"In the last 4-5 years, parvovirus in the US has
been the biggest problem for kennels, even in vaccinated dogs."
"She was a seven-month-old, gorgeous, taupe-colored
devil in dogs clothing. But I loved her."
"The diet of our companion animals is deplorable. So
many dogs and cats eat out of bags full of poor ingredients, rancid fats and
Command; he thee obeys most readily.
If so thou wilt, a collar he will wear;
"The more confidence you have in your dog, the more he
will believe in you."
"The housebound dog leads a stressed existence. It
cannot express its natural behaviors: stalking, chasing, exploring,
BREED CHARACTERISTICS of the CAUCASIAN OVTCHARKA
For centuries flocks of sheep have existed in Caucasia, the mountainous land mass between the Black and Caspian Seas. Although the Caucasian Ovcharka has evolved over the years, dogs similar to this superb guardian have protected sheep from both human and animal predators for at least 600 years - some say up to 2000 years. In the present day, this robust and powerful dog is Russia's most popular breed and is commonly shown at dog shows throughout Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
The Caucasian Ovtcharka (loosely translated "Sheepdog" or "Shepherd's dog") is naturally protective, alert, aggressive (as opposed to vicious), affectionate, sensitive, wanting to please, intelligent, independent, aloof and/or distrustful of strangers. Males can be male-dog aggressive and may need to be kept separate from other males of similar dominance, although I see them constantly take unbelievable amounts of "static" from female dogs. (I have to laugh as Rudi and Soyuznik just seem to roll their eyes and sigh as our female stock dogs play tug-of-war with the manes on these big boys and, in general, take advantage of their good natures). This breed seems to be quite malleable and can, depending on how the dog is socialized, become anything from a therapy dog visiting nursing homes to a fierce guard who will answer to no one other than his owner. And, although you should never leave a small child alone with any dog (I'm sure you have heard of the tragedy where a Pomeranian killed a baby while the mother was in the kitchen warming a bottle), there are many families with children who absolutely love their Caucasians, and are loved absolutely in return.
Sometimes I say my CO's are like "people in dogs' clothing." Walking with my Soyuznik is like strolling with a friend -- who can't speak. I think Soyuznik, in another life, must have been a knight in shining armor, one who would throw down his cloak over a mud puddle for me to walk over. Does this sound crazy? How else to describe the complete devotion and adoration of this dog.
"Svetlana," the Protectress
Size: Large, solid, 100 to 150 pounds or more, 25-31 inches at the withers, and sometimes taller. Males generally taller and heavier than females. Rump is slightly higher than withers.
Color: Puppies are born dark or black, lightening into various shades of browns, tan, fawn, gray, rust, cream often with black mask and/or "trim", with or without white markings.
Coat: Thick, double-coated, well insulating from both cold and heat, and moisture, thick fur between toes, fluffed-out "pantaloons," feathering, luxurious "mane", and of course that fantastic plume of a tail!
Head: Massive with a powerful bite, strong teeth (longer than in most breeds lending credence to the primitiveness of this breed). Eyes are deeply set, dark, and almost "human" looking.
Ears: Cropped or not. Historically ears were cropped to avoid injury to them during encounters with predators. This gives the Caucasian his distinctive look, but uncropped ears are accepted in the show ring and are quite attractive (and very soft to pet). The ears are cut off when the puppy is 1 1/2 to 2 days old with very sharp, sterile scissors. The puppy will scream (twice), but the procedure is over quickly, and there is very little or no bleeding if done correctly.
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