The East-European Shepherd is larger than an average dog: males are 26–28 inches at the withers, while females are 23–26 inches. Along with a short coat of dense fur, they have strong (but not coarse) bones and well-developed muscles. Their coat is medium in length with a well-developed undercoat. The acceptable colors for these dogs include saddled, (that can be saturated to give an almost black-and-tan or black-and-red appearance), blanket-back black and tan, solid black, and solid liver. Some rare colors include: blue, (saddle, blanket-back, and solid), silver, and solid white. Agouti—gray and red is permitted for breeding but not desired.
The head of an East-European Shepherd is proportional to its body. It is larger and wedge-shaped with a slightly rounded forehead. The muzzle is equal in length to the skull, and the lower jaw is well developed. With large teeth in full complex, they have a "scissors" bite. Their ears are medium in size and pricked. Their eyes are medium, oval, and dark, with close-fitting, well-colored eyelids. Acceptable colors for breeding are brown, hazel, and green.
Their backs are strong, wide, and long. The loins are short and wide, well-muscled and slightly arched. Their croup is wide, long, and slightly sloping. The chest is moderately wide, while the belly is reasonably tucked up. The chests are scimitar in form, reaching the hocks or slightly longer in some cases. The legs are strong and straight; feet are oval and compact.
The East-European Shepherd is fierce, loyal, and devoted to its owners. The East-European Shepherd is balanced, confident, intelligent, and playful; however, it is known to be unsure of strangers. It is a tough breed, and can be aggressive, making it a great guard dog. Though social and mild-mannered, the East-European Shepherd may not be the right family pet if there are small children in the home; its tendency toward playful jumping could be dangerous, considering its size as a large breed.
East-European Shepherds are working dogs and need to be exercised properly. They were bred to stand many extreme climates, and they can live well outside.
This breed was created in 1930 as a working dog adapted for service in the army, and a national economy in various climatic conditions. The first standard which has formed the breed type of East-European Shepherd was approved in 1964 by the Cynologic Council of the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR.