The breed that we are going to talk about today is huge, powerful, and courageous. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is an excellent defender, may it be your home, your family members, or your flocks.
There are many names for this breed, including Caucasian Mountain Dogs, Russian Bear Dogs, Baskhan Pariy, Caucasian Ovcharka Dogs, or simply CO.
You can switch to the video version of our article and skip the long read:
Considered as one of the earliest Molasser breeds, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog originated from the Caucasus Mountain, existing for more than 2,000 years. However, the complete story of how they were developed is a bit sketchy.
Some say they came from domesticated wolves, while others believe that they were created using sheepdogs from Tibet. Some also claim that they are descendants of Mastiffs, but there is evidence which proves that Caucasian Shepherds date back to Mesopotamia.
Regardless of their origin, one thing is for sure – the Caucasian Shepherds successfully performed their responsibilities as herding dogs. They fearlessly protected flocks of sheep from wild animals, such as wolves and bears.
Since the Caucasus Mountain region is massive, many strains of the breed were developed. Two of the most popular breed standards are the Mountain Type Dog and the Steppe Type Dog. The Mountain Dog has a long coat and is heavier than the Steppe Dog, which has shorter hair and lighter body.
Caucasian Shepherds were used as prison guards by the communist USSR in the 1900s. By the year 1960s, their job was to patrol the border of the Berlin Wall in East Germany.
Today, Caucasian Shepherds are used as companions, watchdogs, and even therapy dogs. Since their aggressiveness and standoffish personality is kept, early socialization and training is essential for this dog.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is double-coated. The outer coat is rough and long, while the under coat is light and soft. Their thick coat keeps them warm even during the coldest weather.
Their coats come in three lengths: long, medium, and short. The shorter the hair, the less notable the mane is around their neck. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, including gray, fawn, red, cream, tan and solid white. Coats may appear in large patches of mixed colors, or may be brindle.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a giant breed. Males stand at 27 to 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 110 to 220 pounds. On the other hand, females stand at 25 to 18 inches at the shoulder, with weight around 100 to 180 pounds. The Mountain Dog is more muscular compared to the other variety.
On average, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog can live between 10 to 14 years. This may vary, however, depending on how well they are maintained and taken care of by their family. To prolong your dog’s life, make sure they get regular visits to the veterinarian and bond with them to keep them happy and lively.
Although they have thick coats, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs only shed quite a bit. However, they shed more heavily once a year. To remove loose hair and prevent tangling, their hair should be brushed at least twice per week.
Because they are massive dogs, bathing can be quite difficult to do. It is recommended to hire a professional groomer to do the task.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is territorial, and won’t surrender to a fight – even if they’re against wild animals such as bears and wolves. Expect them also to be naturally reserved and standoffish towards strangers and other animals. In some cases, this can lead to aggression especially if they’re not trained well.
On the other hand, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs can be very affectionate and patient if given proper training. In fact, some successfully become therapy dogs!
When it comes to their family, they are extremely loyal and devoted. They’re always ready to protect their family, making them excellent guardians and protectors.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is smart, but they can also be strong-willed and independent, making training quite a challenge. That said, they are not for timid and novice owners since they need someone who’s experienced but gentle at the same time.
Most Caucasian Shepherd Dogs have a laidback attitude, although they have a great deal of endurance, making them suitable as a walking and hiking companion.
They are not the most agile and athletic dog out there. Because of this, they can suffer from obesity. Make sure to provide them with plenty of exercise and play sessions.
Caucasian Shepherds are low-energy dogs, therefore they are prone to excessive weight gain. To keep them fit and healthy, an adequate amount of exercise is essential. Since they are strong-willed and a bit territorial, Caucasians should be kept on-leash whenever you take them out. You must also have a securely fenced yard to keep him and the passersby safe from each other.
Although intelligent dogs, training might be a challenge when it comes to Caucasian Shepherds. They’re big and independent, which means they need an experienced trainer who knows how to set boundaries, yet gentle and understanding during training sessions. As with all dogs, positive training strategies must be used when training them. As much as possible, keep the training short, fun, and rewarding.
Good With Family
A well-trained Caucasian Shepherd is an adorable and loyal family pet, even at homes with children. Just make sure that children know how to handle dogs. It is essential that all interaction between them should be supervised.
Also, keep in mind that they are massive dogs, and their herding attitude may take over. You will see a poorly-trained Caucasian trying to “herd” smaller children. To prevent this from happening and help them grow into a well-rounded dog, they must be properly socialized at an early age.
Caucasian Shepherds must be kept indoors with their family in order for them to be great protectors. They do not thrive outside or at the kennels.
Because of their size, Caucasian Shepherds are not suited for apartment living. They need a large space where they can rest their massive bodies.
This breed is not known to be a barker, but will alert it’s owner of possible threat. Their bark is quite loud, and you may want to consider that if you live in an area with noise restrictions.
Nevertheless, a properly socialized and trained Caucasian Shepherd makes excellent watchdogs, protectors, and family companions.
Caucasian Shepherds should not be separated with their family. They thrive when around their people, and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Anxiety comes with development of destructive behaviors, such as barking, chewing, and digging.
In general, Caucasian Shepherds are considered healthy dogs, but they may still suffer from health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and bloat.
However, the most common health issue they may suffer from is obesity. It is recommended to talk with your veterinarian about developing an appropriate diet and exercise routine for your Caucasian.