Central Asian Shepherd Dog FCI Standard
• great stamina
• calm disposition
• exceptionally proficient guard- and watchdog
• relatively friendly with non-canine pets
• needs moderate amount of daily exercises
• doesn’t fit well for a family with small kids
• wary and even hostile towards all unfamiliar people
• tendency to bark at nights
• can be somewhat canine-aggressive
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog was actively bred for working purposes in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and other countries in the region. The vast majority of these dogs were used exclusively as livestock and personal guardians while some others were acquired for participation in dog fights. Nonetheless this type of dog fights was much less sanguinary than notorious pit bull fights. More often than not dogs would assess each other before real actions and the weaker rival would simply retreat. As the matter of fact serious injuries were fairly uncommon in such type of entertainment.
When communists came to power in Russia they started favouring breeds that could be used for army. This resulted into deterioration of both quantity and quality of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, which was considered unsuitable for this role. Eventually its pure-blooded specimens were kept only by herders, farmers and breed’s loyal fanciers. Thanks to their good breeding practises it managed to preserve its unique identity. Since the Caucasian Sheepdog came into vogue as a highly dependable guardian, the breed slipped into a further decline. Nevertheless it is still prized for its strong protective instinct and stable temperament in its native land so its long-term future is rather well-secured.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog can be rarely met outside the Central Asian area although recently American breeders have been showing certain interest in its breeding. This dog is recognised by majority of reputable canine clubs including Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).
There are several lines of this breed.
In Russia the most popular and common type is a so-called flat-land-type (these dogs used to inhabit plateaus and foothills, but in a while were spread to the flat land). These dogs are higher and thinner, with smoother coat than a mountain type of the Central Asian Shepherd.
Those dogs that inhabit mountain regions are lower in height and have wider and more powerful build. The real mountain Central Asian Shepherd is really a table as a person can literally sit on this dog without damaging its bones.
Besides those two types there are two more lines – Italian and American.
American line of the Central Asian Shepherd is in conformation something in the middle of the flat-land-type Central Asian Shepherd and the Caucasian Shepherd. These dogs are very irregular in phenotype.
In Italy the most common Central Asian Shepherd is a smaller version of a flat-land-type. For example, this dog can weight 45 kg and have height of 60 cm, which is too small for the normal flat-land-type Central Asian Shepherd.
In Pamir region one can find another line of the Central Asian Shepherd. These dogs are higher and more powerful than other types, have long hair and are more of a Saint Bernard type. These dogs won’t have a problem saying hello to a jeep driver without standing on their hind legs. A puppy of this line one can find in India or Tajikistan, but in other countries it’s almost impossible to meet this dog.
Suspiciousness towards all strangers is in the nature of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog and sometimes it can even grow into pure aggressiveness. Plan to put a reliable muzzle and leash on your dog if you take it out in public. Being a highly territorial dog it usually becomes a very effective watcher, which will never let an unfamiliar person pass in the dwelling uncharged. Naturally it will make a ferocious and fearless guardian. Be mindful though that this dog has the nasty propensity to bark at night-time, which may not be appreciated by your neighbours.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog gets on relatively good with other dogs. Of course it gets used to dominate in the group of other canines and can act aggressively in order to prove its alpha status. This dog lacks prey drive so it’s usually polite with other creatures especially with familiar one. It can live peacefully with virtually any type of pet; just make sure to introduce your puppy to their existence as early as possible.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• gastric torsion;
The breed changes its coat once a year (usually in the spring) so get ready to resort to more frequent and thorough brushing during these periods. The remaining part of the year it’s a moderate shedder with insignificant coat maintenance.
The Central Asian Shepherd is prone to become mulish and defiant if you try forcing its submission by rude treatment and yelling. It’s worth to emphasise once again the importance of the early exposure of your puppy to various situations, people, sights, sounds and grooming procedures.
The enthusiasts of hiking and jogging will find in this dog a willing and indefatigable companion. But without sufficient daily exercises the Central Asian Shepherd Dog will demonstrate destructive and even aggressive tendencies in behaviour.