Caucasian Ovcharka

Champion Caucasian Ovtcharka
Distinguishing the Caucasian from the Central Asian

by Stacey Kubyn

Source : Native Service Breeds by Kalinin

Kalinin states that the expertise of the Caucasian is "very complicated, expecially for the beginner".

Similarities are discussed and include: Similar natural environment of continental climate, large day and night temperature differences, meager food and limited water. Both used with sheep herds, in small groups, living in packs. Both also used as village guardians. Both descendants of Asian dogs, large, well-built, slightly elongated, with well defined and strong musculature.

Additional similarities include: wide body and anatomically similar limbs, strong and muscular shoulders, slightly straightened shoulder joints, short massive wrists. Hind limbs with muscular wide thighs, short rear pasterns, straightened hocks, and strong feet. Hind limbs are not extended backward.

Most desirable Caucasian is based on Georgian type, and the Central Asian on the Turkemenian type, therefore these distinctions are described.

Temperament and Behavior
Caucasian is more ACTIVE and AGGRESSIVE in behavior. More explosive than the Central Asian.

Tail and movement as indicative of temperament
Caucasian tail is lifted above line of the back. Central Asian tail carried lower, when relaxed, covering anus, indicating well balanced. If a Central Asian's tail is constantly elevated, it indicates excessively active, unbalanced behavior, and loss of energy.

Head structure
Caucasian head from top view looks like dull wedge, wide at the base, slightly convex high forehead, high set short cut ears. Inside edges of the ears crown the outline of the head. Outside edge of the ear not below the eye level. Width of head equal to length. Pronounced jaw. Offstanding "sideburns" of fur accentuate width of head. The stop is not abrupt. Relatively short face (2-3 cm shorter than half the head), massive, narrowing to nose. Dull shape of face, flews thick, jaw powerful. Width of lower jaw accentuated by wide line of incisors, with very large long fangs. Tip of muzzle not large. Side view also looks like wedge due to high forehead. Massive head.
Middle Asian head also massive, is longer and more oblong. Wide forehead, well developed jaws that dont protrude strongly but smoothly come to a massive slightly elongated face. Wide muzzle well filled at eye sockets. Side view more rectangular and lower at the skull than that of the Caucasian. The line of the head parallel to jawline. Stop is inconspicuous.

Wide and deep, medium size and dark in both breeds. Caucasian eyes are slanted or set oblique while the Middle Asian eyes are straight.
Middle Asian has a gloomy and heavy look, seemingly looking from under a forehead, not moving the head, just the eyes. Caucasian has more open straight look.

Both have double coat. Caucasian coat is very thick, with dense undercoat of medium length, offstanding, giving bear appearance. Brown color(chocolate to light beige) an imperfection.
Middle Asian typically black and yellowish which is not the Caucasian property. Brown acceptable. Coat is shorter than long coated Caucasian, but longer than short coated Caucasian. Main coat less offstanding and just slightly longer than undercoat.

(c)1998-1999 Stacey Kubyn All Rights Reserved

Caucasian Mountain Dog