South Russian Shepherd
silhouette 25 to 40 kg (indicative)
cut 62 to 72cm
hair long (10-15 cm), coarse, thick, bushy and slightly wavy
dress white, white and yellow, greyish or white marked with gray
head elongated, slightly accentuated stop, large black nose
eyes oval, placed horizontally, dark
ear relatively small, triangular in shape, pendulous
behaviour lively, often dominant, proud, suspicious, obedient
federation FCI nomenclature group 1 section 1 no 326
The South Russian Shepherd is a dog intended for guarding flocks of sheep in Russia. The International Cynological Federation recognizes him under the name of iouzhnoruskaïa ovtcharka but he is also referred to as Ovtcharka of southern Russia, or even Yujak.
It is a very old Russian breed. Indeed, as early as 1797, sheep with fine fleece were imported from Spain and with them the ancestors of the Youjak: the Asturian Shepherd. The Crimean shepherds were interested in this herdsman who had excellent working qualities. He was then mixed with this breed of the blood of Tatar Shepherd, Borzoï and Rousskaïa Psovaïa (old Russian breed which has now disappeared). The breed was developed and improved in the locality of Askanya-Nova in Crimea. By the end of World War II, the Youjak was on the verge of extinction. Only a few copies were kept by dog breeding enthusiasts. Then the Youjak began to be used systematically for guard work in large enterprises, animal husbandry and some units of the Red Army. Since the fall of the Berlin wall and the opening to the West, a few subjects have been introduced in Europe. Countries where South Russian Shepherds are found include Poland, Germany, Holland, Czechia and Slovakia. In France, its introduction is recent, only a few years, and there are barely thirty...
Pride of Russian breeding, the South Russian Shepherd is a dog of great stature, but very elegant and without any heaviness, lively in the race, with a powerful jaw and constantly alert reflexes. The Youjak is a guard and protection dog, with undeniable shepherding qualities. He has an inquisitive and independent character, but matures only slowly (it will take him about two years or more). He is also very sensitive, and capable of astonishing finesse. He loves his master and his family with passion. He is very affectionate (even clingy!) and does not disdain caresses... In his territory, the South Russian Shepherd Dog is an intractable guardian, who even at rest watches over his little world under a nonchalant air. It is essentially characterized by an innate sense of the defense of the territory and the family. He takes the initiative of the attack as soon as he deems it necessary. He should not be underestimated: he is full of temperament, lively, courageous and endowed with very fine hearing. The male is very often dominant. His distrust of strangers is legendary. Indeed, he will not allow himself to be caressed by anyone, so... be careful!