Caucasian Ovcharka
Protection Work
Caucasian Mountain Dog

     I have to mention here another excellent book, also written by Mr. Валерий Высоцкий, which is “Собака сопровождения” (The Dog of Accompaniment). There you can read about the world of difference between the modern sporting dog training (practiced in the Western world, above all) and the training of a real dog-defender. Here goes one comparising table:

     (This table compares a "bodyguard" with a "sporting dog" and tells us the difference between the two of them. For example, the bodyguard has aggressive behavior toward strangers, considers a man the object of attack, he attacks on the most vulnerable opponent's place and alternates the places he bites into and also dodges the strikes, works to the end on a lying opponent and has aggressive reaction to a gunshot. On the contrary, the sporting dog has a biting sleeve as the object of attack, works to keep the sleeve with full ignorance of the opponent's strikes and has a calm reaction to a gunshot. So it is obvious that the sporting dog cannot be considered the bodyguard, since he is more or less unprepared to stand a real chance against a really dangerous human opponent.)

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     In previous years, I had tried to see the best protectors in highly civilized utility breeds of dog, due to their adequate defense, above all. Mainly in the Rottweiler thanks to its alertness in almost any environment even among many people in the white day, both on the streets and in the conveyances like a tramcar, trolley-bus or train. I had noticed, that some untrained Caucasians were not so attentive in such places in the sense of the owner's defense. On the other hand, when they were guarding some premises or during an obvious attack on their owner, they seemed to be the most effective ones.
     But later I have come to believe that when these dogs are properly trained (= when they experience regular teasing by as many strange people as possible since their young age and later several naturally-looking attacks on their owner in neutral territory and public places, where they have to defend him), thanks to their general excellent endowments and the best instincts they possess, they can become the best defenders, even better than all the utility breeds of dog.

     Bite work pictures from the school of Varlay:

CO - bite work 1     CO - bite work 2     CO - bite work 3

     How it was proven in practice, when these Wolfhounds were trained also in the streets as well as in other environments, then they have extended their defensive aggression to such places too. Therefore Mr. Высоцкий said, that: "Special training is necessary and there is nothing sicker than the opinion, that there is no need to train the Caucasian." Yes, this breed has some excellent inborn endowments, but these must be developed and widened by the proper training (or by regular experiencing of real situations, of course). However, please train only on a body bite suit and not on a “classic” biting sleeve!

     Bite work pictures from kennel "Pravo tesaku":

     

     I can only support this opinion that has turned out to be right also with my personal experiences. Yes, the training or experiencing of real situations develop the Caucasian.
     My CO Gero began to be sharper than ever before after I had let him be teased on a leash. He almost tore the helper's throat, since he had suddenly released the biting sleeve given to him by the helper like a biting roll and switched on a deadly attack on his throat, the result of which was the torn collar of the helper's jacket. If Gero wasn't leashed, if I wasn't slowing him down and if the helper did not dodge quickly, the result could have been the helper's death (he was strong and a professional in this field, but he said that he had never seen anything like it before, knowing only the utility breeds of dog and not the Caucasians). And having some opportunities to get into real situations, which happened on the premise that he was guarding, he became so efficient, that he was able to beat a man down when muzzled (the result was a lying human body on the ground without any movement) – such powerful was his pushing on the human opponent! He also managed to damage by his claws the leg skin of a thief that was climbing up, also when fitted with a muzzle.
     However, to let the dog fight with a muzzle is not any good idea from the viewpoint of the dog's chance to win, because the dog is handicapped, since he cannot bite his opponent. However, when Gero was "unmuzzled", the result used to be quicker – one bite and that was all. Through this he had one time "paralyzed" a big guy by biting his belly who wanted to fondle him (Gero was tied on a leash). That's why I recommend to keep the dog without a muzzle all the time, because one never knows when the dog will have to fight some enemy.

     Few pictures of my Gero:

          

     Excerpt from a poem entitled Кавказская овчарка – моя душа (Caucasian Ovcharka – My Soul):

Характер взрывной и ярость в атаке,
Решенье всегда принимает сама,
Свободолюбива, сильна на захвате,
Неприхотлива и кладезь ума.
Explosive character and angriness in the attack,
decision she always makes for herself,
freedom-loving, strong in the seize,
modest and the well of wisdom.

     One more very important thing has to be mentioned here, which is "самостоятельность" - the dog's "self-reliance". It is ability to "act by itself" independently without any specific command. And I am afraid, that the utility breeds of dog don't possess this Caucasian's merit in any higher extend. When the dog is at home alone without its owner or if its owner is near, but he was suddenly paralyzed by the enemy somehow, the dog has to be able to act without any support of its owner or without any command given by him!

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     Why I consider the Caucasian Ovcharka a somewhat better protector than the Central Asian Ovcharka? Instead of explaining it myself, let it be explained by the following proverb:

     "Если лезет через забор человек, то кавказец эго сразу убьет, а азиат сперва подумает секунду, а потом убьет."

     "If a man is climbing the fence, Caucasian will kill him immediately, but Central Asian will firstly think one second, and then he will kill him."

     This proverb says, that the Caucasian uses to attack the human enemy without any hesitation, which makes his chance to win higher. Moreover, this breed of dog often attacks the throat and face of the human opponent.

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     To increase the dog's readiness to deal with hostile strangers, it has to be learned to never accept any food from any stranger, no matter how the food is submitted. When the helper is submitting a food to the dog and at the same time is teasing it, the dog will learn to ignore the food and will only be attacking the helper.
     However, any real bite work should only start at a later age in view of the fact, that Caucasians become mentally adult somewhat later than most of the other breeds of dog. But firstly the dog should bite on the territory that he guards and only later on a neutral territory, except for regular teasing by strangers since his "puppy age", which can be arranged everywhere.


     "Нет ничего более глупого, нежели привести кавказца на чужую террито­рию и совать ему дрессировочный рукав."

     "There is nothing stupider, than to take the Caucasian to a strange territory and to force a training sleeve upon him."

     Although best is to train the bite work using a body bite suit, more precisely a hidden body bite suit, the fact is that the dog is not taught to attack the helper's face or throat - a thing which many Wolfhounds naturally do. Because the majority of trainers of pastoral breeds "teach" these dogs not to attack the face and throat (or simply the head) of the helper, through this they are taking away the Wolfhounds' most effective way how to destroy a human enemy. If the human opponent has strong clothes if not straightly the protective ones and the dog will not attack his head, he has a larger chance to defeat the dog.

     This is an example from tak31005 of how a Caucasian Ovcharka releases the sleeve given to him and tries to bite the upper and more vulnerable place of the helper's body:

        

     And this example is from vladdcollect of a Central Asian's attempt to attack the protected helper's head:

                    

     (Please remember one thing: More breeds of dog can attack the throat or head of their human opponents, but large Wolfhounds will do that both with a big force and with a big quickness at the same time. Their entire behavior in the fight is more effective than that of all the other breeds of dog.)

     I believe that if the dog fitted with a muzzle and kept on a leash is repeatedly teased by the helper having normal clothes, who however wears a protective helmet and leans forward toward the dog, so that his head is the nearest and easiest target that can be attacked, the dog will soon start to attack it (but such an exercise can be dangerous for the helper, of course). I am convinced that such a Caucasian that will never attack the human enemy's head at no circumstances, ever, is a spoiled Caucasian. Therefore do not train on the body bite suit too often in order to prevent your dog from being spoiled by skipping the so-important attack on the head. However, it is necessary to add, that to teach the dog to attack the head can be illegal. But many dogs will do that naturally without any training, which was the case of my dogs (CO and BMD), too.

     We start the first “protection training” at a young age. Little teasing by the helper can do good to a puppy, but only if the helper runs away every time, as soon as the puppy displayed aggression toward him, to support its self-confidence.
     Good rule is to never make your Caucasian familiar with your friends or neighbors, because later they could abuse it to break into your house (some bad neighbors can be even so clever, that every time you walk your dog about them, they will try to start some conversation with you or even touch your dog to make it become familiar with them). Your Caucasian should be kept distrustful and aggressive toward them all the time.
     By its nature, this breed is a so-called «охранник», which is a protector of premises, but when we widen its aggression toward people to make it work behind “the zones of protection” as well, it is obtaining one more title – «телохранитель», which is a bodyguard.

     One interesting thought from "Кавказская Овчарка" by О. Красновская:

     "Правильно отдрессированный по защитной службе кавказец сохраняет свои рабочие качества пожизненно. С ним нет необходимости регулярных повторений, ибо естественный фоновый уровень агрессивности достаточно высок, недоверие к постороннему и территориальный комплекс у взрослой особы определены генетически, а опыт борьбы с человеком был получен в ходе занятий."

     Caucasian correctly trained in protection work preserves his working qualities for life. With him there is no necessity of regular repetitions, since the natural foundational level of aggression is sufficiently high, in adult individual distrustfulness to strangers and territorial complex are determined genetically, and the experience of the fight with a human was gained during lessons.

     Explaining quotation from my book “Degenerace psiho rodu aneb Nejlepsi psi bojovnici”:

     "Vseobecne vzato, nekterym pastevcum chybi jedna jedina vec: Trenink ve shluku lidi za bileho dne. Ve vsem ostatnim jsou nejlepsi."

     Generally, some Wolfhounds are only missing one thing: Training in the cluster of people in full daylight. They are best in all the other.

     Several thoughts on a special and more advanced training of the protection work:

     It is necessary to make the dog be on alert in other environments than only on the premise that it guards. The owner walks his dog along the street in the town (in the middle of the white day), when more people are around him. One of them is a helper in normal clothes who behaves normally. But all of a sudden, he attacks the dog's owner, and his (muzzled) dog (on a leash) has to defend him. After several of such exercises the dog will begin to be on (a higher) alert all the time and always ready to protect its owner even on a neutral territory (outside of its premise) like in the town streets and similarly.
     The helper can also put the hidden body bite suit under the clothes (that are the same like that) of the dog's owner. The dog will jump in front of the helper, it will smell at him and then attack him as soon as the first scent differing from that of its owner entered its nose (one time Gero did it exactly that way).
     Eventually, the dog can also be tested & trained to be aggressive even toward such strangers, who will take a bitch in the heat with them (from this reason better is to have your premise secured by two dogs - both male and female) or a recorded voice of the dog's owner. Firstly the stranger having the bitch is teasing the dog and is attacking its owner so loudly and so much that it makes the dog fight the stranger, forgetting the bitch during it (but when the dog is to mate her, it must be done without the immediate proximity of her owner, ideally when he is away). The helper also lets the dog listen to the recorded voice of its owner and then he will provoke the dog that will attack him, ignoring the recorded voice of its owner that is heard.
     I believe, that it is good to train (with a muzzled and leashed dog) the protection work also in such environments like a railroad train or a trolley-bus (some stupid dogs are totally unobservant in these places), where the helper will be among the other passengers and suddenly will attack the dog's owner.
     One way or the other, the dog-bodyguard should be taught to devote its attention to the defense of its owner, even if there are some other objects of interest like cats, for example (in given case the owner with his dog can be attacked by the helper from behind just in the moment, when the dog is observing several cats in front of it).
     By the way, it is useful when the dog is aggressive toward the other dogs including small ones, since the enemy can approach the dog's owner with a small dog if he knows, that the dog is friendly with small dogs.
     Another training can be a helper in a car that will suddenly stop near the dog's owner, the helper will storm out of it and he will attack him. The dog must immediately attack the helper.
     All what I want to say is that that I find it very useful to try, now and then, some exercise like these ones to increase the dog's attention and readiness to fight for its owner anytime and at any circumstances. I also believe that no too-often training is necessary. Several perfectly arranged and naturally-looking situations can do a better work than some stereotypical bite work that is always-repeating in the same way round and round.


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     Legal disclaimer: This is educational writing that only represents the personal and subjective opinion of its author. His view on this breed of dog and related information does not fully match the officially-valid opinion of the country of its origin and is not any recommendable instruction how to treat these dogs. The author does not warrant or assume any responsibility for the damage caused to anyone by using of and/or manipulation with this writing and he does not warrant the completeness, trueness, safety or usefulness of any information introduced in it. As for the quality of the language and translations posted in this writing, it is amateurish work only that can contain some errors. Please note that regardless of what is said within this writing, everybody must obey all the applicable laws. It is also valid for dog fighting that is forbidden in the majority of countries and on the territory of which it must not be arranged.