When you are not familiar with the Moscow Watchdog, you can confuse them with the Saint Bernard. And it make sense, since the Saint Bernard is one of the descendant of this tall and sturdy dog breed. When you see them, they gives you impression of powerful dog, and that is absolutely true impression.
This breed has massive head with wide muzzle. Their dark eyes are looking pretty small on their giant head. The ears are triangular are set high up on the sides of the head and hang down close to their cheeks.
Moscow Watchdogs have very thick doublecoat, which is typically in white color with large red markings. The coat is important for them, since it needs to withstand harsh russian winters.
The average height of this breed is between 25-27 inches which is 64-69 cms. The weight is between 100-150 pounds, which is 45-68 kgs.
The Moscow Watchdog is both – amazing protector, but also gentle companion. When they are around their owners and family, they are normally quiet and calm. This is not extremely playful and hyperactive breed, but they do love their people.
They make good gentle and patient companions for kids, but you should always monitor and supervise the interaction between them. They also have no problems with other animals in the home, especially, if they grew up around them. They are not hunters and even smaller pets are relatively safe around them.
On the other hand, this dog breed has strong protective instinct and they are not very trusting towards strangers, even though, this depends a lot on training and socialization. But generally speaking, they are alert and aloof around other people, until they got to know them.
When they feel they or their people are in danger, they will use their strength to protect and guard. That is why, especially if your goal is to have a family companion dog rather than a guard, the early socialization is the most important thing to do, so they are not agressive towards other people. Because of their large size and protective instinct, this is not a good dog for novices, but rather experienced, firm and patient dog owners.
As i already said in this video, one ancestor of Moscow Watchod is the Saint Bernard. They gave this breed its large size and gentle temperament. The second important ancestor is Caucasian Shepherd, which gave them their protective side. These two are the most important ancestors, but some other dogs were also used in the breeding process, for example the German Shepherd, Russian Wolfhound and Russian Harlequin Hound.
They were developed in the 1950s in the Soviet Russia by Red Star Kennel. The reason of their breeding was, that after the second world war, Soviet government needed thousands of guard dogs, because of the rising crime. When the dog was developed, they were used for guarding almost anything, for example borders, labor camps or warehouses.
Because of the isolation of Soviet Union, the Moscow Watchdog was living only in this region for long time. They were brought outside the Soviet Union in 1986 – to be more specific, to the Hungary. Today, you can find few breeders in the USA or in some European states as well. The first US-born litter of Moscow Watchdogs was born in 2015.
Health and Grooming
This is pretty hardy and healthy dog breed, but just like all dog breeds, especially the giant dogs, they do suffer from some health issues, most commonly to musculoskeletal problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. They can also suffer from patellar luxation or gastric torsion.
The average lifespan is quite average for dog of this size and it is between 9-11 years.
This breed does not require professional grooming, but you should brush their coat regularly to keep it in good condition. Also this is a heavy shedder, so brushing their coat will remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding.
This is quite active dog breed and they definitely need daily longer walks to be happy. If you will not provide them with enough exercise, they will be bored and they can become little bit destructive out of the boredome.