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The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is one of the oldest living Molosser breeds. It is a pastoral dog that effectively guarded sheep from wild predators like wolves and bears. Caucasian Shepherds weigh between 99 and 220 pounds, with males significantly heavier and taller than females. They are gentle and loving toward their family but suspicious of strangers.
Are you thinking of getting a Caucasian Shepherd Dog? Here is a brief background of this gigantic, courageous dog.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog’s origin is unknown and it is believed to be one of the oldest living Molosser breeds that came from the Caucasus Mountains. Some experts say the breed came from Mesopotamia, while others argue it originated in Tibet and was brought to Caucasus. This breed assisted shepherds as guardians that defended flocks of sheep from wolves, bears, and other predators.
There are varying types of Caucasian dogs per home region and one of the most favoured is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog. The show type called the Caucasian Ovcharka was developed during the 1900s. Although the breed has been recognised by major kennel organisations like the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club, it is still not registered with The Kennel Club here in the UK.
The handsome and robust Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a strongly boned and well-muscled giant breed, which characteristics have made it an effective pastoral dog. Males are a lot taller and heavier than females, standing 65 to 75 and 70 to 90 centimetres, and weighing 99 to 176, and 121 to 220 pounds for females and males, respectively.
Caucasian Shepherds have very large, broad heads with a slightly defined stop, with females having a faintly more refined shape. They have a short neck, powerful muzzles that narrow gently to the nose and strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite. Their eyes are medium-sized, brown and oval, while their ears are triangular and set high. Their bodies are nicely proportioned to their heads.
The Caucasian Shepherd boasts of a beautiful double coat composed of a long and coarse outer coat paired with a thick, dense and soft undercoat. It has a short and smooth hair on the forehead, muzzle and front legs, as well as longer hair on its cheeks and the back of its heads that stands away from the body, giving it a bear-like appearance. It generally has a darker mask on its mask.
It comes in the following colours: (1) agouti grey, with or without markings; (2) white, cream, fawn or reddish fawn, tan or reddish tan, fulvous, with or without white markings; (3) Brindle with grey markings; (4) piebald with grey markings; and (5) white with grey markings. Maintaining this attractive coat takes time and effort especially that it sheds heavily. Although it does not require any type of specialist grooming, it needs to be brushed frequently to avoid tangles and matts.
To ensure the physical health of your Caucasian Shepherd, ensure that you also take care of its teeth, nails, and ears. If these areas are overlooked, your pet may be prone to infections that can lead to serious medical conditions. Its skin should also be checked for abnormal spots and fleas.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a gentle, loyal and loving breed to its family. It always wants to be included in family activities, may it be just lazing around the house or doing something interesting outside. It is placid toward the children of the family but all interactions should be supervised so no one accidentally gets hurt. When not properly socialised, it tends to be suspicious of new people and animals. It gets overprotective of the kids so you have to keep an eye as it may mistakenly judge harmless play between other children and dogs. This breed will do well in a family with more mature children.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is very intelligent and could easily learn new things. It is specifically proficient in tracking thanks to its keen senses. However, having been raised as a protector of flocks, it is courageous, confident and strong-willed. For this reason, proper training and is very important to prevent unmanageable and unruly tendencies, which can be difficult for novice dog owners as they may find this breed overwhelming. It needs a consistent handler that has an experience in raising large guard dogs, and can take on the alpha role. It responds well to positive reinforcements and tends to feel bad when corrected harshly.
The Caucasian Shepherd, like other dog breeds, have certain predisposed characteristics. However, this does not necessarily mean it will acquire them all. The overall character of your dog is also influenced by genetics, environment, socialisation, and training.
A typical serving for a Caucasian Shepherd Dog adult is 4 to 6 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. However, like in every breed, the amount of food depends on its age, size, activity level, physical condition, and metabolism. Since giant dogs are prone to bloat, divide its food into 2 or 3 meals. Your Caucasian Shepherd should not be fed before or after a rigorous physical activity.
Typical calorie needs of adult Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, weighing 160 pounds, per day:
It is important to feed your Caucasian Shepherd high quality dog food specifically formulated for large/giant breeds. As an active dog with high energy needs, it requires more protein from animal meat than carbohydrates. Since large puppies experience growth spurts, their diet should support healthy bone and joint development.
The average lifespan of a properly cared for Caucasian Shepherd Dog is 10 to 12 years. This breed is generally healthy but prone to hereditary health conditions like bloat, obesity, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, and Luxating Patella.
With regard to its exercise needs, the Caucasian Shepherd should have at least 60 to 80 minutes a day of physical and mental stimulation. This active breed will enjoy playing interactive games with you such as retrieving, chasing balls, and others. It will gladly take a hike with you as well, just make sure it is securely leashed because its guarding instinct might get the best of this breed.
Getting a dog is a life-changing experience. Not only will your routine change, your budget will also be affected. Aside from providing high-quality food to your Caucasian Shepherd, which costs around £60 a month, the list of expenses gets longer. You have to purchase pet insurance to have a safety net when your dog becomes ill or gets into an accident. Basic coverage is around £20 and £40 for a lifetime premium. You also have to factor in costs for veterinary consultations which include vaccinations, and worm/flea treatments, which will be around £1,000 a year.
You also have to purchase basic equipment and supplies like a bed, leash, collar, dish, toys, and others, which initially set you back £250. It is up to you if you will take your Caucasian Shepherd to a professional groomer’s or take care of its coat yourself. A rough monthly estimate in raising this giant dog is £80 to £110, depending on the type of insurance you select.
Are you sure the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Having doubts if you can handle a giant Caucasian Shepherd Dog? Take our Pet Finder to help you choose the best breed for you.
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