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South Russian Ovtcharka

South Russian Ovtcharka

South Russian Ovtcharka

South Russian Ovtcharka is a large and robust dog covered with profuse long hair coat and possessing a lively and undemanding but independent personality. There are different views regarding the origin of these dogs. Some believe they originated in Russia whereas some believe that these dogs have been developed from European sheepdogs that were used to drive flocks of sheep from Spain to Russia

Nonetheless, experts agree that wolf can be considered as a direct ancestor of these dogs because their skulls are quite similar to that of wolves. These quick and agile dogs were chiefly used for herding and guarding livestock from thieves and predators like bears, wolves, mountain lions and so on.

They became nearly extinct after the Russian Revolution. Efforts for reconstruction of the breed, however, were again shattered due to the Second World War. Certain other names for this rare breed are South Russian Sheepdog, South Russian Shepherd Dog, Ioujnorousskaïa Ovtcharka, Youzhnorusskya ovcharka etc.

Physical Appearance

These muscular, lean and powerful dogs are characterized by substantial bone structure and strongly developed musculature. Males are stronger and more massive than females. They have dark, oval eyes that are set horizontally. The large nose is black in color. The small triangular ears are covered with long hair. The lean and muscular neck is moderately long and set high.

Color: These dogs are primarily with in color. They may also come in yellow, beige or grey colors.
Height: These dogs are generally at least 25 inches in height. Bitches tend to be 24 inches or more.
Weight: The ideal weight for South Russian Ovtcharka dog breed ranges between 108 to 110 pounds.

Health Problems

These dogs are relatively healthy but due to their enormous size, they may be troubled by issues like Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia etc.
Life Expectancy: The average life span of South Russian Ovtcharka breed dogs is 9 to 11 years.
Litter Size: 5 to 10 puppies

Grooming Requirements

The long (4-6 inches), thick and somewhat coarse double hair coat of your South Russian Ovtcharka requires extensive grooming. It needs to be brushed and combed daily so as to avoid tangles. Bathe your beloved doggy only when necessary so as to retain the water resistant texture of the hair coat. However, do clean area around the mouth from time to time.


South Russian Ovtcharka temperament is lively, courageous, balanced, protective, alert and intelligent. Nonetheless, these dogs tend to be possessive and strong willed as well. Males can be more dominant then females. Therefore, these strong dogs are usually not recommended for inexperienced and meek first time dog owners.

They need to be trained consistently and socialized extensively right from puppyhood to avoid aggressive behavior. These dogs are good with other pets in the house but tend to be dominant over other animals.

They are good with children but still need to be supervised because of their enormous size. They are wary and distrustful of strangers. South Russian Ovtcharkas are fiercely possessive and protective about the property, family and other pets in the house.

Key Points

These active dogs require plenty of exercise and do best when given a job to do. They need to be taken for long daily brisk walks and require large area, preferably acreage to fulfill their activity needs. These strong willed, assertive and lively dogs are not recommended for apartment situation. South Russian Ovtcharka dogs are capable of adapting to temperature and climate changes.