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Caucasian Shepherd Dog

(Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Mountain Dog)
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Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Form and Function

Well known as a guardian and watchdog, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is powerful and athletic, with solid muscling and heavy boning. He has a large wedge-shaped head and thick curved tail that may be carried over his back. The breed is often recognized by his dark facial mask against a thick coat that’s shades of gray, fawn or red with white markings.


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Breed Traits

Energy Level

2 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

2 out of 5


3 out of 5

Affection Level

4 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

2 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

2 out of 5


5 out of 5

Ease of Training

2 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

3 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

1 out of 5


3 out of 5

Breed Attributes




99 to 170 pounds


23 to 30 inches


Guardian (UKC), Foundation Stock Service (AKC)

Area of Origin

Eastern Europe

Date of Origin


Other Names

Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Mountain Dog


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed originating in Eastern Europe’s Kavkaz, or Caucasus, mountain range, where he was used for guarding and protecting herds, flocks and villages from predators and trespassers. The breed is well-connected to similar breeds of the region, with studies suggesting the Caucasian Shepherd Dog as a close relative of the sheepdogs of the Balkans and the mastiffs of Asia. Beginning in the 1920s, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog was selectively bred for his prized qualities of power, confidence, courage, endurance and acute hearing and sight. The breed has been recognized by the United Kennel Club as a member of its Guardian Dog Group since 1995 and by the American Kennel Club as part of its Foundation Stock Service since 1996.


Courageous, spirited and strong-willed, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is quick to defend his people and property. He is defensive and territorial toward strangers and other dogs, yet gentle and kind with his human family. Steady and even-keeled, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog requires proper socialization and patient training to avoid any potential aggression.


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog’s thick double coat can be short to very long. Those with the longer coat should be groomed daily, while shorter coats should be brushed weekly. Additionally, his nails should be trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a calm breed with relatively low energy, but enjoys daily walks or playtime outdoors and has plenty of endurance to sustain extended walks or hikes. On-leash walks and free play in a large fenced yard are best for this intelligent and independent breed. Although active outdoors, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is quiet and still in the house.


Major Concerns: N/A

Minor Concerns: N/A

Occasionally Seen: N/A

Suggested Tests: N/A

Lifespan: 10 to 12 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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