8 Large Russian Dog Breeds

May 16, 2022 | 0 comments

Although Russia might be known as cold, harsh, cruel, and intolerant, however, the majority of the huge Russian breeds of dogs you’re about to meet in this guide are far from cruel.

Yes, some -though certainly not all are extremely wary of strangers. They will be ready to fight against threats, but it is what makes them incredibly trustworthy family protectors when they are welcomed to your home by a kind and knowledgeable pet trainer.

Such as The Russian Bear Dog, the Borzoi, and the jolly Samoyed could prove to be an affectionate, loving part of your family.

This article looks at some of the most well-known large Russian dogs and their unique characteristics and discusses whether they’d be a great choice if you’re planning to adopt a pet.

8 Popular and Large Russian Dog Breeds

1. Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier Large Russian Dog

Bred in the Russian military during the Second World War, the Black Russian Terrier was bred with more than 15 breeds, including the similarity of Giant Schnauzers and Rottweilers among their genes. 

25 Russian Dog Breeds – Complete Guide

This provided them with everything they required to perform as active military dogs. They had a thick coat to aid them in surviving the notoriously freezing Russian air, eternal energy, a lot of stamina to keep active, and an attitude that allowed them to be simple to handle.

After the war was over, the Black Russian Terriers began exiting Moscow’s Red Star Kennel and became beloved domestic pets across the world.

These high-energy dogs need lots of energy, time, and care, making them a great option for people who have an active lifestyle but still have time to spend on the training of the Black Russian Terrier.

In general, the dogs are generally relaxed in their homes, but they can be angry if they are provoked. They do not always play nicely with other dogs.

         2. Borzoi


There’s no doubt this: the Borzoi is a unique dog in every sense. They typically grow between 26 and 30 and up to 85 pounds. These dogs sport an elongated, tall appearance with a slender face, narrow muzzle, and narrow muzzle. All of this means their appearance is often compared with that of Greyhounds. Greyhound.

One major differentiator among both the Borzoi and Greyhound is, naturally, the former’s incredibly soft silky double-layered coat that is perfect for keeping them warm during the cold winter temperatures that are typical of Russia.

It was here where they were first introduced as hunting dogs, owing to their exceptional ability to see (the term “borzoi” literally means “sighthound” in Russian) with a powerful yet agile physicality and sharp intelligence, making them ideal for tracking and capturing prey.

The same level of peace and tranquility that helped them excel at the next fish to catch today remains one of their top characteristics, which means they are a calm presence around the house.

Borzois are also fond of friendship and do best when other people are around, making them an ideal choice for those who prefer to spend most of their time at home and with their new partner rather than those who will be at work throughout the day.

            3. Caucasian Mountain Shepherd

Caucasian Mountain Shepherd

A Caucasian Mountain Shepherd Dog goes under many different names. At times, you’ll see it simply referred to as the Caucasian Shepherd, while other times, it’s called a Caucasian Ovcharka. Most of the time, this huge bundle of fur is called the Russian Bear Dog and is the first breed people imagine as they consider big Russian dogs.

These dogs first came into our lives in the Caucasus Mountain region, an area famous for its fierce, bitterly cold, seemingly endless winters. In the Caucasus Mountains, they were trained to serve as guard dogs by farmers who wanted to safeguard their cattle from the relentless threat of wolves, bears, and other predators.

This is the reason for their size. As one of the largest dogs on the planet, the Russian Bear Dog can reach the height of 36 inches and weigh anywhere from 80 pounds to 220 pounds. The size of these dogs and their intimidating appearance and fearless nature make them the perfect dog to take on predators head-on.

Though brave and bold and courageous, they are also a bit feisty and brave. Caucasian Mountain Shepherd can also be very obedient to its family and the people it trusts. However, it is often prone to seeing any person it doesn’t know as a threat.

This means they could be danger if not handled by a trained and experienced trainer who has the time, energy, and experience to care for them in a safe manner.

This, along with their dimensions and the amount of good food for dogs required to sustain a powerful pet, can cause a lot of anxiety for some potential owners. However, with proper training and care, this Russian Bear Dog can become a loving and caring pet that is a part of the household.

        4. Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Central Asian Shepherd Dog

This Central Asian Shepherd Dog is believed to be among the oldest breeds of dog globally and one of the few to be “manufactured” by human interference during breeding. Instead, their robust muscular frame, sturdy body, long coat, and formidable physique all resulted from natural evolution, allowing them to endure harsh conditions and even more vicious predators.

While they originated within regions like the Central Asian regions, when they moved towards the old USSR, they began to be known as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. They began to change from being working dogs to household pets.

Once it was recognized as a breed within the Soviet Union in the 1920s The gorgeous dog was later introduced into America. In the United States, where it’s today recognized as a loving and playful dog who can be a good companion for children but maybe a bit aloof with strangers , and is notoriously difficult to train.

       5. East Siberian Laika

East Siberian Laika

The East Siberian Laika may not be among the most well-known large Russian breeds of dogs, but they’re certainly among the most beautiful.

Their shiny, smooth coat, along with their wolf-like appearance and eyes, give them a regal appearance which does nothing to diminish how absolutely adorable they are.

In addition, their moderate average height (22” to 25″) along with their weight (around 40-50 pounds) contribute to making them among the most accessible large breeds that could make them extremely attractive as pets for families.

Be aware that although this breed of East Siberian Laika tends to be a calm, peaceful and kind breed, they can be naturally suspicious of people they don’t meet and are often hostile to any other animal.

However, on the positive aspect, this does mean that they can be perfect guard dogs as their instinctual protective instincts will come on when they detect a threat.

         6. Samoyed


The Samoyed or Sammie if you prefer, is an adored big dog breed that is one of the most adorable big Russian dogs you’ll ever encounter.

They’re known for their famous “Sammie Smile,” where the corners of their mouths are slightly upwards while their tongues hang loose, giving the impression that they’re among the most joyful pups on earth.

Fair enough, this impression isn’t that far from reality.

The Samoyed is an affectionate, friendly dog who enjoys social interactions and loves being around other people, including children and other animals.

Loving, sweet, and gentle, Sammie’s charming behavior is possibly due to the fact that they’re so content that they no longer have to endure the brutal Siberian snows.

Their thick white coats and their large size (measuring as high as 23.5 inches and weighing up to 65lbs) were developed to make them able to endure some of the harshest environments on the planet while serving as sledding and hunting dogs. These days, that look makes them a gorgeous pet to have in the house but one that will be most happy when they are surrounded by companionship.

          7. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Of course, there is no list of big Russian dog breeds that would be completed without including the Siberian Husky.

In fact, although the Russian Bear Dog may be the first thing that comes into our minds when we think about this particular breed of dog but Siberian Husky is another. Siberian Husky is generally the most popular dog in regards to its appearance in modern homes.

Up to 22 inches tall and 60 pounds in weight, these beautiful lupines were originally created to pull sleds over long distances across huge Siberian landscapes. They were able to bring essential items to remote outposts and villages, thereby aiding natives in their survival in harsh conditions.

The year 1925 was when the tiny village located in Nome located in Alaska was spared from a fatal Diptheria epidemic by a group of Siberian Huskies that dragged a crucial life-saving medication across 600 miles to save the town.

Today they are still employed as sledding dogs, and their energy level makes them an ideal companion for people who are active. Their friendly personality, keen awareness of their surroundings, and, of course, their gorgeous wolf-like appearance all contribute to making them a sought-after choice as household pets. However, it’s important to remember that they require appropriate training and lots of exercises, as they could be destructive when bored and unfocused.

         8. South Russian Ovcharka

South Russian Ovcharka

Sometimes called the Ukrainian Shepherd or the South Russian Shepherd, Ovcharka is a gorgeous herding dog that has the most luxurious shaggy coat and a soft, cuddly look that is a stark contrast to their power and dominance.

Do not get it wrong about it, though Ovcharka from the South Russian Ovcharka certainly looks adorable; they are not the ideal dog for every person.

They don’t just possess a deep-seated distrust of strangers, but they do not like any nerves or enthusiasm, so if someone within your family (or anyone who might visit) is slightly cautious of dogs and other dogs, the Ovcharka may not be the best fit since they could become hostile around them.

Also, although the dogs are able to learn, their strong nature makes them an experienced trainer who will be firmly and dependable.

While this could be a little jarring, if you’re strong, skilled, experienced, and possess an authority-filled presence, the Ukrainian Shepherd will be obedient and use his loyal and fiercely loyal character and fear of strangers as a highly effective security dog.

The Final Word on Large Russian Dog Breeds

We began this guide with the assertion that big Russian dog breeds aren’t as unfriendly and cruel as their origins might suggest.

We’ve met The Russian Bear Dog, the Siberian Husky, and the ever-so-adorable Sammie. We hope that you’ll agree with us that this is definitely the situation.

While there is no doubt that the breeds are kind and affectionate and amusing around people they’ve come to know, however, we hope you’ll be able to realize that the Russian dog isn’t suitable for all.

As sweet as they might be, they can also be rough, needing lots of exercises, training as well as socialization. They were bred to be hunters or guard dogs. The instinct to protect and/or hunt persists even after they have become domesticated.

If you’ve got the drive, the knowledge, and know-how to master the Russian canine breed (not forgetting a strong, assertive training style). Yes, they’re an excellent addition to the home of your family. If not, you may be interested in adopting a different large dog breed. 

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