up to 16 years
History of the breed
Ancestors of the Tuvan Shepherd Dog are molossoid shepherd dogs. Modern Tibetan mastiffs also descended from them. In ancient times, animals guarded herds of yaks. From Tibet, yak breeding spread to Altai and came to Tuva along with dogs. Compared with other Tibetan breeds, the Tuvan Shepherd Dog retained the most qualities from its ancestors.
Over time, dogs have been adapted to a sharply continental climate through breeding and natural selection. Tuva shepherd dogs can feel good at critically low temperatures and do not suffer from intense heat due to the unique coat structure. It protects the animal from rain and snow. This allowed them to be kept in mountainous conditions. In such an area, the dogs led a semi-wild lifestyle. They hunted and foraged for their own food. The diet of Tuvan shepherd dogs included various small rodents. If necessary, the dog could protect himself when meeting with a wolf by defeating him in a fight.
In 1944, Tuva became part of the Soviet Union, and an active struggle began against the nomadic lifestyle of the population. Everyone who was used to moving from place to place was forced to settle down and build settlements. It was simply impossible to keep such a large number of dogs in them. Some of the Tuvan shepherds were put on a chain, the rest were shot. Smaller breeds from the central part of the republic began to appear in the villages, which led to the processes of crossbreeding. In the 60s, the population of Tuva shepherd dogs decreased so much that it became critical. In addition, the breeding stock was lost. Small populations of Tuvan shepherd dogs survived only on the outskirts of Altai.
With the help of the government of the Republic of Tuva, measures were taken to revive the breed. Funds were allocated for this from the state treasury. In 2005, the first breeding show of Tuvan shepherd dogs was held, which was organized in Moscow.
Description of the Tuvan Shepherd Dog breed
The breed standard was not registered by the International Canine Federation. The IFF did not recognize the Tuvans, like many other breeds of domestic origin. The Tuvan Ovtcharka is a large dog, built in a very proportionate manner and requiring a lot of movement. Males at the withers reach 70 centimeters and weigh from 45 kilograms. Females up to 58 centimeters and 40 kilograms, respectively.
Head. Relatively small in relation to the body. well muscled. The forehead is wide, with a transition from flat to more convex. Head covered with short soft hair. Cheekbones well developed but not prominent. Brow ridges, on the other hand, stand out. The occipital protuberance is not particularly pronounced, due to strong muscles.
Muzzle. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is pronounced. May be slightly longer than or equal to the skull. The muzzle is wide at the base, gradually tapering towards the nose. In profile it has the shape of a rectangle, from above it looks like a blade.
Ears. Have the shape of a triangle, placed high on the skull, hanging. Reminds me of the letter V. On alert, the dog lifts them up and turns them slightly parallel to the muzzle. Outside covered with short hair, and inside longer.
Nose. Straight and fairly wide. The nose is large and wide.
mouth. Jaws strong, regular shape. Lower broad, with well-developed muscles.
Teeth. Have the correct shape and large size. Fangs are snow-white, in a full set. The bite can be straight or scissor.
Lips. Adheres well to the teeth, dense and fleshy. Have a dark color.
Eyes. Almond-shaped or slightly round, small in size. Set wide. The iris is brown. Eyelids fit tightly, sag a little.
Neck. Thick and powerful, medium length. It has a round shape in cross section. Moderately arched, there is a dewlap typical of the breed.
Frame. The withers are broad, more pronounced in males than in females. The height at the withers may be the same as the height at the rump or slightly exceed it. The back is strong and straight, of medium length. Loin with developed muscles, short. Croup medium length, slightly sloping. Belly tucked up.
Breast. Wide, widens even more behind the shoulder blades. Elongated, descends to the line of the elbows, sometimes even lower. Ribs are rounded. The front of the chest protrudes, the sternum is long. The load is quite pronounced, due to which the front of the case seems more massive.
Tail. Planted high, thickened at the base, covered with thick hair. In a calm state, it lowers to the hock joints and has the shape of a semicircle. In a wary state, the dog lifts it, the tail is twisted into the ring. The male has wool on it thicker, with a “brush” at the end.
Front. If you look at the dog in the ANFAS, then the front limbs look straight, located parallel to each other, set quite widely. The length of the front leg to the elbow has the same length as half the height of the dog at the withers, sometimes it can slightly exceed it. The bones of the shoulders are widely placed. Shoulder-lopard angle is one hundred degrees. The shoulders themselves are pressed to the chest, the processes of the shoulders are perfectly developed. The forearms have a direct shape, rounded and massive. The pasterns are shortened, strong, can be either straight or slightly inclined.
Rear. Straight and Parallel. Knees and hocks are pronounced. Thighs are muscular, well developed. The bones of the thighs are of medium length, stand with a barely noticeable slope. shins are short. Calcaneus elongated. Metatarsus set almost vertically, quite massive, but not long. The paws are round, dense, with long hair between the toes. There are dewclaws.
Tuva Shepherd Dog has a unique coat. It is able to protect the dog from heat up to +40 degrees and from frost up to50. Wool is made up of several types of hair. Outer long, elastic and silky, protects against any precipitation, as it has water-repellent properties. A soft and dense short undercoat is very light, like fluff. It helps regulate body temperature, regardless of the environment.
One more advantage is added to such unique properties the hair of the Tuvan Shepherd Dog practically does not need care. Only during shedding should the dog be brushed to help it get rid of the undercoat. Some craftswomen make yarn from the resulting wool, from which magnificent weightless things are obtained that have a healing and warming effect.
The integumentary hair forms a kind of “mane” in the withers area. There are “feathers” on the legs, and the tail ends with a “feather”. After rain, a dog just needs to shake himself off to become dry again. Such a special structure of wool is due to the fact that the ancestors of modern Tuvan shepherd dogs spent all their time outdoors in not the most favorable climatic conditions.
Color can be black or black and tan. Sometimes there are such shades:
Spots may be present on the neck, taking the form of a collar, as well as on the chest, legs and end of the tail. Found on the back of the nose. Black dogs with white spots are described as tricolor. Dark blotches may be present on white spots.
Tuva Shepherd Dogs are representatives of bright and independent dogs, with a decisive character. They do not have to wait for a command from the owner, they may well make decisions on their own. Therefore, you should not expect that the dog will “look into your mouth”. The head of the Tuvan Shepherd Dog is not required.
However, these dogs are quite balanced and calm. They watch the situation from the side, but keep a watchful eye so that at any moment they can react with lightning speed if something goes wrong. The dog is always ready for defense and protection.
Sometimes Tuvan Shepherd Dogs can be stubborn. Therefore, when training, you need to take into account this trait and be persistent. Outsiders are treated coldly but calmly, as long as they do not violate the dog’s boundaries or pose a threat to the family. A well-bred dog of this breed will never show groundless aggression and will not attack first. It has a high level of empathy, so it subtly feels the mood of the owner, is able to recognize his facial expressions and mood changes.
Tuva Shepherd Dogs do not show bright emotions due to their balanced nature. But they are always devoted to “their” person and family, ready to help at any moment.
The Tuvan gets along well with other dogs or cats. Again, his poise allows him to take other animals calmly. But the owner needs to ensure that they do not violate the boundaries of the dog, otherwise conflicts and division of the territory are possible. Children are friendly, but they are not recognized as owners. May be reluctant to participate in games.
The Tuva Shepherd Dog will respect the owner, who will be able to earn trust from her puppyhood and put herself as a confident leader. Attention loves, like all dogs, but does not need constant guardianship. With family shows tenderness and affection. If a person allows, he will gladly climb on his knees.
Tuva Shepherd Dogs are ideal guard dogs. They have excellent hearing, they are attentive and quick-witted. That is why they are so often kept as pets in private homes. They are able to protect large areas without losing sight of a single meter. Tuvans guard not only the land and the house, but also the property of the family, including cars. Everything that is on their territory, they consider the property of their owner. It is noteworthy that even an untrained dog will do this, since guarding qualities literally flow in the blood of Tuvan shepherd dogs.
Tuvans should never be treated cruelly. Otherwise, in response to aggression, you will receive the same attitude. Build a trusting and respectful relationship with the dog, then he will obey you implicitly.
Education and training
Tuvan shepherd needs very early socialization. Therefore, the sooner you begin to acquaint the dog with the outside world, the better. This can already be done from two to three months, when the puppy will make all the necessary vaccinations and it will pass the fed-up. The baby needs to gradually accustom to loud sounds of the street, the noise of cars, crowded places. Then the dog will perceive such an environment as a familiar. You will not have problems with fears or disobedience.
With any puppy in the process of training, it is necessary to show maximum patience and restraint. This is especially necessary for a little Tuvan shepherd. Her selfless and stubborn character will often “act on the nerves”. But only a clear sequence of your actions and perseverance can give results.
Do not raise your voice on the dog. And, moreover, do not use physical strength. The days when dogs were recommended to be raised with “cuffs” are long gone. You must be strict and unshakable, but fair. Especially when it comes to a puppy. Don’t punish the animal. Almost always, dogs do not understand causal relationships that are clear to humans.
Start training with the simplest commands. They can easily master a three-month-old puppy. These commands include the following:
To achieve a visible result, it will take more than one day and even more than one week. At the same time, classes must be carried out regularly, at least twice a day. They should not be long, since the puppy’s nervous system, like that of a small child, is not yet fully strengthened and formed, he will quickly get tired of stress. Make sure your dog is in a good mood before training, not sleepy or sick.
Be sure to reward your dog during training. It can be both affectionate words and strokes, and treats in the form of treats. Do not overdo it so as not to overfeed the dog. If the dog eats dry food, then you can slightly reduce one of the feedings, and use the “saved” pellets to reward the dog for correctly executed commands.
Immediately set the boundaries of what is permitted with the Tuvan Shepherd Dog. It is almost impossible to retrain an adult dog if these boundaries are erased from it. You firmly decided that you can’t jump on the sofa? Then stand your ground to the bitter end and do not allow connivance. By making exceptions “in the mood”, you disorient the puppy and undermine your authority in his eyes.
Maintenance and care
For a Tuvan shepherd dog, the best place to keep a private house with a large territory so that the dog can move freely around it. Then she can get enough physical activity so as not to experience discomfort.
The Tuva Shepherd Dog is not suitable for keeping on a chain. If you plan to keep a dog on the street, then she will need a spacious and comfortable aviary with a booth. These breeds overwinter in the fresh air perfectly. Let the dog out of the aviary as often as possible. Ideally, she should be there only during sleep and rest, or when strangers are in the house.
In order for the Tuvan Shepherd Dog to feel comfortable and be healthy and well-groomed, you must adhere to the following rules:
Despite its unique coat, the Tuvan Shepherd Dog should not be left in the sun for a long time in the summer. Her booth must be in the shade, and a bowl of clean water should be nearby.
Modern wet and dry food contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals that are needed for the health of the dog. That is why veterinarians advise feeding pets with just such a balanced diet.
Premium and super premium class food is suitable for the Tuvan Shepherd Dog. The fraction can be quite large. If the dog does not move much, then you need to not only cut the diet, but also choose a food with a low carbohydrate content. Otherwise, the dog will face obesity. For active dogs that take part in competitions and train a lot, you will need a higher calorie diet.
Dosing food is easy. Each manufacturer indicates the norms on the packaging. To choose the right amount of food for your pet, you need to know its weight. A portion can be measured in grams or cups.
If you feed the Tuvan shepherd with highquality food, then there is no need to take vitamins. But clean water should always be in the dog in the public domain. There is practically no moisture in dry food, as in meat or other products. Therefore, the pet will often make up for the lack of fluid in the body.
When feeding, be sure to measure the right amount of feed per appoint. If you put more in a bowl, then the Tuvan shepherd will eat everything offered to her. Unlike cats, dogs poorly control the feeling of saturation, so they can eat up “to the dump”. This leads to overeating, which is detrimental to the health of the animal.
You can feed the Tuvan shepherd with both dry and wet food. And it is best to use their combination.
Industrial feed is not only a safe and balanced diet for a pet. With their help, you can carry out the prevention of diseases and even treat some of them. So, for example, there are separate lines for allergy sufferers, dogs with kidney failure, digestive disorders, diseases of the genitourinary system, and so on.
When a dog reaches old age, its diet needs to be reconsidered. It is better to choose a special food for the “oldies”, as well as reduce the dosage.
When purchasing a puppy, take an interest in what kind of feed he grew up with breeders. If the dog had no health problems, then continue to feed him. For puppies, dog food manufacturers have separate lines. These foods are enriched with calcium and the necessary ingredients for the growth and development of strong teeth and bones. As soon as the puppy grows up, you can give him food for adult dogs, a larger fraction.
It is very important to observe the feeding regimen of the Tuvan Shepherd Dog. An adult dog is fed twice a day at the same time. The daily dose that is recommended to the animal should be divided into two parts and given in the morning and evening. If the dog did not eat the portion completely or ignored it altogether, do not leave the food in the bowl. Remove food before next feeding. The reason for this behavior may be the following:
If the Tuvan Shepherd Dog lives indoors, and is not constantly on the street, then you need to feed it after a walk. This will help avoid health problems such as bloating. It can be deadly for a dog. Large breeds of dogs are especially prone to this, to which the Tuvan shepherd dog belongs.
The dog does not need variety. On the contrary, it can only bring harm. Unlike humans, dogs don’t suffer from eating the same food year after year. If the dog is healthy and active, she has a shiny coat and strong teeth, then there is no need for any other food. But frequent diet changes can lead to food allergies and problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
Health of Tuvan Shepherd Dogs
Tuva Shepherd Dogs are distinguished by good health. They have excellent immunity, so they rarely get sick. If you properly care for a pet, then its life expectancy will be from 12 to 16 years.
The Tuvan Shepherd Dog, like other breeds, has a predisposition to a certain number of diseases. These include:
Tuva Shepherd Dogs are used to living in rather harsh conditions. And they owe their strong immunity to their ancestors, who slept in the snow and did not suffer from colds. But, if you notice malaise, lethargy or weakness in your pet, it is better not to delay and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Tuva shepherd bitches start their first estrus when they reach one year of age. It lasts 21 days and happens only once a year. But bitches can only happen after they’re two years old. The most successful days for mating is the period from 11 to 17 days from the start of estrus.
Before mating, dogs are walked, but feeding is skipped. It is better to mate dogs on the territory of a male. After a day or two, a control mating is carried out.
Pregnancy in bitches lasts 60-65 days. There can be 4-5 puppies in a litter, no more, since Tuva shepherd dogs belong to infertile breeds.
Who are Tuvan Shepherd Dogs for?
The Tuva Shepherd Dog is suitable for a balanced and consistent person. Since the dog requires perseverance and endurance in education, it must recognize the authority of the owner. Only a person with a strong character can win it.
The Tuva Shepherd Dog is not suitable for hysterical persons prone to aggression. With such a host, she can turn into an uncontrollable monster. And a dog that weighs about 50 kilograms must be well-mannered. Otherwise, it will be dangerous for others and even for the owner himself.
You should not start a Tuvan Shepherd Dog as the first dog. An inexperienced owner may simply not be able to cope with training and education. The dog will not be able to show his best qualities. Such dogs often and undeservedly end up in shelters or on the street through no fault of their own.
It is better if a more mature and mature person becomes the owner. This is definitely not the breed of dog that you can get and not deal with it. The owner should have enough time not only to walk with the pet, but also to train it.
You should also consider your financial capabilities. Such a large dog, like the Tuvan Shepherd Dog, needs a good balanced diet. This will incur some costs, as the portions will be rather big.
Not the best option for a Tuvan shepherd dog would be an owner who lives in a small apartment. The dog will be cramped in there. The ideal area would be a private house. If you start a Tuvan Shepherd Dog in an apartment, then you should be ready to give her three to four hours for active games on the street.
The Tuva Shepherd Dog has a long coat with an undercoat, so a lot of hair falls out, especially during the molting period. This breed is not recommended for those who suffer from allergies. The apartment will have to be cleaned more often, as the wool will accumulate on the floor, furniture and clothes.
How to choose a puppy?
In Moscow and its environs, Tuvan Shepherd Dogs are not as common as in their immediate homeland. It is in Tuva that most of the nurseries are located. If you want to buy a purebred Tuvan Shepherd puppy with an ideal pedigree, then the best solution would be to go to this region to get him.
Do not wean a puppy from a bitch that has not yet reached the age of two months. The baby must have a veterinary passport and all necessary vaccinations by age.
Choose the largest and smartest puppy from the litter. He shouldn’t be cowardly. When meeting you, the puppy should show curiosity and come up to sniff. Not the best option would be a timid dog that hides in a corner out of fear.
Don’t buy a dog. It’s like playing roulette no one knows what will grow out of it. Only eminent kennels that have been breeding Tuvan shepherd dogs for more than a year can guarantee you a purebred animal. In addition, unverified breeders can “slip” a sick or defective puppy to a person who does not understand dogs.