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South Russian Ovtcharka

South Russian Ovtcharka
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Origin / History There are various theories regarding the origin of the South Russian Ovtcharka. Some believe that dogs of this breed were developed from Russian Shepherds. Another belief is that these dogs came from European herding dogs known as Austrian Shepherds. These theories have yet to be proven and there have been many arguments regarding the origin of this breed. A fact that remains uncontested, though, is that South Russian Ovtcharkas have the wolf as a direct ancestor. The skull of these dogs is very similar to that of wolves, with only little differences. These differences are said to be the result of domestication.

After the second World War, only a few specimens of this breed remained. To maintain the breed, the specimens of South Russian Ovtcharkas left were crossed with dogs of the same type. After that, the numbers of the South Russian Ovtcharka increased again. During the past few decades, though, they became fewer once more because of the bad economic situation in Russia.

Appearance South Russian Ovtcharkas are fluffy dogs that look similar to Old English Sheepdogs. South Russian Ovtcharkas have a large head and a short muzzle. These dogs have eyes that are dark in colour and are completely covered by hair. Their triangular ears, which are small when compared to their head, are also covered by their coat. The only visible part of the facial area of these dogs is their large, black nose. The body of these dogs is large, and their legs are muscular and long. These dogs have a long tail that curls upwards at the tip.

Colours The coat of these dogs is usually white, but can also have gray or yellow areas.

Temperament Having been bred to guard property, South Russian Ovtcharkas are independent and are meant to respond to nervous activity negatively. These dogs are lively, balanced, and strong. Although they have a dominant reaction, this is due to their instinct to defend what they deem as their own. Due to the possessive nature of these dogs, they should be provided with property, a family, and perhaps other animals that they can protect. These dogs also tend to have a dominating personality, something that makes them unsuitable for inexperienced or meek owners.

Height and Weight Male dogs of this breed are at least 25 inches tall, while women are at least 24 inches in height. The weight of these dogs ranges from 108 to 110 pounds.

Common Health Problems There are no health problems associated specifically with this breed. The illnesses affecting South Russian Ovtcharkas are those that affect all other dog breeds as well.

Living Conditions Dogs of this breed are not supposed to be kept inside apartments. It's best for these dogs to be provided with a yard where they can run around and do some physical activities.

Exercise Requirements These dogs work best as flock guardians. In case they aren't provided with anything to do, they should be taken out for long, brisk walks daily.

Training Requirements South Russian Ovtcharkas need owners that can be dominant trainers. These dogs should be trained using firm and consistent methods. Owners should also know how to handle these dogs because South Russian Ovtcharkas can be very independent. They have a short attention span and can be disobedient if the owner can't train it properly. These dogs should also be made to understand that humans are higher in pack rank than canines are.

Life Expectancy These dogs have a life span of approximately 9 to 11 years.

Grooming South Russian Ovtcharkas need much grooming. Because their coat mats easily, owners should brush these dogs on a daily basis. The area around the mouth of these dogs should also be cleaned often.

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