The Georgian Shepherd: Everything You Need to Know

The Georgian Shepherd, also known as the Nagazi, is a large, powerful breed that has a long and fascinating history with a confident, courageous, and protective personality. 

In this article, we will explore the Georgian Shepherd breed and explain everything you need to know about the dog – from its history and physical traits to personality and health concerns. 

History and Origin of the Georgian Shepherd Dog

The Georgian Shepherd dog can trace its origins back thousands of years, and its development is closely tied to the region where it originated – the Caucasus Mountains.

The Nagazi breed has a rich history that spans many centuries, and it has played an important role in the lives of the people who have lived in the region throughout that time.

Ancient Roots of the Breed

The Georgian Shepherd dog has been a part of the region’s history for as long as people have lived in the area. Records of the breed’s existence can be found as far back as ancient Assyria, where they were used as war dogs.

Later, the Persians and Babylonians also utilized them for various purposes. One of the reasons that the Georgian Shepherd dog was so highly prized in ancient times was its strength and endurance.

These dogs were capable of working long hours in difficult conditions, and they were fiercely loyal to their owners. This made them ideal for guarding and protecting both people and livestock in the harsh mountain terrain.

Development in the Caucasus Mountains

Over time, the Georgian Shepherd dog evolved to adapt to the harsh conditions of the Caucasus Mountains. They developed a thick, waterproof coat to withstand the cold, wet winters, and their muscular build helped them navigate the rugged terrain.

The breed’s natural instincts for guarding and protecting were also honed over time, making them highly effective at fending off predators and intruders. This was especially important in the mountainous regions where they were often used to protect flocks. 

Recognition and Modern Breeding

The Georgian Shepherd wasn’t officially recognized as a breed until the 20th century, but it had already become a popular breed both in Georgia and beyond. Today, the breed is still highly regarded for its strength, loyalty, and protective instincts.

Physical Characteristics of the Georgian Shepherd Dog

Georgian Shepherd dogs are a large and impressive breed, with distinctive physical characteristics that set them apart from other dogs. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature, making them a popular choice for families and farmers alike.

Size and Weight

Male Georgian Shepherds weigh at least 110 pounds, while females typically weigh over 99 pounds. Males stand at a minimum of 26 inches tall at the shoulder, and females at a minimum of 24 inches. 

Despite their large size, Georgian Shepherds are surprisingly agile and quick on their feet. They are able to run at high speeds and make sudden turns, making them excellent at chasing off predators.

Coat and Colors

The Georgian Shepherd has a thick, double coat that comes in any color, including black, white, tan, mottled, pied, and various combinations of these colors. 

The Georgian Shepherd’s coat is insulating and keeps the dog warm even in the coldest of winters. The coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and prevent mats & tangles. 

Distinctive Features

Georgian Shepherds have a distinctive, wolf-like appearance, with a broad head, high-set ears, and a thick, bushy tail that curls over their back. They have a muscular build and a strong, imposing presence that commands respect.

The sharp, intelligent eyes are another defining characteristic, as they seem to be able to see right through you. Breed members are always on the lookout for potential threats and are quick to react if they sense danger.

Temperament and Personality Traits

While Georgian Shepherds may look intimidating, they are actually known for their gentle and loving nature – at least with their families. They are not only loyal and affectionate, but they also have strong protective instincts. 

Protective Instincts

Georgian Shepherds have a natural instinct to protect their owners and will not hesitate to defend them from any perceived threat. This means that early socialization is crucial to prevent aggressive behavior toward strangers.

Georgian Shepherds need to be taught how to differentiate between a real threat and a harmless situation, such as meeting a new person or encountering another dog.

Loyalty and Bonding

Georgian Shepherds are incredibly loyal to their families and bond strongly with their human companions. They thrive on attention and affection and need regular exercise and playtime to keep them happy.

Georgian Shepherds are not meant to be left alone for long periods of time, as they can become bored and destructive if they don’t receive enough attention and stimulation.

Intelligence and Trainability

Georgian Shepherds are highly intelligent and have a natural desire to please their owners. However, they can also be independent and stubborn at times, which can make training a bit more challenging.

Georgian Shepherds require a firm, consistent approach to training and plenty of positive reinforcement and rewards for good behavior. With proper training, they can be well-behaved in a variety of situations.

Health and Lifespan of the Georgian Shepherd Dog

Like all breeds, Georgian Shepherd dogs are predisposed to certain health issues, but with proper care and preventative measures, they can lead healthy, happy lives.

Common Health Issues

Some of the health issues affecting the Georgian Shepherd include: 

  • Orthopedic Problems: Common inherited joint conditions in the breed are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia 
  • Eye Conditions: The breed is prone to eye diseases such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and glaucoma 

Expected Lifespan

With proper care, the average life span for a Georgian Shepherd dog is around 11 to 12 years. Dogs with good genetics from responsible breeders usually live longer and are healthier.  


Georgian Shepherds are a fascinating breed with a loyal, protective temperament. While their physical appearance is imposing, their loving and protective nature makes them wonderful companions. 

With the right care and attention, a Georgian Shepherd can be a lifelong companion and faithful friend. Research the breed carefully and ensure that you find a reputable breeder. 

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