|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
|Other names||Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka|
|Country of origin||Soviet Union|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
Moscow Watchdog (Russian: московская сторожевая) is a breed of dog that was bred in the Soviet Union. It descends from crosses between the St. Bernard, Caucasian Shepherd, and Russian Spotted Hound breeds. It contains the physical size, attractiveness and intelligence of a St. Bernard and the awareness and assertive traits of a Caucasian Ovtcharka. The breed is very large and weight is between 45 and 68 kg (100 and 150 lbs). They are known to be a large powerful breed with a gentle temperament, therefore If it is raised properly with training with discipline, the Moscow Watchdog could fit into any environment and be the perfect protective family pet. Unlike its modern St Bernard counterparts, the breed needs lots of vigorous exercise. They do not drool like many of the other molossers. Until recently, Moscow Watchdogs were very hard to find outside of the Soviet Union, however are now[when?] becoming more popular in Europe and have recently[when?] reached the United States.
Related to mountain dogs, the Moscow Watchdog, one of the larger dog breeds, stands 25–27 inches (64–69 cm) tall and weighs 100–150 pounds (45–68 kg). they are a muscular dog that has a bulky head and powerful legs. Their coat is thick in a moderate length with the color white and red. Their puffy tail has that length that it could touch the floor. They are an average shedder and with a well arched chest, they generally give an impression of firmness and confidence.
Moscow Watchdog is fine in temperament, but it requires training and an owner committed to achieving leader status. In nature, dogs have pack order. Therefore when humans live with dogs, it is a good idea for humans to establish themselves as a leader, a higher order than the dogs, so they can make directions and set rules. In this relationship Moscow Watchdog is known to be a gentle giant, assertive and protective to his family when in danger.
Moscow Watchdog is generally a healthy breed but still has a risk to be prone to hip dysplasia and other large breeds’ problems. Moscow Watchdogs require a fairly large space to move and is not suitable to live in a small apartment. They need regularly exercise, such as going for a long walk, jog or run freely at a safe area to stay unstressed and healthy. Regular grooming with a bristle brush and Bathe or dry shampoo are also necessary.
During post-war period after World War 2, Russia needed thousands of guard dogs due to the rising crime . A breed of dog that could adept in a very low temperature (-30 – 40°C), snowy environment during winter and to be able to guard nearly everything that was owned by the government such as, warehouses, railroads, labor camps and infrastructure. That was the reason why they started an immense project that was led by Gen. Medvedev, it began in 1946-47, at the Central School Of Military Kynology, a department of USSR Ministry of Defense. After many years of experiments of crossbreeding purebred dogs, Moscow Watchdog was one of the most successful breeds from Caucasian Ovtcharka and St. Bernard. It provides the mental and physical aspect that they desired.
In 1986 the first few Moscow watchdog were brought to Hungary for breeders to help popularizing the breed. Future growth was guaranteed by devoted breeders and also the breed owner, Club Karakán. Around 500 Moscow Watchdogs could be found in Hungary presently. On the other hand, dozens of breeders from former Soviet states had also work with the breed to ensure their existence for the future.
The breed standard was first published in 1985 when it received "official status" in the Soviet Union. In 1992, it was approved by the Federation of the Dog Breeders of Russia and in 1997 the Department of Animal Breeding and Pedigree of The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. The standard was also approved by the Russian Kennel Club in 1997.
The Russian Kennel Club is working with the International Kennel Federation (FCI) to gain official recognition. Currently, the Moscow Watchdog is considered by the FCI as part of the 2nd group Molosser. In FCI sanctioned dog shows, they are shown in what is referred to as a "Special Show." Inside Russia, they are widely shown and a recognized breed.
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