Ovcharka - Tips on Raising an Ovcharka Pup
Two week old Ovcharka pups starting to explore!
It is important for pups to experience as many situations as possible. Here the pups are playing in the living room.
I enjoy having them help me in the yard as I do chores (feed my goats, horses, cattle) on our acreage and they love to go hiking or lie on the front porch doing watch duty!! Ovcharka are quick to alert you to intruders and their size and loud bark startles most people. Pups should be vaccinated and wormed regularly as per your veterinary advice for the area you live in.
Ovcharka pups benefit from interacting with
other dogs. Here they are playing with our adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Introduce pups to livestock and people if your dog will be guarding horses, goats, cattle etc. but do so in a safe way with animals that are kind to little ones.
Once an Ovcharka has experienced something they seldom forget it. They are quick to learn especially if you make it fun. What I find most charming about them is the love and trust they display for their family. When they first see you they always wag their big plumed tail and almost smile too! On the other hand, owning such a big protective dog is a responsibility. You should plan to obedience train and socialize your Ovcharka to people and varied situations at a young age so they learn to accept them. With strangers they can be aloof and very watchful and will put themselves between thier owner and someone they feel is a threat. Raise your Ovcharka around other dogs and animals then they will accept them as part of their family.
As a rule male Ovcharka
are less tolerant of other dogs and are in general more territorial, especially
when adult. Therefore male Ovcharka should be considered by people
who have already got experience with large dogs. Due to the Ovcharka's
large size taking basic obedience with them is also recommended.
Ovcharka will do some obedience, agility, tracking,
hiking, backpacking and even sled pulling as long as they enjoy it and see the
relevance of the activity. Ovcharka that show a maternal instinct toward livestock make great livestock
guardians but you must raise them properly with the livestock giving good
guidance as the puppy matures. I have been teaching dog obedience for over
25 years and find the Ovcharka a very quick learner if you do not get over
repetitive and they are one of the most devoted loyal dogs I have ever
dealt with. On the other hand Ovcharka can sometimes fail to see
the relevance of a command and will certainly try your patience.
I find their sense of humor and joyfulness a great pleasure to be around.
They have a zest for life and brighten your day in a big way!
Some Ovcharka can be food possessive and you should plan to feed your dog in a quiet area away from your busy household. Caucasian Ovcharka shed their winter coat in the spring (which requires a good brushing) and in the fall do a minor shed to get their lovely winter coat to stay warm no matter what the weather. The rain is no problem as it sheds off them just like water off a duck. In the winter they will grow as thick of a coat as necessary, even in bone chilling temperatures like the -40 degree Celsius we had last winter!
My parents were born in Russia and relatives brought over a pair of Ovcharka pups to their Canadian relatives in 1989. As the family member with the most dog experience (breeding German Shepherds for 20 years and instructing obedience classes for 26 years) I was asked to help with these dogs and I am not sorry I did.
Courtland's "Chaka" - watching over her yard
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