Russian Bear Dog: Caucasian Shepherd Breed Information, Facts, Traits & More

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*This Caucasian Shepherd dog comes from the Caucasus Mountains. These giant dogs were created to protect livestock from large predators. These giant dogs are also known as the Caucasian Shepherd, Russian Bear Dog and Caucasian Ovcharka HTML1. Sometimes he is mistaken to the King Shepherd , or the Shiloh Shepherd , but these are completely different breeds.

These dogs, like the Bullmastiff ,, are surprising laid-back despite being large. They can be described as “lethargy” by some owners. They are not mobile but they protect their family well because of their guarding past.

These giants need a special family to care for them. Due to their size and training requirements, they are not suitable for most households. These gentle giants can be loving family dogs . if you have the space and time.

Russian Bear Dog

Breed History

The history of the Caucasian Shepherd is quite straightforward. This breed originates from the Russian Caucasus Mountains, hence their name. These mountains are home to larger dog breeds ..

The ancestors the Caucasian Shepherd were livestock protector dogs. They protected sheep from dangerous animals like wolves and bears, just as the German Shepherd ,. They were also general guard dogs and bear hunting dogs, especially during times of increased bear activity. Their job was to protect the land and property of their owners.

In the 20th Century, Soviet breeders began a breeding program featuring some dogs from the Caucasus Mountains. The Caucasian Shepherd was born from this program. The modern Caucasian Shepherd was bred using a variety breeds of Caucasus Mountains sheepdogs, including the Georgian Shepherd.

This breed appeared outside the Caucasus for the first time in the 1930s in Germany. The Caucasian Shepherd, despite its short history is now a standard breed. It can compete in show rings, and must adhere to recognized standards. Many major kennel clubs recognize them. They are currently awaiting full recognition from the American Kennel Club.


The Russian Bear Dog

is a guard dog. They were bred to guard flocks of livestock and acres upon acres of land. These instincts still exist today. They are not able to be trained – they just exist.

These instincts and the large size of these dogs can make it difficult for them to be managed. Despite the fact that this breed is rare, bite statistics aren’t available. However, these dogs can be aggressive toward strangers and unnecessarily provocative towards other animals.

They are very independent and not necessarily reliant on humans. They were designed to be independent and not require human assistance. They are able to make split-second decisions that can save their lives.

This means that if someone knocks on the door, the breed will decide if they are a threat to themselves. This is why socialization is so important. Socialization is essential for your dog to make the right decision. He can’t do this if he hasn’t been exposed to different people from a young age.

A dog that has never met anyone other than the family is going to consider all others a threat.

These dogs are very fearless. These dogs were created to hunt bears. This ability can also be used in home life, such as when your Caucasian Shepherd attempts to attack a “threatening car”. To be safe, these dogs need a fenced-in yard. These dogs are intelligent and very smart. They are quick to learn and can keep themselves from getting into trouble when socialized.

Caucasian Shepherds are also a very low energy breed. They don’t seem to be energetic or excited, so they won’t knock someone down during a bout. Many owners describe them as being almost sleepy. They are very lazy and spend most of their time lying around.

They can be very loud and intimidating when they feel threatened. Although they are good guard dogs, they can be quite tame in modern times. Certain strains of the Russian Bear Dog are more aggressive than others. It all depends on the purpose of the dog’s breeding. Dogs bred to guard are often more territorial and reserved than dogs bred for companion purposes.

They can be aggressive and territorial around other dogs, especially if they are not socialized properly. These dogs are territorial and protective of other dogs.

Size and Appearance

The Caucasian Shepherd is a large dog. According to the American Kennel Club, they can weigh between 70 to 170 pounds. There are also larger versions, and they are not unusual. Females are almost always larger than males. The minimum weight for females is 99 pounds, while the minimum weight for males is 110. They are also very tall. They can reach up to 30 inches, with the minimum height being 23 inches. Like the American Mastiff, males are taller than females.

These dogs are large in size and very muscular. These dogs are strong-bonded and can do a lot of damage, if they choose to. Their modern appearance is a result of their heritage. They are similar in both size and weight to the Tibetan Mastiff, and are often compared to them by potential dog owners.

Coats and Colors

These dogs can also be very fluffy. To protect them from the elements they have a thick coat that can make their dogs seem larger . The double-layered coat has a coarse outer and soft inner coat. Their fur can vary quite a lot in length. Some Russian Bear Dogs have very long fur, while others have short hair. It all depends on what genes they have. Because the fur does not grow all the way to adulthood, it is difficult to predict how long a puppy’s hair will be.

Long-haired Russian Bear Dogs with long hair have a mane around their necks, while shorter-haired dogs do not. It is why they are Russian Bear Dogs .. Medium coats may have some feathering, but not nearly as much. Their colors range from white to rust. This breed is very common with black markings. Nearly all dogs have them.


These dogs are extremely healthy. These dogs were only bred for practical reasons until recently and are much healthier than other purebred dogs. They live a healthy life with very few chronic diseases. Their average lifespan is 10-12 years, which is quite high for such a large breed.

For comparison, a Saint Bernard only lives 8-10 years. If taken care of properly, this dog can live many years with you. This dog can be susceptible to some key diseases. You can reduce the risk of most of these diseases by taking proper care. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with them.

Hip Dysplasia in Caucasian Shepherds

Hip Dysplasia is common in large breeds, so it is no surprise that the Caucasian Shepherd is prone to this disorder. This is when the hip socket doesn’t form properly. This causes the hip bone to not fit into the socket properly. It can be too tight or too loose. In extreme cases, the bone may not fit in the socket. The bone’s end can also be distorted or not properly formed. This can lead to unusual wear-and tear.

Dogs will often try to reduce hip movement to reduce pain and damage. A “bunny hop”, a sign of the disease, is what this dog will do. Other symptoms include stiffness and difficulty moving, lethargy or irritability, biting or scratching at joints, and stiffness. Hip dysplasia, the most common cause of hip arthritis is often referred to as arthritis.

This disorder can be heritable. It is more common in dogs whose parents have it. Luckily, most Russian Bear Dog breeders will not breed a dog with hip dysplasia, cutting down on its prevalence. These dogs are still common in puppy mills and unprofessional breeders. It is therefore important to verify the health of parents before buying a puppy.

There are many environmental causes of this disorder. This disorder can be prevented by neutering your dog before they reach full maturity. Repetitive motion in the joints prior to three months of age increases the risk. Normal exercise and play reduce the risk. Repetitive motion includes things such as jogging and using stairs.

Obesity in Caucasian Shepherds

The Russian Bear Dog is a very energy-sparing breed making them more susceptible to becoming obese. If they are left alone, they will not get enough exercise and will need to be encouraged. It is not enough to keep them outdoors in a fenced-in backyard.

An animal is obese when their body weight is at least 20% higher than their optimal weight. Even a slight increase in weight can cause problems. It is also difficult to get obese dogs to lose their excess weight. Prevention is much easier. Don’t wait until they’re already overweight to get your pet exercising.

The causes of obesity are simple. Too many calories in, too few out. Animals should be fed a balanced diet that is appropriate for their size and energy level. Middle-aged dogs are also at higher risk. If obesity is not controlled, it can lead to serious health problems, such as joint problems. Also, obesity can affect the ability to breathe and the functioning of your digestive organs. It is possible to reverse weight gain, but it is best to prevent this disease. Pets can lose weight just like humans by exercising more and eating less.

Exercise and Living Requirements

The Russian Bear dog is a giant couch potatoes . They will likely do the same if you just let them lie around all day. This is bad for their health. We discussed earlier that their tendency to be low in energy can lead to obesity. Regular exercise is essential for them.

These dogs don’t require as much exercise as other breeds. Although they may be large, they aren’t very energetic. They should exercise for their health, not to burn off steam.

These dogs only need a quick 15-minute walk two times per day. You should be aware of their weight and be ready to increase their exercise if necessary. These dogs won’t get enough exercise if they are allowed to run free. They need to be walked and played with. It is not a good idea to put them outside in a fenced yard for exercise.

Although they have very little energy, they can walk long and hike far. This is only if they are kept in good health. These dogs should be kept in good health if they want to hike with you. It is not a good idea to let them lie around in the house for so long that they are unable to go on a hike.

These dogs are prone to hip problems , and should not be exercised too much when they are puppies. Puppy should be walked and played with at a slow pace, or allowed to roam in a fenced area. Dogs younger than 6 months old should not be forced to run or take steep hikes as this can cause injury to their developing joints. These dogs need regular mental stimulation in addition to their physical needs. If their mental needs are not met, these dogs will not become hyperactive or destructive. They can still get bored. *) This is where obedience training can be very helpful. You can’t give these dogs enough guidance without them being a bit confused. One session of fifteen minutes per day is enough for a Caucasian Shepherd. You should have enough time to teach your dog a few commands and mentally exhaust your dog.

If your dog acts out or is restless, this could indicate that they are bored. This behavior can be controlled by increasing the daily obedience training sessions or stimulating your dog in other ways. This breed can benefit from puzzle toys, but it can be hard to find toys large enough for them.


These dogs are massive and therefore need plenty of training and socialization. If a small, untrained dog misbehaves, it can do little damage. However, a large dog can. These dogs are intelligent. They are able to learn new commands quickly and can figure out what you want. Their intelligence is very high because they were raised to be able to independently assess situations.

However, they are also very independent. They were not raised to obey orders or respond to masters. They were independent workers who managed their livestock either by themselves or with a partner. These situations are good for independence because it allows them to make their own decisions. But obedience training can make independence difficult.

Due to their stubbornness and independence, these dogs should begin training early It is never too early to train a puppy. You can start training puppies as soon as they’re old enough to be adopted. The first few weeks should be short. These early weeks can help you build a foundation for your dog’s training.

We highly recommend puppy classes for this dog. These classes introduce key commands, such as sit stay, and leave it, leash walking, and are wonderful for socialization purposes. These dogs should be trained to walk on a leash before they grow too big. Trying to walk a 170-pound dog who pulls constantly is not only stressful but nearly impossible.


The Russian Bear Dog needs to be socialized. Without proper socialization, these dogs will be aggressive and territorial. Although genetics play a significant role in temperament, many environmental factors can also be a factor. A Caucasian Shepherd should be out with other dogs on a daily basis, to meet new people and explore new places. Fearful dogs can be aggressive so make sure your dog is exposed to the world as a puppy.

You should also invite people to your Caucasian Shepherd’s home when they are still young. These dogs are notoriously territorial. They should learn to accept that not everyone who comes into your home is a danger. You can teach your dog this lesson by inviting family and friends to your home to get to know your puppy. Everyone should find this experience positive.

You should also take extra care when introducing your Caucasian Shepherds to other dogs. This breed’s territorial nature tends to come out most around other dogs, so it is essential that they are introduced to other dogs in public and at home. Participate in a puppy playgroup. Learn group obedience classes. Invite your friends to bring their dogs to your house. It is important that your dog gets to know other dogs as well.


As you might expect, Caucasian Shepherds consume a lot of dog food. It is not enough to give them food. You need to feed them dog food recommended for the Caucasian Shepherd breed. This will prevent obesity and other health problems.

There are some rules to follow when selecting a diet for your dog. Grain-free is not always a good choice . Grain is actually good for dogs, despite some myths. Dogs have learned to eat grain; it is not harmful. We will now move on to the next point.

Second, avoid legumes, potatoes, and peas. These ingredients have been linked with heart problems, especially in larger breeds . These ingredients can cause a dog’s digestion to be disrupted and can prevent them from getting the vitamins and nutrients they need. These ingredients are often added as a filler in grain-free foods, so we don’t recommend it for dogs.

Thirdly, avoid “boutique” diets. higher quality . is not always cheaper When it comes to dog food, it is almost always better if you go with a well-known and established company. Dog food that contains unusual ingredients is most likely not tested properly. It is important to match the age of your dog with their food. When Caucasian Shepherds are puppies, use a giant breed puppy formula dog food to promote their growth.

Dog foods with exotic protein sources should be avoided. This includes lamb, duck, boar, or boar. We don’t know if these proteins are suitable for dogs because they haven’t been tested thoroughly. These diets often don’t contain grains and may also include other exotic ingredients.


These dogs have a lot of hair ,, especially if they have long coats. Even though their hair is not very long, they are large dogs. This means that grooming can be quite time-consuming. Their hair can be sprayed all over the house and shed throughout the year. If you don’t want the dog hair on your couch, grooming is essential. The inner layer of their coat will be shed twice a year. This is a very bad sign. Blowing a coat is also known as “blowing” and can result in an incredible amount of hair. This can often result in visible reductions in hair growth.

During this period, we recommend getting your dog professionally groomed. You can make your dog feel better and lessen the hair in your home by getting rid of all excess hair. Although this can be done at your home, it’s often quicker and easier for your dog if it’s done by professionals.

*Long-coated Caucasian Shepherds need to be groomed daily. To prevent matting, they need to be brushed. You will need to spend some time grooming them because they are so long. Most of them don’t mind being groomed at all. They will usually do well if you let them lie down while you brush their hair. You can grab something like the Oster Shedmonster which will make deshedding a breeze.

Short-coated varieties will require less grooming but a weekly brushing is still recommended.

They only require to be bathed when they are needed. Because of their size, it will be difficult to bathe them in a traditional tub. A “bath” is often just a rinse with some shampoo and a hose. Professional groomers don’t have the right equipment to accommodate these dogs. We recommend that you call around to see if a groomer can offer a full bath for your dog.

Russian Bear dogs will also require the same regular maintenance as other breeds. If they are left floppy, their ears will need to cleaned frequently. Although Caucasian Shepherds have floppy ears from birth, their ears are frequently cropped. This is done for both aesthetic and health reasons. Long-haired dogs with floppy ears are more susceptible to infection. If your Caucasian Shepherd has floppy ears, make sure to check them for infection.

You will need to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis. It is best to start grooming your dog early in their lives. A professional can help you. A groomer can also trim your dog’s hair.

Puppy Costs

If you plan on getting your Russian Bear Dog from a breeder, expect to pay a minimum of $1500 and possibly more depending on the pedigree. These dogs can be expensive so expect to pay a lot, especially if they come from highly prized lines.

You’ll also need to make sure you are ready for other puppy costs, which will include dog crates (if you crate train), toys, trips to the vet, and pet insurance. This is a large breed so you need to be ready for the most expensive expense – dog food. Russian Bear Dogs are very active and eat a lot. Dog food is an expensive expense that you need to ensure they have the right food at all stages of their lives.

Breeders & Rescues

The Caucasian Shepherd breed is rare and it is important to find a reputable breeder if you are looking to get a purebred puppy. You can find good resources and even an AKC directory of breeders. This will help you to ensure that your pup is sound-parented. Although there are no guarantees that your pup will live a happy and healthy life, it is possible to purchase a puppy from an established breeder so you can learn more about the history of your Caucasian Shepherd.

While breeders are a popular option for this pup, we recommend that you rescue whenever possible. There are many Caucasian Shepherds that you will find at rescues. They usually appear in Mastiff Rescues or Anatolian Shepherd rescues. The staff is trained to handle large, strong-willed dogs. You will always be encouraged to adopt before you buy. We recommend that you check out your local giant breed rescue before going to a breeder.

Final Thoughts

The Caucasian Shepherd is large and requires a lot of training. These dogs can be great pets if you have the time and space.

However you must ensure they are properly cared for before you adopt one. Although they may be large and beautiful, this does not mean that they can eat a lot, need lots of grooming and are well-trained.

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