Caucasian Shepherd Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament

The Caucasian Shepherd dog is a large livestock guardian dog breed from the Caucasus Mountains. It is also known by some other names such as Nagazi, Caucasian Mountain Dog and Caucasian Ovcharka. It is commonly bred in the mountainous regions of Transcaucasia, especially in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The Caucasian Shepherd is one of the oldest, most ancient Molasser breeds, and the origin of these gigantic, protective dogs is a bit of a mystery. They hail from the Caucasus Mountain region and have been around for more than 2,000 years.

Some poeple believe that they came from wolves that were domesticated. While others believe their ancestry includes Mastiffs and other breeds. And many experts claim that the Caucasian Shepherd dog is descended from sheepdogs that migrated from Tibet. But some modern archaeological evidence suggests the breed dates back to Mesopotamia.

Whereever they originally came from, the Caucasian Shepherd dogs made invaluable companions to the shepherds of the Caucasus region for centuries.

They fiercely guarded flocks of sheep and their owners from dangerous wildlife such as wolves, bears and jackals.

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a fully standardized breed, recognized by major kennel organizations, including the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and the United Kennel Club. The Caucasian Ovcharka Working Dog Club of America is seeking full recognition from the American Kennel Club.[1]

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Characteristics

The Caucasian Shepherd dog is a large breed with very beautiful appearance. It is strongly boned, muscular, handsome and even-tempered molossoid dog.

Plain dogs have a shorter coat and appear taller as they are less strongly built. Alpine types have a heavier coat and are more muscular. They appear in any solid colour, piebald or spotted colour, except liver, blue, and solid black.

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Average body height of the mature dogs is between 27 and 30 inches at the withers for males, and between 25 and 28 inches for the females. Average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 50 and 80 kg for males, and between 40 and 70 kg for the females.

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Temperament

The Caucasian Shepherd dogs are extremely independent, self-confident, fearless and intelligent. They are highly protective terr itorial dogs which are wary of unfamiliar people.

It is a low-activity dog, seemingly lethargic when not working, but noisy and intimidating when it feels its family is threatened.

Although certain strains are more vicious than others, they are often very territorial and aggressive towards other dogs, needing early and careful broad socialization, as well as consistent, but never forceful, handling. This breed can be a good family-dog, if it is well-trained and socialized.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Caucasian Shepherd dog is between 10 and 12 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Caucasian Shepherd dogs are large in size and are moderately active. So, their diet should be formulated for a large sized breed with average exercise needs. You can also consult with a vet in your area for better feeding recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animal is very important for raising Caucasian Shepherd dogs. The main form of care is they need is weight control through appropriate diet and exercise.

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They also need their teeth brushed two or three times a week, or cleaned professionally as recommended by your vet.

Check their ears for signs of debris or wax build up at least once a week, and clean as needed. Failure to do so may result in ear infections. Their nails also should be clipped as needed for preventing breaking and injury.

Health

The Caucasian Shepherd dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problem includes hip dysplasia, obesity and occasional heart disorders. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameCaucasian Shepherd
Other NamesAlso known as Nagazi, Caucasian Mountain Dog and Caucasian Ovcharka
Breed SizeLarge
HeightBetween 27 and 30 inches at the withers for males, and between 25 and 28 inches for the females
WeightBetween 50 and 80 kg for males, and between 40 and 70 kg for the females
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorAny solid colour, piebald or spotted colour, except liver, blue, and solid black
LifespanBetween 10 and 12 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginRussia