, huge powerful dog, rare breeds, strong fence, guys worst nightmare
"As I was growing up, our family dog was growing up with me. When we first got Woland, he was two months old and about the same size as a St Bernard puppy. Within the first year of living with us, he ate two sofas, one armchair and chewed up all four legs of a wooden dinner table. We only lived in a small apartment back then, and by the time Woland was three, he was as tall as a five-year-old me (1.20 meters) and could barely fit on the sofa. A Caucasian Ovcharka is NOT a dog you should keep in a two-bedroom apartment – he needs a yard. <br><br>Woland was not the sort of dog who’d approach you for affection – the most you’d get out of him is a paw high-five if you have a treat. And a treat can be anything – Woland ate absolutely everything. He was not a fussy eater, although he was very fond of meat and my sister’s baby food. In fact, he did actually eat my homework once! A Caucasian Ovcharka eats a lot, but he would take whatever you give her. He also demands to be walked at least twice a day and brushed with a metal brush at least once a week – Woland shedded A LOT. The neighbours often compared him to a bear and he was fluffy and ferocious enough to pass as one. They may have been a little wary of him, but our neighbourhood hasn’t had any burglaries for the ten years Woland’s been with us. He barked loudly, hated strangers and growled at anyone he didn’t like. We really didn’t have any need for an alarm system. <br><br>I’d recommend a Caucasian Ovcharka if you have a lot of space in the house, don’t understand the point of fancy dog foods, and have no desire to spend a lot of money on the state-of-the-art security system – these dogs are better than any alarm codes!."
From katesorenson Jul 13 2015 2:24PM
" The Ovacharka is a livestock guardian dog. The dog was used by the Soviets as a police and guard dog. This was the dog of choice at the Berlin Wall and Soviet factories and installations. For a reason: it's not only uttely fearless, has been bred for centuries to fight both human and animal predators, but can reach 180-200 pounds in weight and has the most astonishing appearance. But this use of the dog does not mean it is either vicious or uncontrollable. It simply is a dog that cherishes its job, which is to guard and to protect what it deems to be his territory. Usually a better fit for a rural type setting, the Ovcharka can be HUGE! They do tend to shed. They can be low key, until a situation arises, and then they can EXPLODE! Not a dog for a novice....but a GREAT choice for the right situation. ."
From Thelawdog May 12 2012 6:31AM