What is a dog for?
Generally speaking, the first question to ask yourself before acquiring a dog is: which dog, for which temperament? For which way of life?
These questions are all the more important as the Ovcharka in general - and the Russian Shepherd in particular - are not "everyone's dog". Because of its nature, its authenticity, its role to play, the Youjak is a dog that requires a minimum of experience in the dog world.
Ignoring this advice, you risk the greatest disappointment. So, without any pretension, we invite you to take note of the following remarks...
Don't pick up a Russian Shepherd Dog on its looks !
If it is true that the Youjak has a very attractive appearance (its fur attracts children as well as adults!) you should not ignore that you are dealing with a shepherd dog, whose richness resides essentially in its shepherding qualities, not in its exterior!
Do not take on a Russian Shepherd if you are not available.
The Russian Shepherd's job is to guard and defend his territory, i.e. the place where you live. But he must live in harmony with you, sharing the house and the outdoors. He is only happy where you are, sharing your life and activities. A Youjak cannot live away from you, in a kennel or isolated from the family. He would quickly become unhappy and even aggressive. Similarly, if your work or family commitments prevent you from being available to your dog, do not consider getting a Russian Shepherd.
Do not get a Russian Shepherd if your home is a "museum".
At the risk of repeating ourselves, we can say that the Youjak defines the house as an integral part of its territory. He wants to live with you. His comings and goings will therefore be inevitable!
Don't expect to have a perfectly clean floor: because of its fur, this dog carries mud, dust and sand, especially in wet weather! You will also be pleased to see large clumps of hair on the ground when the dog moults. The underside of its "beard" is usually moistened by drool. Finally, you will need to secure the knick-knacks that can make your cozy nest so pleasant...
Don't get a Russian Shepherd if you don't go out.
Like all dogs, the Youjak needs exercise. They have a curious (and sometimes runaway, especially in males) temperament and like to expand their territory.Therefore, several daily walks are necessary for his physical and mental balance. If you are unable to take your dog out on a regular basis due to temperament or physical condition, do not consider a Russian Shepherd. Similarly, it is difficult to envisage such a dog living in a flat: it needs space and above all, a territory to guard.
Do not take a Russian Shepherd if you are looking for rarity.
It is not a dog to be noticed, in dog shows or elsewhere. If the fashion has been for "attack dogs" in many cities, the Youjak cannot and should not be one of these animals. It is too powerful a dog to be put in the hands of irresponsible people looking for some kind of social recognition through their animal.
Do not expect the Russian Shepherd to behave like a Belgian Shepherd or a Rottweiller.
This would be a big mistake !