History of Caucasian Shepherd


Caucasian Shepherd dog

The Caucasian Ovcharka is an old shepherd dog breed. The region of origin of these imposing dogs is the Caucasus with its adjacent areas.

They are most common in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Dagestan.

For about 600 years this dog breed exists demonstrably and is getting more and more popular.

However, it is estimated that the Caucasian is of much older origin.

The first dogs of this breed outside Russia were kept in the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) and other Eastern Bloc countries. There they were used as working dogs (including military guard dogs). The popularity of this breed increased in the 80s. For the first time in 1977, a Caucasian was exhibited in Cologne (Western) Germany and from there it spread all over Europe and Overseas.

Since the original area of distribution extends far around the Caucasus, we can find different types of Ovcharkas spread all over the former USSR.

In the past, two main groups were distinguished: steppe and mountain Caucasians.


Country of origin: Russia


Males: min. 65 cm
Females: min. 62 cm


Herding dog, guard and protection dog.

FCI Group 2 (see below)***

Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossian - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds

Description: Caucasian Shepherd Dog/Ovcharka


Caucasian Sheepdogs are Giant dogs of strong to coarse-strong build; they are naturally sharp and suspicious of strangers. These peculiarities and their endurance, undemanding nature and ability to adapt to various weather conditions, provide the possibility of using Caucasian Sheepdogs in almost all climatic regions of the Soviet Union.

Caucasian Sheepdogs are most common in the Grusinian, Armenian and Azerbaijani Union Republics, in the Autonomous Republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan and Kalmykia, as well as in the steppe areas of the North Caucasus and the area around Astrakhan.

In the Transcaucasian areas the dogs are usually more massive, while in the steppe areas they are lighter, taller-legged, often even short-haired, strong, well-balanced, calm temperament type with well-developed defensive reaction expressed in active form.


The Ovcharka is typically characterised by both loyalty to family and fearlessness and intrepidity toward strangers.

Within the family, the Caucasian Sheepdog is hugely affectionate and sensitive. Towards unknown persons, this behaviour can change abruptly, especially when threatened. Since the Caucasian Ovcharka has an innate sharpness, it behaves reserved and suspicious towards strangers. This innate guarding and protective instinct can quickly get out of control if the owner purposefully encourages the protective instinct, for example, at a dog park. Then a Caucasian can become a danger to humans.

Since the Caucasian Shepherd is generally not a barker, but an attentive guard, they will reliably strike as soon as anything is noticed at the door or on the property. One should accept this trait, as the dog was bred for this purpose, among others.

The property should be fenced because the Caucasian Sheppherd otherwise also considers adjacent terrain as its territory and consequently also guards it.

In the family, the Caucasian Ovcharka is sweet and has a pleasant nature. He is a strong, balanced and calm dog. A Caucasian Ovcharka wants to and should be a friend and family member in equal measure, which of course does not exclude a loving, consistent upbringing, but requires it. However, his independent nature has to be kept under control.

A Caucasian Shepperd's urge to move in relation to other "typical" working dogs is relatively low. According to the breed description in the breed standard, his typical gait is a short trot that changes to a somewhat clumsier canter when accelerated. In connection with the family, he likes to move, but is not suitable for hours of bicycle training, for example.

***FCI is the abbreviation for Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the largest canine governing body. Cynology is the study of breeds and the breeding of domestic dogs. This means that the institution establishes a breed description that must apply to the dog.