Caucasian Ovcharka – Russian bear dog

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Russian Caucasian DogThe Caucasian Shepherd, or Caucasian Ovcharka is the most brutal Russian dog breed. It is a large, even-tempered dog with powerful and muscular body, bear-look face, deeply set oval dark eyes, round-shaped cropped ears and low carried long tail. It has a thick and water resistant double coat in shades of gray, brindle, yellow, rust, red or white (click for videos). The coat may be longer or shorter depending on the region the dog comes from.

Russian Bear Dog

The strength and dedication of this Russian dog has made it a popular working, police and guard dog throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union states. They call it Caucasian Shepherd in Europe and Caucasian Mountain Dog in America. In the West it is also known as the Russian Bear Dog. In Russia its usual name is Caucasian Ovcharka that means sheep dog in Russian.

The Caucasian ovcharka is one of the oldest mastiff-type breeds, originating from the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. It was used for centuries to guard flocks, kill wolves, hunt bears and protect properties against trespassers and thieves. Its type differs a little from region to region. The superior Russian Caucasian dog is a hybrid of established Caucasian types and some lines of the Central Asian dog.

Russian Prison Dog

During the communist era this Russian dog guarded prisoners of the Soviet Gulag camps and served as a border patrol dog along the Berlin wall. It was widely used by the Russian army’s kennels to develop new Soviet dog breeds (Russian German shepherd, Moscow dog, Russian Terrier, Russian Newfoundland, etc.). Being a fearless fighting dog, the Caucasian Ovcharka is still employed in some former Soviet republics for dog fighting, alongside with the Central Asian dog. In Europe and America the Caucasian Mountain Dog is now mostly a companion and a watchdog.

Softness and timidity are considered as serious faults for this Russian dog breed. The Caucasian dog is suspicious and aggressive towards any strangers including dog show referees. If not properly trained and socialized this vicious dog may demonstrate fierce and uncontrollable reactions (click for video). On the other hand, this Russian dog can be extremely loyal to its owner and will stand by and defend him to the very end in any situation.

The Caucasian Ovcharka can live as long as 12 years with just a few health risks, though sometimes may suffer from large-dog problems like hip dysplasia and heart conditions. Its heavy shedding coat needs occasional brushing.

Owning a Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Ovcharka fightingOwning a Caucasian Shepherd is not an easy task. This independent and strong-willed dog will obey only a dominating an equally-willed owner whom it respects. Obedience training and early socialization is mandatory for this breed.

Forming a strong protective bond with its owner, the Caucasian Ovcharka would not raise other family members to the same level. It mostly suits active singles, experienced handlers as well as farmers and ranchers.

Caucasian Ovcharka Size:

Height (at the withers):
Males: Desirable height 28 – 29 inches (72-75 cm);
Minimum 26,5 inches (68 cm).
Females: Desirable height 26 – 27 inches (67-70 cm);
Minimum 25 inches (64 cm).
Larger stature is accepted, as long as conformation is harmonic.

Males: Minimum: 110 pounds (50 kg);
Females: Minimum: 99 pounds (45 kg).

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Other great Caucasian Ovcharka gift choices:
Have You Hugged A CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA Today REFLECTIVE License Plate Frame (T)

Metal License Plate Beware of the Caucasian Shepherd

Rubber Case for iPhone 6 Plus Caucasian Shepherd

CafePress My Caucasian Ovcharka Mug – Standard

And much more!

Breed Names:

Caucasian Shepherd, Caucasian Mountain Dog, Russian Mountain dog, Russian bear dog, Caucasian dog, Russian Caucasian dog, Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Mountain Shepherd, Kavkazskaya Ovcharka,  Caucasian Volkodav, Caucasian sheepdog, Caucasian Ovtcharka

Frequently asked questions about Caucasian Ovcharka

What do you think of Caucasian Ovcharka?

Can caucasian sheperd dog kill a wolf?

Why Caucasian ovcharkas have their ears cropped short?

How much would a typical Caucasian mountain dog cost?

How should I be prepared for a caucasian ovcharka?

What are some of your opinions of the breed?

What are some good names for Caucasian shepherds?

Do Caucasian Ovcharka dogs suffer from heat just like huskies do?

What dog food does the Caucasian Mountain Dog need?

View the Caucasian Shepherd Breed Standard

Find a name for your Ovcharka dog in Russian!

Learn some Russian dog commands!

Browse Questions and Answers about Ovcharkas!

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  1. says

    Generally speaking, most rescues do not take these dogs after a certain age as their training must begin in puppyhood. Your best bet would be to contact a Police Dog training center or military training center as they would have the most likely to be successful trainers for this breed.

  2. dani says

    Hi am very interested in getting a puppy how much do they usually cost are they usually good with children? Where would I get one in canada?

  3. Deborah says

    Hello, One of these beautiful creatures was left at a rental house near a friend of mind. He is skinny but you wouldnt know it until you touched him. He is very sweet. I have brought him home and he is in a 4 ft fenced area. I have 4 other dogs with one of them my alpha dog. The Russian Shepard has a fit with the other dogs except my small yorkie/schnauser. It has only been 1 day but I feel bad to keep him closed up and not with the rest. I am giving him 2 weeks to see if I can socialize him with my other dogs. I would like to know if you have a recourse for rescues in the U.S. for this breed.

    • admin says

      We appreciate what you’re doing. Unfortunately, we don’t possess information about special rescues for this kind of dogs. Maybe any rescue will be fine if you can’t keep him.

  4. deb says

    Hi just wondering if anyone knows if there is a breeder in Australia for these dogs. If not where is the best place to import one if allowed and how long does it take thank you.

  5. Caucasian Ovcharka owner says

    Thank you for your explanation.

    I just thought I had to clarify that in my previous message because in former Soviet Union the CAO and the (North) Caucasian Volkodav are unfortunately heavily being used for dog fights.
    Whilst this may sound confusing to people that are not (very) involved with the livestock guardian breeds from the former Soviet Union, the Caucasian Volkodav is a separate breed.
    Not yet recognized though and perhaps they never will get recognized as they resemble the CAO and the short-haired CO too much.
    And a lot of people over there think that’s what they basically are: a mix between the CAO and CO. While others claim they are an ancient breed.

    Caucasian Volkodavs are sometimes referred to as the North-Caucasian Volkodav as well.
    Other than having similar ancestors, they are quite different from the FCI recognized Caucasian Shepherd dog.
    Especially in character.

    So a lot of people think the Caucasian Volkodav (the breed people over there use so often use for dog fighting) and the Caucasian shepherd dog (an FCI recognized guardian breed) are one and the same, but they are not.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • Ashlee says

      What is the best diet for a Caucasian ovcharka dog
      (A) dry with wet dog food
      (B) raw diet dose matter what raw meat you use .

      • admin says

        Dry food is always better because it’s balanced. If you use raw diet you should give your dog vitamins and other additions. Just use a high quality super premium dog food. BTW, Caucasian Ovcharka usually doesn’t eat much.

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