The Central Asian Ovcharka or Shepherd is a Mollosoid Guardian Type Dog

Kelby who was photographed at our Placerville pet vaccination clinic is an unusual breed with a long and dramatic history. The Central Asian Ovcharka or Shepherd is a Mollosoid Guardian type dog which developed 4,000 years ago in the area of Russia and the ‘stan countries. It is genetically similar to the Nagazi, the Kangal Dog, and the Akbash, all of which are superb herding and livestock guardian dogs of central Asia and historically known for their fearless and fierce demeanor. In the Soviet era many of these guardian dog breeds were taken from their home territories and used in cross breeding programs for the Soviet military. There remains, however, an adequate population of Ovcharkas that still breed true in their two distinct home territories. The Central Asian Shepherd, like the Caucasian Shepherd has always been used as a livestock herding dog and as a guardian dog for its livestock and human family. The Russian nick-name for these dogs is ‘Volkodav’ which means ‘wolf crusher’ and they remain today one of the largest and most fearsomly protective of the Asian guardian breeds. The Ovcharka is easy to train as the instinct for protection and co-operation has always been common to all members of the breed. They have a requirement for exercise but not of the running and playing sort. The Ovcharka would prefer to roam over a large territory observing all that goes on within its domain. The only warning would be that in Central Asia certain lines of these dogs have been used for dog fighting and so in those blood lines there would be more aggression and problem behavior. Either variant of the Ovcharka should be raised by an experienced handler and training should be maintained throughout the dog’s lifetime.

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