South Russian Sheepdog

South Russian Ovcharka, Yuzhak, Luzhnyaruskaya Ovcharka

This magnificent specimen of canine gentleman remains above all an excellent herding dog. Guide and protector, the South Russian Sheedog has magnificent aptitudes for work but also as a family life companion. His loyalty, consistency and joy of life are part of his temperament and make him an excellent family dog. Good companion and knight at heart, the stranger who tries to caress him or attack his own should be aware, because all his senses are constantly on alert and he is always ready to pounce to protect his family.

Height 62 to 75 cm
Weight 48 to 50 kg
Life expectancy 11 to 13 years

Quick Overview of the South Russian Sheepdog


  • Dominant character
  • Rather reserved towards strangers
  • Brave and lively
  • Guardian soul


  • Robustness and power
  • Very massive frame
  • Usually uniform white
  • Dark almond eyes


  • No particular pathology
  • Excellent health
  • Long life expectancy

Temperament of the South Russian Sheepdog

Considered the great pride of Russian breeding, this beautiful guard dog is very gentle with all members of his family. With a dominant character, he is rather reserved towards strangers and his guardian soul is constantly on alert. Even if he is very affectionate, he is not easily approached.

With a brave and lively temperament, he should not be underestimated. His legendary mistrust is always present and he will attack if necessary.

Even though he is very gentle with his family and an excellent dog with children, the South Russian Sheepdog can be aggressive and will intervene if his own are threatened.

He is a well-balanced, strong and very reactive dog. His legendary mistrust is true and strangers should approach him cautiously because he does not let himself be petted by just anyone.

berger de russie méridionale personnalité

Breed Appearance

shepherd from southern Russia

All the power and robustness are found in this beautiful big dog. Strong muscles and very massive bones are nevertheless associated with great elegance and agility. His entire silhouette is reminiscent of a bear. This immense dog, with often thunderous reactions, exudes a beautiful liveliness with a very noble and alert appearance.


Between 65 and 75 cm (25.59 to 29.53 inches) for the male
Between 62 and 75 cm (24.41 to 29.53 inches) for the female


Between 48 and 50 kg (105.82 to 110.23 pounds) for the male
Between 48 and 50 kg (105.82 to 110.23 pounds) for the female


His coat is generally a uniform white color but can also have shades of beige or grey. Tints of fawn or straw are much rarer.


His fairly long hair, about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches), is a little wavy and usually very full and rough. He also has a very abundant undercoat.


His large, wide head has a slightly pronounced stop. His almond-shaped eyes are dark and rather horizontal. His small triangular ears are hanging. His large nose is black.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 1, section 1 and is #326

Tips About this breed

Since he is very dominant, his education must be firm and include hierarchy so that, from a young age, he knows where his place is in the household. If he is left uneducated, he will take the place as leader of the pack every time.

All family situations suit him because this large dog is an exceptional life companion, very devoted to all members of his family, big and small. Of course, due to his large size, it is essential to have a nice space where he can run around freely.

Life in an apartment is not necessarily ideal, but a house with a nice large garden is perfect for him.

Health of the South Russian Sheepdog

This large, very robust dog does not suffer from any particular pathology. The subject generally enjoys excellent health and for such a large dog, his life expectancy is very appreciable.


The brushing of his coat must be carried out in a regular way in order to guarantee a beautiful and healthy coat. No other particular maintenance is necessary.

History of this breed

This Russian breed, as his name suggests, is very old. His ancestor, the Asturian Shepherd Dog, came from Spain. He arrived in 1797, with the fine-fleece sheep, on the territory of Russia. This great herding dog had such good working qualities that he was of great interest to the shepherds of Crimea.

They decided to cross him with the Borzoi, the Tatary Shepherd and an old Russian breed that has disappeared nowadays, the Russkaya Psovaïa. In Askanya-Nova, this locality in Crimea, the breed was born towards the end of the 19th century, where it was later improved and its development finalised.

On the verge of extinction after the Second World War, a few specimens were preserved by lovers of the breed. Large companies as well as some breeders started to use him more and more for guarding and the breed was saved by the Red Army which decided to take him under their wing and thus protect him from extinction.

With the opening up of the West of the continent following the fall of the Berlin Wall, some subjects were then introduced elsewhere in Europe. The main countries where the breed is found are Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Holland and Poland. Some dogs have also been found in France, but they are still few in number.

A herding dog above all, he is nevertheless appreciated as a companion dog. This magnificent big dog is an excellent life companion but remains a guardian in the soul and will protect his family against all and this, on all occasions.

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