Caucasian Ovtcharka

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 100-150+ lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White, Brown & White, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: 10-12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Caucasian Ovtcharka (also known as Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, (Caucasian Shepherd, Kavkaskaia Ovtcharka, Caucasian Owcharka, Caucasian mountain dog, Sage Ghafghazi and Kavkazska�a Ovtcharka) is a very old and primitive dog breed originating in the remote regions of the Caucasus Mountains and Steppes, which span several territories of the former Soviet Union like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia etc. It is a working dog breed that has been used as flock guardian. This large dog has an incredibly attractive bear-like appearance and is believed to have descended from ancient dogs that lived in the forested hills of Iraq and Mesopotamia. The dog is named after the place of its origin; Caucasian refers to the regions of the Caucasus, which include Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Daghestan, Iran and Turkey. Ovtcharka, a Russian word, translates to Shepherd or Sheepdog. Not to be confused with herding breeds, the Caucasian is actually a livestock guardian, bred for the role of bonding with the livestock and effectively fending off predators — whether wolves, bears or thieves.

This dog stands between 25 to 30 inches and weighs between 100-150+ lbs. Females are shorter and lighter. It has a bear-like face with moderate, deep-set, dark eyes and densely covered ears. Nose is black with wide nostrils. Hips are slightly raised from line of back. The coat is thick, dense and weather-resistant and comes in gray, fawn, white, brindle and pied.

The dog is NOT recognized by AKC, however it is recognized by FCI, UKC and AKC (FSS) (FSS (AKC Foundation Stock Service) is optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration).


All colours are allowed except for black and brown, combination or ticklings of black and brown. The dog is most commonly seen in various shades of grey, rust, fawn, white, brindle, straw, yellow, earth and spotted.


The dog has a dense and thick coat that is weather-resistant and protects the dog from extreme cold.


The Caucasian Ovtcharka is ferocious in appearance but is a kind and gentle breed with an even temperament to its master and family. It has been bred for protecting flocks and has strong protective instincts. The dog is well behaved and accepting of all family members but is naturally wary of strangers. It needs proper training and socialization with people and places as the dog has the tendency to be stubborn and willful. Unless properly socialized and trained, the Caucasian Ovcharka may exhibit ferocious and unmanageable tendencies. It is very brave, alert, strong and hardy. It does not accept people it does not know and it has a powerful urge to defend. Everything and everyone who belongs to the family, including children, cats, other dogs, etc, will be regarded by this dog as part of "its" family and will be respected and protected. The dog is well behaved and gentle with children and will never hurt them purposefully but care should be taken when the dog is with small children as it may accidentally push them or step on them. Children should also realize that their friends are strangers to this dog and it may not be a good idea to interact with the dog without proper socialization. With proper socialization and training, the Caucasian Ovtcharka should make a good family pet, excellent worker and a watch and guard dog par excellence.


The dog has two types of coats; dogs living in the mountains have long and dense coats while dogs living in plains have shorter coats. Long coats will need regular grooming and brushing to keep them tangle free. Shorter coat will need less grooming and brushing. This dog loves cold season and snow and can easily live outside in a dog house. It can equally cop well with hot climate with proper shadding and plenty of water.


The dog should be subjected to obedience training as soon as it is old enough to understand the commands. It will respond to short, fun and creative training sessions. Positive reinforcements would also help the dog learn quickly.


Like most guardian dogs, the Caucasian Ovtcharka is generally laid back and low activity dog when indoor. This dog will be more active during night times as it is used to be active and alert during night times to keep the nocturnal predators away. Nevertheless, the dog will need long daily walks and ample space to roam around. It can fit into an apartment life but ideally would like a house with large yard.

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