Alabai (Central Asian Shepherd)
- Breed name: Alabai (Central Asian Shepherd)
- Country of origin: USSR (Central Asian regions)
- Birth time of the breed: XX century
- Weight: Males: at least 50 kg. Bitches: at least 40 kg.
- Height (height at the withers): Males: at least 70 cm. Females: at least 65 cm.
- Life expectancy: from 12 to 15 years old
- Alabai is by no means a fighting dog, although his participation in this cruel entertainment, unfortunately, takes place. And in the first, and in the second, and in the third place, this animal is a guard and protector.
- This dog is characterized by independence in almost all behavioral reactions. He will never act for a "piece of bread", but rather will accept food as a reward for faithful service.
- Absolutely fearless, alabai is not inclined to be the first to show aggression and attack unnecessarily. But if the warning barking and growling are ignored, and the stranger deliberately goes to provocation, then the actions of the dog will be very decisive.
- Somewhat wayward by nature, an Asian will never mindlessly execute commands, and only after evaluating the expediency of certain actions, will he carry them out.
- This dog has a very strong character, so you need to start raising it from an early age. Alabai is very touchy – never beat or humiliate him.
- The best way to a pet's heart is through understanding and mutual respect.
- It is better to entrust the training of the alabai to a professional. Gaps in the upbringing of such a "serious" dog are extremely undesirable.
- Representatives of the breed are unpretentious, but they really appreciate cleanliness and require the organization of a proper balanced diet.
- Physical activity in sufficient volume is necessary for the constant maintenance of Alabai in good shape.
Alabai is one of the most ancient breeds that has reached today almost in its original form. Originally bred as a shepherd and guard dog, Alabai has retained to this day the pronounced instincts of a guard and a fearless defender. The huge size, self-confidence, manifested in every movement of an adult animal, inevitably arouse the respect of everyone who has ever met a Central Asian shepherd. Alabai is included in the top list of the strongest dogs.
History of the Alabai breed
Experts believe that the age of the Alabai breed is from 3 to 6 thousand years. This is one of the most ancient dogs that have preserved their original appearance to this day. A terracotta figurine found during excavations of a Bronze Age settlement and dating from about 2000 BC can serve as confirmation. Interestingly, the tail and ears of the dog are docked.
The differences in names – Turkmen Alabai, Kazakh wolfhound – are due to the fact that initially the breed was formed on a fairly extensive territory – from the Caspian Sea and the Southern Urals in the west and north to the foothills of the Dzungarian Alatau and Pamir in the east and south, where several states are located today. From a geographical point of view, the name "Central Asian Shepherd", under which the breed is registered, will still be the most accurate.
Descendants of ancient Molossians and dog-like, Alabai were originally bred for pastoral and security work. Nomadic tribes needed a dog that would have great strength, fearlessness, endurance and unpretentiousness. All these features were embodied in a gigantic animal with graceful, almost feline movements and a proud look.
The spread of alabai outside Central Asia began around the 30s of the last century, and professional breeding of the breed in dog clubs started even later. Maybe it's for the best – a person just didn't have enough time yet to spoil what is inherent in this amazing dog by thousands of years of natural selection.
In the summer of 1990, the State Agrarian Industry of the Turkmen SSR approved the breed standard "Turkmen Alabai". On the territory of the Russian Federation, the FCI standard No. 335, published in January 1989, is applied. According to this classification, the breed has the name "Central Asian Shepherd". Since then, no changes have been made to the standard. The purebred Turkmen wolfhound is recognized as a national treasure of Turkmenistan (along with horses of the Akhal-Teke breed) and is prohibited from export from the country.
Appearance of the Central Asian Shepherd dog
Impressive size, strong constitution and thick coat – these are the key characteristics of the exterior of Alabai.
The height at the withers of the male is at least 70 cm, bitches - 65 cm– More significant growth is welcome while maintaining a harmonious addition.
Adult male Alabai weighs from 50 kg, female – from 40 kg.
Massive in proportion to the overall texture of the physique, the shape of the head (side view and top view) is close to rectangular. The cranial part is flat, long, with a well-developed occipital protuberance. Stop – moderate.
Blunt, medium length, almost does not taper to the nose lobe. The back is usually straight, although a slight humpback is allowed. The chin is well defined. The nose lobe is large, but does not protrude beyond the general contour of the head. The color of the lobe is black, white and fawn alabai can be lightened. Lips preferably black pigmentation, the upper lip with closed teeth closes the lower jaw. The jaws are wide and strong, the teeth are white and even, the bite is scissor-shaped.
Alabai's eyes are oval in shape, medium in size. They are widely spaced. Color – from light to dark brown. The eyelids, regardless of color, are always black.
Low set, triangular shape, hanging. Ears are stopped in the countries of origin or where the law does not prohibit it.
Alabai neck of medium length, muscular. As a special feature of the Central Asian Shepherd, the breast is distinguished.
Straight, broad, with well-developed muscles. The loin is short, slightly convex, powerful.
Deep, wide and long enough, expanding to the back. The lower part of the chest is lowered to the level of the elbows, and sometimes lower.
The tail of the alabai is set high, thick enough at the base. Before cupping, it has a crescent shape. Sometimes in the last third of the length can be rolled into a ring. Both options are equally allowed – cropped or natural tail.
Straight, parallel. The backbone is strong.
Straight, parallel with strong bones. Set slightly wider than the front ones.
Large, rounded, collected in a lump. The color of the claws is any.
The alabai has a rough, straight and thick coat. The undercoat is well developed. There are short-haired Alabai (coat length 3-5 cm) and dogs with a longer (5-7 cm) coat. Asians of the second type are characterized by a small mane on the neck, feathering behind the ears, on the limbs and tail.
Any color except blue, brown and black.
Shortcomings, vices and disqualifying signs are determined by experts depending on the severity and severity of certain deviations from the standard of the CAO breed.
Photo of adult alabai
Character of alabai
The type of higher nervous activity of Alabai can be attributed to balanced and calm. The balance of mental processes is manifested in the following behavioral reactions: dogs are calm and not subject to fussiness. In comparison with males, the psyche of bitches is more dynamic.
Alabai's character is seasoned, proud and independent. The dog is distinguished by self-confidence and even some mystery. In relation to outsiders, the animal behaves distrustfully and warily, at the same time showing amazing sensitivity to the mood of the owner. The way of life of the ancestors did not leave an imprint of simplicity and rudeness on the behavior of the alabai, this dog is rather characterized by a serious attitude to life with a touch of light arrogance.
The Central Asian Shepherd is prone to rapid social adaptation and will easily find its place in a person's family. The attitude of the Alabai towards other members of the "pack" can be described as peaceful. They also react calmly to pets living with them under the same roof. Asians treat children very well, and the difference "friend-foe" in this case is not taken into account by the dog.
A real Central Asian Shepherd dog will be restrained in showing its distrust of an outsider – it will give free rein to its protective instincts only in case of an obvious provocation from an outsider. The active defensive reaction of Alabai has its own characteristics. He will guard the territory very jealously, showing aggressiveness only in case of violation of the border established by him. In the "neutral zone" the dog will react to other animals or strangers rather with arrogant indifference.
Alabai usually behave calmly during walks, not exchanging for trifles and not reacting to the barking "mosek", although a strong leash is still necessary when walking the dog in crowded places.
Sex differences are manifested not only in the appearance of dogs, but also in their behavior. A male attacks a stranger when trying to violate the border without any warning, a bitch attacks as a last resort, trying to solve the problem by warning barking and blocking the road.
Interesting is the fact that the nomads of Central Asia immediately culled and shot dogs that showed unjustified aggression towards a person, therefore, if buying an alabai, you want to get an angry dog, then you are on the wrong track. Anger as a character trait in a true Asian is absent at the genetic level. To cripple the psyche of this magnificent dog, trying to grow an evil monster out of him, is just a crime.
If you want to have a reliable security guard and an unspoiled friend in the house, then alabai is the best choice!
Education and training
Owners of Central Asian shepherds should clearly understand that training and proper upbringing of such a strong animal, besides showing pronounced protective reactions, are necessary by definition.
Another important principle is systematic training. They should be carried out daily and last at least 20-30 minutes. It is very good if the process takes place with the participation of all members of the host's family. By the age of seven months, your pet must perform the basic simplest commands: "To me!", "Sit!", "Place!", "Fu!" and so on.
It should be remembered that alabai is quite wayward and is unlikely to obey you right away. You can achieve results only by showing a fair amount of patience and finding ways to interest your Asian in the learning process.
Do not forget to encourage a great friend for the correct execution of the command, and just for good behavior. A tasty morsel, a friendly pat on the back of the neck, an affectionate kind word will be a good incentive for your pet. It is necessary to treat with understanding and patience such traits of Alabai's character as a desire to independently know the world around him, curiosity, excessive perseverance in achieving a goal (which is often known only to him alone).
An Asian in the process of growing up becomes very attached to his "pack" and to the place of residence, which is typical for guard-type dogs. It is necessary to carefully monitor the behavior of the shepherd in relation to strangers. In communication with "your own", too, you should not allow special familiarity. Stop your dog's attempts to jump with his paws on the household. While Alabai is a puppy, it still looks funny, but to stand on his feet when an adult dog begins to show his feelings in this way is already problematic.
As for the sex differences in relation to the training process, the males are trained much easier. Girls are much thinner and more cunning, they have much more tricks in their arsenal in order not to obey the "educator".
A lot depends on the quality of the training of the Alabai puppy, so you can only trust this responsible process to professionals. Only a competent specialist can make a clumsy plush puppy a real guard dog, realizing the main purpose of the Central Asian Shepherd.
Care and maintenance
Alabaev cannot be attributed to spoiled breeds of dogs. Their ancestors lived in very difficult conditions and inherited their unpretentiousness to today's Asians. But this does not mean that the owner does not need to organize proper care for his pet.
This large dog is poorly adapted for living in a city apartment, the best option would be living on the territory of your suburban household, where you can equip a spacious fenced enclosure with a booth for the dog's maintenance. This applies more to a grown-up dog, and it is advisable to keep the Alabai baby in the house at first, giving him a place away from heating appliances and windows. The puppy should be able to relax quietly, secluded from the hustle and bustle of home. A stronger, matured dog can be transferred to a permanent place of residence in an aviary. If you are a typical city dweller, then remember to walk your pet twice a day, and the duration of each exercise should be at least two hours. If the alabai in the aviary may not be on a leash, then for walking you will definitely need a leash (preferably from a tarpaulin tape) and a muzzle.
It is necessary to systematically examine the mouth, ears and eyes of the animal. Alabai's eyes can be washed with cotton wool soaked in strong tea leaves, and it is better to treat the ears with special means applied to a cotton swab. Do not use ear sticks in any case!
These dogs are bathed once a month or less, after washing the pet, you need to dry it well.
Grooming consists in systematic combing, it is especially important not to forget about it during the spring active molting.
Alabai are very fond of cleanliness, so do not forget to wash the litter at least a couple of times a month, but you can vacuum or shake it out thoroughly every day.
Feeding such a large dog has its own characteristics: up to two-thirds of the diet should be meat. It should be lean (beef, veal) and necessarily fresh. If there are problems with the preparation of fresh meat, it is permissible to use ready-made high-quality feed. The choice of the menu is influenced by the size and lifestyle of your pet. It is impossible to feed alabai with dry mixes for small breeds of dogs.
Pickles, sweets, flour dishes, spices, tubular bones of poultry are contraindicated for the Central Asian Shepherd dog. Porridge (preferably buckwheat, rice or oatmeal), low-fat sea fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs, fermented dairy products with a low fat content are welcome in the diet.
The balance of the diet, which should contain the necessary amount of vitamins and trace elements, a sufficient (but by no means excessive) amount of food – the main rules of the organization of feeding alabai. Clean water should be available to the dog at all times.
Proper care is the key to the good condition of your pet.
Health and diseases of Alabai
Being a descendant of dogs that have accompanied nomadic tribes in Central Asia since time immemorial, alabai inherited good health and good immunity to various diseases. But this does not mean that your pet is absolutely immune from health problems. Some of them may be due to genetic problems, and some are the result of improper maintenance.
As with all large dogs, diseases of the musculoskeletal system come out on top. The large mass of the animal leads to increased loads, which is associated with high risks of hip and knee dysplasia. Time-limited walking can provoke obesity of the dog, and this will necessarily lead to the emergence of various forms of arthritis or arthrosis, and your "giant" will suffer from severe pain. The best prevention in this case will be the organization of a balanced diet with a high content of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other trace elements in the feed, high physical activity.
Be sure to deworm your dog twice a year with proven and effective means. This is all the more relevant, given that some types of helminths pose a serious danger to humans. Symptoms of infection of a dog with parasites are lethargy along with poor appetite, liquid bowel movements, weight loss. Timely measures taken will prevent the occurrence of the problem.
Metabolic disorder, which can lead to diabetes, is also a consequence of improper nutrition. Remember, the food from your table is not suitable for a dog! Salt, spices, sweets in the diet of Alabai are a direct path to health problems. Allergic reactions are also possible when using "dog" feeds, so you should pay enough attention to the proper nutrition of your pet.
To fight fleas and ticks, the most effective way is to wear a special collar. It will be much more difficult to cure demodecosis, which occurs quite often in Alabai. This disease is provoked by microscopic mites, it causes redness in the dog, severe itching, hair loss. Remedies for this disease are toxic, so it is very important to calculate the right dose for your pet. Only a veterinarian can do this correctly.
Attentive attitude to the dog, timely vaccination, proper maintenance and balanced nutrition are the main conditions for preserving and maintaining good health of a great and devoted friend.
How to choose a puppy
It is better to buy an Alabai puppy in a kennel or from breeders of this breed. This will give you certain guarantees of the purity of the breed and the health of the dog, both physical and mental. When choosing a baby, experts recommend paying attention to the following points.
- Age of the puppy. It is better to take a Central Asian shepherd dog at least two months old. By this time, the animal has already passed the course of the necessary vaccination and the procedure of acceptance, which is provided for by law.
- Mother's age. The healthiest offspring are obtained from females aged two to eight years. The previous birth should have taken place at least a year ago.
- The number of babies in the litter. Experts say that the optimal number of puppies is six.
- Gender. Girls are more inquisitive and mobile, but not as confident in their abilities as males. But if you have small children in your house, then it is better to give preference to the young lady.
- Puppy behavior. Alabai is by nature a strong animal, a dog is a leader. These qualities should also be seen in babies. Drop a book on the floor or tap the cage net with your hand – the puppy who is immediately interested in new sounds is definitely good for you as a friend.
Do not forget to evaluate the appearance of the shepherd dog. A healthy baby is active, eats with an appetite, has a shiny coat and clean skin. The nose is moist, the ears and eyes are clean. There are no signs of digestive disorders under the tail. Alabaika should be medium (compared to other litter puppies) in size, small and excessively large puppies should be rejected immediately.
Pay attention to the wool. The little dog has a plush, short one. The long coat indicates that one of his ancestors "sinned" with a Caucasian shepherd dog.
But the most important thing is that before buying a puppy, you should be sure that you need exactly alabai.
Photos of Alabai puppies
How much is alabai
There are a number of objective and subjective factors that determine the cost of an alabai puppy. These include:
- exterior. Experts distinguish between excellent, good, simple and very simple. Price gradation is directly proportional to the assessment;
- signs (or lack thereof) of a tribal marriage. This should be more of a concern to those who are planning to participate in exhibitions or want to become a breeder. A dog with a plembrak is not suitable for such an application. And don't even doubt that he will be able to become just a good friend and a reliable guard for you;
- the color of the puppy's coat. White alabai will cost much more.
The cost may also be affected by where the breeder lives. Statistics show that prices in Moscow and the region are higher than in the periphery.
Contrary to popular belief, the size of the puppy does not particularly affect the price. Nature alone knows exactly what your pet will be like in adulthood.
Average prices for small alabai start from $200 – most often these dogs have a plembrak, puppies of a simple exterior will cost in the range of $150-$200, for an Asian "with a future" you will have to pay at least $300.
Remember that the puppy must have the correct registration documents. Without them, it's just a dog that looks like an alabai. If you just love animals and want to make a devoted friend, then this warning is not for you. In the end, the degree of love, affection and loyalty has never been measured by the presence of one or another, even the most important, paper.