One of the top questions when it comes to a large breed, powerful dog, is related to its character and degree of aggressiveness. The Caucasian mountain dog is not your typical city dog so there are a few things the potential owners need to address and ask for guidance when deciding to get a Caucasian Ovcharka. As it is a shepherd dog and a breed raised out in nature with the purpose of protecting flocks of animals, these traits are being transmitted along generations, no matter if the dog is actually doing what it is designed to do or has a totally different life. Let us go through some of these questions together and see how the Caucasian Shepherd fits the picture.
1. What needs do you want your dog to attend to?
First of all, you should be clear on your reasons for getting a dog, on the specific needs that you have and believe your dog can attend to.
People who are thinking about getting a Caucasian Mountain dog are usually people who want a good guard dog for their property and to protect them against any unwanted intruders, be they people or wild animals. This need of protection can be efficiently met by the strong Caucasian Shepherd, as it is a dog bred for fighting against wild animals in order to protect flocks of sheep. Now, where lies the difference between protective and aggressive? In the relationship between the dog owner and the dog, in the training time they spend together and in their connection.
One very important part of the process of choosing a specific dog that suits your needs is its lineage and how you discuss with the breeder and ask for information about the dogs present in the kennel at that point. As dogs inherit the genes and behavioral patterns of their parents and ancestors, up to the 7th generation, it is important that the breeder knows to tell you information about these patterns. This is actually what makes the difference between a dog breeder and someone who sells puppies occasionally: the breeder can tell you more about the lineage of the pups and help you make the best choice according to your needs.
2. What can you offer to the dog?
The Caucasian shepherd is a big dog and definitely not an apartment dog so the first thing you need to consider when thinking about getting one is the space you have to offer. Of course that you can invite your dog to live and play with you inside the house but it will surely need a spacious outdoor space, a yard, to move and to consider its territory.
Its herding instincts will probably make the dog protect the members of the family and sometimes try to make order when there are other people visiting or passing by close to the fence. The difference between an aggressive dog and a protective dog lies in the degree of socialization that the dog benefits from, the way people in the family treat him and the training it receives. So some more essential things you need to offer to this kind of dog is your time, attention and money invested in proper dog training classes, for an ideal interaction.
The socializing part is very important for any large breed puppy, from the earliest stages of life, so that you make sure your dog will grow harmoniously around your family and other people. So it is essential that you allocate special time for taking the dog out for walks, introducing it to other people and animals, in its environment and out of its environment. If it is your first dog, getting a trainer to work with both of you would be the best idea. In addition, another very useful and fun activity that will teach both the owners and the dogs a lot about bonding and socializing are the canine competitions which you can find anywhere around the world, just look for your local dog training clubs and surely you will find calendars for competitions.
What are you afraid of?
These dogs make the perfect guard dogs, as their instincts already guide them in doing that, so with proper training and constant help from you, the Caucasian will do a great job on your property. As the dog recognizes family members as their flock, any new visitors that come to the house need to be accompanied by a family member when they enter and properly introduced and befriended to the dog.
It is essential that you, the owner, observe yourself and ask yourself if you have any fears related to the interaction with this type of dog and with the type of relationship that you are going to have with this beautiful giant. Are you afraid of its dimension? Are you strong enough to control a 70+ kilo dog? Are you disciplined enough to teach him discipline too? Knowing how to behave to dogs in general, reading their body language and being accustomed to interacting with animals is very important.
Also, if you have never had a dog before and you want a Caucasian Mountain Dog, we recommend you get a female, as their behavior is more docile and obedient. Females are easier to deal with than males but they are the same as efficient when it comes to guarding the territory.
One example of a pup from our kennel who was turning aggressive and got corrected through professional training is Athos, brother of Titan, the head of the kennel family. Athos was acting overly protective with everything belonging to the family, barking excessively and making life hard for his owner. to As Athos was his first dog, his owner didn’t quite know how to properly socialize him and how to train him around people, so he hired a professional trainer when Athos was 8 months old and got him a series of sessions in which he learned how to socialize with strangers and other animals. This training of Athos was crucial for his life and the wellbeing of the family he was protecting.
Titan is one of the best examples of a strong male Caucasian who has been intensively socialized and trained, having participated in dozens of competitions and bonding with people beautifully when he is out of his territory and around his family. Back home he is the best guard dog, we know that when Titan is barking someone unfamiliar is around the house.
To conclude, it only depends on you and the level of your commitment to the dog to make the difference between aggression and protection. The Caucasian Shepherd is a master guard dog and with proper interaction and a close relationship, you will surely have around you the best friend as well as the best guardian.