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East European Shepherd dogs

Also known as the Owczarek Wschodnioeuropejski, Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka, and the Byelorussian Ovcharka, the East European Shepherd is an intelligent and loyal breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the East European Shepherd can be traced back to 1930's Russia. The breed was created by crossing the German Shepherd with various unnamed local breeds, in hopes of developing an highly trainable and versatile working dog.

Throughout its history, the East European Shepherd has been most commonly used as a watch and guard dog, service dog for the handicapped, police dog, and show dog, proving its superior abilities to perform while providing companionship.

Today, while the East European Shepherd has attained a regional popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.

Personality Traits

Best known for its lively and outgoing nature, the East European Shepherd thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. These dogs are highly intelligent, obedient by nature, and generally very easy to train. The East European Shepherd is alert and aware of its surroundings, loving to play the part of watch and guard dog. As a pet, this breed is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed adapts well to indoor and apartment living, and views spending time outdoors as a special treat.


Due to its eagerness to please and impress its owner and willingness to learn, the East European Shepherd generally responds well to basic training and commands. These intelligent dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the East European Shepherd. This breed requires a confident and caring handler with a stern and serious approach to repetitive tasks and exercises.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning an East European Shepherd, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This intelligent breed is obedient by nature, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the East European Shepherd gets along well with older children and other pets. These dogs are protective and territorial, making effective watch and guard dogs, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The East European Shepherd is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately there are also disadvantages to owning an East European Shepherd. While this breed generally adapts well to indoor living, they do require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. An East European Shepherd not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The East European Shepherd is not recommended for households with small or ill-behaved children. With proper socialization from a young age, this breed generally gets along well with children, but is known to become defensive when played with roughly.

As previously mentioned, the East European Shepherd remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the East European Shepherd is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative disk disease and other spinal conditions, progressive retinal atrophy, entropian - folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian - folding outward of the eye lid, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an East European Shepherd? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.
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