About Dogs – Caucasian Shepherd Dogs

Background: The mountainous region of the Caucasus which lies between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea is home to one of the oldest living Molosser breeds, the Caucasian Shepherd or Mountain Dog (Georgian: კავკასიური ნაგაზი). There is a great variety of types among Caucasian dogs depending on their home region. The original purpose of this breed was to protect livestock from bears, wolves and thieves. Dogs similar to this superb guardian have protected livestock for at least 600 years. Even though its original use as a livestock guardian is declining it is still used by shepherds in Georgia and throughout the Caucasus Region.

The dogs are very highly regarded in Georgia. The image of the head of a Caucasian Shepherd dog decorated the coats of arms of several Georgian grand dukes.

Description: The breed is characterized by a massive bone structure and strong musculature. The tail is high set and usually carried in the shape of sickle, hook or ring. The thick coat is especially effective at keeping out the cold. There are two coat varieties: short and long. On the long-haired type, the hairs on the neck form a lion-like “mane”, and fringes and culottes on the rear part of the legs. The tail is thick and bushy. The short-haired type lacks these characteristics. Colors vary from gray, fawn, tan, pied, brindle and white. The large paws have hair between the toes, providing excellent insulation. Weight is in the range of 99-154 pounds (45-70 kg). The desirable height for males is in the range of 72 – 75 cm, for females 66 – 69 cm.

Characteristics: The typical Caucasian Shepherd dog is independent, strong willed and fearless. Because its thick coat protects it from adverse weather, it can live out-doors provided it has shelter. Despite its superb qualities this is not a dog for everyone. It does not accept people it does not know and has a powerful urge to defend its family and family pets. Unless it is properly socialized and trained it may exhibit ferocious and unmanageable tendencies. 


An Example of a Working Dog Protecting Sheep

Caucasian Shepherd Puppies are adorable!

Georgia About has a long-haired female Caucasian Shepherd dog called Bassa.

She was born in October 2010 at the famous nursery at St. George’s Monastery of Tabakini, here in Georgia, where Orthodox priests have been breeding Caucasian Shepherd dogs since 1992.

Caucasian Shepherd Puppies Bred at the Tabakini Monastery

Bassa’s father’s name is Butkuna Tabakini. He is an international champion and won ‘Best in Show’ at the International Dog-show “Golden Gate 2010”, which took place in Kiev, Ukraine.

Butkuna Tabakini - 'Best in Show' at the International Dog-show "Golden Gate 2010", Kiev, Ukraine

Butkuna Tabakini – ‘Best in Show’ at the International Dog-show “Golden Gate 2010”, Kiev, Ukraine

Bassa gave birth to a litter of 6 healthy puppies on 8 October 2013.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Puppies Feeding

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Puppies Feeding

2 day old Caucasian Shepherd Puppy

2 day old Caucasian Shepherd Puppy

Click here to see more pictures of Bassa’s puppies.

bassa's world cover imageWe have written an eBook about life with our Caucasian Shepherd dog Bassa.

Called ‘Bassa’s World’, the book is a collection of anecdotes, photos and information about the life of a Caucasian Shepherd dog living in Tbilisi in Georgia.

CLICK on the picture for more information.

56 Responses to “About Dogs – Caucasian Shepherd Dogs”
  1. I find Caucasian Shepherd dogs to be excellent bloggers! x

  2. Shary Hover says:

    How fun to learn more about beautiful Bassa.

  3. Chancy and Mumsy says:

    Those are all very pretty dogs but we honestly think sweet Bassa is the prettiest of them all. This was very interesting reading about the Caucasian Shepherds. Hugs and nose kisses for you and Bassa

    • Thank you Chancy, Mumsy and Crew. We don’t see very many on the streets. There are two in our neighborhood that sometimes come down our street and we have seen one being walked in the forest but most of the Caucasian Shepherds we see are yard dogs.

  4. Those puppies are so darn cute! If I was a monk, I would totally dedicate my life to raising Caucasian Shepherd dogs, too!

  5. sorrygnat says:

    wonderful, fascinating

  6. Great post! We love Bassa and we hope to someday add a Bassa to our family….

  7. Wow seeing Bassa sitting with you really puts her size in to perspective, she is beautiful!

    I see Caucasian Shepard’s share a few of the same traits as Chesapeake’s; protectiveness, independence, strong willed (I like that term better than stubborn) needs socialization and not for everyone.

    And I agree Caucasian Shepard’s are good bloggers!!

  8. rumpydog says:

    They are beautiful dogs. I’d never heard of Caucasian Shepherds until I met Bassa. And I sure know what you mean about how socializing is so important. I think that’s true for any dog, but especially for larger, working breed dogs.

  9. I absolutely love the Caucasian Ovcharkas.. and totally agree Bassa is a stunningly beautiful little girl. I would love to own one of these dogs.I love the fact that the breed has stayed so close to its original breeding lines, and you can still see their noble heritage in dogs today, they are one of the oldest LGD lines if not the oldest in Europe.

  10. Paws To Talk says:

    Gorgeous dogs! We loved hearing more about Bassa. 🙂 She is one of our most favorite blogging friends!

    Bella and DiDi

  11. Prior to stumbling on Bassa’s blog, I never knew of the Caucasian Shepherd dog. It’s amazing how today’s age of the Internet can widen our world. Now, the next step to bringing us closer would be teleportation!

  12. eripanwkevin says:

    Until I met Bassa, I didn’t know anything about Caucasian Shepherd and still am very surprised how big they are!!! They’re bigger enough that children! It’s very interesting to hear that in Georgia, orthodox priests have been breeding Caucasian Shepherd dogs!!! 🙂

    • Yes Kevin, the priests at the monastery have been breeding Caucasians since 1992 and have been very successful.

    • Marlina Lopez says:

      Now when u say Georgia do u mean here in the united states Georgia? I would love one of these breeds….we r looking into one the Newfoundland breeds….can u recommend a good breeder like that keeps the breed line straight…thanks

  13. Dianda says:

    They are beautiful!
    I haven’t seen those dogs here In Holland yet!

  14. Lisa says:

    Beautiful! The puppies are adorable, but I’m sure you really have to be ready to raise a Caucasian Shepherd. I’d never met a Caucasian Shepherd until I met Bassa, either. She’s just beautiful, and the breed itself is very impressive.

    I know what you mean about socialization – that really is important for all dogs, I think. And Bassa seems to be a very well-behaved dog! It’s apparent you guys take wonderful care of her. I think it’s great that she gets along so well with her cat brother Barnaby 🙂

    • We are very lucky to have Bassa. She has a sweet nature with family and people she knows.

      • Pedropress says:

        Hi I am very interested in getting a puppy or two ,I live in the U.S. And this Dogs are not that common in my area I was wondering if you can give me some information about getting a puppy , I don’t really trust the breeders we have around here and will like to have so guidance from an expert , bassa Is so beautiful And I will like to enjoy this magnificent breed to the fullest making the right choice, thank you very much for your answer

      • Bassa's Blog says:

        Hi. I am pleased to hear that you want to find out as much as you can about Caucasian Shepherds before you make a decision. In my experience, Caucasian Shepherds do require very careful handling and training. They were originally bred to provide protection for flocks of sheep and other livestock. In this role they would defend against wolves and even bears. They are incredibly powerful and completely fearless. They are wonderful with the family they live with and also pets. However, they will assume that anyone outside of the family circle is a potential threat and will likely react in a protective way. Training from an early age and firm handling throughout their life is therefore absolutely vital to avoid them becoming dangerous and potentially uncontrollable. They can be extremely stubborn, especially if they instinctively feel that what they are doing or want to do is right e.g. defend you from a perceived threat (even though it might only be the mailman). They need a big yard and plenty of exercise. We take our 2 Caucasians on a 1-2 hour walk every day. If you are considering a Caucasian as a pet you will need to devote a considerable amount of time to its training and exercise. You should have experience of large dogs. Caucasians are huge, heavy and powerful. Before deciding, talk to owners of Caucasians and read owner reviews on the internet. There are several established breeders in the US. The alternative is to import one. Choose a puppy from a reputable breeder. A female will be easier to handle. Try to talk to people that have bought pups from the breeder. Check the pedigree. Think about the commitment very carefully.

  15. pugmantis says:

    Really gorgeous dogs. I can’t imagine Bassa ever being mean, but she would certainly protect her family! Perhaps my little Lola Pug can teach her the “stink eye”. It can render a human instantly immobile if applied correctly.

    Really loving your posts….

  16. bonesdiary says:

    Bassa is the prettiest of them all.

  17. adeleke oluyisola says:

    I want u to adverse me on my dog the always get weak

    • Have you consulted a vet? There could be a number of reasons why your dog is weak – for example, a lack of exercise, poor diet or disease. I would strongly recommend that you ask a vet to examine your dog.

  18. charles says:

    wat food is best for d dog?

  19. anita munson says:

    beautiful dogs..I would love to have a couple, but I’m afraid it would be way too warm in the summer for them here..sigh I’ll just drool from afar at these magnificent dogs..thankyou for sharing their pictures with us!

  20. Doobiesbroa says:

    Do u have any pups for sale?

    • Bassa's Blog says:

      We don’t have puppies for sale. There are a number of Caucasian/Ovcharka groups on Facebook that often post details of puppies. Try a search using the terms Caucasian Shepherd or Ovcharka.

  21. trailblazer1 says:

    Oh, those pups. Living in Southern California would not be good for them. But, my daughter rescued a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Malamute, both from private rescue groups. Maybe if we put them in a bag, a very large bag and mixed them up, they might look a little like კავკასიური ნაგაზი.

  22. laurie hall says:

    I had a Caucasian, Boris who died recently. I picked him at the age of 17 months, he had been used for fighting. It took me 2 yrs to train him & it was a constant reminder. As far as socialization -give him to a pack of teenagers – pack mentality- in less then 3 weeks -wonderful- best dog & friend I ever had. My family had bred & always raised german shepards – very different this boy.

  23. Larry Maxwell says:

    These dogs seam to be similar to a Japonese Akita in appearence, size and temperament

  24. Jacob Joseph says:


  25. Jonathan says:

    I want a big Caucasian dog how long will it get use to me.pls reply

    • Bassa's Blog says:

      I would advise against buying an adult dog as it is unlikely to get used to you. If you intend to buy one then buy a puppy. Please bear in mind that these powerful dogs require very careful handling and training and unless you have considerable experience of owning large protection dogs I would advise against buying one.

  26. Laura says:

    At what age do your puppies go to new homes?

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