Moscow Watchdog
Dog Breeds

Moscow Watchdog

Other names: MW , Muscovite

The Moscow Guard Dog is a large service breed bred by Soviet breeders by mating a St. Bernard and a Caucasian Shepherd Dog.

Characteristics of Moscow Watchdog

Country of originRussia
The sizelarge
Growth72-78 cm
Weight60-90 kg
Age10-12 years old
FCI breed groupnot recognized
Moscow Watchdog

Moscow Watchdog Basic moments

  • Having a developed protective and guarding instinct, “Muscovites” nevertheless do not start up with a half turn, which is very different from their closest relatives – the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs.
  • Moscow guard dogs feel good in families. Children and pets do not annoy them.
  • Distinctive character traits of the Moscow watchdog are slight stubbornness and a tendency to dominate, so an adult mentor should be involved in training the animal.
  • The Moscow watchdog is not included in the list of the most popular breeds of our time, which will be especially pleasant for those who appreciate originality in everything and are looking for an unusual four-legged friend for themselves.
  • An animal of such an outstanding build will feel uncomfortable in a standard apartment, although a properly educated Moscow watchdog will do everything possible to occupy as little space as possible and not annoy the owner with its own awkwardness.
  • The Moscow watchdog is a working, unpretentious dog. She copes relatively well with loneliness, is not offended for any reason and easily adapts even to not the most favorable weather conditions.
  • The maintenance of the breed is expensive already because such a large dog needs many times more food than any shepherd dog. Accordingly, if you need a little pet, give up the dream of a Moscow watchdog.

Moscow watchdogs are professional guards, self-sufficient leaders and fearless defenders, capable of putting an intruder to flight with just a look. Serious and incorruptible, they will never leave their official post and will guard the object entrusted to them to the last. At the same time, in an informal setting, “Muscovites” easily transform into calm, unpretentious pets who can get along with children and willingly join in any game.

History of the Moscow watchdog breed

Московская сторожевая собака
Moscow guard dog

The breed owes its birth to the Soviet kennel “Krasnaya Zvezda” and the acute shortage of dog personnel caused by the Second World War. In the late 1940s, the leadership of the school of military dog ​​breeding received a state order to breed a dog that would combine the features of a guard and a protector and could serve in extreme climatic conditions. Despite the fact that the breeding base of the nursery at that time was extremely small and consisted mainly of trophy animals exported from Germany, Soviet breeders managed to accomplish the almost impossible. In just a few years, the kennel managed to breed and present to domestic cynologists not one, but four breeds, including the Moscow guard dog.

Initially, several dog families participated in the experiment to create the ideal working dog, including Russian Pinto Hounds, East European Shepherd Dogs , and St. Bernards . Well, the final touch to the development of the exterior and temperament of the Moscow guard dog was made by Caucasian shepherd dogs . They began to cross with them the offspring obtained from the above breeds in order to inherit the natural aggression of their parent.

The first “Muscovites” appeared at the exhibition already in 1950. Six animals – Joy, Despot, Don, Divny, Dido and Dukat – were littermates and turned out to be quite capable dogs, although not without external defects. In 1958, a separate appearance standard was approved for the wards of the Red Star, but until 1985 the breed in the USSR continued to remain officially unrecognized. As far as foreign cynological associations are concerned, Moscow watchdogs are still dark horses for them. For this reason, nowadays you can meet “Muscovites” only in the CIS and occasionally in the Czech Republic and Poland, where single breeders are engaged in the breed.

An interesting fact: the colorful appearance of the Moscow watchdogs is the merit of Orslan, a male who was born in the 60s and is considered the ancestor of the breed. The first “Muscovites”, who took part in exhibitions in the 50s, did not look so impressive.

Video: Moscow guard dog

Moscow Watchdog Dog Breed - Facts and Information

Appearance of the Moscow Watchdog

A formidable giant with a muzzle of a St. Bernard and a shaggy “Caucasian” – this is approximately the impression that a Moscow guard makes at the first meeting. By the way, despite the deceptive similarity of the Moscow watchdog and the “Alpine rescuers”, there are quite significant differences between them. In particular, the wards of the “Red Star”, although they are considered giants among their own kind, are somewhat inferior in size to the “Swiss”. The minimum allowable weight for an adult dog of the Moscow watchdog is 55 kg, for a St. Bernard – 70 kg. The skull of the MC is considerably narrower than that of its alpine cousin, and the transition from forehead to muzzle is comparatively smooth. In addition, the “Muscovites” are distinguished by a stronger constitution and an elongated body, complemented by an amazing lightness and dexterity of movements for such giants.

Moscow Watchdog Head

Moscow Watchdog with a man
Moscow watchdog with a man

Large, high cheekbones, with a moderately convex, wide forehead, crossed by a longitudinal groove. The muzzle of the Moscow watchdog is blunt and voluminous, noticeably shorter in length than the skull. The infraorbital region is normally filled, the superciliary ridges and the occipital protuberance are distinctly expressed.


The “Muscovites” have fleshy lips of a rich black color, without wings.

Jaws and teeth

The jaws of the Moscow watchdog are massive, with a scissor bite. White teeth in the amount of 42 pcs. tightly adjacent to each other. The incisors are located in one line. The absence of several teeth, provided that they were broken or knocked out, is not considered a defect.

Moscow Watchdog Nose

The purebred Moscow Watchdog has a black earlobe, very large and noticeably elongated in width.


Deep-set, small eyes tightly covered with black eyelids. The standard shade of the Moscow watchdog iris is black.

Moscow Watchdog Ears

The correct shape of the ear is triangular, with a softly rounded tip, set above the level of the dog’s eyes. Cartilages support the ear cloth in a hanging position, due to which the front edge of the ear touches the zygomatic zone.


The neck of the Moscow watchdog is muscular, of medium length, with a well-developed nape and moderate dewlap. The latter may be absent in some individuals, which is not considered a disadvantage.

Moscow Watchdog big muzzle
Moscow guard dog muzzle

Moscow Watchdog Frame

Unlike the St. Bernards, the Moscow watchdogs boast a more stretched hull type. The withers of the “Muscovites” are high and are especially striking in males. The back is strong, of good width, with a short loin and a voluminous, slightly sloping croup. The thorax in MS is deep, with convex hoops of ribs, expanding towards the rump. The lower line of the abdomen is slightly tucked up.


Muscovites have straight, parallel legs. The shoulder blades are of sufficient length, set obliquely, the shoulders are well muscled. The hips of representatives of this breed have the same length as the shins. The paws of the dog are massive; the anterior ones are rounded, with thick elastic pads, the posterior outlines are more like an oval. The dewclaws are removed from the animals.

Moscow Watchdog Tail

The tail of the Moscow watchdog continues the line of the croup and is distinguished by a decent thickness. In a relaxed animal, the tail falls down, forming a slight bend in the tip area; in an excited animal, it takes the form of a crescent and rises above the back.


Moscow Watchdog angry
Moscow watchdogs

The wool of the Moscow watchdog is abundant, double, consisting of an outer hair and a thick undercoat. Males are distinguished by the most stylish appearance, in which the adorning coat forms a spectacular collar on the neck and flirtatious feathers on the back of the legs. The bitches of the Moscow guard “outfit” are much more modest due to the smaller amount of dressing hair.


White with tan, tan, black, tan, or sable spots. Colors that do not have a red tint in any of the listed variations are considered non-standard. In addition, the dog should remain white on the chest, tip of the tail and paws (front – up to the elbow joint, rear – up to the shins). The head of the Moscow watch is framed by a black “mask”, complemented by the same “glasses”. The ears of the representatives of this breed are also black.

Disadvantages and possible defects of the breed

The disadvantages, with which the animal will not receive a mark higher than “good” at the exhibition, are:

  • excessively long neck with too much dewlap;
  • ears in a semi-erect position;
  • stubby, curled into a ring or hook tail;
  • too short shoulder blades;
  • a narrow head with an overly smoothed or, conversely, sharp stop;
  • saggy, pocket-like lips;
  • very light color of the iris, obliquely set eyes;
  • insufficiently wide set of legs;
  • proximity of the hocks;
  • curly and curly coat (light wave is acceptable);
  • square body;
  • asymmetrical muzzle color;
  • insufficient growth.

Moscow watchdogs with the following physical and mental disabilities are subject to complete disqualification:

  • nervousness, cowardice;
  • congenital incomplete dentition (broken and knocked out teeth do not count);
  • amble;
  • brown eyelids and lobes;
  • twisted jaw;
  • malocclusion;
  • disagreement.

Dogs with dewclaws, cryptorchidism, and unbalanced, twisted movements are also rejected.

Photo of Moscow guard dog

Character of the Moscow guard dog

The calculation of the Red Star specialists that their pets would inherit the aggression and impulsiveness of the Caucasian wolfhounds was only partially justified. Yes, the Moscow watchmen are brave and courageous, but by no means vicious and certainly not reckless. The dog will come into conflict with anyone only when the enemy clearly demonstrates his own intentions. And yet the nature of the Moscow watchdog is largely determined by genes. In particular, individuals in which the blood of “Caucasians” predominates demonstrate great suspicion and ferocity. They are easy-going and much more suited to the role of fearless bodyguards. Dogs that have inherited the temperament of the St. Bernard are noticeably more phlegmatic, therefore such Moscow watchdogs are more often recommended for the role of family pets and guardians of the master’s wealth.

Воспитание московской сторожевой собаки
Education of the Moscow guard dog

Moscow watchmen are not talkative and only speak when necessary. If your shaggy giant grumbled, then he really got it. In the family, the dog behaves quite peacefully: the innate ability of “Muscovites” to become attached to people with whom they have to share a common territory affects. With children, the Moscow watchdog also does not have friction, however, provided that these are not randomly run neighbor kids. A properly educated animal will look at such guests with at least indifference, and even with outright discontent.

On the Internet, you can find a lot of video evidence that Moscow watchmen make hyper-responsible nannies. But in reality, not everything is so clear. Of course, the “Muscovite” will gladly ride your heirs on a sled, play catch-up with them and even try to forgive them for petty pranks, but it’s still not worth going away and leaving unintelligent kids to such a giant. As an example: an accidental wave of the tail of this shaggy security guard is capable of knocking a three-year-old naughty off his feet.

Moscow watchdogs treat every member of the family equally. They do not divide households into favorites and episodic characters and try to listen to each of them. But this does not mean that the MC is not able to guess who exactly is in charge in the house. Quite the opposite – a pet living in a family is always aware of who has the last word.

Moscow Watchdog with a kid
Moscow guard dog with a child

Education and training of Moscow Watchdog

A guard dog is a test of the owner’s coaching and leadership qualities for strength. Even the most balanced and obedient “Muscovites” are not averse to playing alpha males and wiping their paws on the master’s authority. So from the very first days of the stay of a young shaggy in your house, approve a system of permits and strict prohibitions and do not deviate from the set course until the pet grows up.

Moscow Watchdog training
Moscow guard dog training

Usually Moscow watchdogs begin to show character at the age of 6 months. In particular, adolescents may deliberately not respond to the call for food or grumble and snap in response to the command. In such cases, the method that mothers of puppies themselves often use will be effective. The recalcitrant disciplinarian is knocked down, rolled over on his side, and forcibly held in a recumbent position until he properly reflects on his own behavior and calms down.

In no case do not show the grown puppy that you are afraid of his massive jaws. Moscow guard dogs are quite quick-witted and will quickly realize that they have “outgrown” your authority. Teasing and provoking a dog, trying to educate watchdog skills in it, is also not the best technique. If you regularly try to take away a toy or food from the MC, get ready for such anti-bonuses as anger and nervousness.

There are subtleties in using commands. So, for example, the call “Come to me!” not used for cases when the trainer is going to punish the pet. Not a single dog will voluntarily come up for the “distribution of gingerbread”, and even more so the Moscow watchdog. Prohibition “Fu!” pronounced in a categorical, threatening tone, so that the “Muscovite” does not have a desire to test the patience of the owner. Owners who are raising a future exhibitor will find the “Show your teeth!” commands useful. and “Near!”.

It is worth thinking about visiting a ZKS course with a dog if you see a future bodyguard in your pet. If the candidacy of the Moscow watchdog is considered for the place of a family friend or guard, you can limit yourself to home training. True, an adult with a strong character, who has an idea about the psyche and temperament of the breed, should be engaged in it.

Maintenance and care

The impressive complexion of the Moscow watchdogs makes them not the most convenient pets for apartment owners, although some dog owners make such sacrifices. The optimal housing for shaggy giants will be a spacious cottage or a specially equipped aviary in the courtyard of a private house. Having warm two-layer “fur coats”, MCs are well adapted to Russian winters and are quite capable of surviving them in a wooden insulated booth. Usually the dog “hut” is located in such a way that the animal has a good overview of the territory. If it is planned to keep it in an aviary, then the latter should be equipped with a roof under which the dog will hide from heat and bad weather.

Separately, it should be said about breeding females. Enclosures for expectant mothers must be built with a margin, since the Moscow watchdog is a prolific breed. In addition, it will be necessary to equip a puppy house, which will be both a “maternity hospital” and a “kindergarten” for future offspring. If the pet lives in a cottage or apartment, find a secluded, bright corner protected from drafts and direct sunlight for its bed.

Moscow Watchdog Hygiene

Moscow Watchdog mom and puppies
Moscow watchdog puppies with mom

Having settled the Moscow watchdog in a house or apartment, stock up on combs, combs and a furminator, because the dog will shed twice a year. You do not need to have super intuition to guess that there will be a lot of wool from this breed (dimensions are obligatory), so from the first months of life, teach puppies to daily combing. A properly educated kid should not shy away at the sight of a brush and slicker or grumble with displeasure at the owner.

Between molts, “Muscovites” are also combed daily, as their hair often falls off. In case of an acute shortage of time, it is not forbidden to skip the procedure, unless, of course, the “fur coat” of the dog is in a neglected state, and twigs, leaves and other debris are not tangled in it after a walk. Do not get carried away with bathing your pet too often if he lives in the yard. Enough 3-4 bath days a year. Apartment dwellers are washed more often, which is due, rather, to the desire of the owner to keep the house clean than a necessity.

Once a week, the ears are examined by the Moscow watchdog and cleaned with a damp cloth or napkin. If traces of nitrous oxide are found in the dog’s eyes, they can be removed with a soft cloth dipped in a chilled infusion of tea leaves. It is better to trim the nails of the Moscow watchdog as needed (usually once a month), but this is an option for animals with a low level of physical activity. In MS, which are well and a lot of walking, the claw plate is ground down naturally.

Moscow Watchdog paddock

The sluggishness and heaviness of the Moscow watchmen is apparent. In fact, representatives of this breed are much more active than their ancestors, the St. Bernards, so putting them in an aviary and enjoying a quiet life, alas, will not work. The owners of apartment individuals, who suffer most from hypodynamia, will have to strain themselves especially. You will have to walk such “Muscovites” at least 4 hours a day, interspersing the usual promenades with active games. Two one and a half hour walks a day will be enough for aviary inhabitants, but this is provided that the animal moves freely around the territory of the aviary or personal plot. The content of the Moscow watchdog on the chain is considered unacceptable.

Important: Moscow watchdog puppies are allowed to walk only after two comprehensive vaccinations. Up to a year, the baby is not loaded with long hikes and energy-intensive games, thus allowing the pet’s joints to get stronger.


Moscow Watchdogmuzzle
Muzzle of a puppy of the Moscow guard dog

The standard menu of the Moscow watchdog is lean meat or its trimmings, offal, cereals (buckwheat, rice, oatmeal, millet) and vegetables. Sour milk and sea fish such as navaga and cod should also be present in the dog’s diet. Two-month-old puppies are useful to start introducing the taste of vegetables. For this purpose, pumpkin, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes and beets are suitable, which are given to babies in a slightly stewed form with the addition of unrefined vegetable oil. By the way, Moscow guard dog puppies are prone to food allergies, so each new product is introduced into the baby’s diet with extreme caution and in small doses.

Should be avoided:

  • mushrooms;
  • beans, peas and any other legumes;
  • chocolate, sweets and confectionery;
  • pasta and pastries;
  • chicken bones;
  • river fish;
  • spicy, spicy and salty foods.

Moscow guard dogs, who consume only natural food, should be given additional vitamin and mineral complexes and supplements with chondroitin and glucosamine, which are indispensable for joints. If you plan to keep your four-legged friend on an industrial “dryer”, choose varieties designed specifically for giant breeds, and these should not be economy class foods.

Health and disease of Moscow guard dogs

The scourge of all dogs of large breeds – hip dysplasia – has not bypassed the Moscow watchdogs either. The disease is almost always genetically determined and often manifests itself after 4 or more generations, so it is extremely difficult to predict the possibility of its occurrence in puppies even from x-rays. And yet, despite the fact that it is impossible to completely overcome this unpleasant diagnosis, it is quite possible to teach a pet to live with it. The main thing is not to limit the animal in moderate physical activity and not allow it to gain excess weight. By the way, about weight indicators: “Muscovites”, who are fed, not in accordance with the established norms, and are regaled with sweets without measure, swim in fat in a matter of months. You can fight the problem with the same physical activity and a therapeutic diet.

How to choose a puppy of Moscow Watchdog

  • The optimal age for moving a Moscow watchdog puppy to your home is 7 weeks, but it is better to get to know the pet early in order to be able to track its development, as well as changes in behavior and character.
  • Visit the baby’s mother and evaluate her reaction to your intrusion into her territory. If a bitch shows shyness and cowardice, it is likely that the offspring will also inherit these qualities.
  • From brisk, contact puppies grow leaders who, with proper training, turn into harsh bodyguards. For those who do not plan to acquire a shaggy dominant, it is better to take a closer look at the more modest and soft kids, who make good family pets and responsible guards of property.
  • Don’t grab the biggest puppy in the litter. A lot of weight is an extra load on the ligaments and joints, which are not the strongest among the Moscow guards. The optimal weight of a month old puppy is 3.5 kg (if the litter is large) or 4.5 kg (in a small litter).
  • Examine your pet’s belly. It should be moderately warm, elastic and without traces of an umbilical hernia.
  • Ask the breeder how many siblings your puppy originally had. Well, if the bitch had 6 or less “tails”. If there were more babies, they most likely did not have enough mother’s milk.

Photos of puppies of the Moscow guard dog

How much does the Moscow watchdog cost

The cost of an animal is determined by its class, the purity of the pedigree and the championship titles of the parents. In accordance with these parameters, a puppy of the Moscow watchdog can cost both 250 and 500$. An option for lovers of risk and unhealthy savings is dogs without a pedigree and mestizos. Such “pseudomoscovites” cost an average of 100 to 200 $ and are often very different from the average Moscow guard dog.

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