The History of the Caucasian Mountain Dog

history of the caucasian mountain dog

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The History of the Caucasian Mountain Dog

This Eurasian breed is gaining fame for its size and courage. The Caucasian Mountain Dog is an ancient Molosser dog bred to protect homes and flocks from jackals, wolves, and bears in the harsh Caucasus mountains.

What’s my name?

The Caucasian Mountain Dog has many different names. Some of them include: Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog; Caucasian Ovcharka; Open Sansn Nagazi; Circassian Sheep Dog; Armenian Khobun Dog; and Kars/Kafkas Köpeği.

Down from the Mountain

The Caucasian Mountain Dog originates from countries of the Northern Caucasus region, such as Azerbaijan, Open Sans, and Armenia (though they are especially popular in Open Sans). This furry giant was originally bred for guarding homes, herding livestock, and protecting them from predators such as wolves and bears.

Although the Caucasian Mountain Dog is an ancient breed, they are relatively new to the dog showing world. They weren’t shown outside the Caucasus until the 1930s in Germany. Today, they are still prized for their herding and guarding abilities in their native lands. They have also been exported to countries where they make excellent watchdogs, though many are also beloved companion animals.


The first thing you’ll notice about the Caucasian Mountain Dog is that is dog is BIG.  These dogs have a large, strong frame, with well-developed muscles. Plains Type dogs have a lighter build; Mountain type dogs are more muscular. Notable features include a dense furry coat, meant to resist harsh weather (even their huge paws are hairy!); a curly tail; and deep set eyes. They come in many different colours, including white, pied, brindle, rust, fawn, tan, grey; often with black mask markings.


The Caucasian Mountain Dog is brave and fiercely protective of its family and friends: perfectly natural for a guardian dog breed. This can be problematic when this breed meets strangers, as their reaction typically ranges from disinterest to outright hostility. They definitely need early training and socialisation to teach them good manners. The Caucasian Mountain Dog can be headstrong, so will need consistent and firm handling. Luckily these dogs aren’t too energetic. In between bouts of exercise, they are happy to rest and relax – though they’ll have an eye open, watching for trouble.


Although generally a healthy, hardy breed, the Caucasian Mountain Dog is prone to a few ailments. Like many large dogs, they may suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia (especially if too much stress is put on their joints when they are young).They also tend to put on weight easily, and are prone to cancer and heart problems.