Home » dog » Central Asian Shepherd Dog: nature and diseases [Wet medicine Małgorzata Miłosz

Central Asian Shepherd Dog: nature and diseases [Wet medicine Małgorzata Miłosz

Central Asian Shepherd Dog (Sredneasiatskaya Ovtcharka, Central Asian Sheepdog) belongs to one of the oldest breeds in the world.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog

According to numerous sources, the ancestors of these dogs, including mainly Tibetan mastiffs, appeared approx. 5000 years ago in the Great Steppe in central Asia, and today Russia is considered their official homeland. The genealogy is not fully understood and it is said that these dogs were shaped not by man, but by the harsh climate and the constant need to fight for survival against predators, somewhat on the basis of natural selection.

The strength and courage developed in them over the centuries, was used by people who these dogs served as guardians of households and fearless and effective defenders of livestock. These quadrupeds were especially feared among wolves, thus earning the nickname "The Wolf Crusher ".

They traveled for kilometers with nomadic tribes, guarding what was most valuable, i.e. families and transporting the belongings of camels and horses. Over time, they were also used as military and patrolling dogs, and also trained for dog fights.

In 1920, the USSR tried to unify the race, but the type we know today also arose in Russia, but many years later. The American Kennel Club recognized the standard in 2001. Today, the alabajes are primarily guard dogs, and they are popular not only in their home country, but also abroad.

According to the FCI classification, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog belongs to group 2.

  • Central Asian Shepherd Dog character
  • Central Asian Shepherd Dog breed description
  • Ałabaj care
  • Central Asian Shepherd Dog disease
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Dilation and torsion of the stomach
  • For whom the Central Asian Shepherd Dog will be the perfect dog?

Central Asian Shepherd Dog character

Central Asian Shepherd Dog character

The Albanians easily acclimatize to harsh environmental conditions, which is dictated by their origin. The necessity to fight for survival thousands of years ago also left its mark on them, which makes them extremely brave, strong and independent.

The nature of dogs may be slightly different depending on what line they come from, and so these quadrupeds may either have greater inclination to fight or be more balanced and calm.

Central Asian Shepherds need a lot of exercise and will feel best at home with a fenced area for patrolling. After all, they are great watchmen - vigilant and distrustful, quickly assessing the situation and reacting with lightning speed when necessary.

They are even too protective of their household members, so inviting guests to the house can be troublesome in their presence.

They get along well with other domestic pets if they are raised with them from an early age. Otherwise, dominant tendencies may make it difficult to introduce a new quadruped into the family.

They require intensive training and early socialization, because if improperly conducted, they can become overly suspicious and prone to aggression.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog breed description

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a large breed dog with a strong build and well-developed muscles.

Weight and size

The height at the withers of a male dog is at least 65 cm and that of a female dog at least 60 cm. The body weight of an adult individual ranges from 40 to 50 kg.


  • The head is rectangular in shape, massive, with a flat forehead and marked zygomatic arches.
  • The muzzle is of medium length, deep, slightly tapering towards the nose.
  • Mild stop.
  • Thick, dark pigmented lips, slightly pendulous.
  • Black nose truffle, may be brown in light-colored dogs.
  • Jaws strong and wide with a set of strong and white teeth.
    Incisors set in a scissor bite.
    A pincer bite or an inverted scissor bite is also acceptable.
  • The ears are small, triangular, set low and drooping.
  • Eyes set wide apart, round and dark, looking straight ahead.
  • The neck is short and muscular, covered with loose and thick skin forming a dewlap.
  • Straight and strong back with well-defined withers, especially pronounced in males.
  • Chest broad and deep.
  • Belly tucked up.
  • Slightly arched loins merge into a broad and horizontal croup.
  • The tail is set high, thick at the base and curved into a sickle. In countries where it is allowed the tail is copied.
  • Limbs straight and parallel. Feet compact and oval with thick pads.


The coat is straight and hard with a dense undercoat. Top coat can be short (3 - 5 cm) or long (7 - 10 cm), where it forms a ruff and feathers behind the ears, on the tail and on the back of the limbs.

Different types of colors allowed:

  • black,
  • White,
  • brown-gray,
  • grey,
  • redhead,
  • straw,
  • brindle,
  • mottled and spotted.

Ałabaj care

Central Asian Shepherd care is not very complicated. During the molting period, we try to comb them as often as possible, because then they shed huge amounts of dead hair at once.

If necessary, we arrange a bath for the dog, shorten the claws, clean the ears and brush the teeth. We get the dog used to all these activities from an early age.

In the feeding of alabajs, we can use ready-made dog food, intended for large breed dogs or prepare the dog's meals ourselves, remembering about their proper balance.

Due to the predisposition to gastric torsion, the daily food ration should be divided into at least two administrations.

Central Asian Shepherd Dog disease

Central Asian Shepherd Dog disease

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a disease that occurs primarily in large and giant breed dogs.

HD is basically the malformation and connection of the structures that make up the hip joint.

In addition to genetic tendencies, its occurrence is also favored by the so-called. environmental factors, e.g. improper feeding of the puppy or too intense exercise during the period of bone growth. Puppies are born with normal hips and the condition develops gradually as a result of an imbalance between the growth and development of hard and soft tissues.

Looseness and chronic dislocations of joints lead to inflammation, soreness and deformation of the femoral head and the acetabulum. The first symptoms of HD can be seen in dogs a few weeks old.

In the case of chronic cartilage damage, joint capsule thickening and secondary stabilization of the joint often occur, which means that the signs of the disease can only be noticed in adult dogs aged approx. 5 years and more. The main symptoms suggesting dysplasia are:

  • reluctance to move,
  • preferring the lying position,
  • stiff gait,
  • muscle atrophy,
  • rabbit jumping.

For the diagnosis of dysplasia, a clinical examination is used, usually carried out on a sedated animal, and X-ray under sedation. It is recommended to take prophylactic X-rays of dogs without HD symptoms aged approx. 6 months to evaluate the structure of the hip joints.

Treatment methods vary depending on the dog's age, weight and severity of the disease. Pharmacological and surgical methods, physiotherapy and diet correction are used.

The most common surgical techniques are: femoral head resection, pectinectomy and triple pelvic osteotomy. In HD therapy, stem cells and platelet-rich plasma are also used.

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a developmental defect consisting in incorrect development of the articular surfaces of the elbow joints or only one of them.  It includes several subunits that can exist independently of each other:

  1. Unfixed accessory ulnar (UAP).
  2. Fragmentation of the medial peak process (FCP).
  3. Osteochondrosis of the medial epicondyle of the humerus (OCD).
  4. Articular Mismatch (EI).

Symptoms of the disease appear most often in puppies between 6 and 12 months of age, and these are:

  • lameness,
  • stiff gait,
  • resistance or soreness when bending and straightening the limbs in the elbows,
  • swelling of the affected joint.

For the diagnosis of the disease, an orthopedic examination and X-ray in various projections are necessary.

The treatment of choice is surgery performed with a method depending on the type of lesions. Conservative treatment is used in the event of contraindications to the operation.

Dilation and torsion of the stomach

A sharp dilation of the stomach is a sudden increase in its volume due to the accumulation of large amounts of food, gases or liquids.

Most often it affects dogs of large and giant breeds. The most exposed to the risk of torsion are animals that are fed once a day, gobbling up food greedily and consuming easily fermentable food.

Also, vigorous physical activity performed shortly after eating promotes expansion. The most frequently observed symptoms include:

  • trying to vomit,
  • salivation,
  • wide spacing of the forelimbs,
  • enlargement of the outline of the abdomen,
  • bruising of the mucous membranes,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • arrears,
  • tachycardia.

ORŻ is an emergency that requires an immediate visit to a veterinary office, and a serious complication in the form of gastric torsion poses a threat to the life of the animal.

To confirm the suspicion of ORŻ, an X-ray image is taken.

Treatment in the case of dilation is usually gastric puncture and / or gastric lavage, while in the case of torsion, surgery is required. The prognosis is cautious due to possible complications and recurrence tendency.

For whom the Central Asian Shepherd Dog will be the perfect dog?

Ałabaje are dogs recommended only for experienced people, characterized by a strong character and consistency in behavior.

These intelligent and independent sheepdogs require patient training and guidance based on mutual respect. Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to subordinate them, which may become a real problem in the future.

These dogs are silent watchdogs, ideally suited to guarding not only herds of animals or company premises, but also our family homes. As household members, they are not very troublesome, as long as we provide them with a daily dose of exercise and activities.

They do not require extreme physical exercise, but a daily long walk is an absolute must for them.

These dogs are protective of children, but due to the size of the dog, such games should be supervised.

The Albanians also need close and frequent contact with family members to make them feel part of it. Properly guided, they are balanced and calm companions on whom we can count in any situation.

Sources used >>

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