In the guide below, we compare the Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd dog breeds.
We outline what the main differences between them might be, and provide other important information on each breed.
(NOTE: the information in this guide is general information only. It is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. See a qualified vet or animal expert for an expert opinion in regards to your pet/s)
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd: Differences, & Breed Comparison
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Origin/History
German Shepherds were first bred in Germany around 1899.
They were bred from different Shepherd breed dogs in Germany at the time (reportedly a sheep type dog, and also a service type dog), with the intention of having ideal working dog traits and working ability.
GSDs as a breed belong to the ‘herding dog’ category.
Today, GSD’s are used in a range of working fields, compete as show dogs, and are also pets & family dogs.
The Caucasian Shepherd is also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka (‘Ovcharka’ meaning ‘shepherd’ or ‘sheepdog’)
It comes from the countries in the Caucasus mountain region
Some reports indicate the breed has been around for more than 2000 years, and can trace it’s ancestry back to the Tibetan dog in 1121BC
Earlier than that, Caucasian Shepherds reportedly have been used for centuries as a protector dog breed (of land/property), a guardian of livestock, and for other uses
In the modern day, there’s two types of Caucasian Shepherds – a larger Mountain type, and a lighter Steppe type
Caucasian Shepherds might mainly be used now as watchdogs, and as pets or companion dogs
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Size
German Shepherds might be classified as a large breed of dog
Males might average 24-26 inches in height (60-65 cms), and 66-88 lbs in weight (30-40 kg)
Females might average 22-24 inches in height (55-60 cms), and 49-71 lbs in weight (22-32 kg)
Caucasian Shepherds might be considered a Giant sized dog breed
Males might be 27-30 inches (68-76 cms) in height, and 110-220 lbs (50-100 kg) in weight
Females might be 25-28 inches (63-71 cms) in height, 100-180 lbs (45-81 kg) in weight
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Lifespan
German Shepherds might have a lifespan of around 9-13 years on average
Although, some reports indicate some GSDs may even live up to 15 years of age
An estimation of the Caucasian Shepherd’s lifespan might be between 10-12 years.
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Popularity
Every year, the American Kennel Club publishes a list of the most popular dog breeds based on dog registration data.
The 2021 list shows:
– German Shepherds as the 4th most popular dog breed
– The Caucasian Shepherd does not feature on the list
Of course though, this is only one rankings list, from one organisation, in one country.
Other lists in other locations may look different.
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Appearance, Features, & Colors
German Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:
– Black and tan, or sometimes black and red coat color and saddle pattern (although other colors exist too)
– Erect ears/ears that stand up
– An angulated back and dropped hips (although body shape differs between the individual lines of GSDs)
– Generally medium length hair/plush coat, with a double coat (although, short and long haired GSDs exist too)
Having said that though, different German Shepherds have different physical features and appearances.
You can read about the different variations in German Shepherds, such the different lines, colors, and coat lengths/types here.
Caucasian Shepherds might commonly be known for the following appearance and physical features:
– Can come in a range of colors, and can be bi-color, or mainly one color (with small amount of other colors). Agouti grey, fawn, red, brown, cream, and white are some of the coat colors
– Folded ears. Sometimes the ears are cropped, but this is illegal in some places
– A thick/sturdy, broad and strong body, with a fluffy tail that can curl up. There can be a difference in the body types of the Mountain type and Steppe type Caucasian Shepherd
– Generally a medium length, thick, coarse, double coat.
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Temperament
Ultimately, a dog’s personality or temperament might be influenced by a range of factors, with genetics and breeding being key factors
So, this is why the temperament and personality of individual dogs don’t always match the general temperament descriptions found online
However, a generalized description of the temperament of each dog breed, according to either parts of the standard for each breed, or, what they were originally bred to be, might be:
Intelligent, obedient and easier to train, loyal, confident, protective, and may be slightly aloof (without being aggressive)
May have the general temperament of a working breed dog or herding dog
Read more about what temperament GSDs were originally bred for, and what some breed standards outline for temperament and personality in this guide
Watchful, protective, and can be quick to defend and get aggressive when there is a threat. But, can be soft, calm, loving/affectionate and loyal to people close to it
May have the general temperament of a working dog – specifically a protector or guardian breed dog
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Intelligence
Intelligence testing for dogs can test for different things, and can also have limitations.
So, intelligence rankings for different breeds might be viewed as a guide only, and not definitive
One online ranking indicated that German Shepherds rank as the 3rd most intelligent dog breed
We could not find Caucasian Shepherds listed on any dog breed intelligence ranking lists, and this may be because their intelligence may not have been officially measured at this point in time.
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Bite Force
The bite force of different dog breeds might be a generalized measurement only, and not definitive or comprehensive.
We list some of the reasons for this in a separate guide.
However, when referencing one ‘strongest dog bite force’ list, where bite force is expressed in psi (pounds of force per square inch), the bite force of each of these two breeds might be:
– German Shepherds might have a bite force of 238 psi
– The bite force of the Caucasian Shepherd is not listed. However, some reports indicate that Caucasian Shepherds might have a bite force of between 550-700 psi – with perhaps only Kangals, Cane Corsos, and American Bandogges having similar or harder bite forces
Caucasian Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Cost/Price
The cost to buy a specific breed of dog depends on the country it’s bought from, along with a wide range of other factors.
Some general information on buying each breed though might include:
Buying From Breeders
According to different online information at the time of publishing this guide, the general cost to buy each of these breeds from breeders in the US might be:
– German Shepherd
Anywhere from $800 up to $10,000+ (for the highest quality dogs), with the average for a regular puppy potentially being around the $800 mark
– Caucasian Shepherd
Some reports indicate that they may range in price from around $1000 to $6000+
Buying from a breeder may not be the only option to own each of these dog breeds.
Adopting or rescuing may be other options too.
The cost to adopt or rescue a dog can be significantly cheaper than buying from a breeder in some instances, although there’s usually still a basic cost to adopt/rescue a dog.
Buying a dog that is being re-homed might another option to buy a dog.
The cost for rehomed dogs can vary.
More Information On German Shepherds
It’s worth noting that some of the information in the guide above about German Shepherds comes from our ‘German Shepherd Breed Information Guide‘, which also has additional information about the German Shepherd breed.
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