It's a breed of ancient origins. It descends from the Tibetan Dog that had come to the Caucasus Mountains along with the nomad populations more than 2000 years ago. Up to the beginning of the 20th century these dogs lived relatively isolated and therefore preserved their breed's pure characteristics, but, by doing so, remained a primitive breed. Later on, the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union began a well-planned breeding program in order to use them as guard dogs. Its russian name is Volkodav (wolf dog) or Ovcharka (shepherd's dog).
It's a large, strong, sturdy, brawny and imposing dog. It has a massive, long rather than tall body. The head is wide and trapezoid-shaped, the ears are high placed, quite apart and drooping. The muzzle is short and strong, with a big black nose. Generally the eyes are dark, almond-shaped and deeply set. They have strong bones and flexible joints. The legs are strong and tall. The fur is double-coated with a rich mane. There are 3 varieties: with short, medium and long hair. The longed hair variety has a rich collar and thick fur on the hind legs. The medium hair variety has no collar but has long hair on its hind legs. The most frequent colors are different shades of grey, with light or rusty shadows. It can also be beige, white, dark grey, yellow, coffee-coloured, striped or spotted. It usually has a black mask.
It's an intelligent, brave, vigilant, enduring and balanced dog. It's loyal, friendly and protective of the family. It can be sociable with family friends aswell. It has and independent and dominant character, therefore it is cautious around strangers. It also has a dominant attitude towards other dogs.
The long hair variety requires regular brushing and combing so the hair does not get tangled or form knots.
It's a dog rezistent to weather changes and with medium level of activity. It requires a large enclosure where it can move at will. It needs daily exercise and activity. Having a thick coat it will easily adapt to outdoor life.
It is not hard to train because of its intelligence and its desire to please its master. Still, the latter should have experience in training dogs and have a strong character. The dog having an independent nature, it must never be severely treated or punished.
It's mostly used as a watchdog for homes or even herds from potential predators (thieves,wolves). It's the type of dog that needs to have an activity, not to be a companion dog.