What You Need to Know about the Caucasian Ovtcharka

caucasian ovtcharka

You might be surprised to learn that the Caucasian Ovtcharka is a dog that not many people are aware of. In fact, it’s one of those dogs many people are not aware of because it does not always make the greatest pet. It seems that most people choose to bring a dog into the home because they are looking for a pet for their family, whether they are single adults, families with kids or retirees just looking for a little companionship and a feeling of security that dogs offer when they are in the home. Large and beautiful, the Caucasian Ovtcharka is a gorgeous dog, but it’s not quite right for all families. In fact, don’t let this dog’s pretty face con you into bringing it home unless you are an experienced dog owner fully aware of precisely what it is you are getting yourself into with this animal.

While this is a dog that loves its family and is exceptionally protective and loyal, the American Kennel Club does want anyone who wants to own this breed to know that it is not for everyone. It is known for being a very dangerous dog if not treated correctly, raised correctly and properly socialized. Even in the best instances, it is not a dog you want to leave alone with kids, and that means that this is not the kind of dog you want in your home if you are not prepared for what it brings to the table – which is ample affection and a big personality.

Caucasian Ovtcharka Personality and Temperament

This is a big dog, and it’s not your friendly neighborhood Great Dane. In fact, this is a dog with a big personality, and it’s not always the best personality. This is a breed that was bred to protect livestock, and protection is what it knows best. That sounds great to many, since the Caucasian Ovtcharka is a big dog and that’s why many people want it. However, it is a difficult breed. It takes special training and proper socialization to ensure that this particular breed does not fall pretty to aggression, anger and protective mode against those who mean absolutely no harm.

The Caucasian Ovtcharka is very courageous. It’s also very strong-willed and needs to have an owner with a stronger will and a bigger personality. You have to be firm and consistent so that your dog recognizes you as the firm pack leader at all times. This is not a breed that is favorable to strangers, making it difficult to take out to parks and on long walks where there is ample foot traffic. Without the proper socialization, the Caucasian Ovtcharka has a tendency to become ferocious, particularly with strangers. It can also be very unmanageable, as well as brave and very strong. This is a dog that will look at your kids, cats, toys, hamsters and even the squirrels in your yard at his own and will do whatever it takes to protect them, even when it’s not necessary.

Do not mistake the fact that the Caucasian Ovtcharka is great with kids. It’s a dog that loves kids; however, never, ever leave this breed alone with kids. If the kids are playing rough – as kids tend to do – this dog might feel the need to protect them to the point that it could hurt a child or overstep its bounds in other manners. It loves the people who it lives with, but it has absolutely no patience or time for anyone it does not know, which is sometimes problematic for those who might work at home and see clients or customers. This is a dog that shows its unhappiness with growling, oftentimes biting when it is not being raised in a household with a firm pack leader. It is not the breed for everyone.

Lifestyle and Expectation

The Caucasian Ovtcharka is a dog that gets pretty big. It is known for standing around 28 inches tall and weighing up to 150+ pounds. It’s a dog that lives around a decade, perhaps 11 years, and it has few health problems to worry about. A generally healthy breed, you will likely experience very few health instances that require more than just an everyday check up with the vet. With two coats, this is a dog that does need to have a date with you for frequent brushings to prevent tangling and matting.

The Caucasian Ovtcharka is also a dog without much hope of living in an apartment or small home. It needs and requires space. This is a dog that needs to be outside, and even has a coat thick enough to allow it to live out there most of the time if that is what you choose. It needs more space than many dogs, and it needs to spend time outside exercising. It’s also an intelligent dog, so it needs a job. It likes to protect, but can become quite overprotective at times. It’s a good idea to keep this dog away from neighbors and strangers, and a ‘beware of dog’ sign at the gate might be a good idea if you expect frequent packages and deliveries. This is not a dog that does well with strangers, so warning them of that is a fair responsibility.

Breed History

The Caucasian Ovtcharka is a dog that stems from centuries ago. Always used to protect flocks and herds, this is a dog that is among the most protective of all dog breeds, making it one of the most valuable to those who have something that needs to be guarded. Mostly, this breed is very popular in Russia. It is used there to show at dog shows, and there is a very big effort to keep the dog bred and popular for many reasons, despite the fact that fewer and fewer people use it on their farms and to protect their flocks and herds. Also used as a border patrol dog, there were more than 7,000 Caucasian Ovtcharkas released when the Berlin Wall came down. They were given new homes and families, and they were used for various purposes during that time.

Photo by Getty Images

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