Are you looking for a loving, caring, and loyal dog? In that case, the Russian bear dog is the best choice for you!
This giant dog is known to be lovable and protective of its family members. The dog has a fluffy coat that turns heads which means that it can survive the coldest climates without any problems.
We feel that it is important for you to know almost everything that you can about a dog breed before investing in it.
After all, getting a dog is a lifetime commitment!
In this blog post, we will go through all you need to know about the cute and loving Russian bear dog including the history of the breed, personality, physical traits, health concerns, and more.
So, let’s jump right in!
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1 A Quick History Lesson About the Russian Bear Dog
- 2 The Killer Looks: Adorable Russian Bear Dogs
- 3 Let’s Talk About Food!
- 4 Let’s Work Out: Exercise Requirements
- 5 Russian Bear Dog Health Issues You Need to Know
- 6 Russian Bear Dog Lifespan
- 7 Summing Up: Are Russian Bear Dogs Good Pets?
A Quick History Lesson About the Russian Bear Dog
Did you know that the Russian bear dog is one of the oldest living breeds?
This dog belongs to the Molosser dog type and has lived in the harsh regions of Caucasus for over 2,000 years. Experts things that the breed has descended from Mesopotamian sheepdogs.
The Russian bear dogs are officially known as Caucasian Shepherds.
These dogs are quite large in size and are very strong.
Because of this, the Russian bear dogs have been defending Caucasus region flocks from predators such as jackals, wolves, and bears. These dogs are excellent livestock guardians and were bred for that purpose.
That’s not all, though!
These dogs are quite protective of their families which is what makes them formidable guard dogs. These dogs are ready to take on anything they perceive to be a threat to their territory or family.
However, they aren’t a threat to their family at all.
It is true that these dogs have a fearsome reputation. However, when it comes to the members of their family, these dogs go above and beyond to ensure their safety. You can’t question their dedication and loyalty towards their family.
And, they come in many varieties.
Caucasian Shepherds are of the following types:
- Mountain Dogs: They are more massive as they possess a denser or heavier coat and have a muscular build
- Lowland Shepherds: These dogs are taller and have a lighter build than their cousins
During the 1930s, Russian Bear Dogs had become famous at shows in Germany. During this time, these dogs were referred to as Caucasian Ovcharkas. Because of their fluffy coat, unique features, and an intimidating presence, these dogs were quick to gain popularity.
Fun fact: These dogs have been actively participating in various dog shows for centuries.
As the 1960s came, these Russian Bear Dogs were popular border patrol dogs and were used by East German authorities to secure the Berlin Wall. However, as the wall collapsed, these dogs were adopted by families.
This is how the Russian Bear Dog made its way to the family environment.
And, that’s how the world learned about these fuzzy softies!
The Killer Looks: Adorable Russian Bear Dogs
Russian Bear dogs have strong bones and are muscular which makes them a bit intimidating to look at.
These dogs are even-tempered and a part of the molosser family.
As we mentioned in the previous section of the blog, the lowland shepherds have a shorter coat which makes them look lightly built and taller than their cousins. On the other hand, the mountain shepherds sport a heavy coat and are much more muscular.
This dog has a massive and strongly built skull and a broad forehead. These dogs have strong muzzles and oval-shaped brown eyes.
They’re quite marvelous if you ask me!
Russian Bear Dog Height and Weight
As you may already know, Russian Bear dogs or Caucasian Shepherds are large dogs.
While there aren’t any maximum specifications for the dog’s maximum weight, here’s a look at the average:
- Male Russian Bear dogs weigh a minimum of 50 kilograms or 110 lbs
- Female Russian Bear dogs weigh a minimum of 45 kilograms or 99 lbs
The height is variable for these dogs.
Generally, the average height for a female Russian Bear dog is 64 centimetres or 25 inches while the desirable height ranges between 67 to 70 centimetres or 26 or 28 inches.
On the other hand, the male Russian Bear dogs are larger in size and weigh between 67 to 70 centimetres and are between 26 to 28 inches in height.
Russian Bear Dogs: Some Common Names
This breed has gotten increasingly popular for the past few decades which means that there have been several terms used to refer to them. Let’s take a look at a few names they’ve been given:
- Caucasian Ovcharka
- Sage Ghafghazi
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- Caucasian Mountain Dog
- Russian Caucasian
- Caucasian Mountain Shepherd
- Caucasian Shepherd
- Armenian Khobun Dog
So, you know people are referring to the Russian Bear dog when you hear these names around!
Beautiful Coat and Colors of the Russian Bear Dog
The Caucasian Shepherd has been living in colder regions which is why the dog is blessed with a thick fur that covers his body to keep it warm. These dogs do well in colder climates but, shouldn’t be raised in hot areas.
Russian bear dogs are blessed with a coarse, straight, standoff coat as well as a well-developed undercoat. The length of the dog’s guard coat and undercoat aren’t less than 5 cm.
The coat short on the forelegs and head while the dog’s tail is covered with a dense coat.
These dogs come in in almost every color except silver. Some dogs are multicolored and have some markings on their coats while others have a solid color.
It all depends on the genes.
Following are the common Russian Bear dogs colors:
Because of its thick coat and the variety of colors that it comes in, the Russian Bear dog has a unique look that makes him stand out of the crowd.
Grooming Needs: A Quick Overlook
When you get a dog, it’s not just the initial cost that you pay that matters. You need to maintain your dog in terms of grooming and may even need to hire a professional!
So, let’s take a look at the Russian Bear Dog’s grooming needs to help you figure out whether or not the dog is the right fit for you.
Brushing Needs: Russian Bear Dogs
Russian bear dogs are beautiful to look at and have a unique look.
However, you need to make sure that your dog’s coat is silky, smooth, and shiny to make the looks pop out more.
Brushing your dog is important, mind you!
It makes sure that your dog looks groomed, taken care of, and put together. A well-groomed dog is free of knots, matting, and parasites that stick to the fur.
And, trust me, it does good for your doggy.
You need to stay on top of grooming when it comes to owning a Russian Bear dog. These dogs need daily brushing to keep their coat shiny and matt-free. Because the coat is so fluffy, it is prone to knotting. Here are some dog brushes we recommend:
Is Bath Time a Good Idea?
As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, Russian Bear dogs thrive in colder climates. This means that you shouldn’t bathe your dog unless it is absolutely necessary.
You do need to hire a professional groomer to tend to the bathing needs because this dog’s thick fur doesn’t dry quickly.
Also, it can be a nightmare to shampoo!
You should get your dog professionally groomed once in every two months or as needed—depending on the region that you live in.
It’s All About the Nails!
You’ve gotta trim those nails!
Russian Bear dogs have thick and strong nails that are great for outdoors but, not so much for the house.
In fact, they can end up hurting you as well.
So, it’s important that you hire a professional groomer to either grind your dog’s nails or trim them so that they aren’t harmful to you.
Let’s Talk About Food!
If you give your Russian Bear Dog the right food, you make sure that he’ll live a long and healthy life.
In fact, what you feed a puppy in his initial years has a huge effect on the rest of his life.
Since the Russian bear dog is a large dog, he doesn’t stop growing until he reaches the age of two. So, you need to be extra careful about what you feed your puppy during this time.
There are a lot of dog foods available to buy on the market.
However, you shouldn’t just pick out the one that’s the cheapest or one that looks the best. You need to take a closer look at the ingredients used in the food and make sure that they’re natural and contain quality meat.
Some dog foods use low-quality and cheaper ingredients such as corn, rice, and chicken meal.
They aren’t the healthiest for your dog!
It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet to determine what the best food for your dog is.
High-quality foods generally contain loads of calcium and the right amount of calories. Since this dog breed is prone to getting dysplasia, it is essential for the pup to get the right calcium that ensures strong bones.
A good dog food for Russian bear dogs should contain:
- High amount of protein
- Medium to low carbohydrates
- Low fat
The exact amount of calories your dog should have per day depends on various things.
That’s something your vet needs to determine.
Large breed dogs such as the Caucasian Shepherd have a tendency to gain a lot of fat which can lead to obesity, heart problems, etc. So, you need to ensure your dog gets the right amount of calories.
The dog foods that we recommend include:
- Nutro Lite and Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food
- WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Adult Beef and Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Large & Giant Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
Let’s Work Out: Exercise Requirements
Russian Bear dogs are a moderately active breed.
So, to meet their exercise needs, an hour-long walk on a daily basis is all you need. However, you need to keep in mind that these dogs do have a tendency to get aggressive and must be kept on the leash at all times.
These dogs do really well in large properties and are the happiest in large areas.
You need to include playtime and teach them some exciting games such as fetch to make sure all their needs are met. Since Caucasian Mountain Shepherds are large in size, they need a fence which is about 6 feet or 1.8 meters in height.
These dogs are really territorial!
Russian bear dogs are intelligent in nature and if their exercise needs aren’t met, they have a tendency to turning dangerous and destructive. So, you need to be on top of the game in this matter.
These dogs enjoy going hiking and can make excellent companions to moderately active humans.
You sure can bond with your dog during your expeditions!
Toys for Russian Bear Dogs
Your dog can get destructive even if he doesn’t have anything to do.
So, it is best to invest in toys for your dog that he’s allowed to play with whenever he likes.
Building an obstacle course for your doggy in your backyard is also a great idea!
Here are some toys we recommend:
- Dog Rope Toys
- HuggleHounds Plush Corduroy Durable Knotties Dog Toy
- oneisall Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers
Russian Bear Dog Health Issues You Need to Know
One of the most important things to know when you’re getting a dog is how healthy the breed generally is.
Some dog breeds attract a lot of health issues which can burn a large hole in your pocket in the longer run. So, it’s essential that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into when you get a furry friend.
Caucasian Shepherds are working dogs which means they are strong and healthy ones.
However, there are still some medical conditions that affect these breeds and are commonly seen.
Let’s take a look at them.
According to a study, it was found that as many as 43% of Caucasian Shepherds have hip dysplasia because of their weight.
This condition is quite commonly seen in large breed dogs as they grow in size rather quickly. But, you can prevent this disease from occurring if you provide your dog with the right nutrition at an early age.
Cataracts are common in Russian Bear dogs. The condition makes the eye’s lens obscured which makes them harder to see. Some Russian Bear dogs have small cataracts that don’t seem to affect their eyesight at all.
However, some doggies do end up getting blind.
There are some precautions you can take to ensure that your dog doesn’t develop cataracts at all. But, in case your dog does get a cataract, surgery may be your only option to restore his vision.
Russian Bear Dog Lifespan
Russian Bear dogs have an average lifespan of 12 years.
However, some dogs have been known to live for as long as 18 years!
It all depends on how you take care of your dog. Diet and lifestyle play a major role in determining how long your dog will live and how healthy will he overall will be.
Providing your dog with the best nutrition and plenty of exercise ensures that he’ll have a long and happy life. Obesity is something that dramatically decreases your dog’s lifespan, so you need to ensure that you give your doggy the right nutrients and the right amount of calories.
Summing Up: Are Russian Bear Dogs Good Pets?
Russian Bear dogs are gentle and nice to their owners but can be ferocious to intruders and strangers.
These dogs make excellent pets if what you need is protection.
These dogs are fairly good with kids but, you shouldn’t ever leave them alone with your child and always supervise their interactions. If trained the right way, these dogs make excellent protection dogs.
They need an experienced dog owner as they’re harder to train and strong-willed.
They are loyal and will do almost anything to protect their pack—even if it puts them directly in danger’s path.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Leave them in the comments section, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!