Good for Novice Owners:
- Average Size: Large
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Registered?: akc
Central Asian Shepherd Dog Breed Information
Did You Know?
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a large dog breed that originated from a large territory in what is now Central Asia. Although this dog breed may have some specific human guidance now, they didn’t originate that way and are not a man-made breed.
This dog breed is one of the oldest known breeds. It developed on its own through natural selection over more than 5,000 years. Central Asian Shepherds originated and developed over the territory that now ranges from Southern Ural to Afghanistan and from China to the Caspian Sea.
These dogs are known historically as a livestock guardian breed. They were commonly used to guard herds of sheep and goats, but they were also used for general guard duty against people and especially wild predator animals.
The Central Asian Shepherd has a natural instinct to claim and protect territory and is known to be fearless towards large predators. These dogs tend to be well-balanced and self-assured. Although they do enjoy spending time with their families, they are independent dogs.
If they are well-socialized and well-trained, they can do well with older children, dogs, and pets that are part of their family unit. Their protective, territorial, and vigilant watchdog nature makes them wary and suspicious of strangers of any species. This also makes socialization, training, and supervision even more important early on and throughout a Central Asian Shepherd’s life.
They may warm up eventually to people once they are introduced and become more familiar with them, but they generally will not be as open or affectionate as they are with their families. Like any dog breed, and especially those known to be protective and territorial, socialization is essential to avoid the causes of aggression in dogs related to socialization, training, territorialism, and threat perception.
Central Asian Shepherds are moderately adaptable dog breeds. These dogs grow to be big dogs that need space and routine. They generally do not do well in apartments and are better suited to larger homes with fenced yards where they can move.
They generally adapt well to most climates, but are sensitive to heat and extreme cold. Because of their instinct to roam, patrol, and expand territory paired with their protective instinct, it’s best to only let them off-leash in secure areas.
Although they are relatively independent dogs, they do enjoy spending time with their families and they get bored easily. Because of this, they do not like to spend long periods of time alone.
Potential health concerns to be aware of in Central Asian Shepherds include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Good breeding practices make a big difference and reputable breeders will screen their dogs to avoid passing preventable issues to puppies. So, make sure you are asking about the health and genetic history of the parents and about any health tests that have been done.
Although Central Asian Shepherds are intelligent and are capable of picking up on things easily, they are not a good fit for first-time dog owners. They are working dogs that need a job to do to be happy and healthy and are used to working independently.
Generally, they won’t respond to a command if they don’t see the point and certainly won’t respond to an owner’s commands if they do not trust or respect them. Because of all of this, this dog breed is recommended for experienced owners and puppy training classes or the help of a professional dog trainer are also recommended.
A Central Asian Shepherd has a medium-length double coat that will shed moderately throughout the year and heavier as the seasons change. Brushing a few times a week, daily brushing during seasonal shedding, and the occasional bath is usually enough to keep this dog’s coat healthy and looking great.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to take care of your Central Asian Shepherd’s nails, ears, and teeth. Nail trims once or twice a month are usually enough to keep nails from growing too long and causing issues. Weekly ear checks with careful cleaning as needed can help prevent ear infections.
Daily dental care, like brushing teeth with dog-friendly toothpaste or using enzyme toothpaste, in addition to cleanings at the vet when needed is ideal to prevent painful dental diseases later in life.
Although the Central Asian Shepherd is a large working dog, they sit in a more moderate activity range. Daily walks plus some playtime when they feel like it and some time to run are usually enough for this dog. As a working dog, you will want to give them a job to do. If you don’t, they will find one on their own, and there’s no guarantee it will be one you particularly like.
A fully-grown Central Asian Shepherd usually stands 24-31 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 88-170 pounds.
Central Asian Shepherds generally live for 12-15 years.
The Central Asian Shepherd is also known as the Alabai or Alabay.