SECURITY DOGS Caucasian Shepherd Dogs and Central Asia Shepherd Dogs

The Ukrainian portal devoted to the Caucasian Shepsherd Dogs (CSD) and Central Asia Shepsherd Dogs (CASD)

 
   
 

 

History
Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Let's trace the origin of one of the dogs' breed - the Caucasian Mountain Cattle Dog or Wolf Dog, known as the Caucasian Sheepdog.

Hypothetically, the only possible ancestor of the Caucasian Wolf Dog could be the Tibetan Dog. It should not be confused with a modern one so-called the Tibetan Mastiff, which is an English "reconstruction" of the ancient dog.

English scientists should be given their due, but the matter is that any reconstruction even having a solid scientific base is inaccurate compared to the original and for this reason can only be considered as hypothetical.

The Chinese Emperor's present - the Tibetan Dog - was already mentioned in 1121 BC. Those dogs having changed but not considerably spread over Mongolia and other Asian regions. Through one of them - Mesopotamia - ancient shepherds and their cattle dogs arrived in Greece and Rome, and them spread over European continent. It's likely that the Dierbent opening, which is on the territory of modern Dagestan (the Caucasians' region), played the main role in that migration.

Since that the history of the contemporary Caucasian Wolf Dog has started. So, it's not less than 2,500 years old.

Dagestan region, being a specific Eurasian point with its historical, social and geographical characteristics, formed a completely unique breed of dogs which perfectly fitted the local environmental conditions. The breed was named the Caucasian Sheepdog.

Starting from this point the ways of the Caucasian breed and its Asian counterpart went differently. The breeds appeared in the position of separated brothers brought up in different conditions. Caucasian region itself is complicated and interesting. As a whole it has never been as isolated as Asian territories. However, the parts it consists of are isolated from each other.

On the one hand, the Caucuses differ in climatic and geographical conditions. In isolated highlands alert, aggressive and strong protectors of both people and cattle were highly appreciated since the breeding of cattle and especially sheep is still very important in the Caucuses. Thus having necessary physical characteristics those dogs were oriented to protect from two enemies: the wolf and strangers, which created their main characteristics like hostility and hatred to strangers. From that time there has been started absolutely unique philosophy of the dogs based not on distinguishing the world around them as bad or good but on the principle "theirs - good", "foreign - bad". This made them unrivalled guardians not having analogy in the world cynologique

On the other hand, during long trips with flocks Caucasian dogs were completely isolated from contacting other people but their shepherd. That might have been the reason for their unprecedented loyalty to the owner and they are still famous for it and reputed for being a one-man dog. Having experience in training dogs in home environment I should admit the fact that even being separated from the owner for a short time the dog feels terrible whatever its owner is like! The Asian dog takes such separation easier.

Thus the nature has demonstrated a prime example of how the inbreeding of the Caucasian Sheepdog combined with a severe natural selection led to such a brilliant result which can't be reproduced in modern conditions.

The differences within the breed were caused by climatic conditions. So, how was all this happening? In high lands the air is dolled up compared to it in low lands. So, to get enough oxygen it's necessary to increase the volume of the lungs and as a result of it an increase of the chest. At the same time the main requirement to any being in mountainous areas is strength. That's why the breed has the quite short forelegs and hind legs. Cold mountainous air, in its turn, makes the dog have a worm coat. These requirements may have resulted in the specific appearance of the Caucasian Sheep dog: very powerful, a bit low, with a long coat and a bit lengthy body.

There was not necessity in such adaptation in the foothill area. Nevertheless, long legs were required to fight with wolves. Different dogs more slim and having a shorter coat were appearing there.

The environment, that was forming the breed, created the Caucasian Sheepdog as a unique ethologic phenomenon. Extremely difficult and long lasting trips with flocks created such ability of the dogs like "energy saving". Severe life conditions and quite poor food made the dog use any stop for having a rest. Modern Caucasian Sheepdog strictly follow this rule: they walk at an easy pace, don't like hustle, prefer lying but don't occupy much room, which makes their living in a flat (not best for them) not too disturbing even in small flats. They eat quite a small amount of food and don't have much water, which makes them similar to St.Bernard and Doberman Pincsher. At the same time the dogs are famous for their ability to attack at lightning speed from a lying position and immediately go back to an absolutely calm state. Isn't it a perfectly balanced psychiatric system? Up to the 1980s there wasn't breeding of the Caucasian Sheepdog on a scientific base. There are two things affected the modern breed. Quite often when talking about the disappearance of the dogs we mean just disappearance of exterior types but, in addition to this, the dogs also differ in ethologic characteristics. It would be wrong not to recognize the existence of absolutely separated lines of the Caucasian Sheepdog. One of them being generally aggressive is friendly to dogs! It's easy to explain. Their genetic memory doesn't have aggression towards similar creatures. That's why they leave contests with the raised tail confusing the jury. Another problem is Caucasian Asians and Asian Caucasians. There is so called Iranian intermediary group which is dogs living on the border of the area of the Caucasian Sheepdog and CASD. They are impossible to identify if they're the Caucasian Sheepdog or the Asian one. There is one more important thing about these dogs. Just think of a situation which is very realistic: someone brings a real aboriginal dog from the Caucasus. According to its document it's the Caucasian Sheepdog, its behaviour and temperament match the breed but its exterior is absolutely Asian! By the way, the opposite situation is quite rare and usually it's trivial fraud. Considering the first situation I would like to mention some political circumstances that affected the history of the Caucasian Sheepdog. They are described in The Caucasian Sheepdog by O.Krasnovsky and N.Pshenichnikova (1998, Moskow). I mean repressions in the 1930s -1940s towards a number of Caucasian nations and their relocation into Asian region. It's obvious that they couldn't have taken their dogs with them but after the war they likely brought Asian dogs. It's clear that brought dogs cross-bred with the local Caucasian Sheepdogs and we still can observe the result of that.

Unfortunately, there are attempts to cross-breed the Caucasian Sheepdog with the Great Dane and even pit-terrier. It's worth reminding that such attempts don't lead to a new fight-dog but to poor dogs whose second or third generation is already deteriorating