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  Spartan Dogs - Moscow Watchdog or Moscow Dog 

Category: Dogs, Molossers, Mastiffs, Mountain dogs, Russia, Europe, Family Dog, Guard Dog

Moscow Watchdog / Moscow Dog
Names Moscow Watchdog, Moscow Guard Dog, Moscow Watch Dog, Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka, Moskauer Wachhund, Mascowan Gardian Mastiff, Moskovanvahtikoira, Moskovskaja Storozjevaja, Moskvavakthund, Московски страж, Московски страж, Московски страж
Origins Moscow, Russia
Tasks Family Dog, Guard Dog
Height 66-71 cm / 64-69 cm
Weight 48-70 kg / 45-68 kg
Lifespan 9-11 years
Registry na
Group Molossers, Mastiffs, Mountain dogs

The Moscow Watchdog is a large sized, heavy and muscular dog that was developed in Moscow, Russia (then the Soviet Union) after World War II. It was bred from crosses between the St. Bernard, Caucasian Shepherd, and Russian Spotted Hound breeds. The Moscow Watchdog is mostly used as both a family dog and watch dog.

Moscow Watchdog History

After World War II dog fanciers in the army's "Red Star" kennel in Moscow wanted a big strong guard dog that was suitable to performan taks for different owners. These breeders started with the Caucasian Ovcharka, which gave it great assertive and watch traits such as wariness and ferocity, and the Saint Bernard to increase size and and maintain great strength and a more gentle temperament. With some additions of the Russian Harlequin Hound, the German Shepherd, and the Russian Wolfhound. Due to this mix, the Moscow Watchdog, possesses the mental and physical attributes desired.

In the late 1960's it was granted the Russian name Moskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka ("sobaka" means dog in Russian). The Soviet military considered it to be a perfect service dog, able to respond the same way to any handler.

The standard was first published in 1985, when it received the "official status" in the Soviet Union. In 1992, the Federation of the Dog Breeders of Russia approved the standard and then in 1997 the Department of Animal Breeding and Pedigree of The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. The standard was also approved by the Russian Kennel Club in 1997. In most parts of the world the breed is still unrecognised, however the breed is becoming more popular in Europe and it has recently reached the United States.

Moscow Watchdog Appearance

Body: the Moscow Watchdog has a very broad back, and is big-boned. It makes a powerful appearance with an able body. The long and heavy tail is broad and powerful. The front legs are straight and powerful. The neck is very powerful.

Head: the Moscow Watchdog has a very powerful and impressive head that shows confidence, with a vissible stop. Between the eyes the furrow is deep, but is becoming shallower towards the moderately developed occiput. The nose is straight. The strongly developed lips should not really droop over the lower jaw. The ears are set fairly high and medium sized. The lower eyelids do not close completely, but eyes that are too open are not desirable. Moscow Watchdogs have a scissors bite or level bite.

Height at Withers: the dogs have on average a shoulderheight of 66 up to 71 (26 to 28 inches) centimetres and bitches on average measure 64 up to 69 centimetres (25 to 27 inches). There is no maximum height.

Weight: for dogs it's between 48 to 70 kg (105.6 and 154 lbs) and bitches are between 45 to 68 kg (99 to 149.6 lbs). Heavier dogs do exist, but as a rule this comes at a cost affecting the dogs health.

Coat: Moscow Watchdogs have a thick, medium length double coat, with close to the body lying hairs that are hard but not rough.

Colors: Moscow Watchdogs come in various shades of mostly white, red, orange or brown patches. Usually they have a black mask.

Moscow Watchdog Temperament

Character: calm, quiet and very affectionate with children. It has the traits of a gentle giant, but the guarding and assertive nature to convincingly protect his family when in danger.

Social Build: the Moscow Watchdog has a drive to protect property but also wants to be a part of his owners' family. When there a clear rules, the dog will try to please his master and become a loving family member. While maintaining a watchful attitude, it is usually friendly with strangers and likes to play. When needed, his family and their property will be protected with its giant strength and firmness, fighting against any threat.

Moscow Watchdog Socially

Care: the coat care is quite simple and doesn't need any special grooming, though like all breeds with longer coat hairs it has to be brushed on a regular basis. In the shedding period it's easiest to remove the dead hairs with a rubber massage glove. This Russian dog breed doesn't salivate a lot, while most big gentle breeds actually do. It's good to check for hip dysplasia before breeding, because it is common.

Education: the Moscow Watchdog responds best to someone who can inspire loyalty while also providing strong leadership. Heavy-handed training will backfire with this breed, but respectful, thoughtful training will yield a devoted companion. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack and they include humans in their pack, the entire pack cooperates under a single leader. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set and maintained. They want and seek interaction with daily family life.

Activity: the Moscow Watchdog needs a lot of regular exercise. They need to be taken on a daily, long, brisk walk or jog. While out on the walk it's best to keep the dog beside or behind the person holding the lead. As in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. In addition, they will benefit from a large safe area where they can run free.

Usability: the breed requires some space, a small apartment won't do for the Moscow Dog. It is recommended to experienced owners who have enough space and some free time. It is used generally as a family dog or watch dog. Aside from military service, this Russian guard dog is also used by rangers and farmers, it is considered a good choice in the northern regions. The Moscow Watchdog can also be trained as a guide dog.

Moscow Watchdog Quotes / Trivia


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3.5 Stars. Average rating: 3.5 from 29 votes.

  If you have any comments you can submit them here

[ 2016-10-27 ] :: jackson
A lot of effort but the effort put in to creating these dogs has brought great results.
[ 2014-07-17 ] :: asdasdasd
Useless *** mix of Caucasian Ovcharka and St. Bernard. Not a proper working type \"breed\".

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