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I've already emailed a breeder in a nearby state to see if he has any clients here in my state. I'm very interested in this breed, and have collected a few books on them. But no matter how much you read or observe in video, nothing beats personal interaction. I'd really like to locate a fully grown male Caucasian to meet if possible. So far, no luck. Any advice on tracking one of these majestic beasts down for a meet and greet?
 

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It really bothers me that so many people are now interested in this breed. Please first tell us why is it you want an Ovcharka? They're one of the most hardcore working breeds you can find and only for the most experienced of dog owners. They are very powerful flock guardians that are meant to lie out in a field and kill anything that tries to eat the livestock, and are not very friendly to strangers or guests.

However, I have to say you're being smart researching the breed more before trying to jump in. I'd say one of the few places you could meet one might possible be a rare breed dog show. I've met a Central Asian Ovcharka at one and others might have the COs. Contact a breed club and ask if they're having any shows in the Southwest.

Also I'd just like to add that a life in Arizona sounds like constant heat exhaustion for a dog like an CO.
 
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It really bothers me that so many people are now interested in this breed. Please first tell us why is it you want an Ovcharka? They're one of the most hardcore working breeds you can find and only for the most experienced of dog owners. They are very powerful flock guardians that are meant to lie out in a field and kill anything that tries to eat the livestock, and are not very friendly to strangers or guests.
Pyrenees were designed to live with what they are to protect - and protect they will, but people still have them for pets.

Also I'd just like to add that a life in Arizona sounds like constant heat exhaustion for a dog like an CO.
This I agree with. I couldn't live in Arizona's heat, couldn't imagine a furball with that size living in a state where you can literally fry an egg on the blacktop.
 

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Pyrenees were designed to live with what they are to protect - and protect they will, but people still have them for pets.
Yes but at the same time there are loads of breeders who have been breeder GPs for several generations to be pets. Many breeds have working lines and pet or show lines. I don't think there are many and any lines of CO that are bred to be pets. And those working dogs often don't make great pets, even if it's typically a good "pet" breed like Labs--unless of course you're working them at an alternative thing. But I can't think of a pet alternative to a guarding instinct. At least herding and hunting instincts can be channeled into sports
 
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Yes but at the same time there are loads of breeders who have been breeder GPs for several generations to be pets. Many breeds have working lines and pet or show lines. I don't think there are many and any lines of CO that are bred to be pets. And those working dogs often don't make great pets, even if it's typically a good "pet" breed like Labs--unless of course you're working them at an alternative thing. But I can't think of a pet alternative to a guarding instinct. At least herding and hunting instincts can be channeled into sports
And I fully agree, just being the devils advocate. Lots of dogs out there not doing what they were bred for...
 

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I think you're going to be very hard pressed to find and meet one in the US, or even America as a whole. They are extremely rare, and for a good reason. These are pure working dogs who really have not been developed as a pet yet. Have you tried looking into similar, less rare breeds? Tibetan Mastiffs aren't common by any means, but I know there are breeders in the US that are breeding for show/companionship. This is the type if dog breed that, even with all the research you've done, requires a lot of experience. You might benefit from owning a more relaxed guardian breed before jumping into this. While a lot of working dog breeds have pet/show lines that can adjust well to "civilian life", I personally don't believe the Caucasian Ovcharka is ready for that. It's also probably not a good idea to get a giant, double-coated breed when you live in Arizona...
 

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And I fully agree, just being the devils advocate. Lots of dogs out there not doing what they were bred for...
I totally agree. But those breeds typically aren't 200 lb guard dogs!
 
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It really bothers me that so many people are now interested in this breed. Please first tell us why is it you want an Ovcharka? They're one of the most hardcore working breeds you can find and only for the most experienced of dog owners. They are very powerful flock guardians that are meant to lie out in a field and kill anything that tries to eat the livestock, and are not very friendly to strangers or guests.

However, I have to say you're being smart researching the breed more before trying to jump in. I'd say one of the few places you could meet one might possible be a rare breed dog show. I've met a Central Asian Ovcharka at one and others might have the COs. Contact a breed club and ask if they're having any shows in the Southwest.

Also I'd just like to add that a life in Arizona sounds like constant heat exhaustion for a dog like an CO.
Thanks for the info. I'm not in the market to get a Caucasian Ovcharka - I just want to meet a fully grown male. I was volunteering with the Great Pyrenees rescue at a dog show here in AZ about three years ago, and was able to meet a Tibetan Mastiff. I'm a bit of a dog nut, so this really made my week. As for the temp in AZ, you're partially correct. In some areas in AZ it's quite cold, but not where I live. I currently have Newfoundlands, which requires quite a bit of work and adaptation here in the land of the scorching heat. To accommodate these hairy beasts, I installed a 2-stage A/C unit in my house that keeps the temp around 72 degrees, bought a mini-van with low clearance (so they don't have a big jump - bad for their joints) and rear A/C, and I walk them exclusively indoors about 7 months out of the year. You can own and maintain a cold weather dog in the hotter areas, provided you're willing to jump through some hoops. Since Newfies are low to moderate energy dogs, it's not too difficult to keep up with their exercise requirements.

In any case, I'm only interested in Caucasian Ovcharkas for the sake of learning, not acquiring. If I ever did get one, it would be far in the future, as I currently have enough furry ones in my home to keep me busy.
 

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Ah, ok. That makes me feel better that you're not really in the market for one.

I have to say that aside from rare breed dog shows or perhaps "meet the breed" events you might have a lot of trouble meeting one of these dogs. Unless you found a breeder close by that would allow you to visit just to visit and learn (and most don't do that) you might be out of luck. Along with their rarity they are known for their well, distaste for strangers. I don't really think many COs would really enjoy events where there would be a lot of people, and most responsible owners would likely keep their dogs away from situations where they might become reactive.

I think right now if you want to learn your best bet would be to contact a breed club or breeders and just inquire about more, and then of course you could ask them about any upcoming events where you could see the dogs in person.
 

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We are in Arizona and we are getting a Caucasian puppy in about 8 days now. Though ours is a girl, she is being flown in from Romania. The breeder has several people with dogs here in Arizona.

I would be happy to let you meet her @HarryDresden another person here in Arizona is getting her brother. They might be willing to do a meet and greet as he gets older.

Beth
 

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We are in Arizona and we are getting a Caucasian puppy in about 8 days now. Though ours is a girl, she is being flown in from Romania. The breeder has several people with dogs here in Arizona.

I would be happy to let you meet her @HarryDresden another person here in Arizona is getting her brother. They might be willing to do a meet and greet as he gets older.

Beth
I cannot express how much I would appreciate that. During my research on giant dog breeds, I was able to meet several, but tracking down a Caucasian is next to impossible. If you wouldn't mind, please send me a private message to let me know which city you're in, and when you'd be willing to have me visit.
 

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Pyrenees were designed to live with what they are to protect - and protect they will, but people still have them for pets.



This I agree with. I couldn't live in Arizona's heat, couldn't imagine a furball with that size living in a state where you can literally fry an egg on the blacktop.
The Great Pyrenees flock guardians were developed in a more populated area with a different herding culture, more interactions with their own humans every day and more interactions with strangers who weren't threats. (people from the local village walking out into the mountains to gather herbs, traveling from one village to another, etc)

THEN, the were identified as an 'official breed' and imported and bred to be show dogs and companion dogs. This makes the average GP you see today a different dog mentally than you'd find 100 years ago. (Note there are some exceptions, some flock guardian programs have imported some GPs from working stock still active in the Pyrenees mountains)

The CO is something entirely different. THe flock guardian expectation of the CO was much less 'strange human...but not a threat' based. Then, they were selectively bred for more of a guarding against human role by the military and police (Commonly used to guard prisons, military bases, etc) in a culture/government where if the military guard dog killed a 'trespasser' who was just out for a nice walk and got mixed up and accidentally crossed into areas he shouldn't, it would be totally acceptable, no repercussions to the dogs and their handlers.

I am not saying COs are unownable monsters.

I will say that COs should only be owned by people who have a large amount of dog experience with hard-headed working breeds. We aren't talking your average pet owner whose 'had dogs their life'. We are talking people who have done schutzhund, or maybe ran packs of hunting hounds, or people who do extensive dog training.
 
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