Dog breeds: Southern Russian Shepherd Dog

Dog breeds: Southern Russian Shepherd Dog

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Russia.
F.C.I classification: Group 1 - shepherd dogs and cattle dogs (excluding Swiss cattle dogs).

The Southern Russian Shepherd Dog (Ioujonrousskaïa Ovtcharka, Berger de russie méridionale, Südrussischer Ovtcharka, South Russian Sheperd Dog, Perro de Pastor de Rusia Meridional) belongs to the group of "Ovtcharka", made up of three Russian shepherd dogs. This breed was the first of the three to be recognized by the International Cynological Federation; its official recognition dates back to 1983. it is the least common of the three in Europe. As in the other three races of Ovtcharka there is a lot of mystery about the origins; it is thought to derive from the ancient "Tibet Mastiff", but according to some authors it would have developed directly from the Siberian wolf. It is still used today as a guardian of the flock in Crimea and Ukraine.

General aspect

Large dog. It must give a feeling of strength and power, with massive and strong muscles, combined with great agility and great elegance. It has a very wide head. It has a very solid and powerful body structure. Its construction is very well proportioned and of fair relationships.


It is a very reactive and strong breed. It is balanced and lively, tending to dominate. He always proves very active in defending property. It is a breed considered to be very intelligent and receptive. It is unmatched as a family companion and as a playmate for children. He can also be very aggressive with strangers.

Southern Russian Shepherd Dog (photo

Southern Russian Shepherd Dog (photo


- males at least 65 cm at the withers
- females at least 62 cm at the withers
(75 cm and over the withers are frequent).

Trunk: massive and strong. In harmony with the other parts of the body.
Head and muzzle: large, wide head. The stop is not very pronounced.
Truffle: dark in color.
Teeth: complete in development and number.
Neck: strong and well glued to the trunk.
Ears: they are relatively small, triangular and hanging.
Eyes: slightly almond-shaped, they must be dark and arranged horizontally.
Limbs: well upright, straight, with massive bone structure and strong musculature. The hindquarters give the feeling of power to the animal.
Shoulder: oblique and rather muscular.
Tail: large at the root. Well inserted.
Skin: quite close to the body.
Hair: 10-15 cm long hair, often thick and slightly wavy, rough, with abundant undercoat.
Allowed colors: uniform white, grayish-white (ash), white with gray traces, spotted gray; rarer are the fawn-white, straw and completely gray coats.
Most common defects: prognathism, enognatism, monorchidism, cryptorchidism, incorrect gait, lack of premolars, deviation of the jaw, badly worn ears, poorly muscled rear, defective rear end, aggressive character.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -