Caucasian Shepherd Dog Appearance
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A massive creature able to meet a human face to face when standing on their hind legs, the Caucasian Shepherd dog is not a companion for the faint of heart. With a sturdy build and ferocious sense of loyalty, dogs of this breed are inherently assertive and strong willed. They have dense double-coats that are very weather resistant and help to protect the Caucasian Shepherd from the harsh elements of their homeland, the plains and mountains of the Caucasus region. Dogs with ancestors from the plains of Caucasia tend to have shorter coats and a taller, lighter build than their robust, muscular counterparts from the mountainous areas. The fur around the ears, tail and between the toes feathers out to further help protect the dog from moisture. Coats range in color from tan, white, fawn, and can also be a combination of colors as seen in brindle and pied coats. They can also display facial mask patterns, typically in black. Caucasian Shepherds are usually between 25-30 inches tall and will weigh between 100-180 lbs. on average, with some weighing in over 200 lbs. With proper love and care, these dogs usually will live to be between 10-12 years old.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Grooming
The Caucasian Shepherd’s densely packed coat requires daily attention. If their long, fluffy coat is neglected, these dogs can develop severe knots and painful matting. Daily brushing is necessary to keep the fur tangle-free and healthy. Slicker brushes and wire-pin brushes are excellent tools for removing excess hair without causing damage to the coat or skin. If fur does get matted, it is important to brush gently and thoroughly to remove all tangles without hurting the dog. If fur is severely matted, it may be best to carefully trim the excess hair or take the dog to a professional groomer. Trimming their thick nails regularly is also recommended to avoid any painful ingrown or breakage. Incorporating a quick wipe of the ear during grooming sessions will help reduce the chance of ear infections. Starting these practices early in puppyhood will result in a well-adjusted dog who doesn’t fear grooming.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Temperament
A natural guardian with a strong will and brave heart, the Caucasian Shepherd thrives on protecting their family from harm. Originally bred to protect livestock, this assertive breed develops strong bonds of loyalty to their family, property, and even other household pets. They are totally devoted to their family and thrive on daily interactions. Keeping them active and engaged is necessary to prevent them from turning to destructive behavior when bored. While fervently devoted to those they consider part of the pack, they are not immediately warm to strangers and will quickly sound the alarm when threatened. While this fierce need to protect may be appreciated, it must also be reined in to prevent the Caucasian Shepherd from displaying overly aggressive behaviors. Beginning obedience training while they’re young is a great way to correct their problematic aggression. A pup of this breed untrained could turn into a ferocious adult that is unsafe to be around. Early and frequent socialization with many other dogs and people will also help teach the young Caucasian Shepherd pup how to appropriately interact with others. Correcting aggressive behavior each and every time it occurs is key to establishing acceptable behavior. Supervising playtime with young children is necessary to ensure play doesn’t get out of control; these dogs can be extremely rambunctious and even aggressive while playing. These dogs require lots of attention, exercise, and firm leadership. A strong-willed breed with a powerful build and the ability to ward off immense predators such as wild bears, Caucasian Shepherd dogs are definitely not for beginners or shy dog owners.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Training
As with all dog breeds, beginning training as early as possible is recommended in order to fully establish acceptable behavior. With dogs such as the Caucasian Shepherd, early socialization is critically important due to their inherent aggressiveness. The earlier they are taught how to interact with other dogs and humans, the better they will behave later on in life. Positive interactions should always be rewarded, either with a small treat or verbal praise, to encourage future positive relations. Always utilize positive reinforcement as this breed doesn’t respond well to harsh treatment and will not tolerate abuse. Caucasian Shepherds tend to be very alert and assertive, which may present a challenge during training sessions. If the dog feels dominant over their owner, they will not heed directions or behave as desired. Establishing the owner’s role as leader of the pack is crucial in earning the dog’s respect and obedience. Incorporating training sessions into a daily routine will help ensure that lessons are not forgotten or ignored.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog History
An ancient breed descending from pre-historic molosser breeds, the Caucasian Shepherd can be traced back to Caucasia, a region at the border of Europe and Asia. Home to the Caucasus Mountains, dogs living in this region are exceptionally hearty and the Caucasian Shepherd is no different. Early versions of this breed have stood watch over families and livestock for over 600 years. In more recent history, this powerful breed arrived in East Germany during the late 1960s to patrol the borders and protect the Berlin Wall. This breed has also been utilized in war endeavors. Many are still working today as flock guards but are increasingly being welcomed in as family companions. While the Caucasian Shepherd is often represented in the show ring, there currently isn’t any set breed standard and it’s not uncommon to see varying appearances between this breed between various locales. This breed is extremely popular in Russia as well as countries such as Poland, Hungary, and the Slovak and Czech Republics. Also known as the Caucasian Ovtcharka (sheepdog), breeding programs in these countries are working to implement careful breeding practices to effectively breed out undesirable traits.
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