The craze for Russian dogs has been booming since the mid 1990s and is now an attractive option for dog lovers around the world. The breeders of these dogs are getting more and more recognition at the international level, and with their knowledge of canine genetics and health of the breed, they are in great demand. The following is a list of some popular breeds.
The Samoyed is usually a calm breed and makes a reasonably good watchdog. It is fluffy and white, and has great affection for its human family. Initially, this dog was bred by nomadic reindeer herders who used it to pull sleds when they moved. On an average, the lifespan of this breed ranges from 12 to 16 years, but some live a little longer. Its coat is dense and double-layered and the topcoat contains long, coarse, and straight hair. The top layer helps to keep the undercoat relatively clean and free of debris. 'Doggy odor', which is very common amongst most of the dogs, is absent in this breed, making it especially well-suited for living indoors.
Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier was first developed and designated as a police dog by the Russian Red Army. This breed helped the army to guard military buildings and patrol along with the police. Basically, it is a cross between the Rottweiler, the Moscow Retriever, the Giant Schnauzer, and the Airedale. It's a very rare breed and its lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years. Besides its great strength and athletic abilities, this dog also gives an impression of being highly-intelligent, brave, and loyal. It is light-colored on its feet and its tail is cropped and set high. Its coat is black and waterproof, and consists of hard, wiry, close-lying, and wavy hair.
Borzoi means 'swift' in Russian, which is the perfect word to describe this particular breed. It is a fearless and intelligent dog and can be a vicious hunter too. It is tall and slender and forms an affectionate bonding with the members of its human family. It gets along well with children and other dogs and is generally enthusiastic about working and spending time with its family. Its lifespan is about 10 to 12 years. It is an intelligent breed and makes a great worker or pet dog. It is a splendid and courageous guard dog. It has a very strong bone structure and can be taller than 70 cm. It is very powerful and is also known as the Russian wolfhound as it was used to hunt down wolves.
The South Russian Shepherd Dog
The South Russian Shepherd is quite rare outside its native country. This is a very large, very powerful, and resistant dog. It adapts perfectly to a wide variety of weather and temperature conditions and is robust and lean, with a massive bone structure. The coat is long, generally of 10 to 15 cm. The hair is coarse, thick, and dense and is of equal length on head, chest, legs, and tail. The undercoat is well-developed and is perfectly shielded by the outer one. The average age of this breed ranges from 10 to 12 years. It is generally healthy and its build is almost identical to that of wolves, with only slight differences, which can easily be explained, considering its domestication.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Also known as Caucasian Ovcharka, this dog is an intelligent albeit stubborn breed. It has a strong bone structure and muscular body. The coat is shorter for domestic dogs and heavier for mountain dogs. A gray coat is an acceptable show standard, but a black or black-and-tan coat may be disqualified. The ears may be cropped at times, but now this practice is not favored by many as it is considered to be cruelty. The life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 12 years. It is prone to health issues like hip dysplasia, heart ailments, or weight issues like obesity which may reduce its lifespan. This breed may be aggressive towards strangers and hence requires proper training.
Moscow Toy Terrier
Also known as Ruskiy Toy, this is a very small breed that is native to Russia. It was bred from the English Toy Terrier. It is one of the smallest dogs in the world with a height which ranges between 8 to 10 inches. It has big eyes, and ears that are triangular-shaped. It comes in two different coat types, the long coat and the smooth coat. The former type only has longer hair like a fringe on the ears. Coat colors are blue-and-tan, black-and-tan, red, brown-and-tan, and sable. It is an active breed which has a cheerful disposition. It gets very attached to its family. It was used to catch rats and as a watchdog, and the latter applies even today. This breed is known to bark and vocalize a lot. It is very loyal and protective towards its owner.
This is a small dog breed that was primarily used in bird hunting. Although it bears a resemblance to the Cocker Spaniel, it has a slightly longer body and shorter coat. Its coat is silky and closely-packed. It is a bit longer on the ears and legs. Coat colors are solid, speckled, black-and-tan, piebald, or a mixture of these. As it is prone to ear infections due to its long ears, regular health checks are needed. This breed has a lot of energy and a cheery disposition. It makes a good watchdog and gets along with children, making it a good family pet. It lives up to 14 years on an average.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Also known as Central Asian Ovcharka, this is said to be one of the most popular dogs in Russia. It is very powerful and gets very attached to its owner. It is of an average height. The topcoat is short to medium in length and the undercoat is dense and thick. Common coat colors are black, white, and fawn shades ranging from white to red. It is heavy-boned and sturdy. It was also called volkodav or the 'wolf crusher' because of its ability to finish off any predators. Along with being loyal and protective, this breed is also independent, strong-willed, courageous, and responsible. It is a suitable breed for an experienced owner. It requires gentle training. It needs something to do and cannot sit idle. It is an excellent guard dog.