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Caucasian Owtcharka

Country/Date of Origin: Russia/1700s

This is a large, aggressive, livestock-guarding dog that originated in the Armenian and Azerbaijani republics, and the steppe areas of the Caucasus Mountains. These dogs were used for herding, guarding and sometimes fighting. They could be relied upon to protect the flocks from wolves and robbers and were left on their own to perform this function. In more recent times they have been used to keep prisoners from leaving gulags and have proven to be excellent military guard dogs.

FCI Group: 2 (Herding)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Kavkazskaja Ovtjarka, Caucasian Mountain Dog

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club:

Rescue Club:

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Body Type:

  • Typical of the large livestock guarding breeds
  • Height: 24-33 inches (at shoulder) Many are bigger
  • Weight: 110-160 pounds
  • The long unaltered tail is carried low and is heavily plumed
  • The ears are cropped short and they look as if they were torn rather than cut


  • Fierce, strong guard dog
  • Loyal and gentle to its family
  • Suspicious and aggressive toward strangers
  • Intelligent and easily trained
  • Very quarrelsome with other dogs


  • A thick double coat that is water resistant. Coat can be long or semi-long depending on the region the dog comes from. The heavy coat allows the dogs to adapt to great temperature extremes
  • All colors are allowed but the most commonly seen shades are fawn, pale red, and shaded gray
  • Heavy shedding

Health Concerns:

  • Generally robust
  • Subject to hip dysplasia
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Owtcharka means sheepdog in Russian. Pronounce it of-charka as the Russians do. Plural is Owtcharki
  • Will be difficult to obtain
  • Obedience training is recommended
  • This is a country dog. It does not do well in confined spaces. It is also too aggressive for suburban areas. Not a good choice for the first time dog owner

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