Dog Breed

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

GiantGuard DogConfidence King
Primary image of Caucasian Shepherd Dog dog breed
Full Name
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Alternate Names
Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, and Kaukasische Schaferhund, Russian Mountain Dog, Caucasian Mountain Dog, Russian Bear Dog
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Life Span
10 - 12 years
Weight
100 - 190 pounds
Description

The Caucasian Shepherd dog is a mountain dog that has historically been used to guard livestock but through selective breeding, Caucasians have transitioned from the fields to perform property, estate, and area protection for many generations. Also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, this dog is massive and can weigh in excess of 180 pounds. They are bold, fearless, and devoted to protecting their family and property. They will not hesitate to take on adult wolves and bears to defend their territory.

The Caucasian Shepherd dog would not be a good dog for a first-time owner, as they need much socialization and a consistent training program, or they can become overly protective and aggressive. However, if you are looking for a guard dog, particularly if you have a large land and live in a cold environment, the Caucasian Shepherd can be a good option. They have an incredibly dense coat (much like a Malamute), which can keep them warm under very cold conditions. They are motivated to perform a job that keeps them busy and focused.

Caucasians require secure fencing; they are nomadic and naturally wander off their property. Visual endpoints allow them to understand their territory and where to "stop" guarding. Without proper containment, they will continue past their property to guard neighboring property, even from the owner themselves!  Caucasians have terrible recall because they are such strong, independent thinkers, so they often continue to do whatever they think is best.

Origin
Russia
Georgia
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bred For
protecting properties from trespassers, guarding livestock from large and medium predators such as wolves and coyotes
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog good with children?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is about average in how friendly they are with children. They can be friendly and loving with children, but we recommend that they get early socialization, and are not left alone with children for extended periods.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog friendly with strangers?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not naturally friendly with strangers. Dogs who are timid or defensive with strangers have typically been bred that way, and it is not always a fault.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog friendly with other dogs?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not naturally friendly with other dogs. There are always exceptions, but we would not recommend them for homes with other dogs, or if you intend on going to dog parks.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog like to cuddle?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not a cuddle bug, but it can still appreciate affection. It just has different boundaries with physical affection.
    Playfulness

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog like to play?

    As with all puppies, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog loves to play. But as they grow into adults they become more serious and are more interested in their job. They aren't as playful as other breeds.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog make a good service dog?

    Historically, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog has never been used as a service dog and really would not be a good fit.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog good for first-time owners?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog would not be a good fit for first-time owners. A breed is only good for first-time owners if it is raised for home companionship, and is open to training and pleasing its owner.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Caucasian Shepherd Dog be trained?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog does not have high levels of training potential. There are exceptions, but the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not typically seen in competitions or as a service dog or police dog.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog shed a lot?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog sheds a lot! They may still shed less than a few other breeds, but be prepared for dog hair throughout the home and on your clothes.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog easy to groom?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog need a lot of exercise?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog requires an average amount of exercise. You should be ready to dedicate a couple of short walks or a larger dog park session each day for your Caucasian Shepherd Dog to be happy and fulfilled.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog bark? Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog bark too much?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog barks all the time. They are big talkers, and want to show it! In general, barking and being expressive can be beneficial, such as for guarding property or livestock. But it is important to consider whether heavy barking suites your lifestyle.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog a good guard dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog can serve as an excellent guard dog. It is both physically intimidating and also enjoys having a "job" to protect its family and property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog good at staying alone? Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog independent?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is very independent, and an excellent choice for someone who will not have the time to always be with their dog. This can be beneficial for a working dog on the farm, or even just a family that works the 9-5 and cannot work from home.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog a good apartment dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.
    Size

    How big is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. In the "giant" category!
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Caucasian Shepherd Dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog does not tolerate hot weather very well, and we would not recommend having a Caucasian Shepherd Dog if you live in a very hot weather climate. At the minimum, they would need a home with air conditioning.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Caucasian Shepherd Dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog does very well in cold weather, and loves the snow. They were built for it!
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog try to run away?

    It is natural for the Caucasian Shepherd Dog to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog a healthy dog? The health of a Caucasian Shepherd Dog should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is healthy, but has an average number of health risks that should be taken into consideration.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has some energy and requires daily walks, but overall the Caucasian Shepherd Dog has less energy than average.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog drool?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog drools a decent amount, especially if that irresistible food is nearby.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog have a large prey drive? Does the Caucasian Shepherd Dog like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.
    Athleticism

    Is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog atheltic?

    The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.

Breed Variations

  1. Working
  2. Shepherd / Sheepdog
  3. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a purebred dog that belongs to the Shepherd / Sheepdog sub group, which falls under the larger Working dog breed group.
Working group: Working dogs encompass a wide range of different breeds- but they all were bred to assist people, so they are used to working hard. It is important for them to feel they have a "job" as their roles traditionally have varied from rescuing people to pulling sleds. Because of their large size and intensity, they may be a handful for first time dog owners. On the other side, they can be trained well, so any owner who can exercise and dedicate to training their working dog, will be well rewarded. A common misconception may be that the working dog's jobs are only in physically challenging jobs; actually working dogs can also make excellent service dogs, since they are also kind and attentive to their owners.
Shepherd / Sheepdog sub-group: Shepherd dogs are the super performers of the dog world. For many generations they have served their owners by performing their job of helping in the farm- guarding, protecting, and herding. Shepherds were bred based off intelligence and temperament, and willingness to serve their families. Today they are excellent family dogs, but also excel as military service animals, emotional therapy dogs, and in competitive obedience competitions. They are highly trainable and intelligent, but that does not necessarily mean they are an easy dog or optimal for first time owners. With this potential comes greater responsibility from the owner. They need a firm owner who is willing to stimulate them both physically and mentally from an early age. They need a leader. If they have one, you will be rewarded with one of the friendliest and most intelligent dogs in the World.

Caucasian Shepherd Dogs for sale or adoption

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