AKC Dog Breeds: Caucasian Mountain Dog

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 24-26 inches   Weight: 99-155 pounds  Color: piebald, brindle, white, cream, fawn, gray, red

Originating from the Caucasus Mountain area, the Caucasian Mountain Dog was depended upon to guard villages and flocks. They were also used by the former Soviet government to guard factories and government facilities. In the United States they have earned a reputation as trustworthy service dogs. They are also known as the Caucasian Ovtcharka. Located between the Black Sea on the West and the Caspian Sea on the East, the Caucasus mountain range represents a true melting pot of various cultures due to a number of nations calling it their home through the ages. Today these influences are still strong and a rich source of cultural wealth of the region, as well as numerous political conflicts. Although its first official Western Show-Ring appearance was in the 1930s in Germany, the Caucasian Mountain Dog has existed since ancient times. 

General Appearance

A strongly muscled, powerful, and athletic breed, the Caucasian Mountain Dog possesses a very distinctive head and expression. They are most often described as "bear-like". This ferocious defender's body is slightly longer than they are tall with males being more massive and females lighter in build. The Caucasian Ovtcharka has moderate deep-set, dark eyes.  The ears are densely covered with hair for insulation.  The hips are slightly raised from the line of the back.  The tail is profusely covered with a long feathering of heavy hair.  The forelimbs are long, straight, and densely boned.  The paws are large and heavy, with hair between the toes, providing excellent insulation and protection.  The nose is black and prominent with well opened, large nostrils. The thick, dense, weather-resistant coat has profuse feathering and is especially effective at keeping out the cold.  Puppy coats are finer then adult coats.  Colors vary from gray, fawn, tan, pied, brindle and white.  The FCI prohibits brown dogs.  In its native country the Caucasian Ovtcharka's ears are cropped short.

They are loyal to their duty in protecting their flock and family and will stand by and defend through any circumstance. They are an extremely aggressive animal and need very experienced owners. The Caucasian Ovtcharka's original purpose was to protect livestock. The typical Caucasian Ovtcharka is assertive, strong-willed, and courageous.  Unless properly socialized and trained, the Caucasian Ovtcharka may exhibit ferocious and unmanageable tendencies.  It is very brave, alert, strong and hardy.  It does not accept people it does not know and it has a powerful urge to defend.  Everything and everyone who belongs to the family, including children, cats, other dogs, etc, will be regarded by this dog as part of "its" family and will be respected and protected. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is affectionate, demonstrative, and gentle with family members. They are highly protective of their family and territory and extremely suspicious of strangers and dogs. This breed is even-tempered, steady, and possess keen senses. Any danger, real or perceived, will result in warning growls and barking. Caucasian Mountain Dog's will not hesitate to respond with lightening-quick speed to protect what or who belongs to them. This dog should not be left alone with children, because if play becomes too rough, the Caucasian Ovtcharka my feel the need to protect your child, and may do it extensively.  It has no time for strangers, but it will greet family friends warmly.  It can be rather dominate towards other dogs it does not know.  Some German fanciers employ the dogs as foremost guardians and deterrents. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is slow to mature and is headstrong. Early socialization is a must. Caucasian Mountain Dog's will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training should be done with firmness, fairness, patience, and reward.


Frequent brushing is required to prevent the coat from tangles and matting. Bathing should only be done when necessary using a mild shampoo to protect the weather-resistant coat.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

There are no known health problems associated with the Caucasian Mountain Dog breed. They have a life expectancy of around 11 years.

Activity Level
This breed of dog is best suited to a family with lots of space surrounding the home where it can safely run free in an open area. The Caucasian Mountain Dog breed is not recommended for apartment or city dwelling. They do best in a rural setting with room to roam and run and a job to do.


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