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Russia, Voronezh


Name of Breed: Caucasian Ovcharka - Caucasian Shepherd - Caucasian Shepherd Dog - Kavkazskaya Ovtharka

Last version of the standard accepted at presidium SOKO RKF from 24.12.08.
It is published in "Bulletin RKF" №1, 2010

!!!!    The standard from 24 January 08. !!!!


FCI - Standard N° 328

CAUCASIAN SHEPHERD DOG (Kavkazskaya Ovtcharka)

UTILIZATION: Guard- and watchdog.

FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer type- Molossian and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Section 2.2 Molossian / Mountain type.

Without working trial


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog (CSD) is considered to be the breed taking its origin from ancient Caucasian dogs. The breed's expansion covers territories from the Caucasian Range and the steppe regions of Southern Russia.
The evolution of the breed was not only a result of natural selection but also influenced by nations that inhabited the Caucasian Region.
Historically Caucasian Shepherd dogs were used for guarding and safe-keeping of herds, flocks and dwellings from beasts of prey and predators. The first mention of a large molossoid dogs used by the army of Armenian Tsar Tigran the II dates from the 1st century BC.
Selection work with the breed started in the USSR in the 1920s. Obligatory qualities such as physical power, self-confidence, fearlessness, sharply developed hearing, good sight, and a dense and waterproof coat have been cultivated in the process of selection.
All these qualities as well as endurance allows people to use the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs in all kinds of climatic condition including the most severe ones.


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a harmonious built, large, strong dog with plenty of bone and powerful muscular system; of a slight rectangular format.
Sexual dimorphism is well pronounced. Males are masculine, with well developed withers and a bigger head in comparison with females. They are also more massive, bigger and often shorter in body than females.
In dogs with longer coat-variety males have a distinctly pronounced mane.


- The body length exceeds the height at withers by 3-8 %.
- The length of the forelegs averages 50-52% of the height at the withers.
- The length of the skull correlates with the length of the muzzle as 3:2.


Behaviour is steady, active, self-confident, fearless and independent. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog shows a devoted attachment to its master; it is an excellent guard dog.


The head is large, massive, and broad in cheekbones; when viewed from above the head looks like a wedge with broad base.
Skull: Massive and broad; forehead is almost flat, with a marked but not deep furrow. Superciliary ridges are developed, but not protruding. Occipital bone inconspicuous.
Stop: Noticeable but not clearly marked.


Nose: Black, large, wth correct open nostrilsi, not proceeding the muzzle outline. A black nose in solid, spotted or piebald colours is desirable but not obligatory (but genetic blue or liverbrown nose is not allowed).
Muzzle: Broad and deep, gradually tapering towards the nose; with strong jaws and chin; great depth and is well filled under the eyes. The bridge of the nose is broad. The upper lines of the muzzle and skull run parallel.
Lips: Thick, close-fitting, well pigmented.
Jaw / Teeth: Teeth should be healthy, white, strong; incisors are close to each other and in one line. Complete scissor or pincer bite: (i.e. 42 teeth).
Injured, broken or knocked out incisors or canines which do not affect the use of the bite is of no consequence, neither is absence of PM1s.
Cheeks: Well developed and emphasized by well pronounced chewing muscles.
Eyes: Moderate size, oval in shape, not too deep set, wide and obliquely placed. The colour is different shades of brown from dark to hazelnut. Eyelids are black, dry and close-fitting. Expression is serious, attentive and inquisitive.
Ears: Moderate size, thick, triangular shape naturally pendant, high and wide set. Inner part of ear is close lying to the cheeks. Ears are traditionally cropped in country of origin. Natural ears are of equal value.


Of medium length, powerful, low set; rounded in the cross-section. Crest is pronounced especially in males.


Very well developed in all dimensions; broad, well-muscled and well balanced.
Withers: Well pronounced, moderately long. The height at the withers slightly exceeds the height over the rump.
Back: Straight, broad, firm.
Loin: Short, broad, slightly arched.
Croup: Moderately long, broad, rounded, slightly sloping to root of the tail.
Chest: Long, broad, well ribbed up, deep in general as well as in its frontal part; in cross-section has broad-oval shape. Ribs well sprung, false ribs are long. The forechest is marked.
Underline and belly: Belly moderately tucked up towards rear.


Set on high, sickle curve or curled. In repose hanging down reaching the hocks; when the dog is alert, tail can be carried above the backline.


General appearance: Well muscled. Viewed from the front, straight, parallel forelegs that are set fairly wide apart.
Shoulder: Strongly muscled. Moderately long, broad, slanting to form an angle of approximately 100 degrees with the upper arm. The shoulder-blade lies close against the chest.
Upper arm: Strong and muscular, close fitting.
Elbow: Placed strictly back in parallel axis; turning neither in not out.
Forearm: Straight, massive, moderately long, well muscled; rounded in cross-section.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Short, massive; almost straight viewed from the front and the side.
Forefeet: Large, rounded in shape, well arched, well-knit.


General appearance: Viewed from the rear straight, standing parallel and moderately wide. The stifles and hocks sufficiently well angulated when viewed from the side. The hindquarters should not be set too far back.
Thigh: Broad, well muscled, moderately long.
Stifle (Knee): Sufficiently well angulated.
Lower thigh: Broad, well muscled, moderately long.
Hock joint: Broad and lean, sufficiently well bent; firm, turning neither in nor out.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Not long, massive; almost straight viewed from the front and the side.
Hind feet: Large, rounded in shape, well arched, well-knit.


Free, elastic, unhurried movement with good driving power in the hindquarters. Good stability in all joints and with good co-ordination.
The trot tends to be the typical movement.
The withers are on the same level as the rump, and the backline is relatively stable during movement.


Thick, sufficiently elastic, without any folds and wrinkles.


Hair: Straight, coarse, stand-off coat with well developed undercoat.
The length of guard coat as well as the undercoat should not be less than 5 cm. The coat on the head and forelegs is shorter and thicker. The tail is completely covered with dense coat and looks thick and furry.
The longer outer coat forms "brushes" on the ears, a "mane" around the neck and "trousers" on the back sides of the thighs.
Colour: Any solid colour, piebald or spotted colour. Except for solid black; diluted black or black in any combination or genetic blue or liver brown colour.


Height at the withers:
Males: Desirable height 72-75 cms; Minimum 68 cms;
Females: Desirable height 67-70 cms; Minimum 64 cms.
Larger stature is accepted, as long as conformation is harmonic.

Males: Minimum: 50 kgs;
Females: Minimum: 45 kgs.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


- Too light or too coarse in built.
- Lack of self-confidence
- Deviations in the sexual dimorphism
- Head small in proportions to the body; light; narrow; long; coarse; blocky or apple head
- Abrupt stop
- Muzzle: downfaced; dishfaced or snipy
- Teeth too small; widely spaced; incisors not set in one line; any deviation from the dental formula (except for absence of the PM1s)
- Insufficiently marked cheekbones
- Eyes large; bulging; very light; showing haw; slack eye lids
- Ears large; thin or set too low
- Top line roach or sway back; long, sagging or arched loin; rump higher than the withers
- Body square; too cobby; too long; narrow in both front and rear; too leggy; chest very short, flat or shallow; croup short or steep
- Stumped tail
- Weak bone; muscles and ligaments in joints
- Lacking correct angulations
- Bowed forearms
- Unbalanced movement
- Lack of driving power in the hindquarters
- Coat that is very soft; curly; has very short guard coat or no undercoat.


- Aggressive or overly shy dogs
- Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified
- Any deviation from the required bite
- Incompleted dental formula (absence of any tooth except the third molars (M3) or the first premolars (PM1s)
- Entropion
- Wall eyes; deep blue; green shaded or eyes of different colour
- Docked tail
- Constant pacing or impossibility to assess the gait
- Black colour in any variation; solid; diluted; piebald, spotted or as saddle (except for mask)
- Genetic blue colour in any variation or nuance
- Bluish-grey pigmented nose, lips and eye rims
- Genetic brown colour in any variation or nuance
- Genetic brown nose, lips and eye rims
- Tan-marking in black, blue or brown dogs
- Height below minimum
- Severe deviations in the sexual dimorphism in males.

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


Standards on a Russian

The standard from 24 January 08.
Last version of the standard accepted at presidium SOKO RKF from 24.12.08.
It is published in "Bulletin RKF" №1, 2010

The standard 1997 year (In Russian language)

The standard by Mazover, 1954 y. (In Russian language)

vimy MstitelThe Caucasian Mountain Dog is a very large, muscular, powerful dog. It is assertive, strong-willed, and courageous and more aggressive than most other breeds. It's a loyal and fearless dog with the ability to guard and protect even large territories. The Caucasian Mountain Dog's original purpose was to protect livestock and has been used as a guard dog recently. This is not a breed for first time owner; it needs a strong leader and firm obedience training.
Colors: Colors vary from gray, fawn, tan, pied, brindle and white. The FCI prohibits brown and black dogs.
Coat: The Caucasian Mountain Dog has thick, dense, weather-resistant coat, which is especially effective at keeping out the cold. There are two coat varieties: short and long. The coat of the long-haired variety requires frequent brushings, paying special attention to the spots where tangles may occur. The short-haired variety needs less grooming, but should still be combed and brushed.
Health Issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia. To minimize the risk of your Caucasian Mountain Dog developing any hereditary health issues, you should buy a Caucasian Mountain Dog puppy from a reputable breeder. Buying a Caucasian Mountain Dog:

Material from Wikipedia

Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are strongly-boned, and muscular and even-tempered Molossers. Plain dogs have a shorter coat and appear taller as they are more lightly built. Mountain dog types have a heavier coat and are more muscularly built. Caucasian Shepherds have no maximum height and the minimum height for females is 64 centimetres (25 in), with a desirable height between 67 and 70 centimetres (26 and 28 in). They weigh at least 45kilograms (99 lb). The minimum height for males is 68 centimetres (27 in), with adesirable height between 72 and 75 centimetres (28 and 30 in). Males weigh 50 kilograms (110 lb) and up. Softness and vicious temperaments are considered serious faults for the breed. Dogs of this breed are generally healthy and long lived, but hip dysplasia, obesity and occasional heart problems are known to occur. The ears of the Caucasian Shepherd are traditionally cropped, although some modern dogs are unaltered.


Caucasian Shepherds are typically assertive, brave, alert, strong, hardy and courageous to a fault. They are truly second to none in their bellicosity towards strangers. Unless properly socialized, they may exhibit unmanageable tendencies. They seldom have time for strangers (but will greet family friends warmly) and have extremely powerful guarding instincts. Everything and everyone who belongs to the family, including other dogs will be regarded by this dog as part of its family and as such will fall under its guardianship. Owing to their size and nature these dogs should not be left alone with children. Aggression toward unknown dogs should be expected unless the animal has been extensively socialized at an early age and even then some unwanted behaviors may occur.


The Caucasus mountains are home to one of the oldest living Molosser breeds, the Caucasian Mountain Dog. There is a great variety of types among the Caucasian dogs depending on their home region, but a single type has come to be favored in the show rings and literature, at the expense of other breed variants.

Although its first official Show-Ring appearance outside the Caucasus was in the 1930s in Germany, the Caucasian Mountain Dog has existed since ancient times, like many Eastern Molossers.

Recent history

  • Best breed is Georgian mountain dog called Nagazi. The Georgian Nagazi is tall, athletic and multicoloured. Another type of Georgian Nagazi, known as Tushetian Nagazi or Georgian Caucasian Sheepdog, which represents the original population of the breed, with the pure white dogs being the most valued.Vim
  • The Armenian dogs are divided into the large, longhaired and often multicoloured type and the slightly smaller wolf-grey dogs of medium-length coat with longer muzzles.
  • Daghestan dogs are tall, wide-headed and athletic, short-haired and multicoloured.
  • Astrakhan type is found in the Kabardino-Balkarian region and is believed to be a cross between the Russian show type and the old Circassian and Georgian mountain dog's, but Balkarian Molossers are also rooted in the Sarmatian Mastiff.
  • The Turkish Caucasus dogs are divided into four types, those being the Garban, the Georgian Akhaltsikhe type, the Circassian variant and the Kars Dog.
  • The large, short-muzzled, shorthaired fawn, brown, red, with or without white markings and extremely vicious Garban (Gorban) was developed from the Kars and the Kangal, as well as other Turkish dogs being crossed with the Armenian and Georgian types.
    • The Georgian Akhaltsihnske type was created from Garban crosses with the Georgian Nagazi variant and gomik turkey,resulting in longhaired, lightly built solid-coloured white, fawn and grey dogs. The Circassian variant is believed to be a result of crossing the Kangals with the Cherkes dogs introduced to Turkey after the Russian-Circassian wars.
    • The Kars Dog is a variety closely associated with the Kars Province of modern Turkey and is today seen as a separate breed. The Armenian Gamprs are smaller than the Georgian dogs and are shorter-necked and squarely built, and come in a variety of colors.
  • The Volkodav variant also comes in two types, with the longhaired mountain and short-coated steppe dogs both being smaller than Georgian and Armenian types, always having black masks.
  • A result of matings between the dogs of southern Kavkaz with the Sage Mazandarani and the Kars Dog of Turkey, the Iranian Sage Ghafghazi is a lean, powerful and richly coated mastiff, used as a caravan protector of the Shahsavan nomads, who have been breeding it since the 17th century. These Iranian Caucasians come in a variety of colours, both solid and bicoloured.
  • There is also a rare shorthaired Kavkaz mastiff, known as the North-Caucasian Volkodav, which is on its way to receive a separate breed recognition.

Even the legendary Alaunt, the breed considered to be the key progenitor of all bulldog breeds, is also descended from this Caucasian stock of mountain dogs.

As mentioned above, most working Caucasian dogs are hybrids between established types, as well as some lines of the Central Asian dogs, in effect making the Russian show type appear to be a superior-breed dog in the eyes of fanciers. There are two types, the working strain in the east and the show dogs in the west. The fighting strains of the Caucasian Ovcharka can contain blood of some European breeds, from mastiffs to Bandogs, but these crosses are a minority in the breed. Historically, the Caucasian Molossers were used for centuries to protect properties, guard livestock, kill wolves, and hunt bears. Today, especially outside the Caucasus, they are employed as companion animals and watchdogs.Most prized as a property guardian, the Caucasian Shepherds are good protectors. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is a low activity dog, seemingly lethargic when not working, but agile and convincing when it feels its family is threatened. Although certain strains are more vicious than others, all Caucasians are very territorial and dog-aggressive, needing early and careful broad socialization, as well as firm, but never forceful, handling. This breed can be a family dog, if well trained and socialized.




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