Typical of the large, livestock guarding breeds.
The History Of The Caucasian Owtcharka
The Caucasian Owtcharka is also known as the Kavkazskaja Ovtjarka and the Caucasian Mountain Dog. They originated in Russia during the 18th Century.
This large, aggressive, stock-guarding dog originated in the Armenian and Azerbaijani Republics and in the Steppe region of the Caucasus Mountains. These dogs were employed for herding, guarding and some reports say dog fighting.
They were left on their own to defend stock from wolves and thief’s. More recently they have been used to secure prisoners in the gulags. They have proven to be excellent military guard dogs.
Description Of The Caucasian Owtcharka
They carry a long unaltered tail which is carried low and is heavily plumed. Ears are cropped short and appear torn rather than cut.
They have medium deep-set, dark eyes with ears thicky covered with hair for insulation. The hips are slightly raised from the line of the back. The tail is densely coated with a long feathering of heavy hair. Forelimbs are long, straight, and densely boned. The paws are large and heavy and with hair between the toes, to provide insulation and protection. The nose is black and prominent with large, open nostrils.
The thick water resistant coat is very effective at keeping out the cold. Coat can be long or semi-long depending from which region the dog originates. The heavy coat helps the dog adapt to extremes of temperature. All colors are allowed but the most commonly seen are fawn, pale red, and shaded gray. Puppy coats are finer.
Average height at the shoulder for dogs averages 24 - 33 inches and weigh in at 110-160 pounds with bitches somewhat shorter and lighter
Coat & Grooming
The dogs are subject to heavy shedding. The coat of the long haired variety requires frequent brushing. Pay special attention to the areas where tangles occur. The short haired coats require less grooming.
The Caucasian Ovtcharka's original purpose was protection livestock. They are typically assertive, strong willed, and brave. Unless properly socialized and trained, they may exhibit unmanageable and ferocious behavior.
They are brave, alert, strong and hardy. They distrusts people they do not know and has a powerful instinct to protect. Everyone in its family, including children, cats, other dogs will be considered part of the family and will be respected and protected. This dog must not be left alone with children, because play can become very rough.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life expectancy for a Caucasian Owtcharka is around 10 - 11 years.
They are generally robust but are prone to hip dysplasia. Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
This dog is not suitable for apartment life. They need space and need at least a large yard. Because its thick coat protects it so well, it can easily cope with living outdoors given proper shelter.
This breed is best suited to a family with plenty of space surrounding the home where it can take care of its own exercise needs.
For More Information on the Caucasian Owtcharka
To get more information, check out the Caucasian Owtcharka website:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
Owtcharka means sheepdog in Russian and pronounced of-charka.
These are difficult dogs to find. Obedience training is essential. This is a country dog and does not do well in confined spaces. It is also too aggressive for suburban areas and not recommended for the first time dog owner.
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