Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog)

99-110 lbs
25-28"
Eurasia
Caucasian Ovtcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Caucasian Shepherd, Russian Mountain Dog, Caucasian Owcharka

Big and beautiful, the Caucasian Shepherd is one of those unique dog breeds that turns heads everywhere it goes. Wrapped up in a warm winter coat, it’s a huge and powerful dog with a noble history. Unsurprisingly, you shouldn’t bring one into your home unless you’re absolutely sure you’re up to the task; this is a big dog that knows its own mind. But if you are up to it, you’ll have a fiercely loyal and protective friend for life. 

In this intro guide to the Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog), you’ll learn:

  • Its fascinating breed history – including guarding prisoners
  • Hip dysplasia and heart issues are among possible health risks
  • This is a big dog that can weigh at least 100 lbs
  • Why owning a Caucasian Shepherd isn’t for beginners



purpose Purpose
flock guardian, border patrol
history Date of Origin
unknown
ancestry Ancestry
molosser

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Health

Sketch of Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog)
Average Size
Male Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats
Height: 26-29 inches Weight: 110-154 lbs
Female Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 99-110 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
Occasional Tests
  • Hip X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Breed History

Once upon a time these great big dogs were used by farmers in the mountain ranges of the Caucasus region (peaks on the Europe-Asia border which stretch from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea), fiercely protecting sheep from predators. 

Even an animal like a wolf or a bear would think twice before picking a fight with one of these dogs, which is descended from the Molosser. The Caucasian Shepherd bite force is 550 to 700 pounds per square inch, and it doesn’t back down from a confrontation. Because this area of Europe and Asia was so large, there are innumerable varieties of this dog, but the breed from Georgia (the country, not the US state) is generally thought of as the standard. 

Up in the mountains, where they may have lived for more than 2,000 years, these dogs needed to be tough, warm, and loyal. These are the traits that they have retained to this day. Their history is a fascinating one. In the Soviet Union, Caucasian Shepherds were used to guard prisoners; in Germany they patrolled the border between East and West. This is, in short, not a dog to be messed with. They look like big softies but don’t make a Caucasian Shepherd angry. 

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Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Breed Appearance

The headline for the Caucasian Mountain Dog is that it’s a bit of a mountain itself. This is a big dog in every way. It’s strong, confident, and stubborn, like many dogs who have a long history of working alongside humans. 

When you bring home a Caucasian Shepherd puppy it may be difficult to believe that the little dog in front of you is going to become such a colossus. A fully grown Caucasian Shepherd’s weight will tend to be at least 100 lbs. Its coat, which has a soft undercoat and coarser outer layer, can vary in length from short to long. A long-haired Caucasian Shepherd will have a more pronounced mane and feathering on the tail and back legs. Like most dogs, this is a breed that can come in a wide spectrum of colors, including white, red, tan, cream, and fawn. Its head is large and its ears are densely covered with fur to keep them warm. 

Appearance of Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog)
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) coat
Black
gray Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) coat
Gray
fawn Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) coat
Fawn
white Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) coat
White
cream Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) coat
Cream
Coat Length
coat
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
pin
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Breed Maintenance

The main thing that anyone looking after a Caucasian Shepherd needs to know is that they take up a lot of space. This means that they aren’t really suitable for someone with a small living space or someone who isn’t willing to let it walk and run about outside a great deal. Penned up inside, where its ancestors spent very little of their time, this Russian bear dog will not fare well. When you are walking the dog, keep it on a leash when you can; this is a hefty dog that, even if it is friendly, may be intimidating to both animals and humans. 

If it has long hair, your Caucasian Shepherd may require daily brushing. If the hair is shorter, every few days is probably fine. Keep on top of the nail trimming - clip them when you see them beginning to get a bit long. And the Caucasian Shepherd is a drooler: if you don’t want your house completely covered in dog drool, try to mop up that slobber every now and again. 

When it comes to training, the Caucasian Shepherd can be so strong-willed that teaching it commands can be more difficult than for some breeds, who are more eager to please. Reading up on the best ways to coach a dog, your best bet in general is to start while your dog is young.


Caucasian Shepherd health

This is a breed that shouldn’t encounter any more health issues than most but there are some slightly more common issues that its carers should be aware of. These are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Heart problems
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion

Hip dysplasia

An extremely common problem in dogs, hip dysplasia should be on your radar if your dog is walking less, seems to have lost muscle mass in its hind legs, or has difficulty getting up. It’s a problem in the ball and socket of a hip joint; the joint becomes so loose that the femur grinds in the joint socket, causing pain.  

Heart problems

There is a broad spectrum of heart problems in dogs, including heart attack, heart murmurs, and heart beat issues. Some Caucasian Mountain Dogs inherit a problem called pulmonic stenosis, in which the heart has to work extra-hard to pump blood around the body. This can lead to fainting or difficulty breathing. Be on the look-out for anything like this; issues involving the heart can, of course, be very serious.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the eye can’t hydrate the lens properly. This leads to clouding in the eye and sometimes complete vision loss. It requires surgery in every instance but it’s an extremely common problem in dogs and vets are used to spotting and treating it.

Entropion

Another eye problem is an unpleasant condition called entropion, which affects a dog’s eyelids. Look out for any inflammation of the eye. What is happening is that the dog’s lower or upper eyelid folds towards the eyeball, causing the eyelashes to rub and irritate the eyeball, sometimes creating open sores. Surgery under general anesthesia is the only way the problem will be permanently fixed.

Health issues can affect all breeds of dog, not just Caucasian Shepherds. If you haven’t got a pet insurance policy already, use our simple online tool to compare plans from leading providers


Feeding a Caucasian Shepherd

This is a dog that’s at quite a high risk of becoming obese, so paying attention to its diet is important. Experts recommend that you consider giving a Caucasian Shepherd smaller, more frequent meals in order to minimize the risk of bloat. Always feed it meals that are nutrient-rich and full of meat and vegetables. 

If you need more help and advice, head over to our friends at Dog Food Advisor, who have tons of guidance on what to feed your dog. Here, for example, is a great page with advice on the best kinds of food for large dogs.


Brushes for Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog)
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Comb
Comb
Deshedder
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Temperament

In general, the Caucasian Shepherd is a relatively low-energy dog that likes and is protective of its family. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog temperament can depend a fair bit on the way you treat the animal. Show your furry friend that it’s cared for, loved and included, and it will demonstrate similar behavior in return. 

Because this is a dog that is used to protecting humans and sheep from predators, it’s often on high alert to threats unnecessarily. Of course, when they need to be on high alert — if you ever have an intruder, for example — there are few dogs you’d rather have in your home. 

They can also be quite aggressive as far as dogs go; so, for this and a few other reasons, a Caucasian Mountain Dog is not a great pet for a nervous or first-time pet parent. It’s a breed that needs to be shown firm and kind love and training of the sort that it would have received in the mountains all those centuries ago. 

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Activity Requirements


Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$2.75 - $3.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00
food bag monthly cost

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) at six months
Male Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at six months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 60.0 lbs
Female Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at six months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 50.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) at 12 months
Male Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at 12 months
Height: 25.0 inches Weight: 82.5 lbs
Female Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at 12 months
Height: 24.0 inches Weight: 75.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) at 18 months
Male Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at 18 months
Height: 27.5 inches Weight: 132.0 lbs
Female Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) size stats at 18 months
Height: 26.5 inches Weight: 102.5 lbs

Top Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) breeders of 2024.
Top Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) breeder Rockhill Caucasians
Rockhill Caucasians
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Top Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) breeder Esquire Caucasian
Esquire Caucasian
Chardon, Ohio

Caucasian Shepherd (Mountain Dog) Owner Experiences

Dubu (means Bear)
7 Years
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dubu is really chill, very easy going and loves other dogs. He likes to hang out at pubs and get treats.
1 year, 9 months ago
Bushka
11 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
When she plays with other dogs
Stubborn friendly social to other dogs outside our house - very good garding dog
2 years, 7 months ago
Roger
4 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Chase
Strong, a bit stubborn
6 years, 6 months ago
Kaya
8 Months
3 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Taking her with me to the beer garden
This is my first Caucasian and she is absolutely fantastic. I had a Rottweiler before who was also amazing
5 years, 8 months ago
Blaze
3 Months
6 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Just got him, still trying to understand him
4 years ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - Nutrition
Question

What food is required for an 8week old c

Answer
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd