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Caucasian Ovtcharka

Caucasian Ovtcharka
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Origin / History The Caucasian Ovtcharka is a breed used as a flock guardian. Dogs of this breed were developed by local herders in Caucasus using pre-historic molosser breeds. Originally, these dogs were meant to protect sheep from predators and thieves. Due to the striking appearance and hardworking traits of these dogs, they get a lot of attention. These dogs, however, vary in type from one country to another because there is a lack of written standards and organized kennel clubs that promote dogs of this breed. Breeds that are similar to the Caucasian Ovtcharka have also been used for the protection of sheep for more than 600 years.

The term "Ovtcharka" is a Russian word that means "sheepdog". Although the need for this dog as a sheep protector has declined, there are extensive breeding programs for these dogs in Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, and Hungary. During the late 1960s, these dogs even served as border patrol dogs guarding the Berlin Wall. Nowadays, many individuals prefer to keep Caucasian Ovtcharkas as companions.

Appearance Caucasian Ovtcharkas are strong-boned, muscular dogs. They have dark eyes that are moderately deep set, and ears that are covered with hair. The hips of these dogs are slightly raised from the line of their back. Their tail has a feathering of heavy hair. These dogs have long, densely boned, straight forelimbs, and heavy, large paws. In between their toes are hairs that provide them with extra protection and insulation. These dogs have a prominent, black nose with large, well-opened nostrils. Their coat is thick, weather-resistant, and features profuse feathering that is excellent at keeping them warm during cold weather. In their homeland, these dogs sport cropped ears.

Colours The coat colours of these dogs can be tan, gray, fawn, pied, white, and brindle. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale do not accept the colour brown for these dogs.

Temperament Dogs of this breed were bred for protecting livestock, so they are naturally fearless, strong-willed, and brave. When not trained properly, these dogs may grow to develop unmanageable and ferocious behavior. They are powerful and strong, and possess strong protective instincts. These dogs will do what they can to protect their family and their family's property. These dogs can  play rough, so they shouldn't be left alone with children.

Height and Weight The height of these dogs ranges from 25 to 28 inches, and their weight falls between 99 and 154 pounds.

Common Health Problems This breed has no known genetic health problems. Ailments affecting the Caucasian Ovtcharka are those that affect other dog breeds as well.

Living Conditions Dogs of this breed are not supposed to be kept inside apartments. Caucasian Ovtcharkas need much space and will benefit from having at least a large yard where they can run around and play. The thick coat of these dogs can protect them, and they can live outdoors as long as they are given proper shelter.

Exercise Requirements Caucasian Ovtcharkas should be taken out for long walks daily. It would also be good for these dogs to be provided with a large and secure area where they can run freely.

Training Requirements These dogs need owners who know how to display strong leadership skills. It's also important for these dogs to be socialized extensively from puppyhood onwards.

Life Expectancy The life span of Caucasian Ovtcharkas is approximately 10 to 11 years.

Grooming The Caucasian Ovtcharka can either have a long or short coat. Owners of long-haired Caucasian Ovtcharkas should brush the coat of their dogs frequently, and they should make sure that they pay more attention to areas where there are tangles. Short-haired Caucasian Ovtcharkas, on the other hand, need less attention when it comes to grooming, although owners should still make sure that the coat of these dogs are combed and brushed.

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