The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (CSD) is a large to massive breed of masculine dog with long hair. It is a very popular breed in Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the North Caucasus mountain area. The typical height of a female CSD is between 64 – 70 cm while a male can reach a maximum height of 100 cm. Otherwise known as the Caucasian Ovcharka or Bashan pariy, this breed is strongly muscled, even-tempered, and heavily boned in proportion to height. It has a large wedge-shaped head that tapers to a blunt muzzle with the upper lips covering the lower jaw. It has brown medium-sized and oval-shaped eyes, a large black nose and highly set triangular ears that hang to the side of the head just below the eye level. It has a thick tail that hangs down to the hock when the dog is in repose and is carried above the back in a sickle-shaped hook when the dog is excited or in motion. The double coat consists of long and coarse outer guard hairs and dense undercoat made of dense soft and fine hair. The coat on the muzzle, forehead and the front of the legs is shorter and smoother while the coat on the cheeks and back of the head are pointier and wiry. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog has three types of coat depending on its home region:
Coat colours are agouti gray with or without white markings, white, cream, fawn/reddish fawn, tan/reddish tan, tawny with or without white markings, brindle, piebald or white with gray patches. A female Caucasian Shepherd Dog can weigh around 45 kg while a male weighs 50 kgs at the minimum.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
This primitive breed is a descendant of the ancient dogs of the Caucasian Mountains and the steppe regions of Southern Russia, home to some of the oldest living Molosser breeds today. It was and is continually being used as a shepherd dog for guarding livestock against mountain predators including wolves, jackals, and bears. Selective breeding started in the former Soviet Union in the 1920s at the Red Star Kennel. Different types of indigenous CSDs were brought in from different regions of the Caucasus until the heavier Georgian type was developed and became the standard type. The modern breed has veered away from the ancient canines of the Caucasus and others believe that the modern Caucasian Shepherd Dog may have a blood from other Molosser breeds as evidenced by the long coat and heavier mastiff built common to today’s CSDs. The first Caucasian Shepherd Dog was brought to the United Kingdom in 2002. The numbers are still considered relatively small considering the cost of upkeep to having such a large breed but nevertheless, the total population in the UK is steadily rising.
In general, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is alert, lively, protective and responsive. It is rather intelligent but can be audacious and decline to listen at times. This ever-watchful guardian is a unique mixture of a sweet-natured, child-friendly dog who will not be afraid to defend its property and family when threatened. As an adult, it is typically aloof and doubtful of people it is not familiar with and has a tendency to be aggressive with strangers, but this can be corrected with proper training. It is a rugged, hardy, and adaptable breed that can happily sleep outside in freezing condition or doze off on the couch inside the house as long as it is with his immediate family. However, different regions in the Caucasus have developed CSDs with varied temperament, with some developing very aggressive behaviour (such as the short-haired breed found in Iran), while most of the other regions have light to moderate aggressive attitude.
The protective nature of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog runs deep in its blood and will stop at nothing to defend its land, its home, and its people. For this reason, this dog is not for everyone. The owner must be aware that this dog needs strict but gentle training from puppyhood to become a well-balanced adult. Early socialisation is also the key to making an adult CSD more relax in the presence of house visitors. Training must start early on in life to teach the dog to be aggressive only when he or its guardians are threatened or in imminent danger.
The short-haired variety needs very minimal grooming. Occasional brushing from time to time will help keep the coat healthy. However, the long coat variety needs special attention as mats can easily form if not properly groomed. Daily brushing with a slicker brush will help remove tangles and keep the skin from irritation which may cause allergies. Brushing also helps in better blood circulation besides having a shiny healthy coat. Use a detangling solution on mats, then brush using a medium-toothed comb. Clip the excess hairs in between the pads but not the entire hair as these serve to protect the feet from the environment. The CSD sheds lightly all-year-round but sheds heavily twice a year, particularly during seasonal change.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is generally a healthy breed which can live between 10 to 12 years of age. Some dogs are known to be affected by hip dysplasia, overweight issue, and occasional heart problems. However, proper care and an extensive knowledge on raising a Caucasian Shepherd Dog can help alleviate any health issues.
This giant breed is best suited to a family with an all-adult member who knows how to handle such a large breed and give it ample exercise requirements. A house with a lot of well-protected open space is an ideal home for the dog where it can safely play and run. If it is to be kept as a pet, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog should be taken for daily long walks in order to keep it mentally and physically active. It will not do well in an apartment home or condominium as well as in humid regions.
This is a kid-friendly breed as long as the dog was raised with the family from a young age. However, due to its sheer size, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog must never be left unsupervised when it is around very young children as it can easily knock them down. It also does not tolerate rough play and may tend to become defensive when hurt or stepped on. Being a highly protective and dominant breed, it does not go along well with other canines especially unfamiliar dogs.