South Russian Ovcharka
Russian Ovcharka is a rare and an unique dog breed. The descending ancestor that lived in Bronze
Age is Canis Familiaris Matris Optimae. Later these shepherd and sight-hound like dogs were crossed with bearded coarse-haired dogs which were brought together with fine-wool sheep from Spain. These kinds of dogs became popular and exist for a long
time, especially in the district of Crimea and Ukraine. From 1898 in Askania Nova, baron Friedrich von Falz-Fein refined this famous new breed and named it South Russian Shepherd.
The original use for
these dogs was to protect flocks of sheep against wolves and thieves. South Russian Ovcharka is in FCI group 1, sheepdogs. Nowadays the breed is used to guard and protect livestock, the owner and his property.
This breed has a natural flair for guarding and protecting, together with high independent, incorruptible and unyielding nature. Sense of hearing and olfaction, as well as intuition is highly sensitive. SRO is a giant breed, well-balanced and self-confident. Bone structure is strong and the dog should be powerful but yet very swift.
Nowadays SROs are hardly seen in its original use, guarding huge flocks of sheep with herdsmen. During the last hundred years it has become a service and guardian dog, because of selective breeding. The remained primitive features and the specific nature make it wonderful, but somewhat challenging in the modern world. For inexperienced owners, these original like dogs may be quite difficult to keep or train. However, with the support and some advice of devoted breeders and breed authorities it can be even smooth.