Excellent service dog.

East European Shepherd was bred in the USSR. The progenitor of the breed was German shepherd, which appeared in Russia in the early 20th century.

Initially, German shepherd in Russia was used as a sanitary dog during the war years: it delivered medicine and dressing and helped evacuate the wounded from battlefields.

Later, the dog began to be used for service purposes, by the police forces in search for criminals. Especially active these dogs began to be used shortly after the events of 1917: to search for criminals by the police and to search for violators of the state border by border guards. Also some of the dogs were used as guards by the NKVD.

Loss of the breed

Quite quickly the purity of the breed of German shepherd was lost. Breeding background didn’t really interest anyone in police and organization of Soviet Russia because above all they prized working qualities of the dogs.

There was a shortage of service dogs. Existing nurseries could not cope with a flurry of requests. Buying the dogs abroad for gold was an unattainable luxury. Breeding was entrusted to amateur breeders.

East European Shepherd

East European Shepherd

The photo by Artyom Kozhjemyakin (CC, flickr)

Gradually, the best dogs were selected and became the ancestors of the breeds of Soviet dogs. Among them there were dogs that were winners of international competitions with an impeccable pedigree, and also animalsrather removed from the standard of German shepherd. Over time successful genetic lines were merged, and the exchanges between them led to the emergence of new features of the breed.

World War 2 led to unprecedented losses among shepherds. Some animals were killed in battles, and some were killed for various other reasons. Only some of the animals were evacuated, saving breeders.

A newly created breed was replenished with trophy German shepherds.

After the war, the creation of a new breed was no longer a random event. It was carried out systematically and logically.

As a result of 50-year work by a large number of nurseries, a new breed of dogs, East European shepherd, was born.

The second blow to the breed was done by the collapse of the USSR. Thoughtless spending cuts and reshuffling of the economy jeopardized the existence of the breed. Fortunately, thanks to the enthusiasm of employees of several nurseries, the breed was saved.

Features of the breed

East European shepherd is different from German shepherd by being larger, and the body is moderately elongated.

The dog is strong, lean, self-assured and psychologically stable.

The animal is easily trained, while maintaining independence with strangers.

The dog easily builds a relationship with the owner and the whole family. If there are other animals in the family, then usually East European shepherd takes them under his wing.

The dog can work perfectly as in the armed forces, and in many other industries.

With the right attitude and training, the dog will exhibit the best features of the breed.

Despite originally having been bred for service, East European shepherd, thanks to its balanced nature can become a reliable and loyal friend to its owner or the whole family.


The article contains some materials by F. Apukhtina.

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