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Moscow Watchdog

Developed in the post-WW2 years in the former USSR by crossing the Caucasian Shepherd Dog with the St.Bernard in order to create a more manageable service dog, the Moskovskaia Storozhevaia Sobaka was finally standardized in the late 1960's. It was decided, after almost ten years of experimenting, that the perfect recipe for a Moscow Watchdog is 65% St.Bernard and 35% Caucasian Ovcharka. Whereas the more aggressive Caucasians weren't easy to train and didn't respond the same way to every handler, the newly created Moscow Watchdog was an ideal service dog, obeying everyone who was dominant enough, a perfect breed for military use. However, there are some theories suggesting that other breeds have been used as well, namely a variety of Russian Hounds, the German Shepherd Dog and the Borzoi. Through careful selection of only the most trainable and healthiest specimens, the ideal type for the Moscow Watchdog was soon established and it has been bred true to type ever since. However, to this day, two slightly different varieties can be observed within the Moscow Watchdog population, one being overall heavier and mastiffy, closer to the "old type" Saint Bernard and the other showing stronger Caucasian Shepherd features, with both types having an equal number of fanciers. Used as a guardian of military installations during the second half of the 20th century, today the Moscow Watchdog is a popular family companion, property protector and service dog in Russia and other eastern-European countries.

After the fall of the Eastern Block, this impressive Moloss was bred exclusively by the Russian Orthodox Church, but presently there is a small number of private breeders operating as well. Although it is extremely rare in Western Europe and America, the breed's attractive physical appearance and legendary working ability will ensure its acceptance and popularity in the future. The Moscow Watchdog is a serious working breed, unsurpassed as a sentry-type guardian, intolerant of strangers and aggressive towards other dogs. While loving of its master and family, it is not an ideal urban pet for inexperienced owners. The body is well-boned and massive, with a wide chest, powerful neck and a broad head.

Medium length coat is mostly white with red, orange and brown patches, preferably with a black mask on the face, although many dogs are unmasked.

The average height is around 28 inches, but taller examples exist.

For more information see this article by SobakaUS

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