Caucasian Shepherd: Dog Breed Characteristics

Country of origin: Russia
Shoulder height: 67 – 75 cm
Weight: 45 – 55 kg
Age: 10 – 11 years
Color: all colors except pure black, also spotted or striped
Use: guard dog, protection dog

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a large, imposing dog with a strong protective instinct. He is a reliable guardian of the house and garden, even-tempered, calm, and affectionate in his own family, but can react lightning fast when threatened. Therefore, this dog breed belongs only in the hands of experts.

Origin and history

The  Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a livestock guardian dog and comes from the mountainous Caucasus region (Russia). Originally, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog was used to guard and protect herds of cows and sheep, but also around the house and farm. In the former Soviet Union and East Germany, this breed of dog was primarily used as a personal protection dog. Today, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is also a family dog, but it needs a lot of space to be able to fulfill its watchdog qualities and its territorial awareness.


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a large, powerfully built dog. Males reach a shoulder height of 75 cm and more, are very masculine, and differ significantly from the slightly more delicately built bitches. They have a larger head, are more massively built, and are often shorter in physique. In the long-haired variant, the males have a pronounced mane.

The coat of a Caucasian Shepherd Dog can be long, medium, or short. The medium-length coat type is the most common. A dense undercoat, which protects against wind and weather, is abundant in all coat variants. The coat color of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog ranges from all shades of gray to rusty tones, earth tones to light yellow or white tones – also striped or spotted.


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a calm, fearless dog with a strong defensive and protective instinct. It is very territorial and suspicious and dismissive of strangers. In the family, it is – with a species-appropriate attitude and good upbringing – balanced, affectionate, and fond of children but still very self-confident and never submissive.

The imposing Shepherd Dog belongs only in the hands of experts. It needs clear, authoritarian leadership and needs to be raised very consistently and with a lot of empathy. It is very important to socialize a  Caucasian Shepherd well as a puppy or young dog, to assign it its place in the hierarchy, and to stop aggressive behavior immediately. Male dogs in particular are very dominant and can react at lightning speed in an emergency. If left unchecked, the Shepherd can become dangerous given its inherent sharpness and physical strength.

The Caucasian Shepherd needs a lot of living space and a task that suits its innate protective instinct. Guarding a house with a garden and the property belonging to it, together with its family, is most in line with his nature. The property should be fenced in, otherwise, it will consider the adjacent area to be its territory and will therefore also guard it.

The Shepherd is completely unsuitable as an apartment dog or for life in the city. It likes to go for walks, but its urge to move is not particularly pronounced. It prefers to stay in its territory. Therefore, it is not a dog for sporty ambitious people.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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