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Siberian Ovtcharka

Virtually unknown outside Russia, this working breed can be seen in Central Siberia and surrounding areas, where it is used to protect and drive livestock, as well as for large game hunting. The Siberian Ovcharka is believed to be a result of introducing the Hungarian Kuvasz or the original white dogs that accompanied the Chuvash tribes to the region into the bloodlines of common elk herding dogs of Siberia, but other theories suggest that it was developed by crossing the white specimens of the Surgut Mastiff, Caucasian Ovtcharka, Russian Wolfhound and a variety of Siberian Laikas. This is a very fast and powerful breed, superbly resilient and adapted to the extreme colds of the region. Usually employed in a team consisting of two or three females and a single male dog, Siberian White Herders tirelesly circle around their flocks, prepared to confront all predators. As a hunting dog, this impressive worker stays close to its master, while the wolfhounds search for the prey. Once the animal is chased down and cornered, the Siberian Ovtcharka is released to overpower it and hold it down long enough for the hunter to decide whether to release it or make the kill.

This is an extremely territorial Moloss, a natural watchdog and dedicated property guardian. However, the Siberian White Shepherd is an independent and stubborn breed, difficult to train and control, making it unsuitable for urban life. It is very aggresive towards strange dogs and people, but is friendly and playful with members of its family, both canine and human. Leaner and lighter than most ovcharkas, this athletic breed has long legs, a strong back and a powerful neck. The ears are usually cropped, but when left natural, they are carried to the side, although some specimens can have either partially or fully erect ears.

The coat is fully weatherproof, densely undercoated and of medium length. Even though uniform white is the preferred colouring, some dogs may have small dark markings on the head and back. Average height is around 30 inches for males, but female dogs are much smaller, usually reaching only 23 inches at the withers.

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