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  • Temperament: Fearless, Bold, Kind
  • Height: 23-30 inches
  • Weight: 99-170 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Caucasian Shepherd Dog in a field

About the Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd dogs were used for centuries to protect properties from trespassers, guard livestock from large and small predators such as wolves and coyotes, and for many other duties. In modern days, especially in the West, they’re most commonly companions and watchdogs. There is a great variety of types among the Caucasian dogs depending on their home region. For almost a century, there has been two breed types and standards: The Mountain type, which is long-coated and has a heavier body mass than the Steppe type, a shorter-coated dog with a lighter body mass. Other names for the breed include Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, and Kaukasische Schaferhund.

 

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Find a Puppy: Caucasian Shepherd Dog

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Care

NUTRITION

You are going to want to feed your Caucasian Shepherd Dog a formula that will cater to his unique digestive needs throughout the various phases of his life. You should continue the food your breeder recommends until your puppy is at least 6 months old (unless there is a compelling reason to change). Reputable breeders will help you ensure that your puppy receives proper nutrition with quality foods that help him/her grow in a healthy way. When it’s time to change, many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. Caucasian Shepherds are a large-extra-large breed. A good general rule is to avoid kibbles with low-quality ingredients, as these are not digestible.

What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Caucasian Shepherd has a variety of coat types, from very long to short. Longer-coated dogs need to be groomed daily. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
2-3 Times a Week Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

Caucasian Shepherds do best with a large yard and are suitable for families that like daily walks. For safety, because they are an intelligent and independent breed, they should be kept contained when exercised, such as in a fenced yard and on-leash when being walked. Even though it is a low energy dog, he should have good endurance for walking and hiking. Some breeders encourage endurance tests.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Calm

TRAINING

Extremely independent and intelligent, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog can prove difficult to train for obedience but not impossible. Although active while outdoors, they are usually fairly quiet in the house. Prospective owners should take note: the breed is highly protective of their family and property, so it may be difficult to bring people into your home.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Aloof/Wary

HEALTH

Like all breeds there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these issues in their lives, but the majority of Caucasian Ovcharkas are healthy dogs.

Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Caucasian Ovcharka can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dog

History

The Kavkaz (Caucasus) mountain range of Eastern Europe – so many nations with different cultures calling it their home through the centuries. The territories of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Daghestan, Osettia, Turkey, Chechnia, Ingushetia and Iran, the Caucasus mountains are also home to the Caucasian Ovcharka or Caucasian Shepherd Dog. Although its first official Western Show-Ring appearance was in the 1930s in Germany, the Caucasian Shepherd has existed since ancient times and was introduced to the bloodlines of many of today’s world breeds throughout history. Many researches show the Caucasian dog as being a close relative of the sheepdogs of the Balkans and mastiffs of Asia.

Historically, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs were used for the guarding and safe-keeping of herds, flocks and dwellings from predators. The first mention of a large molossoid dog used by the army of Armenian Tsar Tigran the II dates from the first century BC. Selection work with the breed started in the USSR in the 1920s. Obligatory qualities such as physical power, self-confidence, fearlessness, sharply developed hearing, good sight, and a dense and waterproof coat have been cultivated in the process of selection. All these qualities, as well as endurance, allows people to use Caucasian Shepherd Dogs in all kinds of climatic conditions, including the most severe ones.

Did You Know?

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has been assigned the Working Group designation.
The Caucasian Ovcharka has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1996.
Pronunciation for Ovcharka is "uhf-char-ka."
The Caucasian Ovcharka has been eligible to compete in Companion Events since January 1, 2008.
The ears of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog are traditionally cropped, although some modern dogs are unaltered.