Also known as the Wolf Dog or the Caucasian Mountain Dog, the Caucasian Shepherd began to be used more than 150 years ago, with the beginning of the conquest of the Caucasus by Russia, to guard military units, both Russian troops, and Turks.
These dogs are not of the breed of shepherds such as the German Shepherd, Scottish, or Shelti, but are shepherd dogs with a very old origin, which have always been meant to defend the herd from predators. The native name is Volkodav (wolf-dog), and in Russia, it is also known as “ovcharka”, which means “shepherd’s dog”.
The Caucasian shepherd dogs were first presented in an exhibition in 1930, in Nuremberg, where they also gained a worldwide reputation from the press, as the “Red Giants”.
How Much Does a Caucasian Shepherd Dog Cost?
Purebred puppies should only be bought from a breeder, as they always offer tips for raising and guiding the dog. A breeder always knows the quality of the puppy.
The costs of a purebred dog differ depending on the breeder’s country of origin, the size of the dog, the age and origin of the dog, the popularity of the breed, and also the reputation of the mother and father. However, the average cost of a Caucasian shepherd dog is around $2,200.
Caucasian Ovcharka are rare, but not so that few shelters have adoptable dogs. Almost none of them have any puppies though.
For example, a Caucasian shepherd dog can be adopted from Thunder Hawk Caucasians for a fee of $750.
Caucasian shepherd dog details
This is one of the best guard dogs and has a harmonious constitution, strong muscles, and a generous bone system. It has a straight, firm back, a long, broad chest, muscular legs, a large head with an almost straight forehead, a wide mouth, and a large black nose.
In general, most specimens of this breed are healthy and strong. However, they are prone to hip dysplasia and cataracts. Life expectancy for a dog of this breed is 10-11 years.
Due to the violent deportations that took place in the Caucasus, the race began to deteriorate due to unsupervised crossings. This led to a decrease in the number of specimens, but with the help of Russian kennels, it has been possible to preserve the breed. The breed was divided into three types:
- Georgian – the tall, strong dog with long fur that forms a mane and rich fringes on the tail and limbs;
- Armenian – a shorter dog than the Georgian, with long gray hair with or without spots or even brindle;
- Azeri – a dog with flat muscles, short hair, and various colors.
What are the extra costs?
Once you decide to purchase or adopt a Caucasian shepherd dog you should budget for the neutering services that are anywhere between $140 and $160, for a kennel or a home/travel crate and for a microchip in order to track its location, that costs around $15.
The recommended crate for this dog is an XXL crate of around 54” and its price is around $240.
The Caucasian shepherd dog is a healthy breed of dog that only suffers from the most common problems like obesity, hip dysplasia, and heart issues. It’s important to have your pet checked up at least once every year by their vet so they can assess their overall health status. The cost of a wellness exam is around $100. Also, it is vital for your dog to be vaccinated against Parvo, Rabies, Lepto, and CD. The cost of each of these is anywhere between $15 and $30.
Important things to consider
Caucasian shepherd dogs need space and a cool climate, so they are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
The Caucasian shepherd dog is very intelligent and independent. That is why it must be trained patiently. It is advisable not to use harsh words or aggressive techniques, as the dog will not respond well. On the other hand, with good training, the Caucasian shepherd dog is submissive and can be used in assisted therapies.
Because the dog is a species related to the wolf (Canis lupus), it is predominantly carnivorous. In addition to foods of animal origin: beef, pork, chicken, horse, goose, turkey, sheep, lamb, and boneless fish (in not very large quantities) a series of vegetables are recommended (try to avoid the toxic ones – eg onions) such as tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, green beans and cabbage (not very often). The food must be well cooked.
The food is adapted to the age of the dog. Caucasian shepherd puppies need seven meals up until they reach four months of age, after which the number will decrease until they reach three meals around the age of 2 years. Water must always be at their discretion.
The Caucasian Shepherd has a double fur, consisting of an inner and an outer layer. The inner layer is fine and soft, while the outer layer is made of rough and long fur. Under these conditions, the fur of the Caucasian Shepherd dog must be brushed weekly. Thus, the fur will maintain its pleasant appearance.
The dog sheds heavily once a year, when it almost completely changes its fur, and during that period warm baths and frequent brushing are indicated.