Caucasian Ovcharka

Club USA

Great variety of types

Despite its first official Western Show-Ring appearance in the 1930's in Germany, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog has existed since ancient times and was introduced to the bloodlines of many of today's World breeds throughout history. The Caucasian dogs were used for centuries to protect properties, guard livestock, kill wolves, and hunt bears and perform many other duties. Today and especially in the West, they are most commonly employed as companion animals and watchdogs. The breed is most prized as an aggressive property guardian; the mighty Caucasian Ovcharka is an intimidating and committed protector with no equal. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is generally a low activity dog, seemingly lethargic when not working, but extremely agile and convincing when it feels its family is threatened. Although certain strains are more vicious than others are, all Caucasians are territorial and fairly dog-aggressive, needing early and careful broad socialization, as well as firm, but never forceful handling.

There is a great variety of types among the Caucasian dogs depending on their home region. For almost a century, there have been two breed types and standards: (1) the mountain dogs received the name "Caucasian Ovcharka" after the Trans-Caucasus region, consisting of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and (2) the shorter-haired and lighter-built type steppe dogs were labeled as the "Kavkaski Volkodav". The official standard changed in the 1970's, when the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) made the decision to promote a single type, under the name of "Caucasian Ovcharka"; thus abandoning their earlier definitions. From that point forward, the definitions and standards got more specific in describing the real beauty and power of the ancient breed. Definition of those standards became known as the Georgian - Bear type. Moreover, under no circumstances did it change the breed into a hybrid or change its name to the exotic-sounding misnomer. Unfortunately, you can find that rather misconstrued and misdirection written into respectful websites and other media sources. It appears to be a superiorly bred dog in the eyes of the West. Yet, the same misleading information is written about the CO temperament and its ability to be a family/companion dog. Often times this has led to terrible consequences for the breed, making it very unpopular or considered a “vicious” dog.

In recent years, some breeders that have non-show mountain bloodlines use the term "Aboriginal" as a trendy marketing ploy to describe the older (or genuine) bloodline and breed type. However, from our opinion, this is very misleading. Between most working dogs in the Caucasus Mountains, there are various types and some distinguishing characteristics among regional variants.

The Georgian dogs are large, long haired and often multicolored or they can be slightly smaller wolf-gray of medium-length coat with longer muzzles.

The Georgian dogs are large, long haired and often multicolored or they can be slightly smaller wolf-gray of medium-length coat with longer muzzles.

The Turkish Caucasus, Armenian (Gampr) and Akhalteke type are usually slightly smaller than the Georgian dogs and are shorter-necked and more squarely built, also allowing for a great variety of colors, even brown or black. The Armenian Gamprs Volkodav variant also comes solid-colored white, and always have black masks.

 The Azerbaijan is a large, short-muzzled, short haired fawn, brown, red, with or without white markings or solid-colored white.