Caucasian Ovcharka

Champion Caucasian Ovtcharka
The Story of the Guard Dog "Ruslan"

by Stacey Kubyn

Faithful Ruslan, Story of a Guard Dog is a Russian fictional story of a gulag guarddog, in which the author *never* names the breed of dog though he does provide a physical description of large heavy-coated dogs.

The book's English translation includes a forward by a western writer, identifying this fictional creature as a "Caucasian Sheepdog", stating that this was the dog of choice for gulag work, without citing any references. We have discussed this on Caucasian Online Newsletter long ago as well as locating the source of this out of print book. Importantly however, the Russian edition shows SABLE GERMAN SHEPHERD puppies on the dust cover. It is general knowledge in Russia that German Shepherds (or the "Eastern European Shepherd") were the dogs in use in the camps, not Caucasians; that Caucasians were not considered really trainable for the work described in the book.

Unfortunately, the Caucasian as a Gulag patrol dog myth has built upon itself from one paragraph in the forward of this book. Russian Judge Elena Kuleshova debunked the myth in 1992 and to date, no Russian authority cites that book as a accurate account of the use of the breed in the former USSR.

If you encounter this myth on the internet please remember Faithful Ruslan is a fictional story that never names the breed of dog, but features sable German Shepherds on the book cover.

(c)1999 Stacey Kubyn All Rights Reserved

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