Central Asian Shepherd Dog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a powerful and confident dog, but is this breed for you? Check this article for in-depth info on this ancient breed. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
24 to 28 inches
88 to 110 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is one of the most giant dog breeds alive.

As such, these powerful dogs are only suitable for experienced dog owners, who can physically withstand walking this dog on a leash.

Not only that they are super big and powerful, but Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are one of the most ancient breeds. This breed is also known as Alabay or Alabai, but they go mostly under the name of Central Asian Shepherd Dog.

From day one they are mostly used as guard dogs, which is their primary role even today.

When they are not guarding sheep or assisting in goat herding, they will be busy being protection and guardian dogs – after all, they want to keep their family safe.

Seeing them in busy city areas isn’t common, as they are better suited for rural areas where they get more place to roan.

In city areas, they are mostly full-time pets living in large homes where they can easily move with an enormous backyard.

It is fair to say that the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a strong and big dog, who tends not to have some independent traits.

Bear in mind that the difference between a stubborn and an independent dog is significant.

Independent dogs are dogs whose role was to mostly work on their own (like guarding the flock) and who had to spend a lot of time doing work on their own, hence the independent traits.

As one of the oldest dogs breeds alive, these dogs’ genetics can be traced back over 5,000 years.

Let’s learn more about the breed’s history, but first, let’s discover what are the numbers from this breed that you can expect to see in terms of height and weight.

Quick Facts

Real name: Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Other names: Boribasar, Tobet, Chuponi, Central Asian Ovtcharka, Middle Asian Ovtcharka, and Mid-Asian Shepherd, Alabay or Alabai
Origin: Central Asia
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 88 to 110 pounds
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 5 – 7 puppies
Color: Variety of colors, including white, fawn, black, and brindle
Coat: Medium length, straight, and dense coat

Central Asian Shepherd Dog History

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is probably one of the oldest dog breeds alive.

These powerful dogs are closely related to another powerful breed called Tibetan Mastiff, and their ancestry can be traced back over 5,000 years.

These muscular dogs are natural workers, who were bred to assist mostly with flocks.

Some of their biggest working roles are being working dogs, watchdogs, keepers of livestock, and more.

Although they have independent traits they are deeply loyal and devoted dogs who love to be around people. They prefer being outdoor or spending hours outside.

For a breed to exist for so long, it’s fair to say that they are highly versatile when it comes to listening to their instincts and adapting.

So far this breed has survived only, probably, some of the biggest predators, but some of the harshest temperatures ever.

They may be great when it comes to surviving outdoors, but they are not dogs of high energy, they tend to be highly alert, and dogs of high endurance and capacity to work.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Physical Appearance

It is fair to say that the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a big dog. With a weight of between 88 to 110 pounds and standing between 24 and 28 inches at the shoulders, this breed is definitely one of the biggest dogs that you can ever encounter.

As it is usually the case, males are slightly larger than females, who tend to have more elegant postures.

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are large, but they have a firm posture and harmonious build, without heavy muscles.

Did you know that large-size dogs tend to reach full maturity much slower than dogs of a smaller size? This is something to bear in mind when it comes to exercise time and breeding.

If you have any doubts about this matter, and you are thinking about breeding your dog make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

These large, but clam dogs will have short or moderately long coats with a heavy undercoat that can be of any color. However, the most common colors are black/white, or fawn of different shades. Some representatives of the breed may have a black mask.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Personality

Central Asian Shepherd Dog is usually confident, independent, and self-assured. They will usually be calm, quiet, and happy to perform a task.

It is fair to say that they are very courageous dogs who have naturally a very strong instinct for territory. It is also far to say that they are fearless.

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs will not back down to any predator, no matter the size. As a highly territorial breed, they will do their best to keep their land predator-free.

As such they are also highly protective of their family members, which is why you should never let children walk them alone, not even when they are on a leash.

With strangers, they are aloof but will be affectionate toward people who often visit their family’s place.

As calm and quiet dogs they may be suitable for apartment living (if the apartment is really massive), but they will react to any alarm or unusual behavior in front of the doors.

Outdoors they will usually be active, but very mellow indoors. They enjoy regular walks and other forms of activities, that can keep their brains and body active.

If you are into hiking, this breed could be a perfect company, as they are perfect long-distance hiking companions.

Since they evolved in different climates, they are more than adaptable to be active in all sorts of weather, both cold and hot. However, be careful on extremely hot days, as you want to avoid any chances of heatstroke and any paws injuries that often occur during winter days.

Good to know: When it comes to barking, Central Asian Shepherd Dog will usually bark at night – while guarding.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog With Children

Central Asian Shepherd dogs will usually love to be around children, as long as they know how to behave around dogs.

In most cases, they will bond with children fast and enjoy playing with them, although you should be extra careful if your kids aren’t teenagers.

These large size dogs can easily knock over toddlers during playtime. No matter how great your dog might get along with your children you should always supervise their interaction.

Central Asian Shepherd dogs are large dogs who could easily move harshly which may lead to an injury.

For a safe interaction with dogs, children should know the following:

  • To truly understand that dogs are territorial beings
  • Not to pull dog’s hair, ears, or tail
  • Not to disturb a dog while eating, resting, drinking water, or resting in his crate

Central Asian Shepherd Dog With Other Animals

To have a truly well-behaved Central Asian Shepherd Dog you need to invest in training and socialization.

These two factors are highly important in general, especially if your home is a multi-pet home.

When meeting new dogs, or any other new animals, they need a lot of positive reinforcement and proper introduction.

They should get along nicely with other dogs and even cats if raised together.

What Is The Bite Force Of A Central Asian Shepherd?

Every dog comes with a certain strength level that can be seen in its bite force. Even little Chihuahua comes with an astonishing bite force that can seriously harm a person or a smaller animal.

Now, just think how powerful a bite of a really massive dog breed, such as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is.

On average, the force of a dog bite is around 230-250 psi, while in Central Asian Shepherd Dog this force is 500 to 650 pounds per square inch, which means that breaking a bone for them isn’t a big deal.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Grooming

When it comes to grooming, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is easy to groom.

They will usually have a short to the medium-length coat which requires regular brushing sessions.

Brushing your dog weekly is mandatory if you want him to have a well-groomed coat that is clean and shiny.

When we talk about grooming, we are actually talking about a number of different actions, while brushing is only one step of it.

As whole grooming is:

  • Brushing your dog weekly
  • Monthly nail trimming or grinding
  • Bathing only when needed
  • Weekly gums check
  • Daily check for eye discharge

To make grooming a fast and stress-free process make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand. This way, grooming will be more enjoyable for both sides.

If grooming seems time-consuming to you or you find it hard to perform (for example, some dog owners just can’t cut a dog’s nails) you can think about using a professional dog groomer’s services.

This may be a bit pricey, but it will save you a lot of time, and your Central Asian Shepherd Dog will always look his best.

Since this is a really large dog, make sure that you find a groomer who knows how to work with giant dog breeds.

If you opt for this, make sure that you still provide weekly brushing sessions. This is a great way to bond further with your dog and check his health.

This means that you should check the dog’s coat for any fleas sig, and skin for any sign of skin infections.

If your veterinarian recommends teeth brushing, make sure that you use products that are made for dogs. The same applies to shampoos, use only shampoos that are specially made for dogs.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your dog home.

Did you know that dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? This period is your golden opportunity to make your dog a well-behaved canine citizen.

Like with any other dog breed you will have to invest serious time into training your dog. Not only that you will have to invest your time, but your energy and creativity as well.

These dogs will demand consistent, patient, and well-structured training sessions. Although they are only recommended to experienced dog owners, even experienced dog owners could use help when it comes to creating a well-behaved canine citizen.

Think about hiring a professional dog trainer or enrolling your puppy in puppy classes.

Both options should speed up the training process and provide you with further tips on training your Central Asian Shepherd Dog. This breed requires a lot of work and training. Make sure that you are up for the task.

Only use positive reinforcement training methods. No dog should ever experience any harsh training methods or harsh handling.

If you could use help training your dog think about the options advised above on hiring a professional dog trainer, or enrolling your puppy in puppy classes.

Know that if you miss training your Central Asian Shepherd Dog properly, you will have to deal with a stubborn and difficult dog.

Start early socialization and provide training sessions that are consistent, short, fun, and packed with treats for maximum results.

During the socialization window, your Central Asian Shepherd Dog should master the following:

  • Basic dog commands
  • House dog rules
  • How to behave around dog visitors
  • How to walk on a leash
  • How to behave when outside
  • How to move around children
  • Which home areas are off limits
  • If jumping on furniture is allowed or not

How Much Exercise Does A Central Asian Shepherd Dog Need?

Exercising keeps your dog healthy. No matter how small or large in size a dog might be, you can be sure that exercising your dog will help him reach his senior years in great health condition. Plus, exercising is what keeps a dog’s mind stimulated, and his joints strong.

Daily exercise is a must for dogs – it keeps joints and ligaments supple and can reduce pain and inflammation.

Plus, exercise will get your dog tired, and a good dog is a tired dog. That being said, next to pee walks, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog needs about an hour of exercise every day. Walking or hiking is ideal for this breed.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Health

Central Asian Shepherd Dog is considered to be a healthy breed.

If you are thinking about buying a puppy make sure that you deal with responsible dog breeders only.

Getting a healthy dog (a healthy puppy) should be your primary focus. Many puppy mills operate under very shade circumstances and you want to avoid them.

Buying a dog from puppy mills may seem like a good deal, but it will cost you more in the long run.

After all, getting a dog should be about providing the right care for living beings, instead of making a good deal.

Always, always, always be 100% sure that you really want a dog, that you are ready to get a dog, and that you truly understand what comes with responsible dog ownership.

Some of the signs that will help you recognize a responsible dog breeder are:

  • Medical documentation on the puppy
  • Clean facilities
  • Well-looking puppies and bitch
  • An open invitation to see the facilities

Responsible dog breeders want to make sure that you’re a good fit for their puppy so expect a lot of questions.

These breeders are usually very open about their work and want the best for their puppies.

Some breeders may even tell you that in case of any hardship, you return the dog to them. This isn’t a practice, but rather an individual decision.

Anything below this is a clear indicator that you’re standing inside the puppy mill. If that is the case, you should walk away.

Are Central Asian Shepherd Dogs Healthy Dogs?

Overall, Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are healthy, but they still may experience some health issues.

They may inherit some genetic diseases, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that your Central Asian Shepherd Dog will ever experience it, but it doesn’t mean that you should be mindful of this condition and provide the right care so you can prevent it.

In fact, prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy and happy dog.

To prevent hip dysplasia you should provide the right joints care and stick to an exercise regime.

It can help to be mindful of the dog’s overall weight. Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his weight.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise and you don’t want your dog to be part of this trend.

It can be super easy to serve large size dogs more food than they actually need. This is why you should know how much food to serve to your dog, how often, and when.

Learn what a bloat is and how it may have a deadly outcome in your dog.

Bloat is a condition that is mostly reserved for large-size dogs, and you don’t want to put your dog at any bloat-related risk.

To help your dog reach his senior years without major issues make sure that you provide the following:

  • Proper nutrition
  • High-quality food
  • Regular exercise
  • Regular vaccination
  • Proper parasite control
  • Right dog bowl
  • Regular veterinarian check-ups

If you are thinking about getting this breed, but you are not sure if this specific giant breed is for you, there is space for additional research.

Make sure that you know what other breeds are out there and which can fit your lifestyle the best.

To do this stress-free and structured, with all info in one place, use this compare dog breeds tool that covers all breeds available today.

Is Central Asian Shepherd Dog For You?

If you are a first time dog owner, this breed isn’t for you.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced dog owner, who knows how to work with large size dogs this breed should be on your list.

These large size dogs are sweet, serious when it comes to working, and excited when outside.

Like any other territorial dog, this breed will be sensitive about keeping their humans safe, and if you can make a great direction of this need to protect and guard, then a Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a breed for you.

If you want to learn about other large dog breeds, or just compare them with powerful Central Asian Shepherd Dog use this compare dog breeds tool to get all the information that you need and get a breed that fits your lifestyle.

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