This breed was developed in the Caucasus Mountains, where it also got its name. It is believed, that different types of mountain dogs, that served as shepherds, lived in the region of Caucasus for thousands of years, but the Caucasian Shepherd we know today was bred from different Caucasus dogs by Soviet breeders in 1920s. Probably the most important ancestor is another giant sheepdog, the Georgian Shepherd dog.
The Caucasian Shepherd was mostly used as one of the best livestock protector in the world. That is why they were bred to be strong, courageous, brave and agressive when needed. They are able to protect flocks of sheeps from other people, wolves or even bears. Well not only that, there are evidences of Caucasian Shepherds hunting bears. Today, they are also use to guard prisoners in Russia.
3) More types
It is important to say, that there are differences between Caucasian Shepherds, depending on the country and region where they were bred. They can vary in size and even in the coat type. The coat comes in three lengths and a huge variety of colors. But commonly, the Caucasian Shepherd from Georgia is considered as the breed standard by most kennel clubs in the world.
4) Other names
The Caucasian Shepherd is known under some other names. You might be familiar with the name Caucasian Ovcharka. The word ovcharka is a russian word for a sheepdog. They are also known as Caucasian Mountain dogs, Bakshan or Russian Bear Dogs.
Believe it or not, unlike most of the other shepherds, this is quite low energetic and low activity dog. When they are not working, they might look lethargic. But even though, they do not have energy level, they do need daily walks, hikes or some other exercise, because they are prone to gaining weight, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.
6) Not for novices
The Caucasian Shepherd can become calm, friendly and devoted companion, but it can also grows into agressive, ferocious and unmanagable dog. It completely depends on the training and socialization. This is the reason, why this is a dog breed for experienced owners only, because if you train and socialize them properly, you will have extraordinary dog by your side.
This is giant, muscular and powerful dog with average height between 67-90 cm which is 26-35 inches and weight between 45-100 kg, which is 100-220 pounds. But it is not uncommon for a Caucasian Shepherd male to weigh a lot over 100 kgs. As you can see, there are big size differences and the size depends on whether it is a male or female, but also where they come from or what type they are. The dogs bred in high mountains tend to be much more muscular.
As i said in the video, this dog can have coat in three lengths. And if it is the long coated Caucasian Ovcharka version, than they tend posses a big fluffy mane around their neck that encircles the neck, as well as feathering that trails down the back of the legs and tail. Because of that mane and giant size, they are kinda remind lions.
This is doublecoated dog and just like most of the doublecoated dogs, they do shed all year long. If you want to minimize the shedding and keep their coat in top condition regular brushing several times a week is needed. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check their eyes, nails and ears and clip them or clean them if needed. Checkin the ears for possible infection is especially important.
This is relatively healthy dog breed. Most giant dogs have short lifespan, but the Caucasian Shepherd lifespan is pretty good, between 10-12 years. They do suffer from some health issues, commonly from hip dysplasia, obesity and cataracts.