East-European Shepherd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

East European Shepherd
Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka.jpg
Other names
  • Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka
  • VEO
  • Russian: Восточно-европейская овчарка
  • ВЕО
  • USSR
  • Russian Federation
  • Ukraine
Height Dogs 67–72 cm (26–28 in)[1]
Bitches 62–67 cm (24–26 in)[1]
Weight 34–48 kg (75–105 lb)
Kennel club standards
RKF standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The East European Shepherd, also called Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka or VEO (Russian: Восточно-европейская овчарка or ВЕО) is a Ukrainian and Russian breed of shepherd dog. It was selectively bred from the German Shepherd Dog to create a larger dog with better resistance to cold conditions, and was intended for military and guard work.[2][3][4]


In the 1920s a number of German Shepherds were imported from Germany into the Ukrainian SSR, where a breeding programme was established with the aim of adapting the breed to the harsher Soviet climatic conditions; over several decades of selective breeding, a distinctly different form of shepherd had been created from that known in the West.[2][3] While initially the breed was centred in Ukraine, it soon spread throughout the Soviet Union, although its fortunes suffered during the Great Patriotic War.[2][3] The East European Shepherd was used heavily by the military and police within the Soviet Union as a guard and sniffer dog. It was a favourite of the KGB, who only ever kept solid black examples; if a single non-black pup was born in a litter bred by the KGB the entire litter was destroyed and that breeding was not repeated.[2][3] The first standard which has formed the breed type of the East European Shepherd was approved in 1964 by the Cynological Council of the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR.[citation needed] The East European Shepherd is now one of the most numerous dog breeds in Russia and several former Soviet countries.[3]

With effect from 1 January 2017 the Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka was recognised by the Nordic Kennel Union [da], and is thus recognised by the Danish Kennel Club [da], the Finnish Kennel Club, the Icelandic Kennel Club, the Norwegian Kennel Club [no] and the Swedish Kennel Club.[5][6]


The East European Shepherd is significantly larger than western German Shepherd and it shows substantial sexual dimorphism: dogs typically stand 67 to 72 centimetres (26 to 28 in) at the withers although some can be as tall as 74 centimetres (29 in); bitches are typically 62 to 67 centimetres (24 to 26 in).[1][2] In colour the breed can be black and tan, solid black or sable, brindles or whites are rare, they have a medium-length dense coat with a well-developed undercoat, they often have longer soft hairs on their ears, neck, limbs and tail.[2][3] The eyes may be brown, amber or blue, odd coloured eyes are known; the ears are long and upright, and the paws are large with long toes, giving a snowshoe-like appearance.[3]

The breed is considered particularly intelligent, courageous, determined and tough, and owners often describe its temperament as similar to that of a Dobermann.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c Стандарт породы (in Russian). Национального Клуба Породы Восточноевропейская Овчарка = Natsional'nogo Kluba Porody Vostochnoyevropeyskaya Ovcharka. Accessed March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Morris, Desmond (2001). Dogs: the ultimate dictionary of over 1,000 dog breeds. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing. pp. 446–447. ISBN 1-57076-219-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Wilcox, Bonnie; Walkowicz, Chris (1995). Atlas of dog breeds of the world. Neptune City, N.J.: TFH Publications. p. 351.
  4. ^ Немного истории породы ВЕО (in Russian). Национального Клуба Породы Восточноевропейская Овчарка = Natsional'nogo Kluba Porody Vostochnoyevropeyskaya Ovcharka. Accessed March 2020.
  5. ^ [s.n.] (24 October 2016). NKU välkomnar tre nya hundraser (in Swedish). Svenska Kennelklubben. Archived 25 August 2018.
  6. ^ Welcome to the Nordic Kennel Union!. Svenska Kennelklubben. Archived 3 March 2020.

External links[edit]