Caucasian Mountain Dog


Height: Minimum 24 - 26 inches. Usually 25 - 28 inches.

Weight: 100 - 154 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 12 years.

Litter Size: 5 - 12 puppies

Country of Origin: Russia, Caucasus Mountain region

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: Very High. The Caucasian Mountain Dog has a keen sense of hearing and is quick to alert to strange sounds. This means that the breed is often noisy and barks a lot, especially at night.

Guard-dog: Very High. The breed is said to have an uncanny ability to discriminate between true threat and benign interference. It will protect the yard from a wolf, a coyote, even a mountain lion, in addition to strange humans or the neighbor's dog.

Description: The Caucasian Mountain Dog is not for everyone! This specialized working breed is very headstrong and requires an owner who is also very strong in mind and body and who has the time and self-discipline to provide proper socialization and firm but inducive training. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is strong-minded, well-balanced, and even-tempered. They are peaceful with family, but protective of family toward unwelcome visitors. It is territorial and suspicious of strangers, and will protect its flock, family, and property from danger with lightning-quick speed. Often sneaking up on victims quietly, the Caucasian Owtcharka has the inherited trait of being able to recognize real threats from artificial ones. Due to an increasing popularity of Kavkaski Ovcars in Russia and lack of sheep guarding dogs, they will probably be bred for more amiable personality rather than abilities in the future. Caucasian Mountain Dogs are large with square heads and a thick feathering of their short, medium or long-length coat. Caucasian Ovcharkas change fur length from region to region, depending on how cold the climate is. They have a double coat that can be grey, white, cream, fawn or tan. Russians suggest approaching this dog with caution, as they can be quite ferocious.

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Other Names: Caucasian Owtcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kavkaski Ovcar, Kavkaz Dog, Kavkaz Mastiff, Kavkaz Volkodav, Kavkazskaya Ovcharka, Kaukasische, Ovtcharka, Sage Ghafghazi, Volkodav, Nagazi (Georgian Republic), Gampr (Armenia), Schaferhund

Colors: Any color, but grey is preferred. They can be grey, tan, fawn, white, brindle and/or piebald. Any color except for brown is allowable.

Coat: Ovcharkas' coats vary from place to place. In colder regions in the mountains, their coats grow long and thick. In warmer areas, their coats can be short.

Temperament: Kaukasisches are self-determined and very intelligent. Territorial and protective, they are unafraid of threats. They are strong, confident, fearless and independent. They are able to distinguish real threats from unreal. They are bold, even-tempered and loyal to family. Calm around their own family, but very protective towards strangers. Trainable and territorial, The Caucasian Mountain Dog makes an excellent, reliable protection dog.

With Children: This dog is not suggested for children. But, they can be good with quiet, well-behaved children who are also trained to understand that the Caucasian is a working companion, not a child's toy.

With Pets: Must remain dominant over other pets and other dogs (particularly other males). Fights may arise, and the Caucasian Mountain Dog will likely have the upper hand if its owner does not have control. Not suggested to have other pets.

Care and Training: Should be included in family activities. Frequent brushing, routine bathing and nail clipping. Sheds twice a year. Mental activities will help keep this breed's mind active and engaged, as well as physical activities. Training must be firm, patient and inducive. This breed is not for the weak willed or fearful. Training should be begin when they are puppies, as they can grow into large ferocious dogs if not trained.

Learning Rate: Medium.

Living Environment: Should be kept in a fenced yard or it may run when not directly supervised. The Caucasian Mountain Dog does not fit into the lifestyle of all families, but fits beautifully into the lifestyle of a family willing to put in the time, effort and responsible ownership for the lifetime of the dog. The best owner for this breed would be a dog-experienced person, especially experienced in guardian dogs, living in a rural home where the dog is given a job to do.

Health Issues: Vigorously healthy. Possible health concerns include hip dysplasia, obesity.

History: Russian experts contend that the Caucasian Mountain Dog evolved naturally from a group of dogs originating from Tibet approximately 2,000 years ago. Some archaeological evidence points to origins in Mesopotamia. As these dogs accompanied nomadic people during their trek across the continent, some of this group settled into the Caucasus mountain area, the finger of land in southwestern Russia that points between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, touching Turkey and Iran. Here the breed was isolated and became more focused. There are now several variations of the dog, the coat length and other traits change from region to region. This breed has been used to guard sheep from thieves and wild animals for over 600 years. They have been known to attack anything from wolves to mountain lions that threaten their own. In 1969 some of these dogs were brought to East Germany to guard as border patrol dogs for the Berlin Wall. When the Wall came down in 1989, there were 7000 Caucasian Mountain Dogs suddenly without a job or home. The dog army was disassembled and many were given away to families in Germany. The Soviet government utilized the Caucasian Mountain Dog in state-run kennels for guarding service throughout the former Soviet Union. The breed became largely popular in Germany and Russia, now stealing the dog show. Currently the breed is banned from exportation from Russia.

First Registered by the AKC: AKC Foundation Stock Service (AKC Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)

Class: Guardian

Registries: AKC (FSS), UKC, FCI (Group 2)