Standard south russian ovcharka

The standard is an accurate description of which traits the individual of a particular breed should show, basing the judgment on an ideal and perfect model. The animal is considered as a whole (therefore considering traits such as posture, character, size, etc ...) and also in its individual body parts. The admitted variations are listed, being they merits or faults (severe or not), which may cause an exclusion from the selection process. There is a standard for each dog breed which is drawn up in its country of origin by the respective Breed Club and which must then be approved by national entities (such as ENCI in Italy, VDH in Germany, RKF in Russia, etc.) and international ones (such as the FCI or Federation Cynologique International).

FCI Standard N° 326 / 16.09.1996/ GB
South Russian Shepherd Dog - Ioujnorousskaia Ovtcharka

General info

Origin:   Russia
Date of publication of the original valid standard:   30/09/1983
Utilization:   Sheepdog
Classification F.C.I.:   Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs(except Swiss Cattle Dogs), Section 1 - sheepdogs, without working trial.

The Owtcharka of meridional Russia is a dog of robust constitution, of above average size; he is fierce and distrustful of strangers, not very demanding and adapts easily to diverse climatic conditions and temperatures.

General Appearence

Robust, lean, with massive bone structure and a strongly developed musculature.
Faults: Frail constitution, bones too light, insufficient musculature; constitution of coarse or gross appearance.

Sexual type

Well evident according to sex. The males are courageous, stronger and more massive than the females.
Faults:  Females of male type.
Severe faults:  Effeminate type male.

Behaviour and temperament

Type of highly nervous activity, strong, balanced, lively. Dominant reaction : active way of defense.
Faults:  Excessive excitability, timidity, laziness.
Severe faults:  Uncontrolled excitability, cowardice.


The gaits are free and extended. The natural gaits of this dog are the heavy trot and the gallop. At the trot, the legs move in a straight line with a slight convergence to the median line. The articulations of the fore- and hindquarters straightening up freely.
Faults:  Slight lateral deviation in the movement of the legs; insufficient straightening up of the articulations.
Severe faults:  Restrained gait, lack in action.

Important proportions
Index of bone structure

Males: 17-19
Females: 16-18
Misured with height at the withers x 100/ chest width

Lenght index(structure)

108-110 (this index means that the lenght scapula-buttock is 8-10% longer than the height at the withers).
Faults:  Slight divergences of the given norm.
Severe faults:  Accentuated divergences of the given norms (square shape or very elongated).

Height at the withers

Males: a minimum of 65 cm.
Females: a minimum of 62 cm.
Faults:  Size of less than 65 cm for the males, less than 62 cm for the females.
Severe faults:  Size of less than 60 cm for the males, less than 58 cm for the females.


Elongated shape with a moderately broad forehead; the occipital crest and the zygomatic arches are strongly pronounced. The stop is barely visible. The nose is big, black.
Faults:  Coarse head, accentuated stop, superciliary arches prominent, muzzle too short or too elongated, grey lips; nose grey or brown.
Severe faults:  Narrow muzzle, weak, turned up, of truncated shape. Pink nose.


White, big, fitting closely. The incisors are set regularly and close in scissor bite.
Faults:  Teeth too small and spaced, yellow or prematurely worn. Broken teeth but not impeding a correct closure of the jaws. Lack of premolars.
Severe faults:  Everything which does not correspond to a perfect closure of the teeth but not impeding a correct of the teeth in scissor bite. Decayed teeth. Incisors set irregularly.


Relatively small, of triangular shape, hanging.
Faults:  Detached ears.


Oval shape, set horizontally, dark; the eyelids lean, tight.
Faults:  Light eyes.
Severe faults:  Eyes of different colours, pink eyelids.


Lean, muscular, of moderate length, set high.
Faults:  Neck too short, set low.


Apparent but not high.


Straight and strong.
Faults:  Weak back or roach-back.
Severe faults:  Saddle back or humped.


Short, broad, rounded.
Faults:  Slightly elongated, straight or too rounded.
Severe faults:  Saddle back or humped.


Reasonably broad, slightly flattened, deep.
Faults:  Chest insufficiently let down (above the elbow).
Severe faults:  Narrow chest, too small, barrel shaped.


Moderately tucked up.
Faults:  Excessively whippety or sagging.

Feet (front and back)

Oval shaped, strong, well arched, covered with long hair.
Faults: Flat feet, splayed feet.


Long (10 – 15 cm), coarse, thick, dense, of equal length on head, chest, legs and tail, with a well developed undercoat.
Faults:  Straight hair.
Severe faults:  Short hair, soft texture.


Most often white, but also white and yellow, straw colour, greyish (ashen grey) and other shades of grey; white lightly marked with grey; grey speckled.
Severe faults:  rushy or brown coat; strongly speckled.

Faults = Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Eliminating faults during expos:
  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Everything which does not correspond to a correct closure of jaws in scissor bite.
  • Hair short or straight.
  • All the shades of the coat which have not been taken into consideration in the present standard.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Sara Veggi 2010-2013