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Caucasian Shepherd Dog

A large, powerful and naturally aggressive guard dog.

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, military installations, and to work in prisons.

Despite looking like an adorable cuddle monster - this breed  is not a family pet!

This dog will fiercely protect whoever he believes is his family (including children, other dogs and even cats) but may attack everyone else including friends of your children who may come to visit and play. 

The Caucasian Shepherd 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 socialize this majestic and powerful 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 employed to do what he is naturally born to do; ie. guard and protect.

As a member of his family, and, provided he is well socialized and a lot of care, patience and attention has gone into his training, you can expect unfaltering loyalty and complete peace of mind from any intruders and total devotion from your Caucasian Shepherd Dog.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Breed History

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a very 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 hasn'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 readily fight and take down any intruders be it humans, 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 Shepherd Dog is also one of Russia's most popular breeds and these dogs are frequent visitors to the Show Ring there, and throughout other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Vital Statistics

  • Height: 64 - 76 cm ( 25 -  30 inches)
  • Weight: 36 - 80 kgs ( 80 - 180 lbs)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 12  yrs


  • White
  • Pied
  • Tan
  • Brindle
  • Rust
  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Cream with black mask
  • Puppies are born black and gradually lighten

Also available in brown but this is prohibited by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale - AKA World Canine Organisation)

You can find out what life with a Caucasian Shepherd is really like by reading our interview with Mario about living with his gorgeous Caucasian Shepherd dog, Mike.  He has some funny little quirks - especially when he is being groomed!

A Caucasian Shepherd dog standing on snow, facing the camera, with some snow on its faceCaucasian Shepherd dog
A Caucasian Shepherd dog sitting down on snow, facing the camera, looking leftCaucasian Shepherd dog

Ease Of Training

This is an intelligent breed. However, he must be properly trained as an uncontrollable Caucasian Shepherd 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. THIS IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE!

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.

Further Reading on Training


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 won't just bark. He won't bother with intimidation.  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 the throat. If needed, he will stand on his back legs to reach over six feet in height in order to attack someone's face.

A big brown Caucasian Shepherd dog standing in a yard in the sunshine, looking to the leftCaucasian Shepherd dog

Puppies begin displaying their natural aggression at 3 weeks old. It is crucial that you socialize your dog from an extremely early age. He must have a balanced view of humans and realize that just because a person is not a member of his family, it doesn't make them an enemy.

This video below 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.

FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs

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  • Ergonomic handle

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Health Considerations

These guys seem like a fairly healthy breed! I could only find one mention of something to look out for:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

These are relatively common conditions in larger or heavier dogs, although they can occur in any breed, and they are hereditary. Basically, the joint surfaces become worn, and the joint function becomes limited, causing discomfort to the dog. Although a vet can make an educated guess at hip or elbow dysplasia from a physical exam, the final diagnosis is from an X-ray of the joint.

Famous Caucasian Ovcharkas

Bassa the female Caucasian Shepherd Dog 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)

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