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South Russian Shepherd

South Russian Sheepdog
Other names: JURO , southerner

The South Russian Shepherd is a breed of large dogs of white, fawn and gray colors, traditionally bred in the southern regions of Russia and Ukraine.

Brief information

  • Breed name: South Russian Shepherd
  • Country of Origin: Russia
  • Weight: 48-50 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males from 65 cm, females from 62 cm
  • Life expectancy: 9-11 years


  • The South Russian Shepherd is a rare, almost exclusive breed, the development of which is negatively affected by commercial breeding observed in recent years.
  • From the wool of the southerner, an excellent yarn is obtained, from which you can tie or pile beautiful things that have a healing effect.
  • Differentiation on the breeding line in the case of the JURO is almost not practiced, therefore, it is necessary to choose a future service dog and a companion dog within the same litter.
  • One of the favorite activities of South Russian shepherds is digging holes, which, given the size of the breed, are more like construction pits.
  • Southerners are not recommended for keeping as the first dog, as well as for people who do not have experience in training working shepherds.
  • You will have to take care of the fur of a show-class pet a lot and not without the help of groomers. Keep in mind that the lush "fur coats" of the JURO quickly fall off, attract small debris and easily change color depending on the diet.
  • Paradoxically, but, not being essentially bullies, South Russian Shepherds do not establish contacts with other dogs well and are able to make friends with few of their fellow tribesmen.

South Russian Shepherd is a shaggy athlete who has proven herself as a professional keeper of the master's peace and well-being. Possessing a serious character and innate suspicion of trespassers of territorial borders, Southerners never inflate conflicts from scratch. The only thing that will have to be taken into account when having a South Russian Shepherd dog at home is the breed's tendency to play ahead of the curve and think for the owner in critical situations.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Need for care ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Friendliness ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*The characteristics of the South Russian Shepherd breed are based on the assessment of experts and reviews of dog owners.

History of the South Russian Shepherd breed

There are heated debates about the true roots of the Southerners. Despite this, there is still no reliable data on which breed was at the origin of the origin of the JURO clan. According to one version, the ancestors of the animals were Spanish mastiff-like dogs, which were brought to the southern regions of Russia to protect fine-fleeced sheep imported from the Iberian Peninsula.

The famous Russian cynologist Vsevolod Yazykov adhered to a different theory. In his own writings, the researcher relied on a historical document according to which in 1808 Russia purchased 1,000 merinos from the Saxon Kingdom. It turned out to be unrealistic to drive sheep over such a long distance by shepherds, so German shepherds were involved in the case. When the merinos arrived at their destination, their four-legged keepers also settled in Russian territories, mixing with local dogs and giving birth to a new breed.

In addition, the formation of the historical phenotype of the Southerners was influenced by the decree of Nicholas I. In 1826, the emperor began to develop domestic sheep farming, attracting foreign farmers to work, whom he promised to exempt from all duties and taxes. As a result, shepherds from other countries reached out to the southern provinces, taking European shepherd dogs on the road, who made their genetic contribution to the exterior of South Russian shepherds.

As for the factory breeding of Southerners, it is attributed to the founder of the Kherson biosphere reserve "Askania Nova" - Friedrich Falz-Fein. A well-known animal technician conducted breeding experiments and arranged reviews of the offspring, which allowed him to obtain dogs that were valuable in the work plan. In 1904, South Russian Falz-Fein sheepdogs were exhibited at the Paris exhibition, but the triumph of the breed did not last long.

After the revolution, the number of Southerners in Russia declined sharply. To lose the war for the right to exist, animals were helped by their own dedication to the cause. YURO bravely defended sheep herds from gangs of "white" and "red" marauders, which in the conditions of the civil war did not leave them a chance of life. Before the Great Patriotic War, the number of South Russian Shepherds increased slightly, but the Germans who occupied Soviet territories did not like the defender dogs either, which led to the extermination of the breed.

By the 50s of the XX century, there were no worthy Southern breeders left in the USSR, but dog handlers were obsessed with the desire to revive a unique white-haired dog. It was possible to give the South Russian shepherds a second life by pouring the blood of "Caucasians" into her phenotype. As a result, Soviet breeders still got a valuable breed, although outwardly modern individuals differ from their relatives bred in tsarist Russia.

Video: South Russian Shepherd

Breed standard South Russian Shepherd

Visually, the South Russian Shepherd is easily confused with the Hungarian komondor and even easier – with the English bobtail. By the way, the conspicuous clumsiness and bearish clumsiness of the breed are an optical illusion created by shaggy abundant hair. Under a pile of wavy hair and a cotton layer of undercoat hides a completely athletic body, capable of showing the wonders of agility and acrobatics. A vivid confirmation of this is the circus southerners, performing the most difficult artistic tricks in one breath.

Anatomical differences between males and females are also noticeable. For example, "girls" have a more stretched body format. The difference in height between male and female individuals is not so significant. The lower limit of growth for females is 62 cm, for males – 65 cm. In terms of the effectiveness of the image, the "boys" also take precedence. Due to the stylish "mane" on the neck, the males look more advanced than their four-legged companions, whose throat area is not so chic.


The head of the South Russian Shepherd is formed into an elongated wedge with prominent cheekbones, tapering in the muzzle area. Mandatory proportions: the head in length is approximately 40% of the height of the animal. The cranial part with a flat forehead, a protruding occipital bone (bump) and smoothed eyebrows. Muzzle with an even back and a slightly noticeable stop.


Developed anthracite-colored lobe. In South Russian shepherds of pale-white, as well as fawn color in the hot season, the skin of the nose may fade, which is acceptable. However, even in these individuals, the edging of the lobe must have a rich black tone.

Teeth, jaws

The traditional set consists of 42 large white teeth with incisors lined up in one line. Acceptable variations are double first premolars, broken incisors that do not distort the standard bite. The South Russian Shepherd has very powerful grasping jaws, forming a scissor-like ratio of dentition in the bow.


A wide straight fit is typical for the eyes of representatives of this breed. The eyes themselves are oval, medium-sized, with dense dry eyelids, bordered by a black outline. The color of the iris is from light to dark brown, but dark tones are preferable.


Ears-triangles are not very large, hanging type. The landing of the cartilage is high, the edge of the ear cloth touches the cheekbones.


The oval-shaped neck of the South Russian Shepherd Dog is distinguished by pronounced dryness of contours and muscularity.


The body of the South Russian Shepherd is strong, but without a bias towards excessive pumping. The body is 10-12% longer than the height of the animal at the withers. The back in the lumbar area forms a small arc, which in mature individuals (from 5 years old) it can be smoothed.

The bend of the withers is weakly marked, the back is elongated and wide. Lumbar region with a bulge, not of outstanding length, springy. The dog's croup is located 1-2 cm above the withers and is characterized by a slight slope and a decent width. The traditional features of the chest of the southerner are the protrusion in front of the shoulder–scapular joints, the oval shape of the cross section, good width with flat ribs. The bottom of the chest is located at the level of the elbow joints, the abdomen is slightly tucked up.


The legs of South Russian shepherds are muscular, smooth, parallel to each other, and the hind limbs are much wider than the front ones. The humerus bones and elongated shoulder blades form a 100° joint angle. The dog's elbows look back. Strong wrists of the dry type turn into strong, slightly elongated pasterns with a slight slope.

The massive, dense thighs of the southerner have the same length as the lower legs placed at an angle. Knee joints are clearly drawn, hocks – with obvious angles, flattened shape. The metatarsals are dryish, not very stretched, without dewclaws. For the paws of sheepdogs, arching and oval outlines are mandatory. Color restrictions are not imposed on pads and claws. The animal moves in a balanced gallop or trot. The course is measured, straightforward.


The tails of the Southerners are quite thick, wrapped in a semicircle or twisted into a hook. The length is in line with the hocks or slightly below their level. A pacified animal carries its tail lowered, an excited animal raises it to the upper part of its back, and the tip is even slightly higher.


Mandatory requirements for the wool of the South Russian Shepherd dog: the length of the awn is at least 10 cm, rough wavy or with a fracture structure, the presence of a thick long undercoat. By the way, about the undercoat: it has the peculiarity of falling off, forming a warm protective sweatshirt. However, in the ring, individuals with a fully combed undercoat, like those with tangles, do not receive the highest score.

Purebred individuals have abundant hair, the same length on all parts of the body. On the head, a long hair forms a "mustache", a "beard" and a thick fringe.


South Russian Shepherds are fawn, gray, yellowish-white, solid white, as well as white with fawn or gray spots. An important caveat: in spotted individuals, the color markings should be extremely lightened and have blurred outlines. It is possible to have snow-white grooves (head and muzzle) in individuals of fawn and gray colors. In addition, white spots on the paws, sternum and the end of the tail are acceptable for them.

Important: South Russian Shepherd puppies have brighter colors. Completely the formation of the coat tone ends in 1-2-year-old dogs.

Disqualifying breed defects

  • Choleric temperament; cowardly, aggressive habits.
  • Violation of the breed type.
  • A square or round cranium.
  • Inversion of the eyelids, heterochromia. Green, blue, whitish iris of the eyes.
  • Lack of teeth, except M3 and P1.
  • Wool – with curls, cord-shaped, short, adjacent to the legs and head.
  • Color disorders: brown, blue, tricolor and red suits.
  • The presence of a mask on the muzzle and a cap on the body.
  • Lobe and lips with spots or in a pink tone.
  • Amble.
  • Short or cropped tail.

Character of the South Russian Shepherd

Representatives of the breed have a typical "sheepdog" character, due to which they truly love and listen to only one family member. At the same time, fawning and looking back at the actions of the owner every minute is also not about Southerners. In critical situations, dogs are able to make a decision without languishing in anticipation of a command, and it can be difficult to stop their initiative at such moments. When acquiring a South Russian Shepherd, do not forget that you are introducing a serious working dog into the house with the genes of "Caucasians" that are clearly manifested. And this, firstly, is systematic classes, and secondly, responsibility and the ability to build the right partnership with the ward, in which the owner is the senior.

JURO makes unsurpassed bodyguards and good watchmen. Representatives of the breed are able to repel the enemy's attack with a threatening growl and a disarming grip from birth. Especially the Southerners like to guard not the property, but the territory, so there is no better pet to be found for the protection of the infield and control over the suburban possessions. Dogs are extremely selective about choosing friends among their relatives. For someone, the South Russian Shepherd patiently lets down light pranks, condescendingly wagging his tail, and for someone he will never forgive a harmless attack. Accordingly, when bringing a shaggy "blond" to the dog playground, be mentally prepared for both a positive behavior model and a negative one – it is impossible to predict which "tail" the South Russian shepherd will not like.

There are a lot of photos "walking" on the Internet, in which representatives of the breed have fun with children, ride babies on their backs and "wash" the language of young dirty girls. However, there is one caveat: all the children from such pictures are family members of the dog's owner, which automatically transfers them to the animal's inner circle. If you want YURO to tolerate unfamiliar children (not to be confused with the word "loved"), this quality will have to be brought up in her. But keep in mind that loyalty to other people's children ends where the territory of the master's possessions begins. If young lovers of free apples have got into the habit of looking into your garden, it is not necessary to count on the dog's condescending attitude towards them.

Note: South Russian Shepherds do not attack the enemy directly. Usually the animal comes from the back and sides, biting the enemy from all sides. Among specialists, this technique is called "dancing".

A separate caste in the life of South Russian shepherds is teenagers. The dog stubbornly does not want to see an adult in a teenager, but he will not take him to the kids who need to get away with everything. Hence the constant conflicts with the younger generation and the struggle for spheres of influence, which should not be encouraged. As for cats and other representatives of the domestic fauna with whom the dog shares the territory, they are by and large not in danger. Sometimes, if Kotofey is older, he is able to subdue a young Southerner and climb to the top of the hierarchical pyramid. The bonuses that purr gets at the same time: the infinite respect of the dog and the opportunity to occasionally pick at his bowl of food without risking his own life.

Education and training

The South Russian Shepherd does not need to be taught to guard and guard – she initially carries these skills in her genes. But it is simply necessary to correct habits and direct animal aggression in the right direction if you do not want to keep an evil and ill-mannered creature at home that does not recognize anyone's authority.

A mandatory stage in the life of the South Russian Shepherd is socialization. If you do not plan to grow a monster from a puppy, from which the whole neighborhood flees, be sure to introduce the animal to the realities of urban or rural life. Walk your baby in crowded and noisy places, introduce other animals, teach them to ride public transport and not growl in response to other people's stroking. Remember, a dog locked behind a high fence and getting out of his "prison" from time to time is always angrier than his fellow tribesmen who are systematically walked and in contact with other people.

Young South Russian Shepherds are often uncontrollable and rebel against the established rules. On a walk, a leash and a muzzle will help to moderate the dog's ardor. For special obstinacy, more stringent measures should be introduced. For example, taking the puppy down to the ground and keeping him in such a "depressed" position helps to remove excessive excitement. Sometimes you can try a gentle slapping on the sensitive nose with a newspaper.

It is strictly forbidden to swing a fist at YURO and hit him on the head, as some would-be dog handlers advise. The reaction of the shaggy "blond" in this case can go according to two scenarios: the dog will try to prove to the owner that she is stronger, and this is fraught with bites and serious injuries, or the animal will close in on itself, turning into a nervous, intimidated creature. And of course, we remember that the breed has a high pain threshold, so in the heat of a fight it is useless to beat a four–legged guardian - he will not retreat and will not feel anything.

Prohibitive commands with South Russian shepherds are practiced first of all, which is explained by the size and strength of the breed. Imagine what would happen if a dog who has not learned the command "No!" happily jumps on you to get a portion of "hugs". Experienced breeders say that the training of the breed should be based on partnership – it will not work to force a southerner, especially a young one, to do anything against his will. The dog should get carried away with the process, want to execute commands, and the task of the owner is to cause this desire in the pet by any means. Don't expect it to be easy right away, but don't despair either. With due perseverance and an understanding, friendly attitude to the fluffy shrew, everything will work out.

As for the training courses, everything depends on the owner's desire. To make an adequate guardian out of a Southerner, basic educational techniques are enough. Everything else is additional qualifications, which are optional. About the same can be said about all sorts of tricks and tricks. Keep in mind that the South Russian Shepherd will, of course, aport a stick thrown once. But after the next couple of throws, he will look at the owner with a puzzled look, suspecting him of banal clumsiness – the breed does not like to deal with trifles, it is waiting for work. At the same time, these behavioral features do not prevent South Russian Shepherds from successfully passing the OKD and offending standards and becoming professional circus performers.

Maintenance and care

If we turn to the history of the breed, then the conclusion suggests itself that the optimal habitat for the South Russian Shepherd is a rural estate with a spacious yard, extensive land and a flock of sheep, which must be protected by all means. However, many modern individuals live quietly in urban apartments, merging into the owner's family and adequately fitting into urban life. They walk YURO twice a day, and some dogs prefer a quiet detour around the area, while others are not averse to being active and doing sports. So take into account the needs of the pet and build a walk on those exercises that the shepherd likes.


Accept, there will be a lot of fuss with such a "shaggy mountain" as the South Russian Shepherd. However, if the pet is bought exclusively as a watchman "in the yard", you can spend less effort on bringing a glamorous image – the animal will still not look too neat, such is the peculiarity of the wool. The soft dense undercoat of the Southerners needs to be systematically combed, which will prevent its dumping. In addition, the comb helps to free the wool from small debris entangled in the wavy dogskin.

During the period of seasonal molting, it is better to massage the South Russian Shepherd with a comb every day, but this mainly concerns owners of apartment and exhibition individuals. Special attention is paid to the March molt. If you skip it and do not work out the wool, by the summer the pet will "please" you with dense tangles that cannot be disassembled.

Important: do not go to extremes and do not remove all the lagging undercoat, especially if you are preparing for an exhibition. The evaluation commission will not appreciate your diligence.

Opinions on how to properly comb a southerner are divided into two types. Some breeders recommend combing the hair before water treatments. The second half advises first to wash the dog and dry it with a hairdryer, and then remove the dead undercoat. A haircut of the breed is allowed if it does not violate the standard proportions of the animal, so do not try to "mold" a giant poodle out of your ward – a shorn southerner should remain a Southerner. Hipster bangs do not interfere with animals either, although it may give the impression that the dog does not see anything because of it. It is undesirable to cut bangs, but if you really want, the hair on the forehead can be slightly thinned with milling scissors or pulled off with an elastic band. And of course, no haircuts on the eve of the exhibition.

Do not abuse frequent bathing, they spoil the structure of the dog. If you are afraid for the purity of the pet's fur, in bad weather, take him out for a walk in a waterproof jumpsuit, and protect his paws from reagents with rubber boots for dogs. The ears of the South Russian Shepherd Dog need not only hygiene, but also ventilation, so it is better to remove excess wool inside the funnel so as not to interfere with the natural air circulation. Excess sulfur and dirt can be easily removed with a clean cloth and hygienic lotion for dogs, which is sold in any veterinary pharmacy. About once a month, it is advisable to force the JURO to cut the claws, which is carried out with the help of a claw cutter for large breeds.


The easiest way to feed a southerner is to buy a bag of high–quality feed. However, many types of "drying" contain dyes in the composition, which subsequently color the wool, so before purchasing the feed, carefully study the composition. The standard food set of a dog sitting on a natural menu is meat and offal (50% of the daily diet for a puppy and 30% for an adult), cereals (buckwheat, rice), fish fillet (once a week), vegetables and fruits (sliced or salad seasoned with low–fat sour cream). Adults, as well as growing animals, need to be given calcium–rich foods several times a week - cottage cheese, kefir, chicken egg. In addition, you can enter industrial dietary supplements with mineral complexes in the menu.

Periodically, the South Russian Shepherd can be pampered with beef moslaks, which are both a source of collagen and replace a toothbrush. By the way, about feeding hygiene: the beards of South Russian Shepherds "bathe" in bowls during each drink or meal. So that the wool does not melt and parasites and fungi do not start in it, after eating, the lower jaw should be wiped dry with a clean rag.

Health and diseases of South Russian Shepherds

Southerners live 15-17 years. Most elderly individuals have dysplasia of the elbow or hip joints, as well as arthritis of any stage, which is partly explained by the size of the breed. At the same time, the immunity of South Russian shepherds is almost iron and it is not typical for them to catch a cold. But the breed is susceptible to viral diseases like distemper and rabies, so timely vaccination is highly discouraged.

A separate issue of health is the treatment of ectoparasites. In a thick "fur coat" of a dog, it is difficult to notice a tick, so saving on the purchase of insecticidal drugs is more expensive for yourself. For a long time, individuals with such genetic ailments as prolapse of the lacrimal gland of the third century and cataract have been found among the representatives of the breed. It was possible to detect the disease only in mature animals, which turned the purchase of a puppy into a lottery – even an experienced dog breeder could purchase both a healthy and a sick baby. Today, there are fewer South Russian shepherds with ophthalmological defects due to a stricter selection of producers.

How to choose a puppy

  • A healthy Southerner puppy is active, curious and brave. Barking at a stranger who has appeared on the territory of the nursery is also a good sign, if it does not turn into hysterical screeching and choking.
  • Puppies of the South Russian Shepherd are covered with abundant hair, which makes it difficult to assess their physique, therefore, if you take a dog "with an eye" to the exhibition future, it is better to invite a specialist to evaluate its exterior.
  • Choose a breeder who promises to advise on the upbringing and maintenance of the purchased puppy. In addition, responsible owners of kennels stipulate the possibility of returning the animal if the buyer has insurmountable difficulties with it. If you are sold a legal entity without any conditions, there is a reason to think about the competence of the breeder.
  • If you are not ready to turn into a groomer, endlessly washing the white coat of a pet, buy gray South Russian shepherds, who do not have such branded "fur coats".
  • Do not grab for the fattest puppy in the litter, but do not take the zamukhryshek. Overfed babies develop worse, and neglected income will have to be nursed for a long time.
  • Be sure to look at the South Russian Shepherd puppy in motion. If the type of gait does not correspond to what is described in the standard, then, most likely, the animal has problems with joints and a distortion of the position of the limbs.

The price of the South Russian Shepherd

If you need a club puppy of a South Russian shepherd with a metric and a good pedigree, prepare from $300 to $450. All sorts of "promotions" offering to purchase a representative of the breed for $50-$70, it is better to immediately dismiss. The maintenance, and even more so the breeding of Southerners, is troublesome and financially costly, so even the cost of $200 per puppy is considered unreasonably low. Only non-professional breeders who sell sick, mentally unhealthy offspring, as well as undocumented half-breed animals, can afford to sell litters at symbolic prices.

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