Central Asian Shepherds are known as the primitive dog groups that exist today, dating back about 4000-5000 years ago, as per the artifacts of native land. Their history can be traced to the ancient silk road. Unlike most of the breeds, they are not artificially made but through its capability to survive in extreme climatic conditions. They originated in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and nearby areas. They are famous as “Central Asian Ovtcharkas” in these areas, which means mongrel or sheepdog and the name is applied to other dogs too from the same region.
This breed was transported to America after the abolition of USSR and became popular with its new name, Central Asian Shepherd. These dogs were used by local people or nomadic traders to save their livestock and themselves from predators like wolves and bears. They can travel through the snowy mountains to deserts and can endure harsh climatic conditions.
It got recent recognition by some various major canine organizations like AKC, FCI, UKC, etc.
Facts About Central Asian Shepherd
|Breed Group||Working Dogs|
|Country of Origin||Russia, Soviet Union, Central Asia|
|Other Names||CAO ,Central Asian Sheepdog, Central Asian Owtcharka, Middle Asian Shepherd Dog, Middle Asian Sheepdog, Middle Asian Ovcharka, Middle Asian Ovtcharka, Alabai, Turkmen Alabai, Aziat, Volkadov, Wolf Crusher, Sredneasiatskaia Ovtcharka, Middle Asian Owtcharka, Middle Asian Shepherd, Central Asian Shepherd Central Asian Ovtcharka, Central Asian Ovcharka,|
|Size & Height||Large
Male: 25 ½ inches
Female: 23 ½ inches
|Weight||Male: 120-175 lbs
|Competitive Registration / Qualification Information||NZKC, UKC, AKC,FCI|
|Litter Size||4-10 puppies|
|Color||Piebald, Grey, Rust, Brindle, Black, White, Dead Grass|
|Life Expectancy||12-16 years|
Temperament & Personality
Its fighting instinct and boldness towards large animals makes them highly aggressive. But if raised with a family it develops a strong bond with its members, it is an excellent playmate for children if raised together with them. However, their interactions need supervision as they can knock the baby down or the baby can hurt them unintentionally. If they grow up with livestock or with other pets, they also become friendlier to them. They are brave and also have the boundless working capacity, in some rural areas it is useful for herding and protecting lands.
Their large size is enough to keep the strangers away, but they bark excessively as soon as they observe any danger within their property. They do not pause to attack back to protect its family members. Central Asians have a loud booming bark which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are very loyal and protective of its family, they can do anything to please its owner. But massive socialization with different positive interactions in their puppyhood is crucial. Early age will help them to adapt suburban lifestyle easily. This breed is not for first-time owners.
It is not highly energetic, but still requires a fair amount of activity level. A house with a large yard is ideal for them. They are independent and have a tendency to run away. Hence, using a leash while taking them for long walks or allowing them to play in a properly fenced yard will serve the purpose. Being low on energy, they have stability for activities like hiking and walking. To keep them busy owners can provide them chewable or toys.
Brush their coat once a week and bath them occasionally, it will keep their coat clean and matt-free. They shed once a year and during their shedding season brush every day to remove their dead furs and dirt. Like other breeds, they also grow nails faster which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, running, etc. They do not drool or have tear stains, but cleaning their corner of the eyes with a damp cloth will keep it clean. Brush their teeth twice a week to prevent tartar development and oral problems. They can get ear infections due to water, dirt buildup and needs regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution.
The breed does not suffer from any hereditary diseases, but like other larger breeds, it might suffer from the elbow and hip dysplasia. Hence, occasional hip evaluation and vet visits can make them healthy.
Central Asian Shepherd is challenging to train due to its independent nature. They stay active outside the house, but calm and quiet inside.
It is essential to keep them on a leash and training them from early days will habituate them. To minimize their aggression high socialization is essential from an early age.
Positive reinforcements, short and varied training sessions will allow them to learn tricks and commands quickly.
Feeding the pet entirely depends upon the owner, but offering them food prescribed by the Veterinarian will be ideal to keep it healthy. Commercial dry dog foods are available for small to extra large breeds, and owners should buy accordingly.
However, 4-5 cups of dry dog food or homemade food rich in vitamins and proteins will suffice their energy requirements. Dividing meals into two halves will digest food properly and prevent bloating.