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Caucasion Shepherds/Mountain Dogs/Whatever is the correct name for them

(15 Posts)
sunflower49 Sat 15-Nov-14 11:19:30

I keep an eye on the types of dogs in rescue and I have a feeling that this breed and their crosses are going to be the next 'group' of abandoned dogs, now they're becoming more commonly purchased in the UK , following Staffies/'handbag' dog breeds/Wolf-type breeds that rescues report they're getting in a lot. Early days though.

Our 'wolf' type dog (Northern Inuit) was a rescue, previous owners couldn't handle her personality and said she was 'impossible' to train. (Not true, she's by no means well-behaved but I've got her to be much, much better, and that was at a late age in life).

Anyway my question-there's a lot of 'hype' about these dogs and how they're naturally aggressive and protective, don't like any strangers, will attack if they feel their pack's threatened, not to be trusted, need much more training than other dogs etc. I've read up on this and watched a couple of documentaries.

But, I'm sure 'we' were told the same things about Alsatians/Rottweilers/Staffies.

I'm quite experienced with dogs, but not to the point where I'd feel infallible with them.

Do you think there's any truth in it?

I am looking at getting another dog, but not yet. Within the next couple of years probably and it will be a rescue. I prefer large breeds and I want a guard dog. So, I just wondered if people think there's any truth in this 'aggression' thing about Caucasion Shepherds.

They are massive, though-and I guess if one did go out of control It's going to be a lot more of a problem than if a smaller dog did.

bakingtins Sat 15-Nov-14 11:32:13

They sound to have ideal characteristics to be desirable to muppets, which is the precursor to ending up in rescue in large numbers.
100kg of badly trained bear-hunter, what could possibly go wrong???

CleaninQueen Sat 15-Nov-14 11:37:03

I love them. Grew up with large what the media would describe as 'dangerous' dogs and not scared of dogs or breeds. My thinking is any breed can be dangerous, when trained in the wrong hands. I've got a Johnson type American bulldog rescue & a English Mastiff puppy and the rescue was a stray but she's incredibly loving just a walking health problem.

sunflower49 Sat 15-Nov-14 11:44:46

I know, bakingtins It's worrying. There's already some pre-owned adults on pre-loved and people breeding them in their spare room sad

I just thought-within the next couple of years I'll be getting a dog, this dog is likely to be in the same position as bull-terrier sort of breeds and wolf-characteristic sort of breeds are now, then. And I wondered what you all thought.

I have re-trained a dog that was bred to be aggressive and although I'd never trust him 100% if threatened, I'd say I did 99%. I managed that.. I grew up with Alsatians, they were so soft It's unbelievable, because they'd been taught correctly. So I'm not adverse to owning one if it comes to it, and I do quite fancy one.

My thinking is, I don't believe they can be that much different to other dogs who are supposedly 'aggressive' by nature. But I wouldn't trust my judgement without a lot of research, and thought I'd ask dog-lovers on here also smile
If I was thinking seriously about getting one. I agree with you cleaning .

SinclairSpectrum Sat 15-Nov-14 11:50:56

Same as above, think any dog has the potential to be dangerous or loving depending on its upbringing. However you have to take into consideration that certain breeds have been genetically selected for desired traits.
It would appear that Caucasian Shepherds have been bred to guard and to do so enthusiastically.
If you can put that hardwired drive to use positively then great. I suspect lots of the criminal fraternity will leave these dogs bored and without adequate training and purpose before packing them off to the shelter when the food bills get too much.
I wouldn't like to try and unpick all that negativity but then I am not that experienced a dog handler.
Can I ask why you need a guard dog? Or is it a 'deterrent' dog you're after?

sunflower49 Sat 15-Nov-14 12:11:46

Sinclair I probably do mean more a 'deterrent' dog. Just a dog that barks and feels It's his/her job to defend his territory is all I'd like.

We're looking at buying a house with a fair bit of land, in the next few years, and my Lokata lovely as she is, is everyone's best friend, honestly I think if somebody trespassed the worst they'd get is she'd just jump up and lick them. She barks more, when WE get home from somewhere than when she's 'supposed' to!

This is all sounding positive, anyway smile

I'd rather accept naivety in some situations and ask daft questions, than take a potential risk. And I like to be mindful of the sorts of dogs that are in need at any given time. I'm not saying I'll definitely get one, and I'm only at putting the feelers out' stage at the moment, but I wanted opinions from other dog lovers on whether all the hype around this breed has any truth in it.

The dog I owned that was actually the most dangerous, was a Hungarian Puli! He had been owned by some fuckwit inexperienced idiot who made him fearful of all men. Male children, fine, women and girls, fine-grown man-he went straight for them. I agree that all dogs have potential to be dangerous.

BoreOfWhabylon Sat 15-Nov-14 12:40:46

Think I'd go for a pyrenean mountain dog if you want a 'guardian' type and have the space.

Lovely, calm affectionate dogs and good watchdogs.

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 15-Nov-14 12:49:04

I used to work in a boarding/breeding kennels, but in the days long before these husky/malamutes became popular, and have zero direct experience of them. I will admit they scare me. (Lifelong bull breeds owner, too). But then GSDs used to scare me and looking back I think a lot of that was nonsense...

The husky type dogs are the new chav dog, I think. My chavvy neighbour has a black lab but told me she wished she had a staffy or a husky. And we've had these recent cases of that kind of dog (malamute?) killing babies, etc. I suspect - I don't know for sure - these dogs, like poor staffies before them, and dobes, and GSDs - get into the wrong hands, and are neglected/abused/mistreated and the news stories we see are the end of that process. For every one sensationalised news story you will have thousands of neglected dogs of status breeds, that still live their lives without doing those things.

Dogs like Shar Peis and Akitas are also supposed to have those guarding characteristics. And also, to some extent, a status dog.

The dogs round here that cause the most problems, and are the most aggressive are the black labs bred by farmers and sold over the farm gate. I lost count of the number of times my bull terriers have been attacked by them. They seem to be owned by useless people who let them offlead with no recall. It really does seem to be down to the owner, not the dog, or the public perception of the dog. Labs are perceived as lovely and friendly. (Cesar Millan's worst bite was from a labrador, not a pit bull, if I remember right!) I havent looked at the stats for a while but seem to recall cocker spaniels are right up there in the aggressive dog bite list!

I know nothing of guarding breeds but suspect people also confuse aggression with guarding behaviours in the same way they confuse aggression and dominance.

I do think some working dogs are one man dogs. Whether that is nature or nurture, not sure. OP, you sound like you have worked hard with your dog so whatever dog you get stands a good chance of being a settled character.

SinclairSpectrum Sat 15-Nov-14 12:51:21

Do you have children?
Am sure a CS would be fine around children it sees as family but not sure I would be comfortable having one around visiting kids.
They can take rough play as a threat against their charge and defend robustly.
Am sure there are plenty large vocal dogs that would have less question marks - Leonberger, Newfies, Pyreneans etc?

sunflower49 Sat 15-Nov-14 13:02:47

Thanks for your reply Joffrey.

Yes the husky breeds definitely are the new staffordshire bull terrier. There are loads of them in the nearest rescue to us.

This is my dog-a rescue. No aggression in her (apart from when she's at the vet but I don't really count that, It's understandable) was damn unruly when I first met her though. She's much, much better now.

I am sure not all 'chavs' are neglectful and abusive but it seems a lot of them are, and so many dogs abandoned when the novelty wears off. In the last 6 months though, I've been asked to assist in rehoming 3 dogs, none were 'chav' breeds and all were from owners that weren't 'chavvy', two of them were rehoming due to their own pregnancies [blood/boil].

They really did not think they were doing anything wrong, either!

That's interesting, about the Labradors. I have only ever been bitten by a dog once and that was a staf (not mine!), but he has since been rehomed to a friend of mine, and rehabilitated and I trust him now. Danger of being licked to death isn't really a problem smile

Thank you-I try to be as responsible as possible with dogs, I take ownership seriously and wouldn't ever own one if I didn't think I was capable of the commitment. I mean, I'm already considering things even though It's potentially a couple of years before I'd get another one.

CuddlesAndShit Sat 15-Nov-14 13:32:37

Are we talking about the Russian ovcharka? ( I think that's what they are called!)

If so, I would be wary. I am someone who never blames the breed. However, a while ago I did a bit of research of them as I was looking at them because they look like massive cuddly bears grin, and every single thing I read pointed to their aggressive guarding tendancies. I was reading all the breed info pages I could find. And every single one warned about the vigilance needed with these dogs. They apparently regard everybody in their family unit (family members, dogs, cats etc) as part of their family and are fabulously loyal and gentle to them. However, they arent tolerant of people or animals outside of that unit and if they decide to attack there isn't much you can do about it. And they attack hard.

For balance, I also read up on the same websites what they were saying about other much maligned breeds. Staffies they got spot on (in the main, soppy buggers), german shepherds, rottweilers, even pitbulls. They were all written about positively, with notes about their breed characteristics in a realistic way.

I believe joss stone has one, bought after her abduction scare.

I do think you are right, these will be the next status dog and rescues will be inundated with them sad. What worries me is that there is absolutely no regulation with these dogs - any idiot can breed them and they will be bred to be as aggressive as possible for a 'certain' market. They are bloody huge and the damage they could cause is terrifying. Everything I have read says that they are for extremely experienced owners and my fear is that young nobby from the local estate will get his hands on one and be totally out of his depth... X 1000 all over the country.

Although I never blame the breed for a dogs actions, I do however firmly believe that each breed has it's own characteristics and the job of a good owner is to be aware of them and in control of helping the individual dog to manage/suppress them if needed. My worry is that with the Ovcharkas, these characteristics have been bred into them so strongly, and coupled with a hugely independent streak that they reportedly have, that it could just be too much to control for the average joe.

I really think that the only solution is responsible licensed breeding and controlled ownership because they actually look like potentially lovely dogs. Just veeeery dangerous in the wrong hands.
I still want one!

CuddlesAndShit Sat 15-Nov-14 13:38:02

Just re-read my message, not calling you an average joe btw - just meant in general!

I think you are being very sensible in doing a lot of research before you decide, most people don't.

sunflower49 Sat 15-Nov-14 15:31:53

Thanks sinclair I am going to have a look at those other breeds now. I used to be adamant that one day I'd own a Newfie. I think they're gorgeous.

Thanks, cuddles . They are gorgeous dogs, aren't they. I'd never want to put anybody in danger though.

My main train of thought with this whole idea was, I want to get another dog at some point in the future, and that I'd like a larger, vocal breed.

Then I looked at current 'trends' with dogs because I always rescue-came across Russian Ovcharkas/insert other given name for thems , and began my reading and found their reputation.

Seems you've done similar!

I didn't think you were calling me an average Joe smile

I'm more likely to underplay my abilities and be too cautious and not end up with an Ovcharka.. I'm perhaps to an Ovcharka, what an actual 'average Joe' is to any other given breed!

I like a challenge, but not to the point where any failings on my part could result in something going horribly wrong.

And yes , your opinions on what'll happen when idiots breed them, I agree 100%. And then, they'll be adults in rescue and if they are as difficult as our research implies, how are they ever going to be rescued and rehabilitated ?

It's very worrying for me as an animal/dog lover-whether I do end up having one or not. Awful thought. sad I suspect a lot of euthanising will occur.

The dog I have now , I love her to bits, I really do. And she has a lot of good points, but, for what I look for in a dog, she's rubbish wink .

I'm a fell runner-she hates runs. She doesn't even particularly like walks! Despite all the reading on her breed suggesting they need lots of exercise, her idea of exercise is a quick stroll around the block..

She's not particularly cuddly or affectionate. Only when she decides and then for a limited amount of time.

And she makes as good a guard dog as does the hamster.

She's lovely, she's beautiful and very intelligent, don't get me wrong. Just different to any other dog I've ever experienced.

CuddlesAndShit Sat 15-Nov-14 18:57:35

grin laughing at your hamster guard dog! She is absolutely beautiful, I have full on dog envy envy. It's so hard isn't it, every dog is so unique and some are the total opposite of what you would expect!

The ovcharkas are bloody gorgeous. All I kept thinking about when I saw them was the massive teddy bear cuddles you could get!

I totally agree with you about the rescue situation, it's a scary and a really sad thought. I don't think many of them would make it to the rehoming stage. sad

Honestly, it sounds like you have probably read all the same things I have and the only way to get a true picture would be to speak to someone who knows the breed well...The problem is that they are (at the moment) quite rare so I would imagine there are not a lot of truly knowledgeable people. I wonder if rescues are preparing themselves for an influx and doing research on them? Might be worth asking?

For what it's worth, I think you sound like a fab and responsible owner. You clearly are a huge animal lover and I wish there were more people like you around.

sunflower49 Sun 16-Nov-14 22:19:32

Thanks cuddles , that's really nice of you to say. I'm not perfect but I do my best smile

Green with envy at my cute but very un dog-like dog that doesn't like to bark at strangers or run... smile

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