After World War II, crime rates increased terribly necessitating the need for watchdogs. Hence, one such breed that was created for this need was Moscow Watchdog. It was a strong watchdog that was friendlier and easily followed orders. They crossed Saint Bernard (offered their large size, strength, and gentle temperament) with Caucasian Ovcharka (provided it with assertive traits, great watch, ferocity, and weariness). Due to this reason, the breed possessed all the required physical and mental attributes.
They can also withstand tough winter seasons and protect the government establishments like warehouses, labor camps, railroads, etc. General Medvedev started an important breeding program in 1946 that continued over a year at the Military Cynology School.
To popularize the Moscow watchdog, in 1986 they were exported to Hungary. Many breeders and fanciers liked the breed and started working with it. This resulted in their growing numbers in the Soviet Union and Hungary. It published in 1985, but it got recognition by the Russian Kennel Club in 1992 and Russian Dog Breeders’ Federation in 1997. This breed is popular in Eastern Europe and the United States have recently recognized it.
Temperament & Personality
Moscow Watchdog has an impressive stature and makes a pleasant companion for its family members if it is correctly nurtured from puppyhood. It is vigilant of its ambiance and guards its territory and family members against any danger. However, it stays gentle around unknown people, but attacks when provoked. They also go well with kids but interactions require supervision as these are big strong dogs that can unintentionally knock down the kids while playing. With proper socialization, they go well with other pets in the house.
This gentle giant dog is not the most active breeds but requires sufficient exercise to release excess energy. Taking them for long walks and jogs with adequate time for playtime in a fenced yard is advisable. Also, they need an adequate amount of mental exercising to stay active. Owners can provide them puzzle toys, agility or obedience training to keep them busy.
They have a thick coat which needs brushing twice or thrice a week with a bristle brush to avoid matting and dust submission. They shed seasonally, and during this time, owners should clean them regularly to remove the dead furs from their coat. Bathe them when they are incredibly filthy. Like other breeds, they also have other grooming requirements such as brushing their teeth twice a week to avoid development of tartar and oral problems.
Their ears can catch infections due to water, dirt buildup and hence needs regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Like other dogs, they tend to grow nails faster than other breeds which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, running, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. They tend to discharge water from their eyes, and the owners should wipe them with a warm washcloth.
It is generally a healthy breed but suffers from specific health issues which are common amongst its size. Most large dog breeds are prone to diseases like patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, musculoskeletal problems, etc. They suffer from a higher risk of gastric torsion. However, with random tests like X-ray, blood tests, cataracts and random vet visits will keep the dog happy.
These puppies are intelligent but have a bright and dominant nature which can make training difficult. Being large, it thinks of itself as the pack of the leader, therefore it is advisable to start obedience training to resolve this issue in its early days. It requires a consistent trainer to train them and positive reinforcement with short and varied sessions will help them to learn tricks more quickly. Punishment can incite their protective instincts and delay the learning process.
Early socialization will make them well behaved and a good companion. Take them to busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, etc. It will allow them to meet unknown faces, different sounds and situations and make them more flexible. Leash training is crucial to minimize its chasing instincts. Start from an early age to make it familiar with the leash. When it plays or during its meal time, apply the leash and take a short walk around the room or the garden and when it ultimately gets familiar take them out.
It does well with a high-quality food especially manufactured for large dog breeds or homemade food with the correct combination of fats, carbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Owners can also offer them vegetables, fish, fruits, eggs, and meat occasionally. They are prone to obesity and gastric problems, and it is essential to visit a dietician or a vet before opting for the food. But diet should be created depending on the dog’s size, age, activity level and metabolism. The owner should offer them small meals multiple times a day and prevent heavy exercises to minimize the risk. They should also check their weight level and calorie consumption regularly. In case of excessive weight gain, reduce table scraps, treats, etc.