On the first sight, it is easy to mistake the Moscow Watchdog with the Saint Bernard and the similarities between those two breeds are no coincidence, because they are closely related together. But even though the appearance of Moscow Watchdog and St. Bernard is similar, the temperament is very very different. And to understand the similarities and differences between them, it is important to know the origin of those dogs.
The Saint Bernard is an old dog breed from Swiss Alps where it was mainly used for search and rescue jobs and as avalanche dogs. To help people, to save them and to assist travelers who were travelling across the dangerous parts of Switzerland Alps.
The Moscow Watchdog breed is a result of crossing the Saint Bernard with the Caucasian Shepherd in Soviet Union kennels. They were not bred to save and help people as the Saint Bernard, quite the opposite. They were bred to be courageous guard and patrol dogs that will withstand very low temperatures. They were guarding borders, warehouses, infrastracture, and they were amazing at it.
These two dogs had to have proper temperamental traits for their different utilization, which is why they have different personality even today.
The Saint Bernard is a definition of the gentle giant. They are super calm, patient, sweet, affectionate, gentle and loyal. Of course, all the temperamental traits are vastly influenced by early socialization. The Saint Bernard is not naturally and instinctively territorial and protective, but they might be trained to bark at strangers and to guard the property, but it is not the number one job for them. They are typically very friendly, even towards strangers.
On the other hand, the Moscow Watchdog is instinctively protective and territorial. They are more courageous, alert, and watchful towards strangers, but they are still very gentle, friendly and loyal to its family. They are also more active and lively breed than the more relaxed Saint Bernard and they need more exercise.
Due to the giant size of both dogs, they should both be very well trained and socialized, but the Moscow Watchdog should especially be owned by experience owners who can handle independent dog breed with protective instincts. But with proper socialization, the Moscow Watchdog is also extremely good and loving companion.
And what about the size. First of all, the Saint Bernard is slightly bigger, especially in terms of weight. You can see the height and weight comparsion on the screen right now. The Moscow Watchdog is more athletic dog breed and both dogs have well muscled body.
The coat of Moscow Watchdog is a thick, medium length doublecoat. The coat is rough and lying close to the body and the color is white with patches of red, often times spotted with brown or black.
The Saint Bernard has two different coat types, either smooth or rough, either long or short, which is another appearance difference from the Moscow Watchdog. The colour is typically a red shade with white, or a mahogany brindle with white.
The maintenance of both dogs is similar, as they both shed a lot of fur all year long. Regular brushing is recommended to minimize the shedding, but it is impossible to stop it. Other than that, these two breed as easy to take care of, they do not need trimming, bathing or any other grooming and they will keep the coat in great condition.
Both breeds are also prone to similar health issues, but the Moscow Watchdog, especially thanks to its slightly lighter build, has longer lifespan and is little bit healthier. The average lifespan of St. Bernard is 8-10 years and Moscow Watchdog lifespan is between 9-11 years. Both dogs are prone to joint and bone problems like hip dysplasia, arthritis and patellar luxation. Other health issues are gastric torsion and bloating or some eye problems.