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CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA

Life span: 10-11 Years

Height: 68-75cm (Male); 67-70cm (Female)

Weight: 50-90 kg

Caucasian Ovcharka is a larger dog breed which is alert, calm and intelligent. They have great presence of mind and can be great as guard dogs for your home. These dog breeds are predominant in Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, North Caucasus. They shed hairs but are not hypoallergenic.

Physical Characteristics

To say this dog is large is too little, their body is massive, and extremely strong. Its tail is large and fluffy, and usually resting down, while its ears are naturally small and its eyes are brown with a black nose. Their thick double coat is made up of a smooth and soft undercoat, and a rough protective outercoat that is straight. The length of the coat depends on its parents, and while those with long hair will have a mane and feathered legs and tail, those with short hair will not. The coat colors can be black, grey, white, brown, light brown, and cream colored, and will often have black accents.

History

Originating in the Caucasus Mountains that lie between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, this dog is also called Caucasian Mountain Dog, or Caucasian Shepherd Dog. Originally, they were used for guarding flocks, and they descended from breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiff. They were brought to the United States in 1990 by Stacy and Russell Kubyn, who lived in Ohio, and created the Caucasian Ovcharka Club of America. Contrary to the usual, this breed’s standard was set by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, and not the American Kennel Club. Although they are not internationally popular, they are quite so in Russia, and was already accepted by the United Kennel Club as an official breed.

Personality

This huge dog is sweet and loving with its family, and gets along well with children and other pets. They are generally calm within the household, and enjoy spending time with their families. They are, however, highly protective, no matter the size of the predator. When the family is home, the dog needs to be with them, socializing within the household, and if left chained outside, or alone for too long, it will develop destructive and aggressive behavior. They are not highly active, especially when fully grown, and will enjoy staying indoors with you the most.

Health

This is a generally healthy breed, but due to their side they are prone to obesity. They can also suffer from:

Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Care

Since this breed has different coat types, it also has different grooming levels. If the dog’s coat is long, it will need daily brushing, otherwise two to three times a week should suffice. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Although they are not high energy, they do need daily exercise, in which a walk with its owners is enough. They are best suited with homes with large fenced yards, and due to their protective instincts, should be kept on a leash when outside of the household area at all times. Training can be quite difficult, given their independence, especially obedience training. It will always protect its territory, and so bringing strangers into it might not be the best idea.

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