Central Asian Shepherd

Are you looking for a strong, powerful dog to be your everyday companion? Look no more and get a Central Asian Shepherd Dog! 

As its name suggests, this dog breed is native to Central Asia. Central Asian Shepherd Dog, also commonly known as Alaba, Middle Asian Ovtcharka, Turkmen Alabai, Aziat, Zentralasiatischer Ovtcharka, CAO, and many more.

Initially bred to become a guardian or faithful companions, today, these cute dogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Even with the bloodline traces of over a thousand years, these canines were not recognized until the 20th century.

If you’re curious to know more about this breed in detail or want to know whether a Central Asian Shepherd dog is the right family pet for you or not, keep reading. This guide explains all the required information about this breed in detail. From Central Asian Shepherd dog temperament and physical appearance to its training and grooming needs, we’ve covered everything you should know before making your final decision. 

Let’s start with the breed summary. 

What is a Central Asian Shepherd? 

  • Middle Asian Ovtcharka is a unique breed created to work closely with humans. This is why it has a strong and independent character. 
  • These canines are territorial and protective of their owners.
  • They’re large in size with a loyal and affectionate nature, so these canines can easily get attached to their caretakers. 
  • They’re available in a wide range of colors and patterns. 
  • Due to their serious and strong personality, Alabai is not recommended for first-time owners.

Overview of The Central Asian Shepherd

Dog Breeds

Height : 25.5 – 27.5 inches

Weight: 112 – 170 pounds

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years

Coat: Short and dense coat

Color: Brindle, White, Fawn and Black

Temperaent: Territorial, quiet, brave, and affectionate with its family

Sheeding : Medium

Needs for Grooming: Medium

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and surrounding areas

Now, let’s learn in-depth more about the adorable Sredneasiatskaïa Ovtcharka puppies.


History OF central asian shepherd
  • There are various dog breeds that are crossbred or modified, but that’s not the case with the Alabai. 
  • This dog breed has evolved on its own over the period of 5000 years. 
  • You’ll also be surprised to know that according to CASSA, Central Asian shepherds are one of the oldest known dog breeds in existence!
  • Not only this, but these canines are also extremely rare to find in America but are easily available in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. 
  • Over time, Alabai lived in harsh climates and terrains of Asia. Now these canines can live anywhere from hot deserts to frigid mountain peaks. 
  • These things make them extremely possessive and protective. Also, they’re not suitable for apartment living. 

Today, the Alabai Dog is Recognized by:

  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • United Kennel Club (UKC)
  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
  • Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
  • North Arkansas Kennel Club (NAKC)

Physical Appearance 

What does a Central Asian Shepherd look like? 

  • From afar, these canines may look like ordinary dogs, but so many things make them distinct from others. 
  • One thing anyone can immediately notice about these pups is their unusual ears. They’re extremely short and sort of look like tufts on the side of the head.
  • They have tall and lean body with a muscular build.
  • Their head is large, and their necks are low, with skin hanging around their throats. (Look at the above picture for reference).
  • With their long rib cages and strong front legs, they can easily scare any animal.
  • Alabai are powerful-looking dogs with an affectionate nature. However, they can be intimidating, so they’re not suitable for the average dog owner.

Here’s the Central Asian Shepherd dog size chart: 

Height 26-31 inches24-27 inches
Weight120-170 pounds88-140 pounds

Coat Colors

Central Asian Shepherd canines have short to medium coat, which is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, including:  

  • White
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Brindle 
  • Russet
  • Straw
  • Brown 

Some canines can also be found with white markings, such as

  • Black with white markings
  • Brindle with white markings
  • Fawn with black markings
  • Gray with white markings


Now let’s talk about the Central Asian Shepherd dog temperament. 

  • These canines are courageous and have high working capacity. 
  • They have a natural instinct and can be excessively territorial. 
  • Even though they’re small compared to other animals, they can act fearless. 
  • Due to their possessiveness and stubborn nature, initial training is recommended. 
  • These pooches need regular attention and love from their families. 
  • Also, they’re not suited for first-time pet owners and people living in small homes, apartments, condos, or townhomes. 
  • Other than this, these dogs are excellent watchdogs, guard dogs, or best companions.

Exercise Requirements 

  • You’ll be happy to know that Central Asian Shepherd canines do not come in high-energy dog breeds. But here’s the twist: still, they need plenty of exercise!
  • These canines love going on long walks, jogging, and hiking.
  • You may have noticed that these canines lay around all day long, but they get instantly up and ready to run when they hear words like ‘walk’ or ‘run.’   
  • The Central Asian Shepherd needs daily 1-hour exercise along with other outdoor activities.
  • Keep them in a large fenced area so that they can freely run and play around. 

Training Needs

How to train a Central Asian Shepherd? 

  • As mentioned, the Central Asian Ovcharka is a stubborn and independent breed. So it is difficult to train them. 
  • However, with positive reinforcement and training methods, you can make them do anything.   
  • You have to become a consistent trainer who firmly and lovingly works with your dog to bring the best out of your doggo. 
  • With proper and reward-based training, these dogs can be trained to follow your commands and instructions. 
  • Apart from regular training, give them early socialization training. This will help them become less aggressive towards your guests or strangers. 
  • NEVER put these canines under a harsh training schedule. 

Food Requirements 

Food Requirements Of central asian shepherd

What to feed Central Asian Ovtcharka?  

  • As we told you, this Central Asian Shepherd comes under the large breed category. So, it needs a well-balanced and highly nutritious diet.
  • Make sure to prepare a food diet that is appropriate for your dog’s digestive health. 

Their regular diet must contain the following: 

  • Protein: 28%-30%
  • Fats: 8-10%

Apart from these, carbohydrates are another important element that must be included in your pup’s diet. This will give them good digestion and absorption.

It’s crucial to take care of the food quality and quantity. If you feed too much, your dog can become overweight, which can be dangerous for your pup! 

So, how much to feed Central Asian Shepherd? 

The amount of food usually depends on the factors such as age, weight, work intensity, and activeness of your dog. 

Here is a diet plan for an Alabai dog: 

  • 8 and 12 weeks old: 4 meals a day
  • 3 to 6 months old: 3 meals a day
  • For adults: 2 meals a day

You have to be careful about how much food and treats you give your Central Asian Ovcharka. You can also consult a vet and ask them to create a feeding chart for your dog’s health. They will tell you the appropriate nutrition and feeding guidelines for your Central Asian Shepherd puppy.


  • The Central Asian Ovtcharka dogs have short but dense coats. This is why it’s important to brush and groom them on a regular basis.  
  • You have to brush your pet’s coats at least once every week to keep their heavy coats clean and tangle-free. 
  • These canines also shed but not too much. (more once a year)
  • Also, take them to the groomers every two months for nail trimming, bathing, and haircut. 
  • Apart from this, you also need to brush your puppy’s teeth every single day. 
  • Take care of their ears, as too much wax buildup can lead to a painful infection. Clean your dog’s ears once in a while. 
  • The Alabai dog is a low-maintenance breed but needs basic grooming requirements

Health Problems

central asian shepherd

Are Central Asian Shepherds healthy breeds?

These canines are happy and healthy breeds, but like other breeds, these canines may also suffer from a few genetic health diseases. 

Here are some of the common medical issues of Central Asian Ovtcharka:   

Minor Conditions

  • Dental issues
  • Overweight

Major Conditions

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa

On average, the lifespan of a Central Asian Shepherd is about 10-14 years. 

However, the right living conditions and care can make them more healthy, and they can even live up to many more years. Take them to the vet for regular checkups and health tests.  

Pros & Cons of Owning Central Asian Shepherd

If you’re still confused about whether you should adopt an Alabai dog or not, check out these pros and cons of having a Central Asian Ovtcharka:

  • Easy to groom and require less maintenance. 
  • Good with other pets and children. 
  • These canines are highly protective and possessive over their families.  
  • This dog breed is large. 
  • Not suitable for apartment living or first time dog owners. 
  • Hard to train. 


Are There Other Dog Breeds Similar to Central Asian Shepherds? 

Yes, there are several breeds that are quite similar to Alabai in many ways, such as Anatolian Shepherd, Mastiffs, and Tibetan Mastiffs.

How Much Does Central Asian Shepherd Cost?

On average, the Central Asian Shepherd dog price is about $1,200 to $1,500. However, the cost can vary depending on factors such as gender, health, location, and the breeder’s reputation. You can also search for a Central Asian Shepherd dog for sale in adoption centers and resume clubs. Also, keep in mind that this will be the initial cost; apart from these, there will be other expenses like living, food, grooming, and vet. 

Is Alabai Good with Pets and Children?

Yes, the Central Asian Ovtcharka usually behaved well with kids and other animals, including dogs and cats. However, supervision and proper training are required. These canines might behave aggressively with strangers, so early socialization is vital.  


So, this is all about the Central Asian Ovcharka dog breed. These canines are strong and independent breeds that are affectionate and loyal to their families. A Central Asian Shepherd is a large dog; hence it will need more space to play, run, and walk. This will keep them healthy and happy. Also, they need constant attention and love from their owners, along with daily exercise and training needs. 

So, if you can fulfill these requirements and have a good experience with large dogs, you can get an Alabai dog!

I hope this guide on the central Asian shepherd dog breed has given you all the required information that you’ll need before making the final decision.

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