Caucasian Shepherd Dog

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Caucasian Shepherd Dog
CaucasianOvcharka-Julius.jpg
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Other namesZhaul Zhali (Chechen, Ingush),
Georgian Nagazi
Kavkasiuri Nagazi
Kavkazty Uasahichala
Kavkazskaïa Ovtcharka
Caucasian Ovcharka
Caucasian Mountain Dog
Circassian Sheep Dog
Armenian Khobun
Sage Ghafghazi,
Kars Çoban Köpeği
კავკასიური ნაგაზი
Адыгэ Мэлыхъуахь (Adyghe melekhuah)
NicknamesBombora, CO,
Caucasian,
Country of originGeorgia, Dagestan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, historic Circassia
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
 
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Caucasian Shepherd Dog
CaucasianOvcharka-Julius.jpg
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Other namesZhaul Zhali (Chechen, Ingush),
Georgian Nagazi
Kavkasiuri Nagazi
Kavkazty Uasahichala
Kavkazskaïa Ovtcharka
Caucasian Ovcharka
Caucasian Mountain Dog
Circassian Sheep Dog
Armenian Khobun
Sage Ghafghazi,
Kars Çoban Köpeği
კავკასიური ნაგაზი
Адыгэ Мэлыхъуахь (Adyghe melekhuah)
NicknamesBombora, CO,
Caucasian,
Country of originGeorgia, Dagestan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, historic Circassia
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (Armenian: Կովկասյան հովվաշուն "Kovkasyan hovvashun", Azerbaijani: Qafqaz Iti, Georgian: კავკასიური ნაგაზი "Kavkasiuri nagazi", Ossetian: Аргъонахъ Arghonaq, Russian: Kavkazskaïa Ovcharka) is a breed of dog that is popular in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Northern Caucasusian area.

Description[edit]

Appearance[edit]

Also known as Caucasian Ovcharka. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are strongly-boned, muscular, and even-tempered molossers. Plain dogs have a shorter coat and appear taller as they are more lightly built. Mountain dog types have a heavier coat and are more muscularly built. Caucasian Shepherds are large dogs; however, there is no recorded maximum height or weight. The minimum height for females is 64 centimetres (25 in), with a desirable height between 67 and 70 centimetres (26 and 28 in). They weigh at least 45 kilograms (99 lb). The minimum height for males is 68 centimetres (27 in), with a desirable height between 72 and 75 centimetres (28 and 30 in). Males weigh between 50 kilograms (110 lb) and 90 kilograms (200 lb).[1] Softness and vicious temperaments are considered serious faults for the breed. Dogs of this breed are generally healthy and long lived, but hip dysplasia, obesity and occasional heart problems are known to occur. The ears of the Caucasian Shepherd are traditionally cropped, although some modern dogs are unaltered as many people believe this practice to be cruel, and as it is no longer considered a necessary attribute for the dog's traditional working conditions. The preferred show-types are the long-coated grey dogs with some white markings. Black or black-and-tan dogs are often not acceptable in the show ring. The Caucasian is rather well lived averaging 10-12 years. It does have some health issues which will terminate their life early. Most bloodlines carry a gene for rear dysplasia. Cancer is also very prevalent. There is a serious issue of inbreeding in this breed creating health concerns.

The Caucasian shepherd is rather intelligent; however, they can be insolent and refuse to listen at times.They also can be fairly aggressive towards people they do not know and with incorrect handling this can be problematic. This can be overcome by proper training. They are often used to hunt bears.

Breed structure[edit]

History[edit]

Caucasian Shepherd guarding poultry
Caucasian Shepherd puppy

The Caucasus mountains are home to one of the oldest living Molosser breeds, the Caucasian Mountain Dog. There is a great variety of types among the Caucasian dogs depending on their home region, but a single type has come to be favored in the show rings and literature, at the expense of other breed variants.

Although its first official Show-Ring appearance outside the Caucasus was in the 1930s in Germany, the Caucasian Mountain Dog has existed since ancient times, like many Eastern Molossers.

Recent history[edit]

A short haired breed of this dog with a very aggressive attitude towards any one who is not the care taker of the animal exists in Iran. Normally black or black and yellow color, it is called a "sage gorgy" (Wolf dog). This dog is used for home protection, farm animal protection, and other efforts. This dog is often kept as a solitary dog because of its aggressive temper.

As mentioned above, most working Caucasian dogs are hybrids between established types, as well as some lines of the Central Asian dogs, in effect making the Russian show type appear to be a superior-breed dog in the eyes of fanciers. There are two types, the working strain in the east and the show dogs in the west. The fighting strains of the Caucasian Ovcharka can contain blood of some European breeds, from mastiffs to Bandogs, but these crosses are a minority in the breed. Current bloodlines have been crossed with Newfoundlands and other like breeds to create a looser lipped, heavier headed dog for Western show rings. Historically, the Caucasian Molossers were used for centuries to protect properties, guard livestock, kill wolves, and hunt bears. Today, especially outside the Caucasus, they are employed as companion animals and watchdogs. Most prized as a property guardian, the Caucasian Shepherds are good protectors. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is a low activity dog, seemingly lethargic when not working, but agile and convincing when it feels its family is threatened. Although certain strains are more vicious than others, all Caucasians are very territorial and dog-aggressive, needing early and careful broad socialization, as well as firm, but never forceful, handling. This breed can be a family dog, if well trained and socialized.

Caucasian Sheperd Dog in popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ FCI breed standards, group 2, section 2.2, Molossian / Mountain type