The Alabai dog – also called Central Asian shepherd dog – is a challenge that not everyone can cope with. The keeping of this dog is only possible with a lot of dog experience, time and patience. The Central Asian Shepherd needs a lot of space and exercise. So no need to say that this definitely isn’t a beginner dog.
The CAS is one of the most reliable guard dogs out there. They are not only livestock guardian dogs, but also amazing working dogs and military dogs that deserve great respect from their owners.
These purebred dogs go by several other names, including Middle Asian Ovtcharka, Central Asian Ovtcharka and MidAsian Shepherd.
So let’s get over the Alabai FAQs, and see if these dogs are the right fit for you.
Origin & History – The Wolf Crusher
It’s believed that the CAS dog is the oldest dog breed out there. Yes, even older than the Tibetan Mastiff. He has to thank his existence today to natural selection that made him as robust as this breed is.
Some known facts suggest that the origin of the Alabai dog breed lies in the vast territory of Central Asia. Different types have developed in different regions through breeding and natural selection.
Their ancestors, Shepherds from the region around the Oxus River lived 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. They even protect cattle and humans from large predators and wild animals, such as bears and wolves. They were reliable livestock guardians, but also beloved family members.
The Central Asian Shepherd dog is related to the Kangal dog and the Tibetan Mastiff. Overall, however, this group is probably also an ancestor of European mountain dogs.
As they grew more and more popular, they could be found from the Caspian Sea to Chine, and from the Southern Ural Mountains to Afghanistan.
This dog breed was bred as a shepherd dog. It protects the herd from wild animals. The brave dog is also used as a watchdog, which scares strangers simply because of its size.
The CAS is also recognized by numerous kennel clubs, including the American Kennel Club AKC.
The Alabai Dog Breed Info
A Central Asian Shepherd looks impressive due to its size and physique. The dogs come from the Central Asian regions and were kept here as work animals. Due to the large distribution area, the dogs often differ in appearance. The nature of the different types can also vary.
The CAS from desert regions is lighter than the representatives from the mountain regions. He has a slimmer, longer-legged body. It also has a rather rectangular body shape. Dogs from mountainous regions, on the other hand, are rather massive, with a wide physique and a compact body shape. However, the transitions between the different types are fluid.
All Central Asian Shepherds are large and muscular. The breed standard only prescribes a minimum height. It should not be less than 30 inches for a male dog and not less than 25 inches for a female dog. But their average size is considerably bigger than that.
Due to the different regional characteristics, there are dogs with medium-long and short hair. However, due to their origin, all dogs have a very dense undercoat that protects against cold weather, rain and snow. The coat colors are diverse, from black to gray, straw and fox to white. The colors appear spotted or with patches.
Many of the dogs stand out due to wrinkles and “slack” skin. The thick skin sometimes wrinkles in the neck, which gives the molosser its special appearance. Originally, the ears of the Central Asian Shepherd were cropped. However, today ear cropping is banned in many countries. Their eyes are dark and almond shaped, and due to their intelligent look, many people say that they have “human eyes”.
Temperament & personality
The Central Asian Ovcharka should only be run by very experienced dog owners. The upbringing of the sometimes stubborn dog is time-consuming and must be carried out with great consistency. Since the dogs are very strong, they are physically superior to most people. This can become problematic, as dogs can often react suspiciously and sometimes even aggressively.
Since the dogs were bred for defense against large animals, they are very courageous. Without much warning, even seemingly abandoned dogs attack in the event of a threat. Dealing with the Central Asian Ovcharka requires a loving consequence and a strong self-confidence.
In general, the breed is known for its serenity. However, his reaction to threats can be very violent. If a Central Asian Shepherd is not consistently trained from the beginning, he can become aggressive towards humans and animals. In general, the dogs are not very well tolerated by other dogs.
This breed should not be kept in a small apartment. They can be good family dogs, but only if trained well.
Many dogs form a close bond with their people. However, it is important that he has daily contact with his owner. An isolated attitude promotes aggression.
Are they good family dogs?
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a strong dog who enjoys bonding and playing with children, especially those who are considered family. They can, however, be aloof towards strangers and unfamiliar people, including visiting playmates.
It’s crucial to socialize! Central Asian Shepherd Dogs get along well with cats and other dogs, but especially with other Central Asian Shepherd Dogs, due to their mutual understanding.
It is critical to teach children how to behave with dogs, and it is never a good idea to leave little children alone with any dog. Playtime between children and dogs should always be supervised.
Because the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a powerful breed, keep an eye on them while they’re around tiny children. They’re enormous and could harm or knock them over by accident.
Caring for a Central Asia Shepherd
They need fairly little grooming. The coat does not have to be brushed often even with the long-haired representatives of the breed.
Get your dog used to the brush from an early age. That way you will keep the shedding at a minimum.
Always make sure that the joints of the dog are protected. Inappropriate nutrition and unfavorable movements can promote joint diseases. This includes, for example, hip joint dysplasia (HD), which is also heritable.
Your young Alabai dog should not move too much. Especially jumping and climbing stairs should be avoided. Instead, the dog should burn his calories during long walks.
One thing that is very important with Central Asian Shepherds is that you start the socialization process early on. Only that way can he feel comfortable around strangers and other animals.
The CAS dog is a robust breed. It places little demands on food. In their regions of origin, the dogs are fed rather sparingly. That’s why adult dogs need little food.
When feeding the large dogs, there are some special features that should be taken into account. A balanced diet is particularly important in their youth. During growth, the dog needs sufficient nutrients. At the same time, the large-growing dog needs little protein in the first year.
Special dog food for puppies and young dogs of large breeds is adapted to the needs of these animals in growth. Young dogs should get low-protein food. The feeding should be divided into several portions per day. You need to have a good understanding of your dogs nutritional needs and try to fulfill them as much as possible.
Even in adulthood, it makes sense if you feed special dog food for large breeds. Especially when feeding with dry food, the large pellets are better.
Your Central Asian Shepherd will shed once a year, and you’ll be surprised at how much hair a dog can have. Fortunately, this only happens once a year, because there will be a lot of hair everywhere. Your Central Asian Shepherd will shed for the remainder of the year, but a lot less. Good news are that they will require very little grooming in general.
Bathing your dog on a regular basis is a terrific way to keep their coat healthy and clean. Your dog’s nails should be trimmed and their teeth should be brushed on a regular basis. Make sure your Central Asian Shepherd’s ears are cleaned on a regular basis. If wax and debris are accumulating in their ears, infections are more likely. Overall, grooming and caring for a Central Asian Shepherd is pretty simple.
Every dog requires exercise. The Central Asian Shepherd is not a high-energy animal who will spend the majority of the day throwing a ball or running circles around your yard. They do, however, require regular exercise and running space.
Because this is an extra-large breed dog, you’ll want to make sure he has plenty of room to run around and play. It will be tough for a Central Asian Shepherd to find a home in a city apartment with no parks nearby.
A large yard and a regular stroll would be perfect conditions. The Central Asian Shepherd is intelligent and self-sufficient. It’s important to keep an eye on your dog while he’s exercising, and it’s not a good idea to walk him without a leash.
Just though your Central Asian Shepherd is low-energy and appears to be largely quiet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them on frequent hikes or walks. These are canines who are robust and athletically adept, but who also have a calm attitude.
Training an Alabai dog
These dogs are not only intelligent, but also self-sufficient. When attempting to train and have your dog understand a concept, the combination of these two attributes can cause some difficulties.
When it comes to training, the most difficult part is teaching your dog which objects are dangerous and which are not. Anyone who isn’t a member of your family will, understandably, appear to your Central Asian Shepherd as a potential threat. When someone comes to the door, this can lead to difficult behaviors such as barking and jumping. This behavior will have to be worked on from the moment your Central Asian Shepherd is a puppy.
When the Central Asian Shepherd knows who his master is, he performs best. They will form a close bond with their master, which will last for the rest of their lives. The individual in charge of training must be dependable, firm, and patient. The Central Asian Shepherd desires to form bonds with people and will work tirelessly to defend those who are closest to them.
Health of an Alabai dog
Natural selection has helped to eliminate the Central Asian Shepherd Dog’s flaws. Slowly, but steadily, this puppy has developed genetic resistance.
They’re healthy dogs with no known breed-specific health issues. They may, however, be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia due to their big size.
But even though they are generally a healthy breed of dog, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need regular visits to the vet.
Their enormous size does make them predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia. You can ask for genetic testing or medical papers to find out if your puppies parents ever had an issue with that.
Another thing that you need to have in mind is that these pups also gain weight pretty easily. So obesity is a huge issue for them too. Make sure you feed your pup a healthy and balanced diet.
The life expectancy of the Alabai dog
The CAS is a large breed of dog. These dogs can grow to be 28 inches tall and weigh more than 110 pounds. They are enormous, and their size played an important role in their survival and work. The disadvantage of being a big dog breed is that they live for a shorter life span. The longevity of breeds such as the Great Dane, Newfoundland, Bullmastiff, and Scottish Deerhound is relatively short.
The good news is that the CAS dogs live longer than most other breeds. The average longevity of these dogs is 13.5 years, with some owners reporting pets lasting up to 17 years. That’s unusual for such a massive breed. If you choose an Alabai dog, you may rest assured that they will stay with you for a long time.
Most common health problems
Canine hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint becomes unstable as a result of both developmental and environmental factors. Doodles are prone to this bone and joint disorder. The femur does not meet the pelvic bone appropriately, causing the bones to wear out prematurely.
Later in life, your dog may develop arthritis, which can be excruciatingly painful. This ailment shows itself as a peculiar walk, shaky posture, or limping, all of which are plainly seen in your beautiful pup. To preserve your dog’s quality of life, discuss care with your veterinarian as soon as feasible.
But it does not end there. The CAS can also have elbow problems such as elbow dysplasia. Many large popular dog breeds suffer from these conditions.
Heart disease is the major cause of mortality in Alabai dogs over the age of ten. The majority of heart disease in dogs is caused by the weakening or slow distortion of heart valves, causing blood to seep back around the weakened valves, putting strain on the heart. Heart valve disease (also known as mitral valve disease) causes a heart murmur in pets. Weight control and veterinary care can help avoid heart disease, in addition to a healthy lifestyle.
In Alabai dogs, obesity can be a serious health issue. It’s a dangerous disease that can lead to or exacerbate joint pain, metabolic and digestive difficulties, back discomfort, and heart disease. When your pet looks at you with those adoring eyes, it’s tempting to offer her food, but you can “love her to death” with leftover people food and doggie goodies. Instead, hug her, clean her hair or teeth, play a game with her, or take a stroll with her. She’ll be happier, and you’ll be happier as well!
Pollen, mold, and dust allergies cause people to sneeze in humans. Allergies in dogs cause itching rather than sneezing. Atopy is a term used to describe a skin allergy that is common in Alabai. Most typically affected areas include the feet, tummy, skin creases, and ears. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of one and three, and they can become more severe with each passing year. The most common symptoms of allergies are licking the paws, stroking the face, and recurrent ear infections. The good news is that these illnesses can be treated in a variety of ways.
Final thoughts on the Alabai dog
Now that you learned so much about the CAS dog, you must be wondering: “Is this the right dog breed for me and my family?”
The Central Asian Shepherd is an excellent choice if you want a huge dog that will be exceptionally devoted and protective of your family for many years. These powerful and clever canines will quickly become members of your family. Take into account that you will need to put in a lot of effort at first to ensure that your dog understands who the master is.
It will take time and patience to train your Central Asian Shepherd. But after you have completed this, you will be glad you spent your time this way. They will be obedient and adored by the people in your community.
This might not be the best choice if you still have small children at home. However, if your kids are at least the age of six, you can start thinking about bringing an Alabai puppy into your family.
The last thing we’ll say about the Central Asian Shepherd is that it’s important to realize that this isn’t a breed created by humans. This dog has evolved and is solely the product of nature. This is a key fact to consider for certain dog breed purists, and one that should be fully appreciated before purchasing your Central Asian Shepherd puppy.
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