Caucasian Ovcharka

Description Caucasian Ovcharka

Focused, Dominant, Powerful
The Caucasian Ovcharka is a very special Russian shepherd dog. Sometimes they reach enormous sizes. They were once bred to take on large predators. They protect homes and livestock in the remote regions of Russia. The dogs themselves look a bit like a cross between a bear and a wolf.FCI Group: Pinscher – Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 45-50kg
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Coat Type: Medium Hair
  • Colours: black, white, fawn, cream, rust, grey

Character Caucasian Ovcharka

The official breed designation is Caucasian Shepherd Dog or Kavkazskaïa Ovtcharka . They are very common herding and guard dogs in Russia . The breed standard is still defined and controlled from Russia today.
Depending on the region and requirements, different forms of the Ovcharka have formed. The lighter and more agile type can be found in the vast steppes of Russia.

They are larger and sturdier in the mountain regions.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is an imposing dog that reaches an enormous size. The height at the withers starts with at least 68 centimeters for males and 64 for females. Small bitches weigh from 45 kg, the average is an incredible 50 to 90 kg.
The breed has remained very original and places special demands on its owners.

He is not suitable as a pure family dog, leisure companion or for the apartment . His guard and protective behavior is very pronounced. They react extremely sensitively to any conspicuousness and strangers. If this dog has nothing to do, it quickly develops oversensitivity. This includes increased aggression against actually harmless things, people and animals.

Unfortunately, due to its imposing appearance, it was in fashion for a while. These animals were often kept under very difficult circumstances. In certain circles, they were considered a status symbol, succeeding other dogs that had long been on the list.
The abusive attitude of the Caucasian Ovcharka has resulted in its being placed on dangerous dog lists . In some German federal states and Swiss cantons , keeping them requires a permit.

In Denmark , the introduction, keeping and breeding of the Ovcharka are completely forbidden.
The acquisition of such a special dog must be considered very carefully. Only those who own a really large property and ideally maintain an entire cattle farm should keep an Ovcharka. Unusually for a dog of this size, they live up to 12 years and more.
Anyone who can meet all these conditions for owning this dog will find a loyal and reliable watchdog in the Ovcharka.

With the appropriate workload and safe training, these animals are wonderful family dogs. You always lived very close to people, but not only with them. An Ovcharka will always keep its own head and claim a life in its role as a guard and protection dog.

Diet Caucasian Ovcharka

It should be obvious that you won’t make such a dog happy with soft-boiled pâté. Anyone who now keeps an Ovcharka is allowed to barf and provide bones.
This dog breed has remained very archaic. This means that they are still used to the diet of hundreds of years ago. From the shepherds they got the remains of slaughtered animals and what was left over from the human meal, or they took care of their own food.

The Caucasian Ovcharka is notable for its unusually high life expectancy. This is due to the primitive handling and the special diet of these dogs.
Of course you can also feed an Ovcharka with conventional dog food and only offer him raw meat and bones from time to time. However, you should see if this modern dog diet suits the animal.
Dog digestion adapts to the food provided over generations.

Most modern dog breeds therefore metabolize carbohydrates without any problems, even in large quantities. This can be different with an ancient breed like the Caucasian Ovcharka.
In the end, it is always the dog that decides. In any case, the diet should be balanced, taste good to the dog and promote its health. You can usually see very quickly whether this is the case by their behavior, clear eyes and shiny fur.


When it comes to care, it depends on the type of hair and how the animal is kept. If he rampages outside, herding cattle and rolling through the mud puddles, the dog will look accordingly. It is questionable whether he would like to be brushed or whether he would like to go into the house at all. It’s quite possible that the Ovcharka prefers to lie in an elevated position outdoors and leave grooming to the wind and weather.
If you now own such a rarity and are concerned about the care of the nature boy, then don’t worry.

In the case of the robust breeds, the coat actually grooms itself as far as possible. If the hair becomes greasy, lackluster and matted, it can also be due to the wrong diet.
Even a robust Ovcharka should be checked regularly for small injuries or ticks. Dirt, small branches or even a thorn can get stuck between the bales . A good signal is when your dog conspicuously grooms or gnaws itself in one spot.

If he can’t solve the problem on his own, you can help him too.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is a stubborn fellow. Nevertheless, you should teach a puppy in good time that you can touch him anywhere. You make this procedure like a pleasant game. The dog should feel happy when you come and lovingly care for him.

This will make future visits to the vet easier.
And remember, you won’t have much success with a showdown with such a dog.


The Caucasian Ovcharka is a very old breed of herding dog. Its existence has been documented for 600 years. The actual age of the breed is estimated at around 10,000 years. Since they were at home in the lonely expanses of Russia for a long time, the Ovcharka have remained very primitive and pure.
The task of the huge shepherd dogs was to guard the livestock and the farm.

The rough expanses of the Caucasus had to produce a robust, strong and large dog. Bears and other large predators are not uncommon in the area.
A concentration of deposits was, as the name suggests, the Caucasus with all adjacent areas. The Ovcharka can also be found in Armenia , Azerbaijan and Dagestan . Basically, these animals were and are distributed over the entire area of ​​the former USSR, only in the extreme north, at the Arctic Circle, are they missing.

In the west, the first Ovcharka appeared in the former GDR. There they were kept in military service or they guarded the large estates of the collective farms.
In 1977 the first Caucasian Ovcharka from a pedigree dog show in Cologne was presented.
A breed standard was defined from August 1984 and officially recognized by the FCI. In Germany there has been a club called the Kaukasischer Ovcharka Club as a sub-section of the VDH since 1981.

Official breeding produces only 10 to 40 puppies per year.

Caucasian Ovcharka Accessories

The large size of the dogs makes it difficult to find conventional accessories. An Ovcharka is also not suitable for fancy walks on a leash. Of course, you should still own leashes. There are enough situations in which you will need them. The selection criteria are practical aspects and stability.

Of course, your dog should wear a safe and stable collar or harness . Both are rare in these sizes. You will probably find what you are looking for most in the accessories for Saint Bernards and other Molossians.
With the dog bed you will also have to look in the XXL department . Accessories or even custom-made items for such a large dog can be quite expensive.

If you have an Ovcharka who would rather stay outside, you need a hut . Alternatively, a shelter or a small garden house in which the dog finds protection is also possible.

6.5Expert Score
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