Southern Russian Owtscharka

Southern Russian Owtscharka Breed description: Character & Co

Southern Russian Owtscharka


Profile: Southern Russian Ovsharka - Origin, History & Suitability

The Southern Russian Ovcharka, as the name suggests, originates from the southern part of Russia. More precisely, its roots are in the steppe regions between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.


The history of this impressive shepherd dog goes back centuries. It is believed that the ancestors of the South Russian Ovcharka came to this region with the hordes of the Huns. In the open steppes, a strong and independent dog was needed to protect flocks of sheep from predators and thieves. Therefore, over time, through selective breeding, a dog was developed that had both the physical strength and the character to be up to such tasks. Over the centuries, the Southern Russian Ovcharka has become an indispensable helper for the shepherds of the region.


Because of its long history as a herding and guard dog, the Southern Russian Ovcharka is characterized by strength, courage, and independence.

  • Herdingand guard dog characteristics: His protective instinct is strong. He is extremely alert and distrustful of strangers, which makes him an excellent guard dog.
  • Family Dog: With proper training and socialization, he may also be suitable as a family dog. It should be noted, however, that due to its size and temperament, it requires consistent training.
  • Urge to move: The Southern Russian Ovcharka is an active dog with a high urge to move. He needs sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to be happy and balanced.

In conclusion, the Southern Russian Ovsharka is an impressive dog with a rich history. Its suitability as a guard and family dog makes it a special companion, but it also requires an experienced hand in keeping and training.

Banner: Depositphotos / volofin
Ioujnorousskaïa Ovtcharka, South Russian Shepherd Dog. South Russian shepherd dog sits near the human legs The South Russian Shepherd is in the park. The South Russian Shepherd is in the park.
Alternate Name South Russian Shepherd Dog, Ioujnorousskaïa Ovtcharka
Origin Russia
Life expectancy 12 - 15 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Sheepdogs
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

Character traits

The Southern Russian Ovsharka is not only an impressive dog in size and appearance, but also in personality. Here are some of its most prominent traits:

  • Independence: originally bred to guard flocks of sheep in the vast steppes of Russia, the Southern Russian Ovcharka has developed a high degree of independence. This dog is capable of making its own decisions and navigating complex situations.

  • Loyalty: Towards his family he shows a deep loyalty and attachment. Once a bond is formed, he will do anything to protect his loved ones.

  • Alertness: His strong protective instinct makes him an excellent watchdog. He is always alert and ready to defend his territory and family from intruders.


The nature of the Southern Russian Ovcharka is characterized by a strong but even temperament.

  • Calm and Serene: As a rule, he is calm and composed as long as he is not provoked. This makes him a pleasant housemate.

  • Distrustful of Strangers: While he can be affectionate and gentle with his family, he is often reserved and suspicious of strangers.

  • Dominant demeanor: Without proper leadership, the Southern Russian Ovcharka can tend to become dominant. Therefore, it is important to set clear boundaries for him.

Final thoughts

The Southern Russian Ovsharka is a powerful dog with a strong character. He needs consistent training and an experienced owner who understands his needs. However, with proper leadership and socialization, he can become a loyal and reliable companion.

The South Russian Shepherd is in the park.


The dense and long coat of the Southern Russian Ovcharka requires special attention:

  1. Regular brushing: To avoid matting and knots, the coat should be thoroughly brushed at least two to three times a week. Even daily during the molting phases.

  2. Bathing: Only when necessary, the dog should be bathed to avoid stripping the coat's natural oils.

  3. Ear and Claw Care: The ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection and the claws trimmed as needed.

Health The Southern Russian Ovsharka is basically a hardy dog, but there are some health issues that should be considered:

  • Hip Dysplasia: As with many large dog breeds, hip dysplasia can occur in the Southern Russian Ovsharka. Regular examinations and a balanced diet can prevent this.

  • Eye Disorders: Occasionally, eye problems may occur. It is advisable to have regular eye examinations.


Breeding the Southern Russian Ovcharka should be done responsibly and according to strict criteria:

  • Health examinations: Before breeding, both parents should be examined for known hereditary diseases.

  • Character and temperament: Only dogs with a balanced and standard temperament should be used for breeding.

  • Conformity to standard: Breeding should always aim to maintain and improve the breed standard of the Southern Russian Ovcharka.

In conclusion, the Southern Russian Ovsharka can live a long and healthy life with proper care and health maintenance. Breeding should always be done carefully and with the welfare of the animals in mind.

South Russian shepherd dog in park

The Southern Russian Ovsharka has a dense, long and often wavy coat. It not only protects him from the extreme climatic conditions of his country of origin, but also gives him his impressive appearance. Coat colors vary from white to cream to shades of gray and yellow.

  • Undercoat: The denseundercoat provides protection from cold and wet conditions.
  • Grooming: To avoid matting, the coat should be brushed regularly.


Its powerful stature and long, dense coat give the Southern Russian Ovcharka a majestic appearance. His expression is often serious and alert, with deep-set eyes and drooping ears.

Size & Weight

The Southern Russian Ovcharka is one of the large dog breeds:

GenderHeight (cm)Weight (kg)

This dog is characterized by a robust constitution and strong bone structure. At the same time, it does not appear clumsy or awkward, but shows a certain elegance in its movements.

In summary, the Southern Russian Ovsharka embodies strength and pride. Its imposing coat requires regular grooming to show its full splendor. Despite its size and weight, it moves with an impressive grace.

Fur length long
Fur -
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 62 - 90 cm
Weight ♀ 53 - 75 kg
Size ♂ 65 - 90 cm
Weight ♂ 55 - 75 kg
Suitable For -
The South Russian Shepherd is in the park.
The South Russian Shepherd is in the park.
The South Russian Shepherd is in the park.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 15.03.2024

FCI-Rassestandard (Deutsch)

Accessed on 15.03.2024

Petra Krivy (2016). Herdenschutzhunde. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.

Other large dogs

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