With the start of Russia’s invasion of the Georgian Caucasus Mountains more than 150 years ago, military units, including both Russian and Turkish troops, were guarded by Caucasian Shepherds, also known as Wolf Dogs, Russian Bear Dogs, or Caucasian Mountain Dogs.
These dogs are shepherds with a very long provenance that have always been supposed to protect the herd from predators; they are not of the breed of shepherds like the German Shepherd, Scottish, or Shelti.
They are more similar in build and demeanor to a Tibetan Mastiff, and they can fill the role of watchdogs with great success.
Volkodav (wolf-dog) is its traditional name, and in Russia, it is also referred to as “Ovcharka,” which literally means “shepherd’s dog.”
The first show featuring Caucasian shepherd dogs took place in Nuremberg in 1930, and it was during this time that the dogs earned the nickname “Red Giants” in the media.
But let’s fast forward to the present and try to answer the question: how much does a Caucasian Shepherd cost?
Caucasian Shepherd Price
It’s difficult to anticipate the price of a dog because of the numerous variables that affect it. Even so, we are still able to give a reliable estimate, which is what we intend to do in this post.
We can determine the range of costs you can expect by taking into account where you purchased the Caucasian Shepherd puppy, as well as its requirements for food, training, socializing, activity, etc.
A Caucasian Ovcharka puppy typically costs around $2,200, which is about the same as a Pitbull puppy. However, expenses don’t end with just the puppy purchase.
The initial cost of owning an Ovcharka ranges from $4,500 to $10,500; thereafter, it should cost between $800 and $1,200 annually.
Given that this breed’s average lifespan is ten to twelve years, the total lifetime expenses should fall between $12,00 and $18,00.
Although they make wonderful family pets, are these dogs really worth that much money?
So that you may better understand what is causing that cost to increase, let’s look at these charts that list the estimates of all of the expenses.
|Food and water bowls||$25|
|Dog collars and leashes||$45|
|Dog poop bags||$70|
|Puppy food and treats||$800|
Caucasian Shepherd Puppy Price
It’s time to get into a bit more information regarding Caucasian Shepherd dogs after outlining all the probable costs connected with getting and owning one.
Let’s begin with the first and most significant charge of all—the upfront cost of the Russian Bear Dog puppy.
There are several elements that impact how much you’re going to pay for a puppy. Knowing exactly what they are can help you get a high-quality dog for your money.
Breeders Vs. Adoptions
Depending on the repute of the breeder, you can expect to pay roughly $2,200 to purchase a Caucasian Shepherd puppy.
If you decide to choose this path, be sure to conduct some preliminary research and familiarize yourself with the breeder’s reputation by reading up on them online. Learn about other people’s experiences by reading testimonials and reviews from those who have bought puppies from them.
If you know you are receiving a quality dog from a breeding facility that performs excellent work, it may be worth it in the long run to pay a little bit extra for the puppy.
As an alternative, you can decide to adopt a Caucasian Shepherd pup from a shelter or dog rescue. Of course, this is a much more affordable choice since even the priciest shelter puppies cost around $700.
But there are drawbacks to it.
First of all, since they don’t frequently and carefully breed their dogs as breeding facilities do, you can’t really tell whether a shelter or rescue has an Ovcharka. Ovcharka availability at a shelter is mostly a matter of chance.
Second, you don’t really know anything about the dog’s history, even if you do manage to discover one for yourself. Most of the time, shelters and rescues do not have access to detailed information about the dogs’ bloodlines or their medical records.
Genetics And Pedigree
If the parents are purebred, show-quality dogs from a reputed breeder, the average price will be much higher. Additionally, elite breeders usually spend more money on the upkeep of their breeding dogs and puppies than other breeders do.
Breeders occasionally join kennel groups, among which the American Kennel Club is the most well-known. They can also register their breeding dogs and puppies, but doing so would increase their expenditures.
Dog breeders who take their business seriously will inspect and test their breeding dogs and/or puppies for a variety of ailments.
Before selling them, some of them also take their puppies to the vet for a checkup, deworming, vaccinations, and/or microchipping. This raises the Caucasian Shepherd Dog price while reducing the likelihood of getting a sick dog.
Training And Socialization
Some breeders only market their dogs once they have undergone the socialization and training phases.
The initial cost of the puppy will go up, but you’ll save money since you’ll probably not have to spend as much on training.
It will also enhance the likelihood that you’ll have a well-behaved dog, which is maybe more crucial in an energetic herding dog than it would be in another breed.
Because most people like to purchase dogs as pups, prices for dogs tend to decrease as they get older. For instance, the price of a puppy at one year old is frequently lower than that of a dog at six weeks old.
While the lower price may be alluring, there are several things you give up when you purchase an older dog.
You miss the opportunity to conduct certain training sessions during the dog’s most impressionable developmental months, when they create their strongest attachments with individuals around them.
Local supply and demand will have an impact on puppy prices. For instance, it stands to reason that people who reside in small apartments in urban areas favor little dogs.
Dogs with thick hair or warm undercoats may be desired in colder climates, although they won’t be as common in warmer climes.
These elements have a significant impact on puppy prices at your neighborhood breeders because those businesses will naturally try to charge more for the dog breeds that are more well-liked there.
It is definitely worthwhile to browse about and compare rates from several breeders in a larger area, but when making a purchase from a more remote facility, you must factor in the expense of transportation.
First Year Costs
The cost of keeping a dog might be up to four times higher in the first year than in later years.
The difference is still significant even after subtracting the puppy’s initial purchase cost from the calculation.
This is due to the fact that at this time you make a lot of one-time purchases. Many of the items you buy during this time, whether they are toys or supplies, will last the entire life of the dog, saving you from having to buy them again.
In addition, there are some medical treatments and immunizations that only need to be administered once. Typically, the optimal period for these surgeries and vaccinations is during the first twelve months of life.
To make life much easier for both of you when you welcome your puppy or adult dog into your home, there are a few things you should have on hand!
We conducted extensive research and crunched the statistics for you in order to give you the most accurate understanding of the costs involved.
A large dog, such as the Caucasian Shepherd, will probably require around $500 in supplies for the first year. These materials include things like a dog bed and crate, training collars and leashes, food and water bowls, toys, and an ID tag.
You can’t really omit anything from this list because it essentially constitutes a dog owner’s starter kit.
Of course, you can look for less expensive options for some of the products and save money that way. You will undoubtedly discover a lot of possibilities, some of which may be more affordable, thanks to the various online marketplaces.
There may be additional stuff that you can purchase for your dog besides those we’ve listed here, however they might not be necessities.
For instance, you could wish to get a dog car seat, a harness, or a muzzle. Because not every dog owner will want them, those were not factored into the price projections.
In general, Caucasian Shepherds don’t require a lot of upkeep and may be groomed by their owner at home. You simply need to purchase a few grooming necessities to be able to complete the task effectively.
Dog shampoo, a coat brush, some nail clippers, and a toothbrushing kit are frequently included in this list of necessities.
The entire set shouldn’t cost you more than $120 depending on the brand and quality of these products, but if you shop around enough, you might be able to locate it for under $30.
However, you should plan on up to 6 sessions per year, with each visit costing between $75 and $100, if you decide to have your Ovcharka groomed professionally.
The price of dog grooming services varies depending on the dog’s size, coat condition, age, general health, and treatments required.
Professional grooming usually includes a warm bath with shampoo, as well as, if required, hair removal and brushing, cleaning of the ears, teeth, and eyes, as well as nail trimming.
Nail cutting can be particularly difficult, so you might want to learn how to sedate your dog.
It is recommended that you get some training sessions for your Caucasian Shepherd. The cost of these lessons typically averages around $850.
That usually includes several group training sessions for jumping and fundamental obedience, along with three to five private sessions for potty training and good leadership.
Training is vitally essential during the first year of a Caucasian Ovcharka’s life because this is when they are most open to learning new abilities and are typically more pliable.
Also, much like Pitbulls, they can get aggressive if they are not socialized properly and on time.
You will have a difficult time getting them to give up any undesirable habits they may have picked up by the time they turn twelve months old because their personality and temperament have mostly developed by that time.
The adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has some truth to it.
You can now decide whether to take the classes yourself or hire a professional dog trainer.
Note that if you choose the latter, you must be sure that you have the required expertise, time, and patience because these big dogs require a predictable routine in order to learn obedience.
Caucasian Shepherds can eat a lot of food because of their size. We estimate that the regular cost of feeding an Ovcharka puppy will be between $350 and $650, not including treats.
Remember that despite the wide range’s flexibility, it might still be inaccurate. The price disparity between several dog food brands, which is significant, is the cause of this.
It can be difficult to estimate how much you will spend on feeding your Ovcharka because premium brands are far more expensive than some of the generic options that you can find on supermarket shelves.
Price is typically a good indicator of quality, however, it is not always a guarantee. Having said that, be careful to steer clear of some of the inexpensive, subpar brands available.
Just be aware that you will spend significantly more money, especially within the first twelve months, if you insist on purchasing the more expensive items.
Puppy Veterinary Expenses
The figure shows that the first year’s veterinary expenditures will cost you around $320, not including the price of spaying or neutering.
Bear in mind that this is a very conservative estimate, and it can be much higher, especially if your Ovcharka puppy experiences health issues.
Since a puppy’s first year is so important to its development, this is also the time when the majority of preventive medical operations are carried out in order to make sure your puppy is prepared for healthy adulthood.
Veterinarian appointments should be made at least three times during the first year of a puppy’s life, with the first one taking place at roughly two to three weeks old. Each session should range in price from $60 to $100.
These consultations encompass physical examinations, fecal examinations, immunizations, heartworm treatment, and flea prevention.
Along with those three visits, which cover all the essential shots, you should also think about any additional procedures and immunizations your Caucasian Ovcharka dog might require based on its lifestyle.
Those vet bills can add up pretty quickly, even though these guard dogs are typically considered to be naturally healthy dogs.
Dog owners and veterinarians frequently disagree on the issue of spaying and neutering, but you, the owner, have the final say.
The ideal time to spay or neuter your male or female Caucasian Shepherd is usually between the ages of four and nine months. Depending on where you get the operation done, it might cost anywhere from $50 and $500, but the average is about $150 in most cases.
Because spaying females requires a more delicate and involved procedure, it is typically more expensive than neutering males.
Recurring Annual Costs
Although a dog’s first year of life is typically the most expensive, this does not imply that the subsequent years are cost-free. For your Caucasian Shepherd to have a long, happy, and comfortable life, you will still need to invest a certain sum of money.
The yearly costs should now range between $800 and $1,200. It has significantly decreased from the prior year, but it is still a significant amount of money.
But in order to have a clearer view, let’s go into a little more depth about each of the three types of expenses.
Coat colors for Caucasian Ovcharkas include fawn, brindle, white, pied, gray, and tan. There are two types of their fur. Those descended from the Caucasian plains often have lighter, shorter hair.
The longer hair that hangs lower to the ground and covers a more muscular body is characteristic of those from mountainous regions. Regardless, the Caucasian Ovcharka has a typically thick, dense, and weather-resistant coat.
Grooming is the one category that doesn’t really alter much in terms of expense, going from the first year to the future years of a dog’s life.
Whether you choose to groom the dog yourself or take it to a professional groomer is still entirely up to you.
If you decide to work with an expert, it’s very likely that the cost of each session will stay the same as when it was still a puppy, or between $75 and $100 USD.
If you decide to handle it on your own, you’ll undoubtedly need some guidance. Ovcharkas need frequent brushing because shed quite a bit, and their hair can become untidy around the house.
Here are some advice and tactics for grooming to aid with that.
Adult dogs typically consume 490 pounds of food per year, costing between $350 and $1,500 on average, depending on the type and brand of food eaten. Keep in mind that the cost distinction between budget and premium dog food brands may be substantial.
Making bulk purchases of dog food is one way to reduce the cost of your buy. Despite being perishable, dog food can be stored for a very long time, making bulk purchases a practical and affordable option.
You should also see your veterinarian to find out the best food for your Ovcharka. You can always rely on them to offer you some valuable advice that you might not have come up with on your own.
You’ll undoubtedly want to periodically spoil your favorite fluffy friend with a delectable snack in addition to its normal food. Depending on the brand, dog treats might cost anywhere from $100 and $700 annually.
This treat price estimate is based on the supposition that you give your dog one treat each day. If you give your dog a reward every other day, you can divide these amounts by two. If it occurs once a week, divide them by seven, and so on.
To avoid your dog eating only treats, make sure the Ovcharka consumes its regular meal first.
Adult Dog Veterinary Expenses
The rule of thumb is that you should take your pet to the vet once a year.
A typical checkup includes a thorough examination to make sure your dog is in good health, as well as immunizations, a heartworm test, and blood testing (if necessary) to find any undiagnosed medical concerns in senior and middle-aged dogs.
We also advocate utilizing the recommended doses of heartworm and tick preventative medications, which can range in price from $150 to $250 and $250 to 350 each year, respectively.
Aside from these yearly checks that are recommended, your Ovcharka may occasionally experience some unexpected health problems. We will discuss some of the most prevalent health issues that this breed deals with in the section that follows.
Dogs who have hip dysplasia experience the condition as they mature and get older. The hip joint becomes looser as a result, which results in dysfunction and discomfort.
As the dog matures, the bone and cartilage in the hip begin to degrade. Arthritis, muscle atrophy, and diminished mobility inevitably follow.
Research shows that large-breed dogs are more frequently impacted, and it is inherited.
The simplest course of action is to simply manage the pain with medicine and physical therapy, which typically costs between $500 and $2,500 annually for the Ovcharka’s whole life.
But if your dog needs a full hip replacement because of their condition, that will cost you between $5,000 and $6,000 per hip.
In senior Ovcharkas, cataracts are a common cause of blindness.
Its eye lenses become more opaque, so that they appear foggy rather than clear. Many canines cope well with losing their vision and continue to function normally.
There may also be a surgical procedure to remove cataracts and restore vision.
By the time a dog is two years old, dental disease becomes the most prevalent chronic condition.
And regrettably, your Caucasian Ovcharka is more likely to experience dental issues than other dogs. It begins with tooth tartar accumulation and escalates to gum and tooth root infection.
Your furry friend will likely lose its teeth and run the risk of harming its kidneys, liver, heart, and joints if you don’t treat or prevent dental disease.
A serious health issue for Caucasian Ovcharkas can sometimes be obesity.
It is a dangerous condition that can aggravate heart disease, back discomfort, metabolic and digestive diseases, and joint problems.
When planning a diet for your dog, make sure that you know in advance how heavy it should be.
Your Ovcharka’s body is susceptible to invasion by various worms and insects. Its skin and ears could become infested by everything from ear mites to fleas and ticks.
It can contract hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms by drinking contaminated water, peeing on contaminated ground, or getting bitten by an infected mosquito, among other ways.
All of these parasites should be taken seriously since some of them can spread to you or a member of your family.
In dogs with deep, narrow chests, gastric dilatation and volvulus, often known as bloat or GDV, frequently develops.
A dog’s stomach twists and swells with gas when it bloats. The twisting stops the spleen and occasionally the stomach’s blood flow. If neglected, the illness often results in death within 30 minutes.
Your dog may act restless, heave or retch with little to no vomit coming out, or it may have an inflated abdomen or lie in the position of a prayer (front feet down, rear end up). The stomach can be prevented from twisting with preventive surgery in which it is nailed or sutured into place.
Pulmonic stenosis is a cardiac ailment that certain Caucasian Ovcharkas inherit.
This condition causes a partial restriction of blood flow from the heart to the lungs, which means the heart must work harder to pump adequate blood.
If the disease is serious enough, your dog can pass out or simply appear to lose energy when exercising. It might also have trouble breathing, cough, or not develop as it ought to.
In cases where symptoms are severe, surgery is an option, although it is usually pretty expensive.
The expenses that we have discussed thus far in this post were mainly common and, to some extent, predictable. On top of those, there are always other expenses.
There will always be costs that you weren’t able to anticipate, and your budgeting should take that into account.
You should always allow some room in your budget for the potential of some unforeseen expenses, regardless of whether your Ovcharka has an unexpected injury, begins to hate its crate or it needs some new toys.
Along with these, we also wanted to list two other costs that you can encounter as a Caucasian Shepherd owner: dog walking and dog boarding.
Caucasian Shepherds have to exercise their bodies regularly. If you are unable to put aside the time to make sure that your dog receives enough exercise, we strongly suggest hiring a dog walker.
A 30-minute dog walk often costs $15 to $25, while a one-hour walk typically costs $20 to $50.
If your dog isn’t well socialized, it might need private walks with more experienced walkers, which will run you a little bit more money.
Never, not even for a few days, let alone weeks or months, should a dog be left alone while its owner is away.
Dog boarding services are often accessible and offered if you make a reservation in advance. They could cost from $25 to $85, depending on the area, the services offered, and the season.
At particularly popular seasons of the year, such as the holidays, you should make a dog boarding reservation in advance as you are likely to receive much lower rates.
Ask any friends or family members if they would be willing to host your dog as these charges can quickly add up if you have a tight budget. But remember that not many people will be able or willing to bring a dog this size home.
Finally, many railroads and airlines offer special arrangements to make it easier for you to transport your pets, so you might be able to bring your dog with you. However, you will have to submit an official request beforehand, so plan your trip well in advance.
We really hope you found this Caucasian Shepherd price guide useful and informative.
We tried to cover everything from puppy fees and other upfront costs to continuous yearly expenses needed to make your Ovcharka’s life as comfortable as possible.
You should familiarize yourself with all the costs associated with owning a new dog before deciding whether you can afford it. Particularly if you have never had a dog of your own before.
We hope that this post will put you on the right track and cover all the essential information you need to know before acquiring a cute little Caucasian Shepherd puppy.