Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Central Asian Shepherd Dog Pictures
Help Us Out
We are still learning about this breed. If you have some knowledge and/or experience with this breed and would like to contribute to this page, email dogsters (at) dogster (dot) com.
Talk About Central Asian Shepherd Dogs
Loyal, but suspicious of strangers
Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are an ancient landrace of guardians that can still be found today protecting families and livestock in Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, etc. Several breeds fall under the heading, including the slightly better-known Central Asian Ovcharka, the Alabai, and the Sage Koochee.
I love their loyalty and lovingness toward their family. They are quiet around the house as adults, but can be very difficult as puppies, and often go through a very strong fear period at 6 to 10 months. They are much more active than most large guardian breeds. They bark a great deal, especially females and especially at night.
Because they originated as caravan guardians, they need room to run and should be exercised regularly. Anyone considering this breed should have a large (1/2 acre or more) well-fenced yard and should also have regular leashed walks and opportunities to run off-leash in a safe area. The dogs are suspicious of strangers, and will protect anything they consider their territory from a perceived threat. This is not a happy-go-lucky dog park breed.
They get along beautifully with dogs they live with, but outsiders are often either dominated or run off aggressively. They are natural guardians who require no training to protect, but instead require extensive socialization until at least 18 months, including training classes, visits to urban areas, visits to others' homes, visitors to their own homes, etc., so they learn early on what is normal and what is actually a threat.
A firm but gentle hand is best with them, and they respond much better to positive training than to force. Males especially are very sensitive to their handlers. I call them Jekyll and Hyde dogs because they are complete angels with their loved ones but often the complete opposite with strangers. I could cut my girl's leg off and she wouldn't complain, but if I invite a new person in the house she is very disgruntled. She behaves because I tell her to, but she doesn't like it.
They aren't wildly aggressive and must be amenable to handling, but they won't just adore being petted by strangers like a Lab or a Golden. If you want a dog that loves everyone and that would never dream of hurting a fly, this is not the breed for you. But if you want a wise, brave, devoted protector and you are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to have this breed, they are wonderful. I will never be without Astrid, my Central Asian Shepherd.
~Anna A., owner of a Central Asian Shepherd