South Russian Shepherd Dog

The Russian Sheepdog — better known as the South Russian Ovtcharka, South Russian Shepherd Dog, or SRO — is a large long-haired sheepdog. It is named for its origins in the former U.S.S.R. The Russian Sheepdog is usually associate with the Caucasian Ovcharka and the Central Asian Ovcharka, dog breeds that originate from the same area. No one knows precisely how the Russian Sheepdog was developed. Some people believe it is a breed native to Russia (and the Ukraine). Others believe it traces its ancestry to sheepdogs that possibly came from other parts of Europe, or even wolves. The earliest period to which anyone can trace the Russian sheepdog is the 18th century, with its habitat being the Crimea region between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Russian Sheepdog was valued for its ability to function as a guard dog or herding dog with little to no supervision.

The Russian Sheepdog’s most distinctive physical trait is its very long, thick, dense, and slightly wavy double coat. Usually white or cream in color, the coat is 4 to 6 inches long, with the hairs of equal length on every part of the body. Also prominent is the big, elongated head, which contrasts with its relatively small triangular ears. Russian Sheepdogs tend to be around 22 to 26 inches tall from the withers, with males being typically taller. The weight range is 88 to 132 pounds for males and 77 to 99 pounds for females. Personality: Often described as an undemanding dog, the Russian Sheepdog can adapt to most weather conditions. However, it needs an owner who is strong-minded, firm, confident, and consistent. A lack of authority can instill a spirit of dominance with other dogs or people less familiar to the dog. Since they were partly bred to protect people or property, SROs tend to respond quickly and strongly to any suspicious activity. They feel most comfortable with big families, households or residential areas, since they want to feel an optimal sense of purpose or influence.

South Russian Shepherd Dog image
Life Span
9 - 11 years
Other Names
South Russian Sheepdog, Ukrainian Ovcharka, South Russian Ovcharka, South Russian Shepherd Dog

South Russian Shepherd Dog Build Information

Size
Large

The Russian Sheepdog’s most distinctive physical trait is its very long, thick, dense, and slightly wavy double coat. Usually white or cream in color, the coat is 4 to 6 inches long, with the hairs of equal length on every part of the body. Also prominent is the big, elongated head, which contrasts with its relatively small triangular ears. Russian Sheepdogs tend to be around 22 to 26 inches tall from the withers, with males being typically taller. The weight range is 88 to 132 pounds for males and 77 to 99 pounds for females.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Often described as an undemanding dog, the Russian Sheepdog can adapt to most weather conditions. However, it needs an owner who is strong-minded, firm, confident, and consistent. A lack of authority can instill a spirit of dominance with other dogs or people less familiar to the dog. Since they were partly bred to protect people or property, SROs tend to respond quickly and strongly to any suspicious activity. They feel most comfortable with big families, households or residential areas, since they want to feel an optimal sense of purpose or influence.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate shedding
Grooming
Medium maintenance

The South Russian Shepherd Dog sheds heavily twice a year, so it needs to be brushed often to prevent matting and tangling.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy
  • The Russian Sheepdog is also known as the South Russian Sheepdog, South Russian Shepherd Dog, and Ukrainian Ovcharka
  • The term “Ukranian Ovcharka” is sometimes used to denote its presence in Ukraine, one of Russia’s neighboring countries
  • The Russian Sheepdog is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), Continental Kennel Club (CKC), America’s Pet Registry (APRI), American Canine Registry (ACR), and the Dog Registry of America (DRA)
  • SROs tend to live between 9 and 11 years

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Common Health Conditions in South Russian Shepherd Dogs

The Russian Sheepdog is a generally healthy breed. However, it is susceptible to health problems common with large dogs, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

South Russian Shepherd Dog Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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