Central Asian Shepherd - Origin, Character and Behavior

Central Asian Shepherd: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is one of the oldest breeds of...

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The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. It is a dog originating from Central Asia which, originally and due to its strong temperament and great courage, was used to protect livestock and other property. Today, although a rare breed in Western Europe, it is still used as a guard and defense dog.

If you want to know more about the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, don't miss this PlanetAnimal fact sheet in which we will see together what are the main characteristics of this breed of dog!

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  • Asia

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group II

Physical Characteristics

  • Muscular


  • Large


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 45-100

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • Low


  • Balanced
  • Strong
  • Dominant

Ideal for

  • House
  • The guard

Hair type

  • Smooth
  • Big

Origin of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog, also known as the Alabai, is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence and is estimated to have originated 4,000 years ago. This is a breed resulting from the natural selection of Tibetan Mastiffs and Mongolian Shepherds.

It originated in the nomadic tribes of Central Asia, where these large, sturdy dogs were used to protect livestock and other possessions from predators and thieves. Today it is used as a guard dog in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Characteristics of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

The Alabai is a large, corpulent, robust and powerfully muscled dog. Contrary to the other races, it presents a very marked sexual dimorphism. The males are larger, more massive and more temperamental than the females. For example, males generally reach a weight of 50 to 79 kg and a minimum height of 70 cm, while females weigh between 40 and 65 kg and measure at least 65 cm.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) includes the Central Asian Shepherd Dog in group 2, made up of pinscher and schnauzer type dogs - molossians, mountain dogs and Swiss mountain dogs. Specifically, it is included in section 2.2. molossoid dogs, mountain type.

Physically, they are characterized by:

  • They have a massive head: rectangular in shape, with a moderately defined fronto-nasal depression (stop). Their nose is black, although in white or tan dogs it may be a little lighter.
  • Their eyes have an expression of confidence with a very dignified side: they are medium in size. Eye color can vary from dark brown to hazel. The rim of the eyelids is usually black.
  • Their ears are hanging: they are medium in size, triangular in shape and low set. This is a breed in which the ears are traditionally amputated, however, we must point out that this practice is strictly prohibited in our country, as it is contrary to animal welfare.
  • Their neck is strong and muscular: it ends in a deep and wide chest.
  • Their limbs are strong: they have powerful muscles, especially the thighs.
  • The tail is thick at the base and set a little high: it hangs naturally to the hock in the shape of a sickle. When the animal is alert, it rises to back level or higher. It is also common to find dogs of this breed with their tails docked, although this is prohibited by law.
  • The coat is double, abundant, smooth and thick: most dogs have a coat of about 3-5 cm in length.

It is a very hardy breed, able to adapt to a wide variety of climates. Now that we have seen the physical characteristics of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, let's see the colors of his coat.

The colors of the alabai dog

The coat of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog can be any color (white, black, gray, reddish-brown, gray-brown, brindle), except blue or brown.

Character of the Central Asian Shepherd

Difficult living conditions and work as a guard dog influenced the character of this dog. In general, they are strong-tempered, confident and proud dogs. They are protective of their family, but at the same time they are quite independent dogs who expect to be treated with respect.He is not a very confident dog and he is often wary of people or dogs he does not know.

Despite his strong character, he is a stable, calm and quiet dog, who adapts well to changes in his environment. They are guard dogs renowned for their endurance, their courage in the face of predators and their natural instinct for territoriality. When they feel threatened, they react quickly.

Caring for a Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Like any breed of dog, the Central Asian Shepherd needs a number of treatments to stay he althy:

  • Grooming: one brushing per week and one bath per month will be enough to keep his coat in perfect condition. His claws should be trimmed regularly and his ears should be cleaned weekly to prevent wax buildup. His teeth should be brushed every 2 or 3 days to prevent periodontal disease.
  • Exercise: although he is a calm and low-energy dog, it is not advisable to keep him confined to an apartment and we recommend that you adopt one if you have at least a large yard in which to live. he will be able to run a little. They are dogs with great endurance, which makes them ideal for guardians who like to go out for walks. For safety reasons, they should always be kept on a leash on walks and should only be let loose in fenced areas.
  • Food: its diet can be based on kibble or it can be homemade, but in all cases, it must be adapted to the age and level of activity of the animal. As this is a large breed, it is essential to pay particular attention to the diet of the puppies. Overfeeding during this period can be responsible for significant developmental diseases.

Education of the Central Asian Shepherd

The Alabai is a slow maturing breed. Their character is formed during the first three years of their life, and it is essential that they receive an appropriate education during this period. In general, they require extensive socialization and the use of training techniques.

Being a breed with a strong and proud character, it is not recommended for people who are inexperienced or without knowledge of canine education and behavior.

Find out more information about dog socialization!

He alth of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

The Alabai Shepherd or Central Asian Shepherd is a rustic dog, which has fewer genetic diseases than other breeds. However, it is not exempt from suffering from pathologies that reduce its quality and life expectancy, joint pathologies being the most frequent in this breed.

How to adopt a Central Asian Shepherd?

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a very rare breed in Western Europe. Finding a Central Asian Shepherd in our country can therefore be a difficult task. If you are considering adding an Alabai to your family, you can contact a club to guide your search.

In any case, remember that what's really important when adopting a new family member is not that they meet any breed standard, but that you can adapt to their needs and lifestyle.

Central Asian Shepherd Pictures

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