This whole statement is written for the Caucasian Shepherd Dog with the intention of improvement!
General appearance: Strong, powerful appearance and rough, massive bone structure and musculature. The skin is elastic.
Faults: A slightly lighter or spongy body structure.
Error: Too light or limp body.
Build index: height divided by the circumference of the ankle, males ratio 21-22, females ratio 20-22.
Shape Index: The ratio of body length and height: 102-108.
Undesirable: Slight deviations from the given numbers.
Defect: Strong deviations from the given numbers.
Height: Males not less than 65 cm, females not less than 62 cm. with a proportional body.
Error: size below these numbers.
Behavior: Strong, balanced, calm attitude, good defensive reactions. The hardness of distrust towards strangers is typical.
Undesirable: sloth and trust towards strangers.
Error: Shy, timid behavior or irresponsiveness, weakness.
Sexual characteristics: Males are stronger and more massive than the females. Females lighter and have smaller body shapes.
Undesirable: A male-like female, female-like male.
Error: single or hidden testicles.
Coat: A simple, rough, strong lighter base coat. The front of the head and limbs much sleeker and shorter hair. According to the coat, three different types are distinguished:
a.) Longhaired, long outer coat. The long hair forms a mane on the neck, longer at the back legs (pants and flag). The long hair covers the tail from all sides, making a dense impression.
b) Short hair – dense, fairly short hair, no mane, pants and flag.
c) A transitional variations – long hair, no mane, pants and bushy tail.
Error: soft, wavy outer coat, no undercoat.
Color: Variations of gray, mostly clear, up until rusty, and even rust, straw yellow, white, earth-colored, striped, but can be spotted, dotted.
Error: Black, black and mottled brown and different variations.
Head: Massive, broad skull and accented cheek bones. Wide, flat front, which is cut in half with a slight wrinkle. The transition from head to the muzzle is slightly convex. The muzzle is smaller than the skull, slightly narrowing, tightly closed, dry lips. The nose is strong, broad and black. For white and bright coulored dogs a brown nose is allowed.
Undesirable: Not quite massive and broad head. Too arched, flat or too steep line. Muzzle too short or long, loose, hanging lips.
Error: Casual, narrow head and pointed muzzle, or disproportionate body, short nose.
Ears: Hanging, set high or trimmed.
Undesirable: Low set ears and uncut.
Eyes: almond-shaped, medium-sized deep-set, dark eyes.
Undesirable: Light, slightly loose lids or cataracts.
Error: Two-colored eyes, or hanging eyelids, which also exposes the conjunctiva.
Teeth: Well developed, strong, white teeth, scissor bite.
Undesirable: Not age appropriate wear, broken teeth, which prevent biting. 2P1 and 1P1 P2 or lack of it. Slightly yellow teeth.
Error: small, poorly developed teeth. Misaligned incisors. Or absence of canines or incisors. absence of P3, P4, M, lack of enamel.
Neck: Short, very strong. Not carried high approx. 30 to 40 degrees from horizontal.
Undesirable: Too long, weak neck.
Chest: Broad, deep and slightly arched. The bottom line is around elbow height or deeper.
Undesirable: Flat, not deep enough chest.
Fault: narrow, flat, poorly developed chest.
Abdomen: Slightly tucked up.
Undesirable: Too tummy or narrow stomach.
Withers: Broad, well muscled, the back line is well defined.
Undesirable: Poorly formed, not sufficiently distinct from the backline.
Back: Straight, broad and well muscled.
Loin: Short, broad, slightly arched.
Undesirable: Slightly long, straight or highly arched loin.
Error: Long, hanging groin or humpy loin.
Rear: Broad, well muscled, almost straight.
Undesirable: Not quite muscular, sloping rump.
Error: Narrow, short or very strongly sloping rump.
Tail: Set high, elbows resting length, ring or hook-like tail allowed.
Forelegs: Looking from the front, parallel lines. The shoulders and upper arms form an angle of about 100 degrees. Upper arms are straight, robust and helflegth. Lower arms are straight, robust and moderately long. The ankles are short and massive, perpendicular to the ground. The forelegs length slightly more than half the height, height index: 50-54.
Undesirable: Slight deviation in the shoulder angles, slightly longer or shorter upper arms, elbows slightly protruding out, feet extroverted while walking, ankles overdeveloped.
Error: Straight or angular shoulders, upper arms curved or narrow, highly extroverted elbows, very weak ankles, highly extroverted feet while walking, crooked legs.
Hind limbs: Seen from behind, straight and parallel, viewed from the side of the knee joint to slightly extended, short lower legs, strong hocks, wide and slightly open. The metatarsus is rugged, perpendicular to the ground. Standing, the hind limbs aren’t propped to the back . They for a perpendicular line from the withers to the buttom through the metatarsus.
Undesirable: Not quite parallel limbs. Slightly X or O lines. Narrow or wider positure on the ground. Too flat or too high rear end.
Error: Deviation from parallelism. Straight rear, sword positure. Too high rear end.
Feet: Closed, oval, arched feet.
Undesirable: Soft, too long feet. Dewclaws.
Error: Open toes, flat feet.
Movement: Free, balanced, usually quiet operation. A slow trot is typical, may transition into a difficult gallop. Parallel motion, while the front legs tend toward the center line. Both the front than the rear limb joints lightly extended. Flexible back and groin. While trotting the withers and the rump should be aligned.
Undesirable: outward or inward stepping. not sufficently open joints. Not smooth enough cushioning for the back and crotch. Tucked rear while trotting. Casual swinging groin.
Error: Inhibited, difficult walking. Rear carried higher than the withers while trotting. Groin dancing up and down while trotting.
Exclusion criteria: each bite other than scissoring. Single or hidden testicles. Incisor or canine teeth are missing. P3 or P4 or any molar teeth missing.
Note: Male animals should have a well-developed testicles in the scrotum.
The Caucasian Shepherd originates from Central Asia, Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Dagestan, Chechnya, North Ossetia and the surrounding smaller republics. Very common in the European and Asian regions of Russia, Ukraine, Baltic States, but also in Karelia.
One of the oldest breeds. Originates from Tibetan Mastiff type dogs. The tibetian Dog is probably the ancestor of all dog types. Evolved for thousands.
The Tibetan Dog, as the ancestor of the Caucasian shepherd, has written description from 1125 BC.
The Tibetian Dog is broad, rugged, large-size, regular structured, strong boned. Wide jaw and cranium had. It is black, gray, red, and combinations thereof. Hair is long and rough, though sometimes short-haired breeds happen.
Tigran, Armenian tsar from first century BC used ancient Caucasian Shepherd in war against the Roman regions.
During the Russian-Turkish war, the Turkish army did not just guard castles and camps with them, but they also filled the role of Turkish warriors: also sent forward before the clash to cause confusion, uncertainty and with their great aggressive behavior to weaken the numbers of their enemies. Today, in North Ossetia today we can still meet wild Caucasian shepherd dogs in their natural environment.
In recent times there has been a growing in interest towards Caucasians, not only in Europe but also among American dog breeders and enthusiasts. Primarily because of it’s reliability, high working capacity and adaptation to climatic conditions made them popular.
There are several differnt types of the Caucasian Shepherd, between different geographical conditions and climate areas. The folk traditions also greatly contributed to the development and improvement of the breed. The most important aspect of their utilization were the type of work and weather conditions. After being bred in wider areas significantly different types developed. It went through a rigorous selection of varieties and only the fittest of the fittest, the most resistant to diseases could stay. According to local conditions they had to perfectly protect the shepherd and sheep of his own, and of course themselves. If they could not forfill either job perfectly they died or the owner liquidated them. Only the best specimens and their offspring allowed to stay to live today. It’s physical strength, imposing appearance implies this aswell. It accepts only the owner and his family and is willing to sacrifice it’s life for it’s task and territory. Extremely independent, requires no training for guard duty. Excellent nerves, balanced. The children who live in families are even allowed to do such things that are not allowed to the owner. Completely independent! Makes the best decisions and executes them perfectly at all times!
The Caucasian Shepherd is brave, proud, self-confident and self-willed, extremely loyal. Fearless. It’s innate distrust of strangers should be noted, great attacking behaviour. Very smart, they understand everything right away, just stubborn.
Steppe: Due to the hot and dry climate, this type needs to be large, strong, but lightweight constructed aswell. Short haired, the color red and light gray or combinations, but it is always a light shade. Extremely fast motving, jumps and climbs very well.
In the mountains different types emerged: powerfully built, massive, thick-boned, big broad head, long hair, good undercoat, good quality hair. Limbs are shorter, the front is very wide, large chest diameter, body length is longer.
Azerbaijani: There are two types: one in the Georgian style, and the other is similar to steppe. The color is red with black mask, but sometimes also stained.
Armenian: similar to Georgian, but smaller, thinner bones. Gray color, tiger-striped, spotted, good quality long hair.
Dagestan: Very strong build, regular, typical head, good body proportions, strict appearance and behavior. Heterogeneous color, short or medium length hair.
Garba: Solid construction, not typical head, very short nose. Red color, not masked, short hair. Extremely aggressive, only competent experts can handle. Arrived to Caucasus from Turkey.
Kazbek: Strong and harmonious build, very bright large teeth. Tiger striped or mottled color, good quality hair.
Gergen: Large body, a bit long muzzle, teeth are large and white. Gray, red-stained or white collar. Easy to handle, non-aggressive.
Ahalic (mixed type): Gergen, Garban, Kazbek types, large build, long hair, white or straw-colored, bright eyes.
The II. World War II greatly reduced their numbers. The exiled people brought their dogs with them, and resettlement has brought home a unique crossover of Central Asians as well.
There is an expression: aburigen, it means that people are not involved in the breeding process, but they naturally mate with each other, specifically the best individuals. Extraordinary tenacity, modesty, very good adaptation to the climate and life circumstances. The aburigen dogs do not bind to people, training them is hard.
Transition type: Lying between aburigen and consciously cultivated types. Cibscuous selection played a significant role in their appearence and development, also the improvement of their living conditions (housing conditions, food). They are characterized by a heterogeneous condition. One is the result of deliberate selection result, the other remains aburigen.
The Caucasian Shepherd balanced, has a calm nervous system. corresponding strong defense reaction. A strong, confident, proud, brave dog carries his tail always high, those that don’t are disgrace to the breed.
The most important aspect of dog training: socialization.
Further, playing, petting, kindness, a lot of love, firm consistency. There is place for violence in the training but consistent education only!
Children and family loving!
Should be treated as a family member and not as a dog. if the owner permits likes to go his own way, which is unfortunate. If the owner nervless the caucasian will try to become the pack leader, thus, hesitant, uncertain people should not buy a Caucasian. Buying an adult Caucasian is only for commited experts. So whoever likes to show off it’s power by it’s voice agains the dog, should not choose this breed. We should never break down it’s personality, do not discipline them at their own place!
Two males are a good idea to keep in one yard!
Have to talk about the anomalies we can find in the breed today. Unfortunately, a good number of people crossbreed Caucasians with Leonbergers, the Moscow guard dogs, the Pyrenees sheperds and the Tibetan Mastiff breeds. At exhibitions and expos these are not filtered out from the breed.
Before buying puppy you should always have a look at their parents’ work. The successor will always behave the same way as their parents. At a young age it has to be taught everything you expect from it as an adult, so this proud, headstrong and stubborn dogs can become warm-hearted family members, easy for all members of the family to use.
The Caucasian type head should be clear and not “just a big head!”
Dense hair on its head and neck may be misleading, showing a much larger cranium! This is not always the case.
The most important dimension of the head is from the tip of the nose to the forehead to the beginning of the end of the first cervical vertebra.
If this as a third, than one-third of the muzzle (muzzle) should be!
If the nose is greater than a third problem is not so great as when less than one third! The short-nosed dogs have a weaker sense of smell, at high temperatures it’s easy to see that they can hardly breathe! It is not interested in any work, just to get away from the high heat!
Last but not least, in the homeland where has to fight during it’s work, it’s unable to bite properly meaning certain death. In the middle of the head down to the back of the neck there should be a ditch in the cranium! The forehead needs to be flat (acute-angled)!
The steep front suggest “different species”!
In general, the steep forehead more often occur in conjuction with lower lips that slack, also with very long pendulous upper lip edges! The proper headed dog has tight lower and upper lip edges!
The hanging loose lips suggest Sain Bernard and Mastiff crossbreeding!
A grave mistake with eyes are inward turning eyelids in this case the sharp hairs on eyelids constantly pierce the eyeball which is a big pain to the animal! Minor problems with the hanging eye is the dust, dirt that goes into the eyeball! In either case, pain, inflammation, suppuration, tearing are the result! Can only be removed surgically, but in any case at least 80% of the offspring will still inherite them!
The “bite error” and missing theeth are signs of inbreeding in almost all cases!
To avoid this problem, it’s only allowed to try with completely differnt bloodlines.
The skull should be almost straight seen from the front, a convex skull does not suggest Caucasian!
The ears should be set high, if not that then the Sarplaninacs are resembled.
If he eyes the same height as the ears than we are surely not talking about a caucasian head.
The front legs: the legs and feet must have a 90 degree angle, if it’s not the case and there is a 45 degree transition, loose joints and ligaments can be traced back.
This is common amongs unusually large built, thick, stogy Caucasians.
Rear legs: A serious mistake is the steep “peg” position! These dogs can not step on their front legs footsteps(paw steps) with their rear legs (only able to do short steps with the rear legs), gets tired fast while trotting or running, and working(Shepherd). The rear leg frin knee (hock) needs to be under the belly and in a 30 degree angle wi the paws! The front and rear angulation may oly be accepted if these conditions are met with the legs! The Caucasian dog has to be straight, longer dogs who are “saddler” are unable to step with their rear paws after their front paws, tire sooner, therefore aren’t persistent! The dog’s tail needs to reach the knee (hock) but a determined Caucasian will always keep it’s tail high! A tail held high indicates the nervous system, behavior, self-confidence and determination! These Caucasian knows what it’s capable of especially showing it even more amongs other dogs! The biggest problems are always with dogs who have an unstable nervous system! Constantly wary even if the owner is approaching, constantly growls at everything, even attacks! Inherited genetic defect!
The training of a Caucasian requires determination, perseverance otherwise the expectations won’t be met! No violence should ever be used during the training, because the Caucasian is so stubborn and headstrong, that we will not achieve the desired goal!
In home security work the dog has to show great determination and confidence! The much practiced home security can work that goes very well with the dog but unknown life situations may not be handled properly!
Therefore, the home security work must be adapted to genetically inherited abilities! If there is no such inherited ability, the dog may not work properly in home security! It is possible that a dog “done” agains those two men who trained it and growl at them after weeks of training, but other people will be treated with indifference! A good Caucasus will always provide 100% protection of an area assigned to it even if the owner is not near! Always makes the best decision even by itself and will never back down!
It’s very important if the master tells him to stop guarding to obey and go to it’s designated place when ordered! If a stranger can go near a caucasian and it doesn’t start to growl at least, or are fleam with it’s genetic problem! It is highly likely that the majority of the offspring will be similar mannered!
The Caucasian hair should be straight and rough to the touch!
If the hair isn’t particulary similar (soft and fluffy) then suggests interbreeding with different species! It is important and thing, that even the short-haired dogs; there has to be very rich and high quality undercoat!
The curly wavy hair also possibly inicates interbreeding of different breeds!