Caucasian Shepherd | A Massive Prison Guard Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Breed

The Caucasian shepherd is admittedly one of the ferocious dog breeds.  In keeping with its temperament and character, the Caucasian shepherd is a massive looking dog with strong and muscular body. The steadfast loyalty and unwavering dedication of this dog has made it an ideal police and guard dog throughout Europe and the erstwhile Soviet Union member states. This dog is known as Caucasian Shepherd in Europe and as Caucasian Mountain Dog in America and Caucasian Ovcharka in Russia. Their life expectancy is 11 to 12 years.The Caucasian shepherd dog is recognized by the FCI as a guard and watch dog and their present population is now estimated to be between 200 and 300. In late 2010 an application was submitted for recognition of these dogs by the Kennel Club.


Table Of Contents

  • Origin of the Caucasian Shepherd
  • Appearance of the breed
  • Temperament
  • Living Conditions
  • Successful Ownership of Caucasian Shepherds
  • Obedience Training
  • Grooming your Canine
  • Conclusion of the Dog Breed
Caucasian Shepherd are used as Russian Prison Guard Dogs as well. The duties include protection, deterring criminal behavior, as well as searching for prisoners.

Origin It is believed that Caucasian Shepherd Dog has originated from ancient breed of dogs from the Caucasian Range and the steppe regions of Southern Russia. Historically Caucasian Shepherd dogs were trained for guarding and safe-keeping of herds, flocks and human dwellings from beasts of prey and predators and strangers.

For ages, Caucasian dogs were completely isolated from others and confined to the role of safeguarding shepherd. The present day Caucasian has evolved from the aboriginal dogs of the Caucasus, and it is believed that some inventive breeders may have infused blood from a number of Molloser breeds. There is also the presumption that the ancestor of the Caucasian shepherd dog could be the Tibetan Dog, though it is not the present day the Tibetan Mastiff, which is an English cloning of the ancient dog. The history of the contemporary Caucasian shepherd dog is around 2,500 years old.

Dagestan region, being a Eurasian point with its peculiar historical, social and geographical characteristics created this completely unique breed of Caucasian shepherd dogs which ideally fulfilled the local environmental conditions.

Originating from this point the ways of the Caucasian breed and its Asian counterpart went their different ways. They appeared as separated brothers brought up in different conditions. Endowed with the necessary physical characteristics, these dogs were trained and used to protect from two enemies – the wolf and strangers.

The Caucasian shepherd dog is recognized by the FCI as a guard and watch dog and their present population is now estimated to be between 200 and 300. In late 2010 an application was submitted for recognition by the Kennel Club.


Caucasian Shepherd Dogs have strong bones, muscular build, a relatively short coat and tall-looking with a light physique. Most of them weigh around 120 to 160 pounds. The average height of a male dog is 29 inches and bitches are 26 inches.

They have a bear-look face, deeply set dark oval shaped eyes, round-shaped cropped ears and lowly placed long tail. They possess a thick and water resistant double coat and mostly found in shades of gray, brindle, yellow, rust, red or white.

In general, the well-bred Caucasian dog is robust and healthy. As with other large breeds, the Caucasian should be at a minimum screened for hip and elbow dysplasia. Hip and elbow dysplasia does afflict more than 50% of the breed and hence breeders should provide copies of OFA/Penn Hip elbow and hip evaluations to prospective buyers.


The Caucasian shepherd was predominantly used to protect livestock because of their temperament. This breed is assertive, brave, alert, strong-willed, and daring. Unless properly trained to behave, the Caucasian shepherd can be unruly, ferocious and unmanageable.  It resents strangers but has a powerful urge to defend its owner, their family members, children, cats, other dogs.;
They are formidable and zealous guardians of their owners and their families and who can by default hate strangers and so caution is recommended. The Caucasian dog is fiercely suspicious and even hostile and aggressive towards any strangers including dog show referees. This dog needs a lot of socializing and training. It communicates its displeasure with growling and occasionally biting.

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Living conditions

The Caucasian shepherd is not at ease living in an apartment or in-house.  They need a lot of space to roam around and you must be prepared to provide a large yard.  You must allow this breed of dog safely run free in an open area.

Its thick coat protects it admirably well against weather conditions and it can effortlessly cope with living out-doors – but there must be a proper shelter. They should be taken out for a long walk when you can make the stretch and heel.

Dogs of this breed are generally robust, healthy and with fewer complaints. Some of the common ailments are hip dysplasia, obesity and occasional cardiac problems. It’s recommended that a joint supplement for dogs is used to avoid hip and bone issues.

aucasian Shepherd during protection training
Pictured above is a Caucasian Shepherd during protection training. When trained correctly and by professional trainers, this breed of dog makes an excellent guard dog.

Successful Ownership
The breed is notoriously famous for its uncanny ability to discriminate between real threat and harmless interference. Rather, the Caucasian shepherd dog is able to exercise sound judgment provided he has been given the proper socialization, dog training, and experience on which to base this judgment.

Socialization, training, discipline, control are the key factors to successful ownership of the Caucasian shepherd dog in today’s fast-paced society. Training of Caucasian shepherd dog must be firm, patient, and persistent…But the Caucasian dog breed is one of the most willing and compliant of the flock guardians and is therefore very trainable.

These dogs need to be trained to obey, especially walk alongside you when going out and follow the commands “Sit” Stand” “Wait” “Stop” “Eat” “No” “Heel” etc.

Obedience Training

Several years of formal obedience training beginning right from early puppy days is necessary. You should allow your dog to participate in family activities and should accompany it 2 to 3 times per week for a quick jaunt to the bank or grocery. Your Caucasian should receive consistent, exposure to the outside world, so that he may grow up to be a law-abiding canine citizen.

The Caucasian shepherd dog belongs to a very peculiar breed and needs a very thorough approach to its training.  You should remember that the only assured base for training is a good relationship with your dog and the only means allowed is an emotional bonding. To make your training task easier you should start to train the puppy when it is 7 or 8 months old. However, the training should be restricted to teaching obedience! Once properly socialized and well trained, the Caucasian dog is gentle and loving with their owner and his/her family. It also behaves responsibly with quiet, well-behaved children.

These breeds possess two different varieties of coats – the short-haired and the long-haired. The coat of the long-haired variety requires regular brushing and you must pay special attention to the spots where tangles may occur.  The short-haired variety requires infrequent grooming, but should still be combed and brushed.

Please understand that owning and controlling a Caucasian shepherd dog is an intimidating task. This fiercely independent and brutally strong-willed dog will obey and respect only a dominating an equally strong-willed owner. Highly intelligent, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog will find many inventive ways to get into trouble. It has a keen sense of hearing and is ever vigilant and alert to strange sounds. This means that the breed is often noisy and barks a lot, especially at night. You must carefully consider these traits and act suitably. Obedience training and early socialization is inescapable for this breed. If you are diffident about training and commanding this dog, then it is wise to stay away and opt for some gentler breeds of dogs.

Related topics:

Top 10 Guard Dogs

How to train a Protection dog

Buy a Caucasian Ovcharka Puppy

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