All About the Breed South Russian Ovcharka

Have you recently fallen for the South Russian Ovcharka or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Loujnorousskaia Ovtcharka, South Russian Sheepdog, Yuzhak, and the South Russian Shepherd Dog, the South Russian Ovcharka is an intelligent and protective breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the South Russian Ovcharka can be traced back to 18th century Russia. Enthusiasts believe that these dogs date back as far as the 4th century through vague writings and art works of the time, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the South Russian Ovcharka has been most commonly used for herding, driving, and guarding cattle against predators such as wolves and wild cat, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to work endlessly while providing protection and gentle companionship.

Today, while the South Russian Ovcharka has attained an underground popularity as both a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of its native Russia.

Personality Traits

Best known for its protective and territorial nature, the South Russian Ovcharka is willing to do anything necessary in order to protect its owner and property. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often look to their owner for leadership and assurance. This breed is highly intelligent, yet stubborn, independent, overly confident, and dominant, creating difficulty in training. As a pet, the South Russian Ovcharka is loyal and loving. The South Russian Ovcharka is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors, taking long and leisurely walks, and having plenty of room to roam, run, and play.


Due to its stubborn, independent, overly confident, and dominant attitude, the South Russian Ovcharka can prove quite challenging to train. These dogs are known for growing bored and impatient with repetitive exercises and tasks, and are notoriously difficult to housebreak.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the South Russian Ovcharka. This breed requires an experienced, confident, and strong handler with a stern and serious approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a South Russian Ovcharka. These active and adventurous dogs are always on the move, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the South Russian Ovcharka gets along well with older children and non-dog pets. This breed is alert, territorial, and protective, making an incredible watch and guard dog by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The South Russian Ovcharka is loyal and loving, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a South Russian Ovcharka. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors, especially when under the age of two years. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A South Russian Ovcharka not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The South Russian Ovcharka is not recommended for households with small or ill-behaved children or other dogs. Even with proper socialization from a young age, this breed is known to grow impatient with small children and may show excessive aggression, dominance, and jealousy towards other dogs.

Like many Sheepdog breeds, the South Russian Ovcharka has a full and thick coat which requires almost constant attention such as brushing and grooming in order to prevent matting and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the South Russian Ovcharka remains rather rare outside of its native Russia and can prove quite challenging to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the South Russian Ovcharka is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, likeliness to develop cancer, primary lens luxation - dislocation of the lens, cherry eye, frequent eye laceration, obesity, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a South Russian Ovcharka? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.