The Caucasian is a large breed dog with a strong-boned structure standing rather low to the ground. The dog’s distinctive feature is its abundant wool coat that consists of two layers: undercoat and long coarse guard hairs (up to 4 inches in length). Caucasian’s undercoat is soft like wool, while guard hair is much coarser.
Caucasian Shepherd puppies are born with wooly fur that changes its color for the first few months until it gets longer and thicker. Caucasian Shepherds mature slowly, so do not expect quick results when training this dog. Caucasians have very strong protective instincts towards their owner, family, and property making them an excellent guardian breed.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs need firm handling but without harshness, because their aggression can be quickly released if they feel threatened or challenged by the owner or unfamiliar person approaching them. At home or on a walk Caucasians prefer to stay close to their owners which makes it a good watchdog breed. Caucasians were originally bred for protecting livestock from predators such as wolves, bears, and Caucasian Leopards in the Caucasian Mountains. Caucasian Shepherd is sensitive to cold weather conditions because of its wooly undercoat which it sheds twice a year in spring and autumn. Caucasian has average hunting abilities but can work as a tracking dog when needed thanks to the strong sense of smell. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are not known for their trainability, so they are best suited for experienced owners who can appreciate Caucasian’s traits.
Caucasian Shepherds are very similar in appearance to Akbash Dog and Anatolian Shepherd Dog, but Caucasians are much smaller than Akbash and larger than Anatolian. The Caucasian stands 24-28 inches (60-70 cm) at withers and weighs 100-120 pounds (50-65 kg) with females being lighter and having smaller structures. Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a working dog breed, so it is expected to have stronger bones and muscles than other dogs of the same height.
Caucasian’s head has a typical sheepdog appearance being wedge-shaped with a straight back line from its wide forehead up to the tip of its muzzle. Caucasian’s profile is almost flat showing very little stop. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs have dark brown eyes that vary in color from yellowish amber to dark brown or even black depending on coat color. Caucasian Shepherds have strong legs and feet with thick bone structure and large paws. Caucasian has a long tail which is either sickle or curled forming a ring above Caucasian’s back at rest time (unlike Akbash and Anatolian whose tails droop down). Caucasian Shepherds have a naturally bobbed tail and they cannot be born with a full tail. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs can be found in white, cream, gray, red-gray brindle or silver color.
Caucasian’s double coat consists of a hard straight outer coat and wooly undercoat which protects Caucasian from extreme weather conditions. Caucasian has a distinctive odor that would remind people of the smell of wet sheep wool (which is why Caucasian is often called ‘mountain sheepdog’). Caucasian’s well developed sense of smell makes it an all time watchful guardian who will quickly respond to the slightest sound or movement coming from afar to protect its owner and property.