For the past three weeks we have been dealing with Caucasian dogs that have become very uncontrollable by the owners and handlers. This breed has also been one of the most difficult dog to handle - each time we encounter them - whether we went to the client’s house or when they are brought to the clinic. Don’t get me wrong, they are usually good with the owners until a stranger comes in then they become something else with tendency to attack their owners when they make attempt to stop the dog.
One of our clients observed that her Caucasian dog was vomiting and called our attention to it. We went there to treat the dog. The dog started barking at us and started refusing to be chained. The woman’s 10 year old son was the bravest of the house so he went to restrain Apollo (a 60kg Caucasian dog) who was proving difficult. After several attempt to chain him proved futile he finally chained Apollo. Out of annoyance Apollo went after the boy and gave him a bite at his back. The boy ran for his life and Apollo was eventually stopped by the chain which was stuck between the tyre of their car and the floor. The boy’s shirt was already torn from Apollo’s bite and he was bleeding. The boy’s father came out after he heard what had happened and ordered the removal of Apollo from their home saying that a dog that will attack his owner is not a worthy pet.
Apollo has been a gentle dog as a puppy until a dog trainer was employed to teach the dog to behave properly. I can’t tell if the trainer did a good job but Apollo was always a calm dog but very intolerant of strangers. I have been his vet from when he was acquired but he eventually became hostile to me which came without a surprise to me. Caucasians need to live with you for quite a while to be able to remember you; talking from my experience attending to many of them.
Rex, a Caucasian dog aged 5 years, male, was kept in our kennel for boarding. He was too hostile to me that I needed to use special means to handle him until I was able to become friends with him. One day, he raised his leg to urinate on one of my valuables and I raise a stick to beat him, he growled with his teeth showing ready to attack me, I had to lower the stick with style pretending it was not intended for him. I was being careful because he didn’t grow up with me. I discovered that using angry voice tone worked better to make him behave than using stick to beat him. There was a time I would tell him to go into his kennel and he would growl at me as if I shouldn’t force him. I used food to take him inside the kennel instead sometimes I use the word - “inside!”
Rex almost removed my thigh once. My brother, who was unknown to him, came visiting and went where I chained him. He barked continuously at him that I came close to calm him and as I tried to touch him, he snapped at me. I was quick enough to escape a huge bite before he eventually caught the edge of my jeans trouser and tore it. Rex is a lovable dog that I always forgive him when he misbehaves. He loves to play like a puppy when he is in a good mood especially during grooming. I like to see him happy. He has some funny movements and displays. He behaves very nice when he is sick. He actually knows when you try to help him and will cooperate very well.
Caucasian dogs are not for amateur dog owners or handlers. They can be stubborn when they want to and can prove very difficult to teach good manners sometimes so you need to be firm to make them obey. The more you allow them to have their way as puppies the more they grow believing that they can do anything they want. They can ignore commands when they feel like.
Special attention should be paid to the male Caucasian dogs. When they are territorial, they can be brutal and might end up dominating everyone in the house if no one stands up to them. Many of the cases we have witnessed regarding aggression by this breed are mainly exhibited by the males especially the dogs above 2yrs of age but Apollo is only 11months.