The Caucasian shepherd dog is a large, strong guard dog, characterized by reckless bravery and able to protect a person from a predator of any size. In their quest to ensure the safety of loved ones and property, Caucasians show rare aggression and rage, so you can imagine how dangerous these giants are to others.
Origin of the breed
Caucasians belong to the oldest breeds, whose age, according to archaeological data, exceeds 2500 years. The range of distribution of Caucasian shepherds is wide — from the territories adjacent to the Caucasus range to the steppe regions of southern Russia. In the process of evolution, these dogs have passed strict natural selection, winning the right to be near a person. The national traditions of the peoples of the Caucasus also had a considerable influence on the formation of the breed.
It is believed that the ancestors were old-type Tibetan great Danes, selflessly loyal and ferocious towards the enemies of animals that were used in the troops of the Assyrian state.
Caucasian shepherds have long been used to protect herds and homes from predators and aggressors. Subsequently, they were introduced to the guard service, where they are currently used.
Breeders became interested in Caucasian shepherds in the 20s of the XX century. As a result of their work, they managed to get a type of dog that embodies excellent physical qualities, endurance and fearlessness, with good eyesight and a thick coat that is impervious to precipitation. These characteristics make it possible to use Caucasians in the harshest conditions.
The breed standard
Caucasian shepherds have a rough body type and well-developed muscles. Appearance can cause awe. The height of males at the withers is from 72 to 75 centimeters, weight — 50-70 kilograms. However, there are individuals up to 100 kg. With proportional addition, this is not considered a disadvantage. Female height — 67-70 cm, weight — at least 45 kg.
Main characteristics of the Caucasian shepherd dog:
- The head is large, massive, with a mane. The lips are thick, the forehead is convex and broad. The black nose. The teeth are large and the bite is scissor-like.
- Ears are small in size, pigmented black. Cupping is optional today.
- Eyes deep-set, small. Look attentive, wary.
- The body is massive and well developed. The chest is long, the back is strong and straight.
- The tail is set high.
- Paws are round and large.
Based on the length of the hair, there are three types of Caucasian shepherds:
- short-haired (least common);
- long-haired (the most popular).
The coat is straight and stiff. Thanks to the thick undercoat, the dog looks even more massive and perfectly tolerates frosts.
Color black, gray, brown or mottled. Regardless of color, Caucasians must have dark rims around the eyelids and lips.
Health, typical diseases
The Caucasian shepherd is a hardy and healthy breed. Strong from the nature of the immune system provides protection against various diseases.
With good care, Caucasians may not have health problems until old age and live up to 12 years, which is considered an advanced age for such large breeds.
The weak point of Caucasian shepherds is the musculoskeletal system, joints, which is explained by the size of the animal. In addition, many individuals have a tendency to gain excess weight, which exacerbates the problem. One of the most common pathologies is hip dysplasia, which can occur even at an early age. The clinical picture is pronounced: decreased activity, joint pain, lameness, unnatural sitting posture.
The shepherd gets tired quickly, refuses to walk, and prefers to lie down longer. If you do not take action in time, the dog is in danger of complete immobilization. At the initial stage, medication and physiotherapy sometimes help; in the chronic course of the disease, surgery is indicated.
Pathologies of the musculoskeletal system also include clubfoot, paw spread, and sagging limbs.
Some diseases of Caucasians are the result of a genetic predisposition. These include pathologies associated with metabolic disorders. If a Sheepdog is diagnosed with agammaglobulinemia or allergies, this may be due to a disturbed metabolism.
Caucasians, as well as other breeds, are susceptible to infectious diseases — adenovirus hepatitis, tuberculosis, carnivorous distemper, leptospirosis, coccidiosis. That is why you need to remember that the best prevention against diseases of infectious etiology is vaccination.
Sometimes Caucasians are diagnosed with nervous diseases — neuroses, epilepsy, convulsions, which can occur at any age.
Among the pathologies of the endocrine system — dwarfism, diabetes, cryptorchidism, obesity.
Finally, it should be noted that sometimes puppies are born with albinism of varying degrees of severity — skin, eye, combined.
Experienced breeders agree: the Caucasian shepherd is a fearless, determined and strong dog, but it is not suitable for everyone. Inexperienced dog breeders are not recommended to keep it, since only a responsible, persistent and strong person can cope with an imperious and independent Caucasian.
If you just want a big dog — get a Newfoundland or St. Bernard, as they are more accommodating and kind. But if you need a dog that will protect your family until the last breath — take a Caucasian.
These shaggy giants are endowed with rare courage. They do not know fear, they are ready to attack anyone from whom there is a threat to the family or the entrusted territory. For this reason, the owner has a huge responsibility. He must be able to control the behavior of the animal, understand its thinking, because in the event of a critical situation, you can only stop an unruly Caucasian with a weapon.
With proper upbringing and proper training, representatives of this breed grow reliable and loyal, loving all family members of the dog. They get along well with children and other Pets. Suspicious of strangers, but friendly with relatives and close friends of the owners. There is no better caretaker for the house, as Caucasians clearly respond to extreme situations and are able to make independent decisions.
How to choose a puppy
The choice of a Caucasian breed puppy should be approached as responsibly as possible. It is advisable to buy a baby not on the market, but in a nursery, where you will be able to see his parents firsthand, get the necessary documents for the future family member and guarantee the absence of hereditary diseases.
First of all, decide which dog you need — for breeding or protection, based on this, pay attention to certain qualities of the Caucasian. If you have small children in your family, then take a bitch that is better trained and has a softer character. They handle home security as well as males.
Watch all the puppies from the litter and choose the most sociable, lively and inquisitive. If the kid fights, it means that he demonstrates the habits of the future leader and only a very experienced dog breeder can tame this one.
You can pick up at the age of 1.5-2 months. At first, the owner replaces the baby’s mother, and then becomes an authority for him, “the leader of the pack”.
The cost of a Caucasian shepherd dog varies from 10,000 to 30,000 rubles, depending on the exterior class:
- Pet. Are not allowed to breed, do not participate in exhibitions. From 10 to 15 thousand rubles.
- Brid. Meet the standard, are used for breeding and are allowed to participate in exhibitions. From 20 to 25 thousand rubles.
- Show. Puppies from titled parents, future Champions. From 25 to 30 thousand rubles.
Sometimes in the nursery you can buy a baby and cheaper, for example, with minor deviations from the standard. Such a puppy has no breeding prospects, but it is quite capable of becoming a loyal friend and a brave defender for you.
The best option for keeping a Caucasian shepherd dog is a private house, where such a dog will have enough free space. You can, of course, keep a large, but not very energetic Caucasian in the apartment. However, in this case, it will need to be walked for a long time to provide it with the necessary physical activity. In addition, a vigilant dog will bark loudly at every suspicious rustle, which is unlikely to appeal to the neighbors.
Keeping such a large dog is not easy and financially expensive, so you should think in advance whether you can do it.
The beauty and pride of the Caucasians — luxurious fluffy wool. However, the owner will have to maintain it in a decent condition. Comb the “fur coat” should be at least 2 times a week with a metal comb, pukhoderki.
If you neglect this procedure, the wool will get tangled and fall off and subsequently put it in order will be problematic. During molting, the dog is combed daily. To maintain the coat in a healthy and well-groomed condition, it is recommended to bathe the pet once a month with a special shampoo.
It is necessary to regularly inspect the paws, eyes, ears, and mouth. For the prevention of dental calculus give a special chewing bones.
As for feeding, the dog needs a large amount of food. This does not mean that it will absorb dry food by buckets, and meat by tons. However, to maintain a good physical shape, the Caucasian must eat appropriately. Preference should be given to high-quality premium food.
In General, Caucasians are unpretentious and can eat both “dry” and “straight”, but if you want your four-legged friend to be healthy and strong, treat the diet responsibly.
Pros and cons of the breed
Like representatives of any other breed, Caucasian shepherds have advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account in order to avoid undesirable consequences.
Positive features include:
- the excellent protective qualities;
- attachment to the owner and other family members;
- friendly relations with children and animals in the house;
- high intelligence, good learning ability;
- adequate assessment of the situation;
- ability to make independent decisions.
Cons of the breed:
- maintenance in a private home;
- plentiful molt;
- long walks (when kept in an apartment);
- stubbornness, desire to dominate;
- attack without the host’s command;
- large material costs for care.
Taking into account all the difficulties of the breed, the owner must really imagine the possibility of creating full-fledged conditions for the Caucasian shepherd, weigh all the pros and cons.