FCI-Standard N° 328
(Caucasian Shepherd Dog)
TRANSLATION: Anna Samsonova. Revised by Renée SporreWilles / Official language (EN).
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
UTILIZATION: Guard- and watchdog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer
type- Molossian and
Swiss Mountain and
Section 2.2 Molossian / Mountain
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Caucasian Shepherd Dog
(CSD) is considered to be the breed taking its origin from ancient
The breed’s expansion covers territories from the Caucasian Range
and the steppe regions of Southern Russia.
The evolution of the breed was not only a result of natural selection
but also influenced by nations that inhabited the Caucasian Region.
Historically Caucasian Shepherd dogs were used for guarding and
safe-keeping of herds, flocks and dwellings from beasts of prey and
predators. The first mention of a large molossoid dogs used by the
army of Armenian Tsar Tigran the II dates from the 1st century BC.
Selection work with the breed started in the USSR in the 1920s.
Obligatory qualities such as physical power, self-confidence,
fearlessness, sharply developed hearing, good sight, and a dense and
waterproof coat have been cultivated in the process of selection.
All these qualities as well as endurance allows people to use the
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs in all kinds of climatic condition including
the most severe ones.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a harmonious built, large, strong dog
with plenty of bone and powerful muscular system; of a slight
Sexual dimorphism is well pronounced. Males are masculine, with
well developed withers and a bigger head in comparison with
females. They are also more massive, bigger and often shorter in
body than females.
In dogs with longer coat-variety males have a distinctly pronounced
The body length exceeds the height at withers by 3-8 %. The length
of the forelegs averages 50-52% of the height at the withers. The
length of the skull correlates with the length of the muzzle as 3:2.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: Behaviour is steady,
active, self-confident, fearless and independent. The Caucasian
Shepherd Dog shows a devoted attachment to its master; it is an
excellent guard dog.
CRANIAL REGION: The head is large, massive, and broad in
cheekbones; when viewed from above the head looks like a wedge
with broad base.
Skull: Massive and broad; forehead is almost flat, with a marked but
not deep furrow. Superciliary ridges are developed, but not
protruding. Occipital bone inconspicuous.
Stop: Noticeable but not clearly marked.
Nose: Black, large, with correct open nostrils, not proceeding the
muzzle outline. A black nose in solid, spotted or piebald colours is
desirable but not obligatory (but genetic blue or liverbrown nose is
Muzzle: Broad and deep, gradually tapering towards the nose; with
strong jaws and chin; great depth and is well filled under the eyes.
The bridge of the nose is broad. The upper lines of the muzzle and
skull run parallel.
Lips: Thick, close-fitting, well pigmented.
Jaw / Teeth: Teeth should be healthy, white, strong; incisors are
close to each other and in one line. Complete scissor or pincer bite:
Injured, broken or knocked out incisors or canines which do not
affect the use of the bite is of no consequence, neither is absence of
Cheeks: Well developed and emphasized by well pronounced
EYES: Moderate size, oval in shape, not too deep set, wide and
obliquely placed. The colour is different shades of brown from dark
to hazelnut. Eyelids are black, dry and close-fitting. Expression is
serious, attentive and inquisitive.
EARS: Moderate size, thick, triangular shape naturally pendant, high
and wide set. Inner part of ear is close lying to the cheeks. Ears are
traditionally cropped in country of origin. Natural ears are of equal
NECK: Of medium length, powerful, low set; rounded in the crosssection. Crest is pronounced especially in males.
Very well developed in all dimensions; broad, well-muscled and well
Withers: Well pronounced, moderately long. The height at the
withers slightly exceeds the height over the rump.
Back: Straight, broad, firm.
Loin: Short, broad, slightly arched.
Croup: Moderately long, broad, rounded, slightly sloping to root of
Chest: Long, broad, well ribbed up, deep in general as well as in its
frontal part; in cross-section has broad-oval shape. Ribs well sprung,
false ribs are long. The forechest is marked.
Underline and belly: Belly moderately tucked up towards rear.
TAIL: Set on high, sickle curve or curled. In repose hanging down
reaching the hocks; when the dog is alert, tail can be carried above
General appearance: Well muscled. Viewed from the front, straight,
parallel forelegs that are set fairly wide apart.
Shoulder: Strongly muscled. Moderately long, broad, slanting to
form an angle of approximately 100 degrees with the upper arm. The
shoulder-blade lies close against the chest.
Upper arm: Strong and muscular, close fitting.
Elbow: Placed strictly back in parallel axis; turning neither in not
Forearm: Straight, massive, moderately long, well muscled; rounded
Metacarpus (Pastern): Short, massive; almost straight viewed from
the front and the side.
Forefeet: Large, rounded in shape, well arched, well-knit.
General appearance: Viewed from the rear straight, standing parallel
and moderately wide. The stifles and hocks sufficiently well
angulated when viewed from the side. The hindquarters should not
be set too far back.
Thigh: Broad, well muscled, moderately long.
Stifle (Knee): Sufficiently well angulated.
Lower thigh: Broad, well muscled, moderately long.
Hock joint: Broad and lean, sufficiently well bent; firm, turning
neither in nor out.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Not long, massive; almost straight viewed
from the front and the side.
Hind feet: Large, rounded in shape, well arched, well-knit.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Free, elastic, unhurried movement with
good driving power in the hindquarters. Good stability in all joints
and with good co-ordination. The trot tends to be the typical
movement. The withers are on the same level as the rump, and the
backline is relatively stable during movement.
SKIN: Thick, sufficiently elastic, without any folds and wrinkles.
Hair: Straight, coarse, stand-off coat with well developed undercoat.
The length of guard coat as well as the undercoat should not be less
than 5 cm. The coat on the head and forelegs is shorter and thicker.
The tail is completely covered with dense coat and looks thick and
furry. The longer outer coat forms “brushes” on the ears, a “mane”
around the neck and “trousers” on the back sides of the thighs.
Colour: Any solid colour, piebald or spotted colour. Except for solid
black; diluted black or black in any combination or genetic blue or
liver brown colour.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers: Males: Desirable height 72-75 cms;
Minimum 68 cms;
Females: Desirable height 67-70 cms;
Minimum 64 cms.
Larger stature is accepted, as long as conformation is harmonic.
Weight: Males: Minimum: 50 kgs;
Females: Minimum: 45 kgs.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should
be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and
welfare of the dog.
• Too light or too coarse in built.
• Lack of self-confidence.
• Deviations in the sexual dimorphism.
• Head small in proportions to the body; light; narrow; long;
coarse; blocky or apple head.
• Abrupt stop.
• Muzzle: downfaced; dishfaced or snipy.
• Teeth too small; widely spaced; incisors not set in one line; any
deviation from the dental formula (except for absence of the
• Insufficiently marked cheekbones.
• Eyes large; bulging; very light; showing haw; slack eye lids.
• Ears large; thin or set too low.
• Top line roach or sway back; long, sagging or arched loin; rump
higher than the withers.
• Body square; too cobby; too long; narrow in both front and rear;
too leggy; chest very short, flat or shallow; croup short or steep.
• Stumped tail.
• Weak bone; muscles and ligaments in joints.
• Lacking correct angulations.
• Bowed forearms.
• Unbalanced movement.
• Lack of driving power in the hindquarters.
• Coat that is very soft; curly; has very short guard coat or no
• Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities.
• Any deviation from the required bite.
• Incompleted dental formula (absence of any tooth except the
third molars (M3) or the first premolars (PM1s).
• Wall eyes; deep blue; green shaded or eyes of different colour.
• Docked tail.
• Constant pacing or impossibility to assess the gate.
• Black colour in any variation; solid; diluted; piebald, spotted or
as saddle (except for mask).
• Genetic blue colour in any variation or nuance.
• Bluish-grey pigmented nose, lips and eye rims.
• Genetic brown colour in any variation or nuance.
• Genetic brown nose, lips and eye rims.
• Tan-marking in black, blue or brown dogs.
• Height below minimum.
• Severe deviations in the sexual dimorphism in males.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation should be used for breeding.