Middle Asian Ovtcharka
Breeding group : Herding
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GENERALBreed group: Herding Type: Pure Breed
Talent: Agility, Guarding, Jogging, Tracking, Watchdog
PHYSICALSize: Large Weight: 120-175 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: Black, Black & White, Brown & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 11-14 years Rarity: Common Availability: Easily available
Climate: Not good for warm climate
The Middle Asian Ovtcharka (also known as the Alabai, Central Asian sheep-dog, Credneasiatskaya Ovcharka, Central Asian Ovcharka, Central Asian Shepherd dog, Turkmen,Middle Asian shepherd, Alabay, the Wolfhound, Volkodav) is one of the most ancient dog breeds. Since ancient times, the Alabai was an irreplaceable assistant, a friend and the companion to Shepherds in Central Asia. Loyal, tender, incorruptible, surprisingly strong and wise, the Alabai is becoming the most demanded breed in the world. Though its appearance may change depending on particular area the dog was bred in, over all the Alabai is a muscular, large mastiff-type dog with a well-balanced appearance and imposing presence. It is believed that the breed has been in existence for three to six thousand years. True origins of this dog are modern Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan as well as Iran, Afghanistan to Siberia. This large dog has height and weight between 27-30 inches and 121-176 lbs respectively. According to FCI standards, the head is massive with broad skull and flat forehead. Muzzle is shorter than length of skull with a black/brown strong nose. Ears should be triangular, hanging, small and set low while eyes should be dark, wide apart, round and set straight. Neck should be short, muscular and slightly arched. Chest is wide and deep with rounded ribs and belly is moderately tucked up. Back is strong and straight. Tail is set high, hangs low to the hock. Coat comes either long or short in different colours like White, black, grey, straw, ginger (rusty), grey-brown, brindle, piebald and speckled. The dog is NOT recognized by AKC, however it is recognized by FCI, ANKC, UKC and AKC (FSS) (The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration.)
The dog is found in different colors like White, black, grey, straw, ginger (rusty), grey-brown, brindle, piebald and speckled.
The dog sports two coat varieties; one is long coat and other is short coat. Both coats are dense and have coarse or slightly wavy hair. Longer coat is mostly found in Alabai bred in Russia while short coat is found dogs from Afghanistan and other regions.
Known for protective and guarding instincts, the Alabai is a courageous, loyal and fearless dog as guardian of the flocks and its master while a calm, respectful and loving family pet. It has strong protective instincts that make this dog wary and suspicious of strangers. To its family, the dog is docile and gentle. It is very playful with children when in puppyhood. It bonds strongly with its master and its family and possessions and will protect at all costs. Bred to solve problems, the dog is independent in nature and responsible. Large but agile, the dog is territorial with its guarding instincts and can be aggressive towards strangers; humans or dogs. Early socialization with people, places and other dogs will help minimize this tendencies. The dog, however, is very friendly with other dogs and pets within its family. The dog is very good and kind to children. It should not be left alone with children the dog does not know due to its protective nature. It is not a dog for every owner and needs an experienced owner. With proper socialization and training, the Alabai makes an excellent family, watch and guard dog.
Neither of the two coat types need lots of grooming. Brushing the coat once a week should keep it clean. Nails need to be trimmed regularly. Ears should be checked for infection.
Heavy-handed training will backfire with this breed; but respectful, thoughtful training will yield an undying devoted companion. The dog is sensitive and loyal and will best respond to a confident, experienced and stable owner who can consistently provide training to this giant dog.
This agile and alert dog is a very good companion for jogging and hiking. It will need long daily walks when not taken for jogging or hiking. The dog can appear to be low energy, lying on a high point and watching over the flock, it can respond to a situation in a split second. The dog needs moderate amount of exercise.