Country of Origin: The Caucasian Ovcharka is an ancient breed that first existed in Caucasia, a land neighboring Turkey and Iran. This breed goes by many names such as the Caucasian Sheepdog, Caucasian Shepherd, Kavkaskaia Ovtcharka, Caucasian Owcharka, Caucasian Mountain Dog, Sage Ghafghazi and Kavkazskia Ovtcharka. The Caucasian Ovcharka's main duty is that of a flock guard, but has also been utilized in wars and most notably, guarding the Berlin Wall prior to its collapse. The Caucasian Ovcharka is an excellent working breed, but has also found popularity as a family companion in recent years. While the Caucasian Ovcharka has been present in the show ring, there is a lack of breed standard, and so it is not uncommon to see varying appearances depending on location.
Size: The Caucasian Ovcharka will typically reach heights of 25-28 inches and an average weight of 99-154 pounds.
Coat: The Caucasian Ovcharka's coat is will come in two different varieties. The short coated Caucasian Ovcharka was more prominent in the plains of Caucasia and so appears a bit tall and light. The long-haired Caucasian Ovcharka was found more frequently in the mountainous areas and is typically lower to the ground and more muscularly built. The coat is typcally thick and dense and is quite weather resistant. The the ears, tail, body and between the toes have a dense, feathered covering to protect from the elements. The common coat colors for the Caucasian Ovcharka are tan, white, pied, gray, fawn and brindle. Brown is a prohibited color according to the FCI.
Character: The Caucasian Ovcharka is a brave, assertive and loyal breed. Their primary duty has always been to guard the flock against predators and harmful humans. Due to this, it is imperative that your Caucasian Ovcharka receive a great deal of socialization from a young age. Otherwise, the dog may develop unwanted characteristics such as ferociousness and could become unmanageable. The Caucasian Ovcharka is not a breed for everyone.
Temperament: Assertive strong-willed and very alert, the Caucasian Ovcharka has a strong instinct to protect. They are excellent guard dogs that will protect not only their flock, but their family, property and even other pets. It is not uncommon for the Caucasian Ovcharka to be a bit dog aggressive. This behavior should be corrected whenever it occurs. While the Caucasian Ovcharka does well with children, it is ill advised to leave it alone with them. This again goes back to the Caucasian Ovcharka's duty to protect, for example, should play become too rough, the dog may feel the need to protect your child against another. They will accept your family friends warmly, but they have no tolerance for strangers and will be very suspicious.
Care: The long-haired variety of the Caucasian Ovcharka will need to be brushed on a regular basis to prevent painful knots or matting. The short-haired Caucasian Ovcharka, while still needing brushing on occasion, requires a good deal less grooming. This breed is not well suited for apartment living. The Caucasian Ovcharka is a working breed that requires a great deal of room to exercise effectively. The Caucasian Ovcharka is perfectly happy living outdoors, so long as they have an appropriate sheltered area.
Training: Training your Caucasian Ovcharka is no simple task. This breed is very strong-willed and assertive and will need to be taught basic manners and good behavior from a very young age. The Caucasian Ovcharka will be far too difficult to begin training as an adult, as it could be potentially dangerous to correct them. The Caucasian Ovcharka requires a very strong and confident leader that consistently exerts their place as head of the pack.
Activity: The Caucasian Ovcharka is a large dog with a lot of energy. They require a great deal of exercise and will do best in a home with acreage to run on. The Caucasian Ovcharka will be happiest with work to do, and will see to their own exercise if they do. However, if your Caucasian Ovcharka is not on duty guarding your flock, they will need a good long daily walk to get that energy out. It is imperative when walking your Caucasian Ovcharka, that you require them to heel beside or behind you. A dog allowed to lead, is a dog who believes he wears the pants in the family.
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