August 24, 2014

Russian German Shepherd

russian_shepherdThe East-European Shepherd, often called the Russian German shepherd, is a Soviet dog variation of the German Shepherd. This Russian dog breed is larger and heavier built than its German ancestor. It has a powerful and muscular frame, a massive head with dark, oval shaped eyes, and long, vertical ears. Its medium length double coat is more dense to allow this Russian dog withstand cold winters. The usual coat colors are black, black and tan, black and red, brown, gray and red, sable, sometimes with a dark facial mask.

With its Russian name Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka (sheep dog in Russian), the East-European Shepherd remains one of the most popular watch and guard dogs in its native country. Outside Russia it is still not widely recognized and considered to be a rare dog breed.

The East-European Shepherd originated in 1920s-1930s as the result of crossbreeding German Shepherds with such Russian dog breeds as Caucasian dog, Central Asian dog and Laikas. The Soviet military, impressed by the German Shepherd’s working abilities, wanted to create a similar Russian dog more suited for the climate, with stronger body and bite. The development of this Russian German shepherd started in the Byelorussian region, and the breed was initially called the Byelorussian Owtcharka.

After the WWII the careful and systematic breeding was resumed, resulting in a new Soviet dog breed, the East European Shepherd, distinctly different from the German Shepherd. Its first standard was approved in 1964, while the new Russian dog became the main military and the KGB service breed.

The East European Shepherd is probably the most intelligent of the Russian guard dogs (Caucasian dog, Central Asian dog, Russian Sheepdog, Russian Terrier, and Moscow dog). It has not only an honorable protective instinct but also a very well-balanced character. This Russian German shepherd is resistant and aggressive to strangers as well as fiercely loyal and affectionate to its family. It is very devoted and will protect its master at all costs.

When on guarding duty, the East European Shepherd usually keeps silence, which makes it a perfect watch dog. It is very trainable and obedient, making this breed a favorite of many professional dog trainers.


This Russian dog doesn’t have major health concerns though it may suffer from hip dysplasia and other common large dogs’ issues. Its life span is 10-14 years.

Owning the East European Shepherd doesn’t create big problems for an experienced owner. Anyway, this Russian guard dog should be socialized early and is not recommended to apartment families with very small children. It is rather a very good companion for active people, especially in a rural environment.

East European Shepherd Size:

Height: 24 to 30 inches (males 26-30, females 24-28)

Weight: 66 to 132 pounds (males 77-132, females 66-110)

Breed Names: East European Shepherd,Russian German shepherd, Russian Ovcharka, East European Ovcharka, Byelorussian Ovcharka, Byelorussian Owtcharka, Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka,  Owczarek Wsohodnioeuropejski, East European Ovtcharka, VEO

Find a Russian dog namefor your Russian German shepherd puppy!

Learn some Russian dog commands!

Browse Questions and Answers about Ovcharkas!


  1. Terrance says:

    This is Terrance. I have been searching some sites and came across your post here on this page; have also searched the East European Shepherd link because I’m interested in researching this breed for purchase, however I don’t read Russian and the link in very confusing even when translated. I’m in Alabama. You stated that you’re a breeder?

  2. Oh, I have a dog of this breed :)) His name is Ricky (Fred Voybor), he is very smart, obedient, perfect guard. I want to say that your article is quite correct, but something is wrong, you have written. East European Shepherd was born in Moscow, Red Star in the nursery. This breed is never called “the Belarusian Shepherd.”..

  3. Please check my website for information. Thanks.

  4. I would like the men dog should be an huge system with hefty bone and huge go.colour should be with dark and full of tan.please information me and help so that I don't drop in the incorrect hands.

  5. Hi, I am a breeder of east european shepherd in United States (Miami Florida) I have the male and two female imported from RUSSIA. There pedegree are from champion parents. I am the only breeder in the United States with high quality east european shepherds.

    Please browers thru my website and enjoy the beauty of this breed.

  6. turbold says:

    hi I have a russian shepherd dog he is die in 18 years old he is die in 2006 i buy russian shepherd dog in Ulaan-Ude

  7. Hie…

    I am looking for oversized German SHEPHERD male


    Anybody can help me.

    I am staying in Delhi.

    I am not interested in importing from outside lemme know

    if anybody knows any thing in India.




    This site is dedicated to a marvellous breed of the

    Easter European Shepherd (EES) – is a whole world

    full of joyand kindness, friendship and loyalty.

    We invite you to get acquainted with this world!

    We would be happy to open it up for you as time

    ago we opened it for ourselves. Here you will find

    detailed information about the breed,about its

    peculiarities and differences.You will learn the

    traits of character of the East European Shepherd.

    You can see some photos of the best breed representatives

    and get introduced to our dogs. We hope you will feel

    yourself at ease at our site and you will become

    our frequent visitor.

  9. Rajiv Bhatia says:

    Hello Jelena,

    i am Rajiv,l interested to buy east european shepherd, how can u help me

    my mail id is

  10. william lgardjr says:

    10/25/2010 at 8:15 pm

    could you please tell me if there are any breeders for the russian germenan shepard in the united states i would really like to have one perferebly a male and a female


    I couldn't find one here, so I am going to bring it from Belarus.Let me know if you want one too

  11. Hello admin,

    Can i know the life expentency of East European Shepherd.

    I own this breed, a male.

    I purchased him from a dog breeder from Bangalore, India.

    I love him. He is very friendly, playfull and obedient.

    And best thing about him if someone else offers him meat and I say no then he wont even go close to the meat or trt to eat it.

    and please do send a reply on my email id..



  12. Hi!

    My name is Jelena, I'm a breeder of East European Shepherd dog. My nursery is located in Latvia (Europe).

    In February there was coupling between best representatives in our dog nursery, between true and real samples of the Eastereuropean shepperd species. The puppies are attended in the end of april.

    All my dogs are officially checked for health conditions and have no genetic desieases.

    The puppies will be sold with an FCI pedigree (0 group).

    The East European Shepperd is rather big and massive, and besides being an excellent guard dog, it is also a devoted friend and companion, a thinking dog, easy to train.

    Welcome to our homepage.

    With best regards,


  13. Vishant Yadav says:

    Admin I visited websites you mentioned but did not find what I am looking for (Long coat East-European Shepherd). Thats why I asked you. If you know any please let me know.


    Vishant Yadav

    • Dear Vishant Yadav,

      Long coat East European Shepherds are defective by standarts of the breed, so you would not be able to find a nursery with Long coat EES, I am sure.



  14. Vishant Yadav says:


    I want to import both male and female puppies (obviously from different parents)of Russian German Shepherd. Could you please tell me any good breeder. Looking forward to your reply.


    Vishant Yadav

    New Delhi


  15. hello,

    I am from kerala in India .i have been having dogs for the past 20 years which is to say that i know to take very good care of dogs. i am very impressed with russian german shepherd's size and character.i would like to import a male and a female from two different mothers. i would like the male dog should be an extra large body with heavy bones and massive head.color should be with black and rich in tan.please guide me and help so that i dont fall in the wrong hands. awaiting your response



  16. The only way you'll get one of these dogs is to get it imported – as far as I know. We got ours imported from Europe just a few months ago, and he was worth every dollar we paid for him. Just a note: if you're interested in these dogs getting ready for a high price tag. He's such a beauty though, he has a black and silver agouti colored plush coat. And he's a very- very big boy. He's very intelligent too. He's made such a great companion!

    • Thank you, Nicole. Could you please share your experience in more details and send us a picture of your puppy. We'll be glad to publish it in My dog & Me section for all our readers.

  17. bonjour, je recherche un berger allemand de russie. Je suis de belgique et je ne trouve pas de chien de ce type. pouvez vous m'indiquer ou je pourrai en trouver un? merci

  18. I have one east european shp he is the best dog very smart and big I have a lab and the east shp its just smarter

  19. nice dog

  20. Please send us its picture and story.

  21. i have a dog

    and i don't know what is it

    it is a dog or shepherd dog

    how we know what is it?

    please answer this question

  22. Finding a good East European Shepherd pup in the US is quite a problem. The breed is rare here and not recognized by AKC. I’ve found only one ad: Contact KATE, LOS ANGELES, CA Phone: 323-3501074
    Why not try importing both male and female puppies from Russia or Eastern Europe? It’s quite easy these days.

  23. william lgardjr says:

    could you please tell me if there are any breeders for the russian germenan shepard in the united states i would really like to have one perferebly a male and a female

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