FCI Standard for Caucasian Ovtcharka

Caucasian Sheepdog

FCI # 328

Land of Origin- USSR

Translated by Carolyn Kaufman, M.A.S., January 1994

The Caucasian Sheepdog are a little larger than medium sized dogs with a strong build; their nature is fierce and they are distrustful of strangers.

These characteristics, and in addition, their stamina, understanding nature and ability to adapt to the most varied weather conditions, make it possible for Caucasian Sheepdogs to live in almost all the climactic regions of USSR.

Caucasian Sheepdogs are found mostly in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijani Union Republics, Karbardino-Balkan, Daghestan and the Kalmykia autonomous republics. Further in the Steppes of the North Caucasus and in the area of Astrakan. In the Trans-Caucasus areas the dogs are heavier, in the Steppes area, on the contrary, lighter, long legged, often short-haired.

General Appearance

Powerful appearance with solid structure and strong musculature. The skin is thick but elastic.

Minor faults; Somewhat to slight or bloated (spongy) physique.

Major faults; too slight or bloated physique.

Bone Index, density

(Height of the withers divided by the circumference of the wrist.)

Males 21cm-22cm Bitches 20cm to 22cm

Minor faults; slight deviation from the cited index.

Major faults; severe deviations from the given size.

Size Index-Format


Minor faults; Slight deviation from the cited index.

Major faults; severe deviations from the given size.


The male dog must not be under 65cm. The bitch not under 62cm.

Major fault; Height at the withers under 65cm for males and under 62cm for bitches.


Strong, balanced, calm nature. Revealing a good defense reaction which will be used if necessary. Typically ferocious towards and distrustful of strangers.

Minor faults; Lethargy. Friendly or trusting towards strangers.

Major faults; Timid, cowardice. A great deal of apathy. Not ferocious.

Gender Type

Well revealed. Males are larger and more solid. Bitches are smaller and have a slighter build.

Minor faults; Only a slight deviation in gender type. Bitches fit the model of males.

Major faults; Strong deviation in gender type. Males fit the model of bitches. Cryptorchid, monorchid.


The fur is natural, coarse with strongly developed lighter undercoat. On the head and on the front sides of the limbs the hair is shorter and close-fitting. The coat is divided into three types.

(A) Longhaired. with long top hair. The long hairs form a mane on the haunch. With well developed pants, especially on the back sides of the leg, feathering.

(B) Shorthaired. With thick relatively short hair without mane. Without feathers on the haunch, underside, or the leg and tail.

(C) A variety which is a cross between the above mentioned types. Long haired but without mane, feathers on haunch, underside and without the bushy tail.

Major faults; Fine wavy hair. Without undercoat.


Various grays. Mostly light to rust colored tones. Also rust colored, straw, yellow, white, earth colored, striped, but also spotted and piebald.

Major faults; Black, black flecked and brown colors in various combinations.


Solid with a wide skull and strongly developed bones. Wide flat forehead which is bisected by a slight furrow. The progression from the forehead to the area of the muzzle is slight. The muzzle is shorter than the forehead, and is slightly tapered with strong but tightly closed dry lips. The nose is large, wide and black. It is permissible for the nose to be brown if the particular dog or bitch has a white or light colored face.

Minor faults; The head is not sufficiently wide or solid. Too strongly domed or to steep or too flat in the forehead. Short or elongated nose. Lips that are not firmly closed and do not hang over.

Major faults. Slight small head with pointed muzzle. Not corresponding to the physique. Snub nose.


Hanging. Set high. Always cropped short.

Minor faults; Low set. Not cropped ears.


Dark. Medium-large. Oval shaped, set deep.

Minor faults; Light colored eyes. Slightly hanging bottom lids. Eye disease.

Major faults; Different colored eyes. Hanging bottom eyelids which partially reveal sclera.


White large well developed teeth which should lie tightly next to each other. The base of the incisors are lined up. Scissor grip.

Minor faults; Wear and tear of the teeth does not correspond to the age of the dog. Broken teeth, which however do not not hinder a proper scissor bite. Loss of no more than the 2 first premolars or 1 of the second premolars. Light yellow color.

Major faults; Small light underdeveloped teeth. Incisors not lined up. Loss of a third or fourth premolar, or of a molar. Teeth with strongly damaged enamel.


Very powerful and short. Is not carried high but at an angle of 30º-40º to the line of the back.

Minor faults; Longer neck. Neck that is weak.


Broad, deep somewhat domed. The bottom line reaches the height of the elbow.

Minor faults; Somewhat flattened out chest. The bottom line does not reach the height of the elbow.

Major faults; A flat narrow underdeveloped chest.


Moderate tuck up.

Minor faults; Too strongly tucked up or hanging abdomen.


Very wide. Muscular and very clearly separated from the back.

Minor faults; Weakly developed, which is not separated from the back.


Very wide, straight, muscular.

Minor faults; A weak or domed shaped or slimmer back.

Major faults; Long, sagging or humpbacked small of the back.


Wide, muscular, almost horizontal.

Minor faults; Not muscular enough. a croup that drops off.

Major faults; Slim, short, or a croup that drops off strongly.


Set high. If hanging, reaches the ankle joint. Able to curl itself or be hooked shaped.

Cropped tail is permissible.

Front Limbs

Standing and seen from the front, straight and parallel to each other. The shoulder and upper arm angle comes to 100º. Upper arms are straight, solid, moderately long. The pasterns short, solid, standing vertical and only giving slightly. The length of the forlimbs to the elbow comes somewhat over half the height of the withers. Long legged index 50-54.

Minor faults; Small differences regarding the shoulder angle. Somewhat shortened or elongated forearm. Elbows which turn slightly outwards. feet turned slightly outwards while walking. To strongly curved pastern.

Major faults; Straight or pointed shoulders. Crooked or to slim forearms. Elbows which jut strongly outwards. Throwing out of the feet while towards the outside while walking. Bowlegged, one or both front legs.

Hind Limbs

Standing and seen from behind, straight and parallel to each other. Seen from the side, knee joint somewhat stretched out. Short lower leg. Powerful ankle joints which are wide and somewhat stretched. The metatarsus solid. While standing, hind limbs should not brace backwards. A vertical line should run from the buttocks towards the middle of the ankle joints and the metacarpus.

Minor faults; When viewed from behind, not completely parallel. Standing hind limbs that are slightly knock kneed or bowlegged, or legs that are wide apart or too close together in a standing position. Too flat or too high a back side.

Major faults; Strong deviation from being parallel. Totally straight backside, bowlegged, backside too high.


Large oval form, domed and well closed.

Minor faults; Weak or too stretched out paws.

Major faults; Spread out toes or flat paws.


Free, usually even calm gallop. A typical gait is a short trot which breaks into a somewhat ungainly gallop with acceleration. The limbs must move in a parallel manner in a straight line, whereby the front legs tend to move towards the middle.

The joints of the front and back limbs stretch slightly. The back and the small of the back spring smoothly. The withers and the croup should stay on one level while trotting.

Minor faults; deviation from normal gait (turning inwards or outwards). Not stretching joints enough. No smooth movement of the back and small of the back while trotting. Raised croup. slight swinging of the croup. Swinging with the buttocks.

Major faults; Inhibited. Clumsy gait while trotting. In comparison, croup carried high to the withers. Brusque on and off of the croup while trotting. Ambling.

Disqualifying faults

Any deviations from the solely permissible scissor bite. Cryptorchid. One side or both sides. Underdeveloped prostate glands. Black or brown coloration. Loss of a canine tooth or incisor. Loss of a third or fourth premolar or a molar.


Male dogs must show 2 visibly normal testicles which lie well in the scrotum.

Benjamin G. Levy, ben-levy@westworld.com

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