A huge, ferocious, naturally aggressive guard dog
Photo of Bagrats, Courtesy of VBOCaucasian Kennels, Russia
Firstly, despite looking like an adorable cuddle monster - this is not a family pet!
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a strong willed, loyal, fearless dog. He is a formidable guard dog who is only suitable really to protect property such as large commercial estates, in prisons and by the Military.
This dog will fiercely protect whoever he believes is his family (including children, other dogs and even cats) but will attack everyone else including friend's of your children who may come to visit and play.
This is not a breed for first time owners. It is for experienced dog owners only who can dedicate a lot of time to train and socialise this majestic breed.
Also known as the Caucasian Mountain Dog, he is a happy dog when he has a job to carry out and when he is used in what he is naturally born to do ie guard and protect.
As a member of his family, and, provided he is well socialised and a lot of care, patience and attention has gone into his training, you can expect unfaltering loyalty, complete peace of mind from any intruders and total devotion from your Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
Picture courtesy of Lelik on flickr
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a bit of an ancient breed. They have been guarding livestock such as sheep in Caucasia (the mountains between The Black Sea and The Caspian Sea) for at least 600 years. During this time, the breed haven't changed too much. In fact, their teeth are longer than any other breed which hints at their ancient past.
The Caucasian Ovcharka as he is also known are natural protectors who will happy fight and take down any intruders be it human, wolves or even bears. They are a working breed and need to have a job to do to keep busy.
It's perhaps a sign of the times that they are now becoming more popular domestically to protect property from thieves and in prisons to deter the inmates.
However, the Caucasian Mountain Dog are also one of Russia's most popular breeds and are frequently shown in the Show Ring there and throughout other parts of the former Soviet Union.
For even more information, you could read this guide on the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
Also available in brown but this is prohibited by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale - AKA World Canine Organisation)
photo courtesy of cracked.com
This is an intelligent breed. However, he must be properly trained as an uncontrollable Caucasian Shepherd Dog is extremely dangerous. He may be stubborn and unwilling to learn but you must be in control at all times. Use positive training methods and not aggression as these are proud dogs who don't take kindly to being beaten or threatened.
The Caucasian Mountain Dog will take it for granted that he is the alpha dog and will assume this role. He must be taught that ALL human members of the family are above him in the pack status.
When out walking, make sure you keep your mountain shepherd dog at heel level and never out in front. To a dog, the pack leader walks ahead and so you must make sure this is you and not the dog.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is very strong so definitely not suitable to be taken out on walks by children or the elderly.
He has boundless energy and will quite happily go ten miles without showing any signs of exhaustion.
Photo courtesy of cracked.com
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a natural protector. Very little training is required to teach him this. If he feels threatened or feels that his property or family are in danger then he will attack.
He attacks by running at the intruder and knocking them to the floor before attacking them whilst they are down. This mountain dog instinctively knows where the most vulnerable part of his victim's body is and will aim for there. He also stands on his back legs to reach over six feet in height in order to attack someone's face.
Puppies begin displaying their natural aggression at 3 weeks old. It is cruicial that you socialise your dog from an extremely early age. He must have a balanced view of humans and realise that just because a person is not a member of his family, it doesn't make them an enemy.
This video will give you a good idea of the high level of aggression in these stunning dogs.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has a thick double coat which protects him from the cold and from moisture. His coat is long and feathers out on the tail and around the legs. He also has a very luxurious mane and loads of fluff between his toes.
His heavy coat means he works best in cold, outdoor climates.
These guys seem like a fairly healthy breed! I could only find one mention of something to look out for:
Bassa the female Caucasian Shepherd from Bassa's Blog - a very funny and touching blog written from the viewpoint of Bassa.
"Mouse" - Harry Dresden's "Foo Dog" (Harry is the main character in the novel "Blood Rites" by Jim Butcher)