Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog, also popularly known as the “Caucasian Wolfhound”, refers to large dogs whose homeland is the Caucasus. The age of the breed is about 2–2.5 thousand years. Already from the name of the breed it is clear that these dogs were used to protect flocks of sheep from wolves and other predators. The formation of the breed took place under the influence of the shepherd traditions of mountain peoples, on the basis of selection for breeding of the largest, strongest animals with a good instinct, but at the same time trained and obedient to humans. According to popular theory, the ancestor of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is the Tibetan Great Dane. According to another version, these wolfhounds were actively bred in the ancient state of Urartu (according to other sources – Assyria), where they were used as guard and fighting dogs. Be that as it may, it is known for certain that the shepherd dogs perfectly protected the fortress from enemies, and the sheep from the wolves and were even taken by special order to serve in the army of the Russian Empire. In the USSR they were also cultivated as guard dogs. Currently, “Caucasians” are one of the most popular breeds of large dogs in the Russian Federation.
CHARACTERISTIC OF BREED
The height and weight of the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs is quite large, and because of the very thick and lush coat, these dogs sometimes seem really huge.
The average growth of males varies from 70–77 cm, the average weight is 50–60 kg, the females are slightly smaller, their growth is approximately 65–70 cm, and their weight is 45–50 kg. However, there are among these shepherd dogs and very large dogs. So, there are reports of the largest wolfhounds weighing more than 100 kg.
The Caucasian shepherd has a large, massive head with a mane, ears of a small size, have an oval shape, previously necessarily stopped. The teeth are large, the physique is massive, and the muscles are well developed. Paws are large, round. The coat is hard and thick. The colors are varied. The breed has an average life expectancy (10-12 years), puppies reach full physical and moral maturation after 2 years.
Due to the widespread “spontaneous” breeding, it is not difficult to buy a Caucasian shepherd puppy. However, preference should be given to official nurseries and breeders. So the chances of having a healthy and purebred puppy will increase significantly.
Since the Caucasian Shepherd has been bred for a long time on the basis of its fighting and protective qualities, it must be understood that an untrained animal, as well as a dog with an unstable psyche, can pose a great danger to both the owner and others. “Caucasian” is not a dog with which you can practice at a minimum. It requires great returns from the owner and mandatory training. Faithful and strong, she will protect the owner from any danger, but the task of the person is to make her socialized and non-aggressive. It is best to contact a professional dog trainer. In exercises and games with the puppy, it is important not to allow dominance over the owner; cruelty to the dog should also be avoided, especially when it is small.
Care for “Caucasians” comes down to walking (at least 1.5–2 hours a day), regular combing of wool, and periodic bathing. It is important to look after your pet’s teeth and visit your veterinarian regularly. Carry out vaccination and treatment against external and internal parasites. Proper feeding is also important. You should choose a full-fledged Super Premium class food, since the caloric needs of Caucasian Shepherds are quite large and it is not very easy to calculate and make a good diet from high-quality natural food. It should be remembered that a pet up to two years old is given food for puppies, from 2 to 7 years old – food for mature dogs and after 7 years old you can enter food for dogs of an older age group. An excellent solution for the Caucasian Shepherd Dog will be the Purina® PRO PLAN® Large Robust rations for large-sized dogs of large builds with complexes for puppies – OPTISTART®, for adult dogs – OPTIBALANCE® and for 7+ dogs with OPTIAGE® complex. This breed belongs to the dogs of the so-called massive physique, and with insufficient walking and excessive feeding, it easily gains excess weight.
The key to the health of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is proper veterinary control, normal genetics and sufficient walking, however, there are some diseases to which this breed is predisposed. This is hip dysplasia, eyelid defects, diseases of the cardiovascular system, and sometimes thyroid problems. If you suspect any of these problems, you should definitely contact your veterinarian.