The Russian Bear: A Complete Guide

The Russian Bear is certainly aptly named. After all, thanks to its sheer size and vast coat, it does often resemble a type of bear, so the confusion is easy to understand.

Also known as the Caucasian Orchavka, its birthplace was in the area of the Caucus mountains. Some may also refer to it as the Caucasian Shepherd.

However, looks, and indeed names, can be deceptive. While their image may make you fear them, looking deeper into what they are like from a number of different perspectives could completely change your understanding.

At the end of the day, the Russian Bear is going to provide you with a different experience than you were expecting, and there is little doubt that it will be extremely positive for you.

Bred as a working dog, it still plays a significant role in protecting flocks of animals from predators such as wolves.

Cutting a rather menacing silhouette, it exudes raw power while also having a range of personality traits that means it is a wonderful pet.

So, be prepared to learn more as this is a breed of dog that is not going to disappoint.

Russian Bear Puppies – Before You Buy…

Russian Bear
 The Russian Bear can be loving and kind.

A Russian Bear is not your normal type of dog, so being prepared for what is to come will be paramount. This begins when you are looking at buying a puppy.

This small, cuddly ball of fluff is going to quickly grow into something substantially larger and more powerful. That means you should be honest with yourself regarding a number of key questions.

  • Are you able to handle a large dog?
  • Do its size and power concern you?
  • What do you expect them to do on a daily basis?

As you work through our guide, we are sure that you will come up with your own questions that you may like to have answered before you make your purchase.

What Price are Russian Bear Puppies?

The cost of Russian Bear puppies depends on its lineage as well as your location. However, there are some general figures to be aware of.

The average price in the United States is anywhere between $1500 and $2000. Of course, the better the lineage then the higher the price.

Do check that the pedigree is as good as possible as that is going to ultimately lead to you having a better puppy in general.

How to Find Reputable Russian Bear Breeders?

In order to locate reputable Russian Bear breeders, you should always look for advice from the Kennel Club.

They will be able to guide you towards those breeders that can be trusted, and you know they have been checked out thoroughly.

Aside from that, do search for other owners of the breed as an alternative option.

Ask them about the breeder that they used and whether they had any concerns, as this personal recommendation does count for a lot.

3 Little-Known Facts About Russian Bear Puppies

Russian Bear
The Russian Bear is a relatively healthy breed.

Russian Bear puppies are fascinating, and even though they are not the most well known of breeds, there are still various interesting facts surrounding them.

Perhaps these three facts will serve as good examples.

  • They were bred to tackle wolves.

Herders and farmers initially bred Russian Bear dogs to protect their animals, and one of the main reasons was to tackle wolves.

Of course, you are not going to have to deal with wolves everywhere, but it just tells you more about their heritage.

  • They grow until they are 2 years old.

A Russian Bear puppy keeps growing for longer than most dogs partly due to their sheer size. You are looking at it taking up to two years for them to reach their full potential.

  • They require lots of calcium.

Thanks to their sheer size, you need to be absolutely certain that a Russian Bear puppy is getting more than enough calcium.

You are best to seek some advice regarding this as it will clearly lead to a stronger skeleton and reduce the chances of them developing other issues later on in life.

Of course, there are a number of other facts surrounding this particular breed, but then there are perhaps more important things that you should learn about them first.

Physical Traits of the Russian Bear

Russian Bear
The Russian Bear doesn’t enjoy exercise that is too stressful on its skeleton.

The Russian Bear is certainly an imposing dog, so it is no surprise that it is their physical traits that will often draw people towards the breed.

At first sight, you will understand why they have been given this kind of alias

For its coat, you must realize that they have a double-coat and that is going to require some additional grooming to keep it in a healthy condition.

The number of times they need to be groomed increases in the spring as they then shed their winter coat.

Do note that if your dog has exceptionally long hair, then they may require daily grooming.

Beneath all of that fur is a dog that has been bred with absolute power in mind. It has a large head with powerful jaws, but it will be surprisingly agile for its size.

This is a dog with real strength behind it, so if you are unable to contend with that, then this is not going to be the dog for you.

How Big is a Full-Grown Russian Bear?

Perhaps a surprising thing about a full grown Russian Bear is that it is not as big as some believe it to be. In fact, you are looking at the average size being just north of 30 inches tall to the shoulder.

When it comes to the weight, then it is clearly a large dog. The average weight can vary between 99lbs to 155lbs, with the males being the heaviest.

According to the Kennel Club, a male will often be a minimum of 110lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Russian Bear?

The life expectancy of the Russian Bear dog is generally around 10 to 12 years.

This is pretty much average for a dog of this size, but there are clearly a number of factors that will influence their life expectancy.

We will discuss some of those factors throughout the rest of our guide.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Russian Bear

Considering the Russian Bear was bred to protect, guard, and fight wolves; it is perhaps a surprise to hear that their general temperament is not as vicious as you think.

Saying that, they do not just attack anything in sight as they are more refined than that.

They were bred so they could protect, but also identify when things are not a threat. That being said, their natural instinct is to hunt, so there is always the chance that they could become vicious at any moment.

The Russian Bear is also very intelligent. However, this means you need to keep their mind stimulated as much as possible or you could have a difficult dog on your hands.

They are known to be extremely loving towards their close family, which does make them good pets. They are also surprisingly good with children as well, but this is also part of their breeding.

They need to be taken out into public as a puppy as much as possible and interact with other dogs and people to view them as being less of a potential threat.

This will lead to a dog that is more gentle and tolerant of others, but it will still be able to react to an unknown threat.

This is certainly a breed of dog that is capable of so much more than most people realize.

The Russian Bear’s Diet

For their diet, then you have to start off by accepting the need to provide them with the best food possible.

Steer clear of cheap dog food due to the poor quality ingredients as they do serve no purpose.

They need to be on puppy food for those first two years of life. Be sure that it is a high-quality food with the correct number of both calories as well as calcium for the breed. Seek specialist advice on this.

As an adult, you may want to check that the food they receive contains Glucosamine. This will help to prevent the development of various joint problems later on in life.

This is a breed that requires quality food that delivers a powerful punch of the correct nutrients to support its body. Better quality food, including real meat and fish, will certainly make a difference to their overall health.

How Much Exercise Does a Russian Bear Need?

Keeping your dog fit and healthy is important. However, knowing how much exercise to give your dog is not always that easy.

In the case of the Russian Bear, then you are generally looking at them requiring around one hours worth of exercise on a daily basis.

They are, therefore, regarded as being moderately active. Do avoid harsh exercises that will potentially cause problems with their joints.

They also require a large backyard so they can roam around it on a daily basis. If you do take them out, then they need to be on a leash and kept under control as they can be aggressive towards other dogs.

If you do not provide them with enough exercise, then they can become bored quite quickly, and this is thanks to their intelligence. Ultimately, it could lead to some destructive behavior.

Russian Bear Health and Conditions

Due to its sheer size, it automatically results in people believing that the Russian Bear is going to have a number of health conditions.

While that can play a role, there are certain conditions that are more prevalent in this breed.

They will often develop issues with various joints throughout the body due to their sheer size. That is why it is so important to get the correct calcium levels when they are young as that can reduce the chances of this happening.

Issues such as hip dysplasia can be passed down from the parents, so do ask if the parents have been scanned at all first.

They are also more likely to develop eye problems compared to other dogs later in life with uveitis a particular concern.

Do check to see if the parents have had their eyes scanned as this too can pass down through their genes.

Aside from those two issues, you need to pay particular attention to their weight as they are already naturally around as heavy as a dog should ever be.

Feed them the correct food, and exercise accordingly, to stop obesity or those joint problems will be made worse.

My Final Thoughts on the Russian Bear

The Russian Bear is certainly an imposing dog, but you should not allow the air surrounding the breed to impact your decision to perhaps own one.

Instead, look at its temperament and personality to get a better picture.

This dog can be loving and kind, but at the same time also extremely protective.

Do remember that it requires space to explore your backyard as that is going to keep its interest going and to not become bored. Being bored is never going to work out well with this breed.

Their health is generally fine aside from joint and eye problems, so making sure that they get that calcium as a puppy is going to be essential.

Also, they do not enjoy exercise that is too stressful on their skeleton, so gentle walks is going to ultimately prove to be the best.

The idea of having a dog known as the Russian Bear may not be the first option that leaps into your mind, but just put the name to one side for a moment.

When you do this, you see a dog that loves their owners dearly, is loyal, confident, and great with kids.

Now, does that sound like a dog that you should fear? Yes, you need to respect it due to the sheer size, but behind that exterior is a huge soft character if you just allow that side to come out.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

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OVERALL SUMMARY

4
Cost to Buy
9
Cuteness Level
8.5
Family Safety
8
Friendliness
5
Health Concerns
6
Life Span
4.5
Exercise Required
4
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.1 / 10

Written by Emily Green

Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 2 dogs; Bilbo and Hannah, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she's not nerding out on dogs, you'll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in BuzzFeed, Dogtime, and ModernDog.

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