Caucasian Shepherd dog is known by many other names like the Caucasian Mountain Dog, Tatar Shepherd Dog or the Ovcharka. This large bear like dog has been used since centuries to guard sheep and for military work. Today, however, the large headed dog breed is a much loved family pet and companion. Let us study some characteristic features of this lovely working dog breed.
Characteristic features of the Caucasian Shepherd dog
- This is a large breed. It resembles a bear due to its hairy coat. The head and legs have little fur making the animal appear broader.
- Life span of the Ovcharka is 11-12 years.
- Coat colors vary from fawn, rust colored, white, earth colored, brindled or piebald.
- The Caucasian Shepherd dog originated in Russia.
Where to buy Caucasian Mountain Shepherd Puppy
There are many places where you can get Caucasian shepherd dog for sale. If you want a house training challenge, buy your puppy from pet store windows. These young ones are kept in a cage with straw and newspapers and will void anywhere they want at any time. You will literally be cleaning urine and feces for a very long time. So avoid buying from puppy mills and stores as far as possible. The best place to find Caucasian shepherd dog for sale is from reputed Caucasian shepherd breeders. You can find registered Caucasian shepherd breeders on the official website here. Owning an Ovcharka is a serious responsibility owing to their highly aggressive and reactive nature. It is important to observe the pup in its litter and, if possible, meet its parents before you buy.
- While calm, this dog does not get along well with other dogs other than those of its own species.
- He is extremely agile and protective towards its family. Being territorial he can be extremely wary of strangers.
- Keeping this dog is a huge responsibility-owners need to know about the breed’s history and temperament before tackling the task of raising an Ovcharka.
- The Caucasian Shepherd is one of those autonomously working, livestock guardian dogs. He does not belong in the city.
- The mighty Ovcharka has no equal when it comes to intimidation and protection.
- This breed’s barking frequency is average. He may even seem lethargic and lazy when not working.
The good news is that your Ovcharka is more trainable than most livestock guardian breeds. However, he will need early training and socialization and firm handling is an absolute must if you want a loving companion. Never be forceful while training this pup. Training should be fun for both you and your Ovcharka. Never train when your puppy is hungry, sleepy or tired. Also avoid training when you are in a hurry or have less than an hour to dedicate. Positive training is crucial for building a positive rapport between you and your Caucasian Mountain Dog. Keep training sessions short and fun else your pet could lose focus and get bored. Avoid training your pet in a busy area filled with distractions.
- The sooner you train your Caucasian Shepherd puppy, the better.
- Keep rewards fun and positive. Dried bits of liver, pieces of chicken or cheese are good rewards. You might want to reduce your pet’s meal sizes accordingly unless you want to end up with an obese dog.
- Combine the food reward with statements like ‘good dog’.
- Never use punishment in training; reward all wanted behavior and ignore unwanted behavior.
- Teach your pet basic commands like sit walk nicely, heel, down and stay.
- Short term close confinement helps. It prevents accidental urination and soiling as puppies inherently know not to defecate near their sleeping quarters. Provide plenty of chew-toys filled with food to keep puppies quiet for a long period.
- You also need to learn to predict when your puppy needs to go. Show him the right spot to defecate and urinate and reward and praise him when he goes in the right spot.
For basics of training, visit our training guide section here.
Like all other herding and working dog breeds, the Caucasian Shepherd needs plenty of exercise-at least 2 hours per day. This is a necessary trait in this breed and is even expected of herding breeds. Think carefully before you buy an Ovcharka-you need to dedicate time and space to him. This dog is definitely a good choice for someone dedicated to providing for its needs and engaging in dog sports.
The Caucasian Shepherd needs weekly grooming of 30-45 minutes. This is necessary to keep his coat in good condition and free from parasites. Start the weekly grooming by observing its ears and eyes for infection, discharge etc. If foul smell is emanating from the ears, fungal infection could be the culprit-it needs prompt veterinary attention. Use vinegar and water solution to clean the ears. Invest in a rubber brush or glove to brush your pet’s coat. You can mist the coat slightly while brushing. This will prevent the undercoat from flying about. Avoid too-frequent baths as this would strip the natural oils. Only use a vet approved product to shampoo and follow up with a conditioner. If needed, use scissor around the feet to give a compact look. Caucasian mountain dogs shed annually with a bi-annual molt. This process is called ‘blowing the coat’. Use a blower or fine toothed brush to catch loose hairs and prevent them all over your furniture.
All domesticated dogs need a balance of vitamins, proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates and the Caucasian shepherd is no different. Today, there is a wide array of healthy, balanced and complete nutrition available for pets and your vet and/or breeder can recommend the right dry, moist or wet food to feed your puppy/adult Caucasian. Here are some dietary don’ts to follow:
- Never feed raw eggs to your pet.
- Do not feed cow milk in large quantity-your pet does not have the enzymes to digest it.
- Avoid feeding table scraps or human foods especially tomatoes, raisins or chocolate to your pet. They can be toxic to your fur baby.
- Also avoid feeding cooked bones as they can easily splinter.
Regardless of what type of food you feed your Caucasian Mountain dog; do not forget the water. Keep plenty of fresh water available for your pet.
Some of the most common health issues seen in this breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, seizures, food allergies, gastric torsion and heart disease. However, with regular health checkups, good food and plenty of exercise, you can keep your pet hardy even in its senior years.