By Jags Goldie Last updated: 18th October 2022

Moscow Watchdog


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Moscow Watchdog (pronunciation: MAHS-Kou WOCH-dawg) is a large, sturdy breed developed from crosses among the Caucasian Ovcharka, Russian Spotted hounds, and Saint Bernard. It has the size, intelligence, and attractiveness of its St. Bernard parent and the confidence and awareness of the Caucasian Shepherd. This Molosser-type dog comes with a tall, muscular body, a massive head, black masked face, powerful legs, and a long, puffy tail.

Moscow Watchdog Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesMoskovskaya Storozhevaya Sobaka, Russian Watchdog
CoatModerate length, thick, double
ColorWhite and red
Breed TypeCrossbreed
CategoryMolosser, Mastiff, Working, Mountain dog
Lifespan9-11 years
Weight100-150 lb
Height25-27 in
TemperamentStubborn, protective, docile, independent
Litter Size5-10 puppies
Good with ChildrenRequires supervision
Country Originated inSoviet Union (present-day Russia)
Competitive Registration/Qualification InformationDRA

Video: Moscow Watchdog Protecting its Owner


The increasing crime rate in Russia after the Second World War necessitated a breed of guard dogs that could withstand the harsh winter conditions and protect government establishments like railroads, warehouses, and labor camps. An important breeding program under General Medvedev started in 1946 and continued over a year at the Military Cynology School. After several years, the Moscow Watchdog was finally created from purebreds St. Bernard and Caucasian Ovcharka.

To popularize the breed, these dogs were taken to Hungary in 1986. Soon after, many dog fanciers and breeders started working with it, which increased their numbers in Hungary and the Soviet Union. Although published in 1985, the breed standard was sanctioned by the Russian Dog Breeders’ Federation and the Russian Kennel Club in  1992 and 1997 respectively.

Temperament and Behavior

Despite its imposing stature, the Moscow Watchdog makes a gentle family companion if properly raised from its puppyhood. It is watchful of its surroundings, going on to guard its people and territory against any threat till death. It remains calm around strangers, not attacking them unless provoked.

Although it is gentle and playful with children, you should supervise all interactions between them because the Moscow Watchdog is big and strong enough to knock a kid down accidentally. It gets along with other pets provided that it is socialized at a young age.



The Russian Watchdog may not look the liveliest breed, but it needs plenty of regular activities owing to its working heritage. It enjoys daily, brisk walks and jogs on the leash and a free run in a large, fenced yard.


Its coat should be combed using a firm-bristle brush, especially during the shedding season. Bathe its hair with a mild dog shampoo only when necessary. Its eyes are prone to discharging water, and so you should keep them clean by wiping them with a soft, warm washcloth.

Health Problems

Although a hardy breed, the Moscow Watchdog may suffer from conditions related to its bones and joints, such as patellar luxation and hip dysplasia.


Since the Moscow Watchdog is assertive and stubborn by nature, it needs a firm hand in training.

It is critical for your Russian Watchdog puppy because it will help teach your dog when it should be friendly and when not. Introduce it to your friends, neighbors and other acquaintances and allow them to offer treats. It will teach your dog to live peacefully around guests and tolerate being touched by unknown people. You should also take your pup to the dog park where it will meet other dogs and make lots of new friends.

Building its watchdog instincts
Help your dog build its alertness by having an unfamiliar face act as an intruder who is trying to break into your house. When your dog barks at him, he should look at your pet and flee while you give your watchdog plenty of praises. Do not let your dog chase the fleeing person. Praising it highly for alerting you will strengthen its confidence. Prior to imparting it with watchdog training, your dog should be groomed in obedience and socialization, as well as be able to distinguish between a friend and a foe so that it gets to know when to bark at an unknown face and when to be calm.


Your Moscow Watchdog needs a balanced diet with the right combination of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. While you may feed your pet quality dry food, you can occasionally give a mix of fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and eggs.

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