Caucasian Ovcharka

Photo: Getty Images / Kateryna Ovcharenko

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 130 – 195 pounds | male
    85 – 140 pounds | female
  • Height: 25 – 33 inches | male
    24 – 29 inches | female

The Look of a Caucasian Ovcharka

The Caucasian Ovcharka has a large, powerful, muscular frame covered in a thick double coat (shorthaired or longhaired) that usually comes in shades of gray, red, rust, yellow, white or brindle. Its large, wedge-shaped head has an oblong muzzle, bushy, high-set ears and deeply set, oval-shaped eyes. It has a thick tail that usually hangs low or curls up slightly.


  • Bold
  • Assertive
  • Big and soft
  • Strong
  • Alert
  • Loyal

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active singles
  • Experienced dog handlers
  • Cool-weather ranchers & farmers
  • Families with older children

What They Are Like to Live With

Around the home, the Caucasian Ovcharka is warm, friendly and loving. Noble and chivalrous at times, this dog has a sense of duty and knows the value of hard work. The Caucasian Ovcharka is loyal, eager to please and devoted to its family. However, it also has a strong sense of independence.

As warm as it is with family, the Caucasian Ovcharka can be slightly suspicious of new people. It is a legendary watchdog. Protective and strong, this big old bear can be an intimidating presence to any stranger. With the proper training and socialization, it will be much more social.

Things You Should Know

The Caucasian Ovcharka is a big, strong-willed dog. It requires proper training and socialization from an equally strong-willed owner. Very smart, it responds to consistent, positive training. The Caucasian Ovcharka has an outstanding work ethic. If you work outdoors and can give it a job, by all means do.

It can live as long as 12 years with relatively few health problems; however, some may develop “big-dog” problems like hip dysplasia and heart conditions. Both short- and longhaired coats need regular brushing with special attention paid to tangles in the long coats.


The Caucasian Ovcharka is one of the oldest surviving Molossers, originating in the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Used to guard flocks, the Ovcharka (also known as the Caucasian Mountain Dog) was a formidable guard against predators, trespassers and thieves. Its strength and loyalty has made it a popular working dog, police dog and companion throughout Europe and the Soviet Union.

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