Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union an agreement was put in place between Russia and Tadjikistan that the border with Afghanistan would be patrolled by Russian border guards. This is a highly popular border point for drug traffickers whose sole intention is to cross it undetected.
Federal Border Guards – The “Volkosoby” (Russian for wolf dog) is a relatively new breed of Wolf Dog, bred by the Russian military to help defend and protect the Chinese and Mongolian borders of Russia. Bred in the Perm Institute of Internal Troops it originated in Russia in year 2000. A fully trained wolf dog is valued at $2,000-$3,000.
Powerful animals they are the size of, and the grip of a wolf, but retain an obedient and friendly attitude to people who are not a threat. None-the-less they are not officially sold, being instead, rented to internal security organisations.
The first 200+ wolf-dog puppies bred at The University of Cologne were considered to be a failure as they all expressed the typical wolf characteristics of extreme fearful-caution around humans. Therefore the subsequent breeding success at Russia’s Perm Institute of Interior Forces was both a big surprise and a major achievement. Such good fortune could have been achieved by virtue of the fact that the She-wolf used in the breeding process was an exceptionally, and uncharacteristically friendly and sociable wolf. And contrary to the natural wolf nature she got on just great with humans.
She herself, despite having the choice of mates, chose a male dog as her mate rather than a male wolf, and her pups are the beautiful and unique military/police dogs with their high level intelligence and the benefit of their enhanced wolf instincts that today the Russians have the great pleasure and privilege of training.
The wolf part of the breed mix involves the Caspian Sea Wolf, officially known as Steppe Wolf but also referred to as the Causican Wolf. It was classified by Ivan Dwigubski a Russian scientist in 1804 as Canis lupus campestris a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Originating in the countries around the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, it is now found only in remote regions SW of Russia, bordering the northern half of the Caspian Sea, though it has also been sighted in N Afghanistan and Iran and from time to time, the steppe regions of Romania and Hungary.
Caspian Sea wolves weigh between 35-40 kg (77-88 lbs.); have short coats in a variety of grey shades, with overlay hair in rust or brown and black shades across their back. They also have a characteristically thinly furred tail. Asian and Kazakhstan Steppe wolves are inclined to lean heavily towards more reddish toned pelts but in both cases these are the colours of the desert and designed to allow the wolves to blend into their surroundings. They are slightly smaller than the Eurasian wolf – used in the creation of the Czechoslovakian Wolf dog and not to be confused with it, and its fur is scanter, bristlier and shorter.
“Volkosoby” – Russian wolf dogs take on a variety of specialized tasks. Some are trained specifically to track mines, others are trained in drugs and alcohol detection techniques, and every checkpoint has three or four tracker wolf dogs.
It is the job of border guard headquarters to ensure there are sufficient numbers of appropriately and fully trained wolf dogs to cover all border posts. Wolf dogs in training guard the perimeters, guaranteeing absolutely, that no one has any chance whatsoever of getting past them.
Wolf dogs are very friendly work-loving creatures. “When they enter the training hall their teeth chatter as they are impatient to do exercises.” ~ Animal trainer Olga Galperina. And they have excelled on dog training programmes regularly out-performing the dogs.
In training German Shepherd Dogs took a good four minutes to sniff out a ‘criminal’ hiding in a confined space of the building. The wolf dogs took a maximum time of between fifteen and twenty seconds! (BELOW)
Unlike dogs who naturally love to run around enthusiastically investigating the training grounds in a hectic, unruly fashion prior to getting down to the process of actually working, these Russian Wolf Dogs cut straight to the chase. One circle of the area in question to establish relevant locations, is all that they find necessary before initiatiating a speedy no-nonsense track-down of the drugs, criminals or explosives hidden around the training area.
They also display an eagerness to be involved in exhibition activities at the Institute’s ‘Championship Competitions of the Internal Troop Service.’ (RIGHT>>>)
The wolf dogs are considered to be “strategic weapons.”
They have proven themselves in conditions close to the area of the North Caucasus fighting, and show a keenness to work on the oil pipelines searching for illegal connections, detecting explosives in vehicles entering oil installations.
The Russian wolf dog has proved to have a great affinity for the search and apprehension of intruders and in contrast to their German Shepherd Dog counterparts can easily trail criminals on the run for a good two days at a time without tiring.