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Central Asian Shepherd Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cute Central Asian Shepherd Dog_AnetaZabranska_shutterstock

Height: 25.5 – 27.7 inches
Weight: 80 – 110 pounds
Lifespan: About 14 years
Colors: Black, brindle, fawn, gray
Suitable for: Families, homes without other pets, those with lots of space
Temperament: Protecting, Calm, Intelligent

The Central Asian Shepherd, or Alabai Dog, is a dog breed that has been around for thousands of years. If you are looking for a large, loyal protector, then you are in the right place. Since the Central Asian Shepherd has evolved due to nature and not with human intervention, they have some powerful natural instincts when it comes to protection.

The Central Asian Shepherd is a brilliant animal, and there is no question that they will instantly become a member of your family. Understanding why a Central Asian Shepherd acts and behaves as it does is an essential step in becoming the owner of one. This guide will help you determine if you and your family are ready to bring a Central Asian Shephard home. We will help you decide if the Alabai Dog is the perfect fit for your family.

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Central Asian Shepherd Puppies

Image by: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Central Asian Shepherd Puppies are not going to be cheap, and they can also be a little challenging to find. The good side is that with the health history of these animals, a puppy from an Alabai Dog breeder should be a very healthy animal. Be sure to take your time to find a quality breeder that puts the puppy’s health as a priority.

When you welcome a Central Asian Shepherd into your home, expect to have a calm and protective dog by your side. They are very intelligent, but training can get difficult since they also have an independent temperament.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog in the grass_Ann Tyurina_shutterstock
Image Credit: Ann Tyurina, Shutterstock

3 Little-Known Facts About the Central Asian Shepherd

1. They’re part of the oldest known group of dogs in existence today.

The Central Asian Shepherd is part of a group of dogs that can be traced back over 5,000 years. This is not a human-made breed of dogs, and in fact, there are signs that evolution may still have a hand in the Central Asian Shepherd even today.

The Central Asian Shepherd is a protector. It will do whatever it needs to make sure that its family and its territory is safe. Years ago, when Central Asian Shepherds traveled with nomadic tribes, the dogs were used to protect people and their belongings. The Central Asian Shepherd bonds well with people and want to work to protect them. They are not livestock herding animals.

2. They are large and getting larger.

Evidence has shown that the Central Asian Shepherd may not be done evolving. There is no maximum height or weight on these dogs. If you look at the trends, you will see that they are getting larger. If you should purchase a Central Asian Shepherd, your puppy will not be a puppy for very long, and it really won’t even be a puppy size at all. These dogs grow fast, and the average puppy is enormous to begin with.

3. They can live up to 17 years.

Although the average lifespan of a Central Asian Shepherd is around 14 years, they have been known to live as long as 17 years. This is a significant life span for a larger dog and a protector and friend that you will be able to spend a good portion of your life with.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Central Asian Shepherd 🧠

When it comes to finding a dog that is going to be able to sense when you are threatened, there may not be a more intelligent dog than the Central Asian Shepherd. Although the Central Asian Shepherds are smart, protection is their specialty. If your home or property is in trouble, they will know it, likely before you even do.

They are relatively calm animals until they feel the need to spring into action. The problem that you are going to run into with a Central Asian Shepherd is helping them decide who is an enemy and who is not. They will quickly learn that you and your family are their responsibility. This can get difficult when outsiders come in, and the dog sees them as a threat.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Since Central Asian Shepherds are relatively calm and great protectors, they make an excellent family pet with the proper training. Without the appropriate training, your friends and family that come over could be subject to a pretty nasty welcome from your Central Asian Shepherd.

This dog will see guests entering your home as a threat to your family until you teach it otherwise. If you plan on getting a Central Asian Shepherd puppy, you are going to need to work quite hard on helping them maintain their natural instincts while still letting them know when you are safe and not in need of protection. This can be a delicate balance.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Some Central Asian Shepherds will have no trouble with other pets, and some will feel the need to protect against that pet. It is probably best to bring a Central Asian Shepherd into a home with no other pets and establish the proper training protocol and procedure. As we mentioned earlier, you are going to have to put some time into helping your Central Asian Shepherd, and the addition of other animals in the household may make things difficult for all of you.

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Things to Know When Owning a Central Asian Shepherd:

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding as to if the Central Asian Shepherd would be a good fit for you and your family. If you are still with us, then chances are you are now are moving onto the next steps of what your life will be like with a Central Asian Shepherd . There are some unique characteristics of owning a Central Asian Shepherd, and this guide will help you prepare for what life will be like.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

It is always best to consult with your vet when it comes time to decide about your Alabai Dog’s diet. If you are going to be purchasing food from a manufacturer, you will want to make sure you get something that is tailored to an extra-large breed. There is no question that the Central Asian Shepherds are considered to be extra-large in the world of dogs.

It can be useful to include a mix of fresh ingredients in your dog’s diet as well. By consulting with your vet, you can come up with a plan to keep your dog in shape and healthy. As a puppy, your Central Asian Shepherd will need to eat quite a bit of food because of the rapid rate of growth. As they age and the growth slows down, you should be able to establish a more routine and less frequent feeding schedule.

Big dog central asian shepherd_Shamilini_shutterstock
Image Credit: Shamilini, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

All dogs need exercise. The Central Asian Shepherd is not a high-energy animal that will have you throwing a ball or running circles around your yard for the majority of the day. However, they do need regular exercise and space to run.

Since this is an extra-large breed dog, you will want to make sure that your dog has ample space to run and play. Purchasing a Central Asian Shepherd in a city apartment with no parks nearby is going to be very difficult for the dog.

The ideal situation would be a large yard and a daily walk. The Central Asian Shepherd is brilliant and independent as well. You should make sure that your dog is carefully supervised while exercising, and it would not be smart to walk your dog without a leash.

Just because your Central Asian Shepherd has low energy and may seem mostly calm does not mean that you shouldn’t enjoy hikes or walks with them often. These are strong and athletically capable dogs that just happen to have a calm demeanor.

Training 🦮

Central Asian Shepherds need an owner who is willing to work with them on training. These dogs are very smart, but they are also quite independent. The mix of these two characteristics can cause some delays when trying to train and have your dog understand a concept.

Your biggest struggle when it comes to training is to teach your dog who is a threat and who is not. Naturally, anyone outside of your family is going to seem like a potential cause for concern to your Central Asian Shepherd. This can lead to challenging behaviors like barking and jumping when someone comes to the door. From the time your Central Asian Shepherd is a puppy, this behavior will need to be worked on.

The Central Asian Shepherd does best when they know who the master is. They will develop a strong bond with their master, and that will be a lifelong bond. The person in charge of training will need to be consistent, firm, and understanding. The Central Asian Shepherd wants to have a relationship with people and will work hard to protect those closest to them.

Grooming ✂️

Once a year, your Central Asian Shepherd is going to shed, and you are going to wonder how a dog could have that much hair. Luckily, this is just once a year, because there will be hair everywhere and a lot of it. However, for the rest of the year your Central Asian Shepherd will shed, but overall they will need very little grooming.

An occasional bath is excellent to keep your dog clean and their coat in great shape. You will need to trim your dog’s nails and brush their teeth regularly as well. Keep an eye on your Central Asian Shepherd’s ears and make sure they are cleaned regularly. If ears are left to buildup wax and debris, they could be subject to infection. Overall, the Central Asian Shepherd is a relatively easy dog to groom and care for.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog_volofin_shutterstock
Image by: volofin, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions ❤️

Overall the Central Asian Shepherd is a very healthy breed of dog. However, there are always health issues that come up depending on the individual dog that you end up with. The Alabai Dog has less inherited diseases than many of the human-made breeds.

Minor Conditions
  • Weight management
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

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Male vs. Female

Deciding between a male or female Central Asian Shepherd is a primarily personal decision. The one thing that is worth mentioning is that because the Central Asian Shepherd can be a bit aggressive when threatened, the female may be the better choice if you have children.

While female Central Asian Shepherd Dogs do tend to be a little less aggressive, the most important thing with this breed is going to be proper training. If your Central Asian Shepherd Dog is confused as to if you need their help to protect yourself, your family, or your property, then there could be severe behavioral issues.

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Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a very large dog that will be extremely loyal and protective of your family for many years, the Central Asian Shepherd, or Alabai Dog, is a great choice. These strong and intelligent dogs are sure to become instant family members. Take into consideration that you will need to work diligently, in the beginning, to make sure that your Alabai Dog understands who the master is.

Training your Central Asian Shepherd is going to take time and patience, but when it is complete, you are going to be very glad that this is how you invested your time.

The last thing we will say about the Central Asian Shepherd is that it is essential to remember that this is not a human-made breed. The Alabai Dog has evolved and has come to be from nature and nature alone. For some dog breed purists, this is a significant fact to consider and one that should be understood fully before purchasing your Central Asian Shepherd puppy.

Featured Image Credit: AnetaZabranska, Shutterstock

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