In this guide on the Caucasian Mountain Dog we will provide the basics about this breed of dog and give you information on their life span, temperament, and any common health issues.
- Caucasian Mountain Dog Height: up to 31.5 inches
- Caucasian Mountain Dog Weight: 110 to 200 pounds as an adult
- Caucasian Mountain Dog Life Span: 10 to 11 years
- Other Names: Caucasian Nagazi, Caucasian Shepherd, Georgian Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, or Russian bear dog.
- Caucasian Mountain Dog Price: From $600 to $3,000 average. Up to $14,000 for winning show pups.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Basics
The Caucasian Mountain dog breed or Caucasian Shepherd come originally from Europe. They were once commonly used as military guard dogs in Russia. They are a very commonly used dog by shepherds in Georgia. Due to their sheer size, herding instinct, and protective nature, Caucasian mountain dogs need an experienced dog owner with a very firm hand.
One of the oldest of the Molosser breed, Caucasian mountain dogs on average are 25-28 inches and 100-154 pounds. They come in a variety of colors including black, gray, silver, yellow, white, and gray. There are both short and long coat varieties and require frequent brushing. Shedding is moderate except once annually when “blowing coat”.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Temperament
The temperament of the Caucasian Mountain Dog breed is usually dependent on not only the temperament of the mother and father but also on the socialization they receive. Caucasian mountain dogs are a very protective breed. They are alert and quick, powerful, and strong. Their temperament in combination with their size and dominant nature make them great guard dogs when trained properly.
For families who get multiple one-time visitors or frequent new people coming and going in the house, this may not be the best dog. Caucasian mountain dogs can be very suspicious of newcomers. Any new visitors to the home must be introduced to the dog by a family member and supervised initially. Caucasian mountain dogs that have not been well-trained can be dangerous to visitors to your home such as neighbors, work colleagues, postal workers, and utility workers.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Price
The price of the Caucasian mountain dog varies widely depending on breeding and age. If you are buying a pure-bred Caucasian mountain dog, prepare to pay an average of $1,200 to $3,000. Make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder or owner and ask for breeding papers. Be wary of anyone selling Caucasian mountain dogs much cheaper than average as many cross breeds are out there.
Keep in mind that the initial cost of the Caucasian mountain dog is not the only thing to consider. Because of their sheer size, costs for food and vet bills will be significantly more than with smaller dog breeds.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Pros and Cons
- Make great herding dogs
- Great guard dog
- Well-suited for colder climates
- Easy to train while young
- Not the typical family pet, not best for young children due to sheer size.
- Needs lots of regular exercise and large yard; not suited for apartment living (see Quiet Dog Breeds for something different)
- Requires physical strength to handle
- Can be dangerous without proper training
Caucasian Mountain Dog Life Span
The average lifespan of the Caucasian mountain dog breed is from ten to twelve years. Proper diet and exercise as well as regular care from a qualified vet with experience in treating common health issues in these dogs can extend life significantly.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Health Issues and Genetic Problems
The health issues most Caucasian mountain dogs experience are mostly due to their massive size. Like many other large dogs, they carry the rear dysplasia gene and run a greater risk for issues with the musculoskeletal system. Pregnant mountain dogs can experience difficulties during labor and birth. Cataracts are also a common health concern.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Puppies
Caucasian mountain dog puppies have a fine fur that develops before they get their double coat. Average litter size is between 4-6 puppies. Due to their size and the effects gravity can have on a pregnant female, Caucasian mountain dogs can experience significant difficulties during the birthing process. Seek assistance from your vet if you feel your dog is having difficulties.
The best Caucasian mountain dog puppies will come from parents who have an even temper and have been well socialized. Look for a reputable breeder that has raised the puppy in the home, rather than a puppy farm or pet store to decrease the likelihood of getting a puppy with genetic defects or a poor temperament.
Puppies should be socialized well and training should begin early as older dogs are much harder to train and can even be dangerous to rehabilitate. Introduce your puppy to lots of social situations while they are still easy enough to handle so they can learn the difference between a perceived threat and a real threat.
Caucasian Mountain Dog Rescue
Be very cautious in getting a Caucasian mountain dog from a rescue center. The primary danger in adopting this type of dog from a rescue center centers around temperament and training. Older dogs that have not been correctly trained or socialized, and especially dogs that have been abused, can be dangerous because of their sheer size and herding instinct (much like Swiss Mountain Dogs and Bernese Mountain Dogs).
Without proper and consistent training, it’s likely that Caucasian mountain dogs can perceive a threat and attack when you don’t want them to do so. If you have other dogs in your home, you will need to also be cautious of adding this dog to your family because they can sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs.
Talk with the shelter staff to determine what kind of previous socialization the dog has had and how that will impact future training. Only experienced dog owners with accurate knowledge of Caucasian mountain dog characteristics should consider getting a dog from a rescue shelter.