Caucasian Ovcharka

Champion Caucasian Ovtcharka
First Caucasian Ovcharka in the U.S.

by Stacey Kubyn

During the late 1970s, biologists Ray and Lorna Coppinger of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachussetts procured two "Russian-type Ovcharka" pups from eastern Turkey for a livestock guard dog study program. The dogs were unsuitable as livestock guardians. After several years, the dogs were sent to Ed Turner, a champion Saint Bernard breeder in Ohio.

I have met with Mr. Turner and understand that the female was gentle and lived to old age. Unfortunately, the male was very aggressive and met an early demise. One litter was whelped but all the pups were killed by the male.

The enlarged clear color photos I saw showed two very large very sound dogs that resembled longhaired anatolians. My impression was that these two dogs may have been siblings. While they did not appear to be the Caucasian upon which our breed standards are based, they appear to be the first recorded dogs from the Caucasus Mountains that reached the U.S.

(c)1997 Stacey Kubyn

Caucasian Mountain Dog