Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Table of contents
Alabai, Central Asian Ovtcharka, CAO, Aziat
USSR (regions of Central Asia)
Males 65-70 cm
Females 62-65 cm
Short or long
Black, white, gray, brown, red, pale, as well as tiger, pale or speckled
Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossers, Mountain Dogs and Swiss Cattle Dogs
Protection dogs, guard dogs
Features of the breed
History of Origin
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is considered one of the most ancient breeds. Central Asia peoples have been using the species for several millennia as an aid to shepherds and for guarding caravans and dwellings. The breed’s type has been shaped over the years, undergoing severe natural trials and selecting the best representatives. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog combines ancient Asia’s herding dogs, the fighting dogs of Mesopotamia, the Tibetan mastiffs, and the Mongolian Sheepdogs.
Due to its color, the SAO is commonly referred to as Alabai (Turkic for “heterogeneous color, color with spots”) – this is the second generally accepted but the unofficial name of the breed. In Turkmenistan, the Alabai is a respected breed, so it acts as a national treasure and is forbidden to export from the country. It was there that the SAO was also nicknamed the Turkmen wolfhound for the dog’s unimaginable bravery and power.
Research work on the breed in the USSR began in the 1930s. At that time, various options were considered to use the Alabai as a guard for official and government facilities. It was quite tricky to train the dog because of the nature and complex psychology of the disposition to training. In 1990, the Turkmen Republic approved the first standard of the breed. And in 1993, approved the standard of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog in the FCI, based on the national standard of 1989.
Appearance: height, weight, fur, color
Alabais are harmoniously built sturdy dogs that are among the top 10 largest dogs in the world. A massive, broadhead. A voluminous muzzle. Small floppy ears, low, triangular (cropping is permitted). The Asiatic Sheepdog has a well-coordinated, robust body and a broad chest. The musculature is developed, the body slightly elongated. The limbs are strong, with strong bones. The tail is usually trimmed, low, saber-shaped. The coat (sometimes 7-10 cm long and 3-5 cm short) is tough and rough to the touch. There are some unacceptable colors: chocolate, blue, liver. The most common colors: pale, white, brown.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is one of the few breeds considered fearless against almost any opponent. The Alabai has an instant reaction time and a sharp mind. With family and alone with the owner will behave calmly and affectionately, which is not the case with people or animals who try to attack or harm. To outsiders and guests at home will be indifferent, on their own will never show aggression. Will act as a fierce defender, only if the situation requires it.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog has a complex character, and, of course, it is not suitable for life in an apartment. It is best to have a dog in your home with a large area, where he will be able to show all the best qualities of a guard.
Taking care of an SAO is not complicated. It is enough to stick to the minimum recommendations for the maintenance of the dog. Molting is not monthly but seasonal, so combing is recommended at least once every few weeks to maintain the coat’s typical appearance. You don’t need to bathe often either – once every few months. Check the condition of eyes and ears every ten days, clean if necessary, and soiled.
It is best to start raising the Alabai as early as possible. It is a robust and stubborn dog that requires a lot of attention and effort. If you do not have enough experience, you will have to enlist the help of an experienced breeder and, even better, lessons with a dog handler. Keep in mind that the breed’s intelligence is well developed, but there is one feature of the Asian Sheepdogs – their low intelligence. In other words, the dog will think for a long time before making it.
Be persistent in your training. Remember to show off from a leadership position. Don’t let your dog ignore you. In training an SAO, you need to be a little more cunning and persistent, then everything will work out. The main thing is not to abandon education attempts in case of failure because you can raise an adequate and manageable dog only through regular training and care for your pet.
Asian Sheepdogs have good health and are hardy and robust. But even these dogs are prone to disease:
- hip dysplasia;
- diabetes mellitus;
- atrophy of the optic nerve;
- gigantism or dwarfism;
- stomach or intestinal congestion;
- mental disorders.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is undemanding with a variety of food choices. To keep the Alabai in shape, it is necessary to choose a balanced diet. The pet will gladly eat meat and fish, by-products, and dairy products. Do not forget about adding the required vitamins to the diet for normal bone formation. The peculiarity of the breed is the ability to digest and efficiently use carbohydrate foods.