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Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Characteristics, History, and Health

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

The Caucasian Ovcharka, also known as the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, has an ancient lineage that dates back at least 2,000 years. This breed hails from the Caucasus Mountain regions, including countries like Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. The exact history of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is not well-documented, but it is believed to have originated from ancient Molossian dogs that were brought to the Caucasus region by Greek and Roman armies. Over time, the breed developed into several distinct regional types, each with their own unique characteristics. Historically, the Caucasian Ovcharka was used to protect livestock from large predators such as wolves and bears. The breed's endurance, strength, and fearless nature were perfectly suited to the harsh, mountainous environment of its homeland.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, Kaukasische Schaferhund
Life Expectancy
10-12 years
Average Male Height
23-30 inches
Average Female Height
23-30 inches
Average Male Weight
99-170 pounds
Average Female Weight
99-170 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Agouti & White, Black & Gray, Cream, Fawn, Gray, Grizzle, Red, Rust, Sable, White
Coat Pattern
White Markings, Piebald, Brindle Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog, also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, is a generally healthy breed. However, as for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended. They can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, hyperuricosuria, heart conditions, eye conditions such as progressive rod-cone degeneration, and patellar luxation.

Personality and Behavior

Caucasian Ovcharkas are known for their bravery, loyalty, and protective nature. These dogs have a strong instinct to defend their families and territories, making them excellent guard dogs. However, due to their protective instincts, they can be wary of strangers and require early socialization and consistent training to ensure they're well-behaved around new people and pets.

Despite their formidable size and guarding tendencies, Caucasian Ovcharkas can be gentle and affectionate with their families. They are known to be good with children in their own families, but their interaction with unfamiliar kids should be supervised due to the breed's protective nature.

The Caucasian Ovcharka is a powerful, brave, and loyal breed. It has a long history and is respected for its working abilities. However, owning one requires understanding the breed's specific needs and commitment to early socialization and consistent training.

Fun Facts

Traditionally this breed's ears are cropped, yet many of the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs of today are not altered and therefore do not display this feature.

According to the AKC, research shows that the Causcasian Shepherd Dog is a close relative of other sheepdogs in the Balkans and the mastiffs of Asia.

Ovcharka is pronounced as "uhf-char-ka".