Central Asian Shepherd Dog

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Is the Central Asian Shepherd Dog right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Central Asian Sheepdog; CAS: Turkmen Alabai; Central Asian Ovtcharka; Middle Asian Ovtcharka; CAO

The basics:
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog or the Central Asian Ovtcharka (CAO) is a large, powerful livestock guardian which is believed to have originated over 5,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest breeds. Used by nomads to guard their property in tough mountain and steppe terrain, this hardy working breed is slowly becoming known outside the former Soviet Union as a fine therapy, ranch, and watchdog. The AKC now tracks them in their Foundation Stock Service, a step along the path to being recognized as a full breed in the United States. Like all working dogs, they demand a purpose and something to do with their energy, but they could be an interesting choice for the experienced dog owner with a large property and a desire to work with an emerging breed.

Appearance / health:
The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a large, well-muscled dog with a massive bone structure. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The forehead is flat. The well-boned forelimbs have powerful shoulder muscles. The eyes are dark, round, and set straight. The triangular ears are set low. The skin on the face is thick and may form wrinkles. The thighs are powerful. The body is sturdy and strong. The back is strong, and moderately long.

They do not require much grooming as they shed less. However, they shed heavily once a year, frequently called the "fur storm."

They require a lot of exercise during their first two years of growth, and after that age, moderate amounts of exercise daily. Long walks and jogs are ideal for this breed of dog.

They are relatively free of most diseases found in other breeds. Hip dysplasia (a condition marked by abnormally formed hips that causes lameness) is generally common in most Mastiff-type dogs and may occur in CAOs.

Behavior / temperament:
CAOs are busy dogs who love to work and please their masters. They like to dig and chew. Their protective instincts are strong. They may be suspicious of strangers.

Their learning rate is average. Obedience training and early socialization is extremely important for these dogs.


extremely loveable pet, cold weather, Exceptional strength speed, excellent guard dog, loyal friend


territory, dog dominant vs, family


Ferocious guardians, Instills great respect, bear looking dog, temperament testing, true working vein

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