The Caucasian Ovcharka is a flockguard dog that originated in Russia and Central Asia. The breed is commonly known as the Caucasian Mountain Dog and Caucasian Sheepdog. The breed is used as a livestock guardian, protection dog, and was also used as a fighting dog. A 2007 New York Times article shows that the dog continues to be used for fighting today in Russia, along with the Central Asian shepherd dog.
Back in 2004, National Geographic aired a segment that featured the Caucasian Ovcharka. The animal was depicted as "extreme" with explosive aggression. The documentary team interviewed one breeder of the animal, Tamara Follett, who at the time was based in the U.S. She said, "This breed is so much more aggressive than what the U.S. is familiar with." Follett advertised her dogs as having the stopping power of a .45 caliber pistol.
The TV segment set off a multitude of shockwaves.
Earlier this year, Follett wrote to DogsBite.org about her dog bite prevention project called Dog Trax. The paradox is hard to digest: The breeder of a highly dangerous dog has also designed a dog bite safety program. The program is a web-accessible technology that analyzes dog bite records to identify "high risk" dogs before a serious attack. The system is still in BETA. Follett believes her system is a better solution than breed bans.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is rare in the United States. After the TV segment aired, one rescue group said the show misrepresented the breed. Perhaps, but the dog seems woefully unsuitable anywhere near a residential community.