Central Asian Shepherd (Alabai): photos and characteristics of the breed

Среднеазиатская овчарка (алабай)
Photo: Central Asian Shepherd (Alabai)

Central Asian Shepherd Dog or Alabai is one of the oldest breeds , the history of which is closely related to natural selection. The ancestors of this breed - mastiffs, people who inhabited the territory of modern Central Asia, tamed for a long time, according to various sources, from 3 to 6 thousand years ago. All the peoples who lived here were occupied by nomadic cattle breeding, and in this connection they needed certain qualities in dogs. They had to protect cattle, help people hunt, repel attacks by enemies, be strong, courageous and enduring.

History

It was these qualities that were cultivated in dogs. Preserved information that even during the reign of the ancient khans, the breeding of dogs was given great attention. A special person was assigned to each dog, the number of dogs numbered about 10,000 heads, and everything related to breeding was controlled by the khans. For centuries, shepherds selected only the best dogs for the breed. Coward, weak, aggressive to the person representatives were strictly rejected. At the same time, there was a need for a dog that did not show aggression towards a man, as in Asians the Asians freely ran between the yards and did not have to rush to people and children. Their main task was not to allow predators to flocks and protect the life and property of their owners. Under the supervision of the Central Asian sheep dogs, children and women were quietly left when all the men left the village for hunting or fighting.

In a word, a kind of national selection was conducted, which was even more demanding and stiffer than when breeding dogs for entertainment or decorative purposes. Central Asian Shepherd Dog - this is a real dog for life, passed natural selection, a loyal friend and protector of man and his property.

On the territory of Central Asia there lived many peoples, and they called their dogs in different ways. Therefore, there are quite a few names of this breed even now. Officially it is called - the Central Asian Shepherd, it is under this name that she is recorded in the RKF and FCI. But she also has other unofficial names: Turkmen alabai, Kazakh wolfhound. This breed can in principle be called as someone you want, but the standard is still one, and it must match the description of the Central Asian Shepherd. If you are trying to sell a Kazakh wolfhound, trying to convince yourself that this is a new breed, then either the merchant himself is mistaken or deliberately misleading you.

In general, one can not say for sure that the excretion of this breed is the merit of only one of the Asian peoples. On the entire territory occupied by the modern states of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Iran, Tibet, actively bred a guard-shepherd dog, which was called a wolfhound.

If you compile a short genealogical tree of the breed, then its foundation will be the ancient mastiffs, the trunk is wolfhounds, and one of the branches is the Central Asian Shepherd. On the neighboring branches are the nearest relatives of the Central Asian Shepherd: Mongolian and Caucasian sheepdogs , Tibetan and Spanish mastiffs.

In the USSR, breeding work with the breed was started in the 30s. 20th century. The International Cynological Association of the breed was recognized in 1989.

Breed standard: basic characteristics

Среднеазиатская овчарка (алабай)
Photo: Central Asian Shepherd (Alabai)

The standard of the Central Asian Shepherd is very interesting, first of all, because the representatives of this breed were difficult to conclude in certain limits of the criteria. Depending on the place of origin, dogs have dissimilar features. Therefore, even with one standard, specialists distinguish different types of Asians.

Turkmen Asians - strong hardy dogs, large, but very harmonious and proportionally folded. They are characterized by lightning fast reaction, insensitivity to pain, mind.

Tajik Asians have a heavier type of constitution, these are St. Bernard-like dogs with a longer coat of wool.

The group of Uzbek Asians is very heterogeneous, but mainly for the members of this group is characterized by smaller growth, an easier constitution resembling a birch-like dog.

Kazakh Asian basically preserves the typical features of the breed, but closer to the north there are many mestizos that differ in both smaller sizes and not so brave.

Strangers unfamiliar with the breed often confuse it with the Caucasian shepherd, Moscow watchdog or even St. Bernard. At the same time, she has her own typical features, according to which it is easy to determine that he is the famous Alabai, the representative of Asia

The first description of the dog of this breed was made by professor SN Bogolyubsky in 1926. Then the CAO standard was adopted in 1931, which was subsequently changed or supplemented several times. The latest edition of the breed standard was adopted in 2003.

The dog's format is moderately stretched, with streamlined shapes. The best way to convey the impression of the appearance of Alabai is the words of shepherds: "The wind made them like that." Indeed, despite the massiveness, the dog does not seem like a rough clumsy rabbit. It is proportionally composed, in its movements there is harmony and swiftness. Musculature is voluminous, but not embossed. The skin is thick and elastic.

The lower limit of growth: for males - 70 cm, for bitches - 65 cm. The length of the forelimbs is approximately half the height of the dog. The body of the bitches is somewhat more stretched. Greater growth is welcome, but the proportionality of the addition must not suffer.

The head is massive and resembles a rectangle in shape. A smooth transition from the forehead to the muzzle, but due to the pronounced superciliary arches, the impression of greater sharpness is formed. The muzzle is massive and almost does not narrow to the nose, with thick lips, the upper one of which closes the jaw.

Jaws large and broad with white large teeth.

A massive neck is characterized by a suspension.

Hind and straight limbs are straight and parallel with well-developed musculature. The movements are smooth and look like felines. They move by trot, pushing their hind limbs and freely unbending, with a wave forward, front limbs.

The coat is thick. The standard allows the existence of dogs with short hair, tightly fitting, and with a length of up to 10 cm, forming a mane, fluffy tail, pants, feathers behind the ears.

Color has a wide variety of options, except for any combination of blue and brown.

Ears and tail stop in the first days after birth, but this is not an obligatory requirement of the standard, and unoccupied ears and tail are not considered a disadvantage at exhibitions. There is also a congenital bugtail.

The nature of Alabai

Среднеазиатская овчарка (алабай)
Photo: Central Asian Shepherd (Alabai)

Perhaps, the main feature of Asians is their fearlessness and courage. We can say that they are completely ignorant of fear. This was due to the fact that for millennia in the ancestors of this breed courage and courage were cultivated. They never doubt: to attack or not to the enemy, they always attack him when he crosses a certain boundary, which Alabai himself defined as his territory.

Despite the formidable appearance, people should not be afraid of Asians, their aggressiveness is directed mainly at other dogs. This quality is due to the fact that their ancestors protected nomadic villages and their flocks from large predators, including wolves. However, this does not mean that Alabai will gladly meet all strangers. On the contrary, this dog is distrustful of all those who are not part of their "flock".

All these qualities made the Central Asian sheepdog a valuable guard and watchman. An important feature, which also lies at the genetic level, is the activity of this breed in the dark time of the day. When the shepherds went to bed at night, it was time for the dogs to guard the flocks. This quality is actual and now, for it is under the cover of darkness that attacks on someone else's property most often occur.

But with the members of his family this dog behaves like a charming cheerful person. She loves to play, run, make a company on walks and cheer you up with her antics. The only problem is that they are foreign dogs, it is not easy to accustom them to friendly communication with which Alabayev, but it is possible. Especially since they have a mortal grip, they, like their ancestors prefer to grab their enemy just behind the head without warning bites to other places. All this makes the owners think about safety at walks, since this breed really poses a real threat to other dogs.

But she treats pet animals out of her "pack" peaceably, moreover, she considers it her duty to protect every chicken from the master's yard. Therefore, as a dog for protection of agricultural animals, Alabai is simply indispensable. This is the defender, the shepherd, and the savior of your beds from the invasion of goats or poultry. Such versatile abilities are explained by the natural intelligence of Alabai. This is a very smart dog that is able not only to learn commands, but to think about the situation and make decisions. For example, while protecting the flocks, the dogs themselves decided what distance from the sheep to the predator is dangerous, and when he approached this mark, they immediately attacked him.

Such serious intellectual abilities led to the formation of independence of Alabai and his confidence in their abilities. Therefore, this breed is distinguished by perseverance not only in achieving its protective objectives, but also in confronting the owner. Without serious educational work and consistent training is indispensable.

Education and training Alabai

The main point in the upbringing of the Central Asian Shepherd is the display of calm persistence and perseverance on the part of the owner. In puppy and teenage years, dogs willingly make contact and are easy to train, but if you already got an adult Asian who is used to disobeying, then perhaps a miracle or an experienced cynologist will help him to re-educate you.

If a representative of this breed sees in his owner some kind of weakness that will help take him up, then he will definitely take advantage of this. It's not just about dog aggression, it can use various tricks, for example, pretending to be sick, so as not to perform some unpleasant command. If the owner regrets her and the team remains unfulfilled, Alabai will remember this for a long time and will use her tricks in the future. The most important thing is to get the dog to obey unconditionally.

The second important point is to learn how to suppress aggression in Asian with respect to other dogs. A particularly unpleasant feature is Alabai's dislike of small dogs. To overcome this negative moment, it is necessary, from the puppy's age, to teach Alabai to go for walks with dogs of other breeds, to punish for the manifestation of aggression. Otherwise, it will be difficult to visit exhibitions and walk along the streets of the city with a grown Central Asian sheep dog.

Care and maintenance of the Middle Asian Shepherd

Среднеазиатская овчарка (алабай)
Photo: Alabai

This dog is surprisingly undemanding to the conditions of detention. Of course, for such a giant, the best place is a spacious enclosure in the open air. Its content in the apartment will be painful for the dog, who inherited a craving for the free life of nomads.

The main attention should be given to the nutrition of the dog, especially during the period of its formation, which completely ends only by three years. Inadequate calcium deficiency, as it leads to problems in the joints, which for a massive dog of high growth is especially fraught with unpleasant consequences. Therefore, vitamin-mineral top dressings are obligatory. Alabai has an amazing ability to find various useful herbs during walks in nature and to pinch them in the same way as once protected by him sheep.

But do not be fooled by the hope that the content of the Asian will cost you a penny. A large dog must eat accordingly, and in order for your guard to be vigorous and perform its functions well, you need to include protein foods and vitamins in his diet.

Wool Alabai has the ability to self-purification, so even those dogs that are kept in the cage and are not familiar with shampoo look remarkably neat compared to other breeds under similar conditions.

The most common diseases

The most common health problem of Central Asian sheep dogs is arthritic joint diseases : arthritis, tendonitis, arthrosis, myositis, etc. This is due to the large body weight and increased load on the paws. Prevention of such a disease is a full-fledged exercise and caring about that in the diet enough vitamins and micro- and macro-elements.

Apartment content and low mobility of alabai is fraught with irregularities in the work of the heart - arrhythmia and as a result of myocardial infarction .

The lack of exercise affects the excess weight of the dog, which leads to many cardiovascular diseases.

Genetic anomalies of Alabai is cryptorchidism in males (not ovulation of the testicle in the scrotum) and infertility in bitches. There is also a deviation from the number of teeth, a different eye color and much more.

Problems in the endocrine system are reflected in the appearance of dogs (they are low, with dull hair) and on the processes of metabolism inside the body.

Interesting Facts

  • Wherever Alabai lives, snakes and scorpions will not live.
  • Archaeologists have found during the excavations of the settlement of the bronze age of Altyn-Depe a statuette of a dog resembling Alabai. The most surprising thing is that the ears and tail of the dog were also stopped.
  • Among the largest breeds of dogs Alabai takes 8 place.
  • The largest of the registered Alabai called Bulldozer weighs more than 125 kg and reaches a height of 2 meters (when standing on its hind legs). The menu of the champion: 10 liters of porridge and 5 kg of meat per day.
  • Alabai is translated from Turkic as a multi-colored one.
  • The ancestors of the Alabs participated in gladiatorial battles and were distinguished by nobility to the defeated enemy.

Choosing a puppy

Choosing a puppy of the Central Asian Shepherd dog is an important difference from the general methods of selecting puppies of other breeds. The fact is that the heterogeneity of dogs, united by the standard of this breed, can lead to the fact that you will get a puppy that does not quite meet your expectations. Depending on belonging to one of the breed groups described above, the puppy will have a special type of constitution and psyche.

In a word, you need to carefully trace the pedigree of your puppy if you want to buy yourself a real Asian with typical character traits and appearance. Address to the nurseries with a reliable reputation, ask for a full report not only about the pedigree of the father and mother of your puppies, but also about the peculiarities of this particular mating: whether it was planned, whether there are any closely related bonds. Such a careful analysis will help you choose the real Asian.

If the color of your chosen one copies the color of any famous ancestor, then, most likely, the puppy will be similar to him and the character. This feature has long been noticed by breeders of Asians.

In other respects, one should rely on the generally accepted methods how to choose the best puppy from litter. Of course, it is desirable that there should be a choice, that is, if you take the last puppy, then you understand that most likely all its previous buyers were rejected. Although sellers usually come up with various excuses: "we wanted to keep it for ourselves," or "he was first booked and then refused."

When there is a choice, you can see how the puppy behaves in the team. You will clearly see the makings of the puppy's future behavior if you put a bowl of food in front of him. Leaders of all will push and the first to start eating, and weaker puppies will be content with what they leave brothers and sisters. And under a weak puppy, one should not bear in mind the smallest, namely the more timid and indecisive.

The price of Alabai puppies

Price of the breed, cost, rubles There are many answers to this question. At one time there was a real fashion for Alabai, and they were often bought for protection by the owners of houses in the private sector. Serious breeding such owners are not engaged, but if the puppies do appear, they are sold inexpensively - from 3 to 5 thousand rubles . Of course, you should understand that you do not need to require a pedigree in this case.

Puppies with a pedigree are at the breeders of fans from 10 to 15 000 rubles . Acquire an Asian in one of the famous nurseries will cost you at least 20,000 rubles .

Articles about the breed

Photos alabai

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