Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (CSD) is considered to have originated from ancient dogs from the Caucasian Range and the steppe regions of Southern Russia. Historically Caucasian Shepherd dogs were used for guarding and safe-keeping of herds, flocks and dwellings from beasts of prey and predators.
Selection work with the breed started in the USSR in the 1920s at the Red Star Kennel where different types of dog indigenous to particular regions were used until the heavier Georgian type was selected as the preferred type. The Modern Caucasian has evolved away from the aboriginal dogs of the Caucasus, and some believe ambitious breeders may have infused blood from a number of molloser breeds. This may account for the long striking coat and heavier mastiff features which are common in the modern variety preferred by many exhibitors.
The CSD is recognised by the FCI as a guard and watch dog and the first examples were introduced to the UK in 2002 with their numbers now estimated to be between 200 and 300. In late 2010 an application was submitted for recognition by the Kennel Club.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka and is sometimes referred to as the Caucasian Mountain Dog. It is a large to massive guardian breed often weighting 160 lb and standing 34 inch tall with a huge thick coat. Many people aptly describe them as bears, rugged and hardy they will happily snooze outside at – 20 or lay by your side in the house as long as they have a flock or family they can call their own.
Undemanding, not keen on games of chase or tug they are more likely to show affection by quietly leaning or rubbing against a family member or simply investigating as you go about your business and when you are quiet they will usually follow suit.
Their main focus in life is to keep the flock or family safe and it’s a role they commit to with gusto, their devotion to immediate family is renowned. Intensive socialisation and management is needed to temper their natural instinct to actively protect. They are formidable guardians who can by default dislike strangers so caution is recommended. They have a keen independent mind willing and able learn however this does not extend to total focus on the owner around distractions/
The modern popularity for the largest most aesthetically pleasing dogs means hip and elbow problems are known in some lines. It is recommended that hip and elbows be tested and then referenced to breeds of a similar weight in the UK until such time as an average score is developed.