Livestock Guardian Dogs in Georgia

The Georgian Mountain Dog, the Caucasian Nagazi has a rich history that dates back over 2,000 years. Originating from the Caucasus region, which also spans Georgia, these dogs were primarily bred to protect livestock from predators such as wolves, bears, and human thieves. Their natural guarding instincts and ability to withstand harsh climates made them indispensable to shepherds in the mountainous terrain. 

Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) are integral to the herding traditions of the Tushetian pastoralists of East Georgia. Largely a sheep-breeding community, the Tush have practiced transhumance for centuries, moving their flocks between the Greater Caucasus Mountains in summer and various lowland pastures in winter.  

According to the breed standard, the Georgian Mountain Dog, also known as the Georgian Shepherd Dog or locally as Kartuli Nagazi, is large and robust, with a shoulder height of at least 65 cm in males and 60 cm in females. It has strong bones and musculature, a large head, short neck and powerful body. The short, coarse coat has several color varieties. Although there are regional variations within Georgia, the greatest value is placed on the Tushetian Nagazi. 

Temperament and Behavior

The Caucasian Nagazi is known for its courage, independence, and unwavering loyalty. Key traits include:

Protective: They have a strong protective instinct, making them excellent guard dogs. They are wary of strangers and will fiercely defend their family and property.  

Loyal: These dogs are deeply loyal to their owners and form strong bonds with their families.  

Independent: The breed is known for its independent thinking, a trait developed from centuries of working autonomously in the mountains.  

Intelligent: They are intelligent and can be trained, although their independent nature means they require a firm, consistent hand in training.  

Care and Maintenance  

Owning a Georgian Shepherd dog requires commitment and understanding of their unique needs. Here are some essential care tips:  

Exercise: These dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. While they are not overly energetic, they do require space to move and play.  

Diet: A balanced diet rich in protein is essential to maintain their muscle mass and overall health. Due to their size, they can consume a significant amount of food.  

Grooming: Regular grooming is necessary, especially for long-coated individuals. Brushing several times a week helps to manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.  

Training: Early socialization and training are crucial. Positive reinforcement methods work best, and it’s important to establish leadership early on.  

Health: Like all breeds, the Georgian Shepherd is prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and heart problems. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor and maintain their health.  

The Georgian Shepherd in Modern Times  

Today, the Caucasian Nagazi remains a beloved breed in its native regions and has gained popularity worldwide. The breed was also introduced to Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia. In 1992, in Georgia, was founded Caucasian Shepherd Dog-Breeding Tabakini, which still works today to select and popularize this incredible breed.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *