South Russian Ovcharka


In the mid-eighteenth century, Spain abolished the law forbidding merino sheep export. From 1979, flocks were sold to Russia. Upon arrival, most sheep were sent to Askania Nova, a large area in the Crimea. The sheep were accompanied by sheepdogs. Some say they were Gos d’Atura or the Catalan Sheepdog; others say the German Shaffpudel. Most likely, they were dogs with shaggy hair. Small sheepdogs were crossed with local dogs such as the Tartar or Caucasian ovcharka, Crimean greyhound, and Hungarian Komondor because larger dogs could guard and protect the herds against wolwes and other predators. Driving sheep was not as important. Today, you can find pure-breed instinctively keeping their human flock together as well as maintain order and guard. Askania Nova, owned by the Falz-Fein family, was not the only Russian sheep colony but was the largest and most well known. 

SROs are independent, intelligent, stubborn, dominant, and loyal. They can be very affectionate but all in their own time . They have little desire to please yet are great companions.  The SROs combines its inborn distrust and defense against strangers with high sensitivity and an obvious  talent for situation  control”.

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