Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Dog Breeds

Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Characteristics of Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Country of originCentral Asia (Turkmenistan)
The sizeLarge
Hightfrom 65 cm and above at the withers
Weight40 to 80 kg
Age10-12 years old
FCI breed groupPinschers and Schnauzers, Molossians, Mountain Dogs and Swiss Cattle Dogs
Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Excellent watchdog instinct;
Get along well with other pets;
Perfectly tolerate severe frosts;
Hardy and powerful.

May be stubborn;
Large size;
Long period of growing up;
Active walks and physical activity are required.
Pros and Cons of Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog

The main thing about Alabai

  • In 2020, a gilded monument was erected in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. The sculptor Saragt Abaev, well-known in the country, became the author of this creation. The height of the monument is 15 meters. In Turkmenistan, the breed is considered a national treasure.
  • There are numerous legends about the fighting qualities of Alabaevs: it is believed that such dogs are able to defeat anyone – Great Danes, Rottweilers, Bull Terriers and Staffordshires.
  • “Growth from a calf, but the soul of a child” – this is how they say in Turkmenistan about representatives of this breed.
  • Alabai are very unpretentious in food. Representatives of the breed, which was formed in the conditions of the Central Asian climate, are accustomed to do without food and water for a long time. In ancient times, the Alabai earned their own food by hunting small rodents.
  • Such dogs are called differently in different countries of Central Asia. In Turkmenistan – alabais, in Kazakhstan – tobets, in Uzbekistan – buribasars.

History of the Alabai breed

The breed has another name – the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. Scientists attribute it to one of the most ancient. Such dogs, according to the discovered archaeological evidence, existed more than 5 thousand years ago. Many scientists believe that the ancestors of these dogs were Tibetan mastiffs . There is also a significant similarity with Akbash and Nagazi (Georgian Shepherd Dogs).

The birthplace of Alabaev is Central Asia, or rather, Turkmenistan. Despite the long history, during all this time the original appearance of animals has undergone only the most minor changes.

In ancient times, dogs lived with nomads, guarded their homes, guarded livestock, and accompanied caravans. They also hunted large animals with them, often using animals as traction instead of horses.

In addition, these powerful and strong dogs became participants in such spectacles as dog fights, which have been extremely popular in the countries of Central Asia since ancient times.

The natural formation of the appearance of the breed, its character was facilitated by the habitat and living conditions: living in countries with a characteristic climate, fighting wild predators, a nomadic lifestyle made the dogs hardy, extremely efficient, taught to spend energy extremely rationally.

The number of shepherd dogs suffered greatly in the post-revolutionary period, when the Soviet government was interested in increasing the number of guard dogs in the country. Chaotic interbreeding began, which led to the fact that there were practically no purebred individuals left.   

Professional selection of Alabai began only in the 1930s.

The official standard in the USSR was approved late – in 1989. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale only recognized the breed in 1993.

At the moment, there are several officially recognized types of Central Asian Shepherd Dogs: Turkmen, Caucasian, Tibetan and Turkish.


Alabai photo

Description of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Alabai is a very large dog. She has a strong skeleton, the muscles are well developed (but not overly prominent).

The body is strong, the back is quite wide. The body is moderately stretched. The legs are very strong. A characteristic feature of the representatives of the breed is a high ass, which allows them to move as quickly as possible over any terrain and jump high.

The coat is thick and hard, its length can be short or long. Colors, according to the standard, there are several. The skin is thick and elastic.

Gender in animals is immediately noticeable: males are much more powerful and larger.


It looks massive in Alabai, but at the same time it is completely proportional to the body. If you look at the dog from the side, then the shape of his skull will be rectangular.

The occiput is almost invisible due to the very well developed muscles. Stop – moderately pronounced.

The nose is big. The lobe is well pigmented. Its color is usually black. If the dog is white or fawn, the nose may be light. The bridge of the nose looks straight and wide. The chin is well defined.

Lips look thick. When the dog’s jaws are closed, the upper lip should cover the lower. Ideally, lip pigmentation is black.

Teeth are large and white. Scissor bite type, straight or tight bite without a waste is allowed.


They are of medium size in the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. Their shape is oval. Set quite wide. They look straight ahead. Planting eyes – moderately deep.

The color of the iris varies from light to dark brown. A darker shade of the iris is preferred. The lower eyelid cannot be pendulous. Pigmentation of the eyelids is desirable black. Alabai looks confidently, with dignity.

alabai head view


They have a triangular shape. Their size is medium. The ear pad is quite thick. Hanging. Ears set low.


She is of medium length. Pretty massive. The muscles on it are well developed. The presence of a dewlap (skin folds) is a characteristic feature of such shepherd dogs.


The topline should be straight both when the dog is stationary and when the dog is moving. The withers are clearly visible (especially in males). The transition from the neck to the back is quite sharp.

The musculature of the body is well defined, but should not be too prominent. The croup is slightly sloping.

The chest of the Alabai is well developed, wide. The underline is tucked up.


High rise. Its base is thickened, towards the end it tapers noticeably. The shape is crescent. A tail curled into a ring is not a marriage. When the dog is excited, he lifts him to the level of his back or higher. In a calm state, keeps lowered down.


The legs of the representatives of the breed are strong and powerful. The skeleton is very strong. If you look at the animal in full face, then they will be parallel to each other. Their posture is quite wide. They cannot be too close. The hindquarters are wider than the forelegs. Knee angles are expressed moderately.

Paws look large, have a rounded shape. Fingers are collected in a “lump”. The pads are well developed. Pigmentation of the claws can be any.

body view alabai


Alabay moves confidently and plastically. The forelimbs of the dog are thrown far forward, and the hind legs at the same time provide it with a strong and powerful push. The back should remain straight while walking or running.

Wool cover

The coat is double: the undercoat is always present. Shorter hair on head and front of legs. On the body, the hair is longer.

The axial hair of the Alabai can be of various lengths. There are individuals with a relatively short guard hair – 3-5 cm, and there is an elongated one – 7-10 cm. Animals of the second type usually have decorating hair on the neck, tail and legs.


The breed standard allows any type of color, except for black-backed, genetically blue and brown in any combination.


The height at the withers of such dogs may be as follows: for males – from 70 cm and above, for females – from 65 cm.

The minimum weight of alabai males is 50 kg, females – 40 kg.

The nature of the Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Such a dog is distinguished by calmness and poise. A trained dog is very difficult to piss off. Aggression without a reason is not characteristic of Alabaev.

Guard and watchdog instincts are developed at the highest level. To strangers, these shepherd dogs show distrust and alertness. True, a dog will never attack without a reason. If she does not sense a threat from a stranger, she will simply ignore him.

At home, the owners of such dogs do not use locks in the house, because they are one hundred percent sure of their pets. Alabai will immediately react to the penetration into the dwelling. Usually they launch the thieves, but do not release them back, waiting for the owner to return, who in the end must decide what to do with the uninvited guest.

They don’t bark very often. And usually not without reason. Their voice is most often deaf, powerful.

Often these pets are given as family dogs. They treat all family members well and are ready to protect them. They react calmly to other animals in the house, especially if they grew up with them.

Children are tolerant. They can play with them for a long time. But parents should understand that it is not worth leaving a child with a large dog unattended. The dog, through negligence, is able to push the baby, drop it.  

Juveniles tend to be more active and mobile. The matured Alabai is most often more calm, sometimes even phlegmatic.

These animals are very strong and hardy. In winter, they can easily sled their children.

Alabai are completely fearless. To protect their family, they will rush to any wild beast, including a bear and a wolf.

In order for the dog to calmly treat his relatives on the walking area, it is important to socialize him in a timely manner . Representatives of the breed are often prone to dominance.

This pet has a high level of intelligence. New commands are easy to learn. For the owner, the main thing is to show the Alabai who is the leader of the pack. The dog will be ready to obey the one whom he considers the undisputed leader. The owner of such a dog must be a persistent and demanding person, otherwise he will not cope with education and training .

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are very athletic. They can engage in various sports, need regular physical activity to maintain good shape.

Alabay is distinguished by calmness and poise

Education of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

It is necessary to teach the correct behavior at home and on the street to such a large breed as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog from puppyhood. Otherwise, the dog will become uncontrollable and bring a lot of trouble to its owner.

During this period, the puppy will be able to master such skills as accustoming to:

  • diaper;
  • own bowl;
  • Leash, collar, muzzle;
  • hygiene procedures.

The choice of a name is an extremely important moment. The nickname should be short, easy to pronounce. It is important for the owner to pronounce it clearly and distinctly so that the baby can hear it well. Periodically say the dog’s name aloud, wait for it to respond and come over. Be sure to reinforce the action with a treat: a treat should be given after each correctly completed request.

With a baby, it is enough to practice for 15 minutes, with an adult dog more – about 30 minutes. Training and education is a regular process. It is advisable to practice daily.

Training can be done both at home and on the street. The most important thing is to choose a suitable place for lessons. The dog should not be distracted by anything: strangers, animals, loud sounds.If you notice that the dog has begun to be distracted, take a break.

Perhaps he is tired. Switch your pet’s attention to something else. When he rests, you will continue with your classes.

If a four-legged something doesn’t work out the first time, you don’t need to shout at him, get annoyed. React to it calmly, be patient.

For such a large dog, you need to purchase a leash, collar and muzzle. Accustoming to ammunition begins from a very early age, at first putting it on the dog at home.

Be sure to teach the Alabai to walk on a leash calmly, not to pull the owner. Otherwise, it is not you who will walk with him, but he with you.

It is important for the dog to allocate his own sleeping place in the house. Get her a comfortable and warm sunbed. It is not necessary to place it on the aisle. The dog should rest there, sleep. People passing by will distract him.

Alabai training

Education is a very broad concept that includes many components. This is not only mastering the basic set of commands. This is the observance of the rules of conduct. A well-bred dog is calm and unfussy. He does not bark at passers-by dogs and people, calmly reacts to any visitors in the house, does not jump on guests, does not lick their faces. Simply put: he does not cause trouble to his master either at home or on the street.   

Since the Alabai maturation period is quite long (up to about 3 years), it is better to conduct training all this time in a playful way. Despite the fact that the shepherd has an impressive size, she is, in fact, still a puppy who quickly gets tired of the monotonous, boring activities.

Alabai is not a pet for a beginner. An owner who has no experience in keeping and raising is unlikely to be able to cope with a dog prone to his own decision-making and dominance. These dogs are quite stubborn, stubborn and self-confident. This is a characteristic feature of the breed, which has been strengthened in them for centuries. It is necessary to ensure that every requirement of the owner is fulfilled. Obedience must be absolute.

If you understand that it is impossible to engage in upbringing on your own, do not waste time, contact specialists – cynologists.

Maintenance and care

Alabai is a dog that is more suitable for keeping in a country house. The large dimensions of the animal will not allow him to feel good in a small city apartment, he will be cramped there.

A country house with a spacious aviary is a great option. The dog needs to be taken out of the aviary regularly for walks.

The coat needs to be brushed 1-2 times a week. Shedding in Alabaev is moderate. In spring and autumn, during the period of active molting, the pet will have to be combed out more often. This procedure will not only get rid of excess hair, but also perfectly massage the dog’s skin, helping to improve blood circulation.

You don’t need to bathe your pet too often. Usually this procedure is carried out no more than once a month. In the summer, when there is no dirt on the street, the paws are wiped with a cloth or napkin after a walk. In autumn and spring, it may be necessary to wash the paws with water. In winter, soap is used to clean the paw pads from chemical deicing agents.

Ordinary human dog grooming products will not work. For them, purchase veterinary shampoos. In the process of washing, be sure to monitor the temperature of the water – it should be 37-39 degrees. After bathing, the animal’s hair must be well wiped with a towel.

It is recommended to clean the ears 1-2 times a week. It is advisable to use special lotions for this. Peroxide, boric alcohol, baby powders are not suitable for the procedure.

You should also not climb too deep into the auricle, cleansing should be only superficial.

the owner walks alabai

Dog teeth can be cleaned every day. This will protect it from the accumulation of plaque, the appearance of tartar, caries, gingivitis. You need to purchase a special toothbrush and veterinary paste. Human pastes are not suitable for an animal, because they contain substances that are harmful and even dangerous for pets. The toothbrush is selected according to the size of the mouth. They teach the dog to this procedure from a very early age, gradually.

Dogs are advised to trim their nails about once every two weeks. This can be done both independently and with a groomer.

After each walk, inspect the paws of the animal for foreign objects, injuries. If the pet has very dry skin pads, they need to be lubricated with special care products – for example, waxes or balms. 

The dog’s eyes are wiped from the mucus accumulated in the corners as needed. For this, it is better to use cotton pads. It is better not to take ordinary cotton wool, as it breaks down into microparticles during use, which can remain on the skin of the animal and subsequently cause inflammation of the eyes. Cotton pads are moistened with warm water, veterinary lotions or dog eye drops (no antibiotic in the composition).

Hygiene needs to be given enough time. Proper care of your pet will keep him healthy for a long time.

Central Asian Shepherd near the river

Alabai nutrition

Every dog ​​owner who wants his pet to be healthy and cheerful thinks about choosing the right diet for the animal. The best option is to contact specialists to develop an individual diet. A nutritionist can help you choose a feeding plan that’s right for your dog. After all, the body of each dog is special.

It is wrong to think that two dogs that are approximately in the same weight category will eat exactly the same.

Calorie content and composition of the diet depend on many factors:

  • Breed;
  • Age;
  • The presence of diseases;
  • Activity level.

For example, a puppy and an elderly dog ​​of the Alabai breed need a different type of feeding. The young body is growing, gaining strength. And this means that the calorie content of its portions will be more. An aged animal, on the contrary, has decreased activity, most likely, there are some chronic diseases. It follows that his meal plan will be specialized.Dogs with a predisposition to food allergies should be carefully monitored by owners.

When the first signs of a rash appear, you need to contact a specialist to timely adjust the nutrition plan and exclude food that causes allergies in your pet.

It is wrong to assume that a pet can be fed the same dishes that people cook for themselves. The fact is that the digestive system of humans and dogs is arranged differently. Dogs are descendants of wolves, which means they are carnivores (zoophages). The basis of the animal’s diet is protein. Carbohydrates should be present in the diet in small amounts. First of all, they are used to improve intestinal motility and provide the body with energy.

Each owner can choose one of two feeding options for a pet: natural food or ready-made industrial feeds.

Organic food is a type of feeding that is not suitable for people who are too busy. Indeed, in this case, you will have to purchase a large number of products and cook them yourself. The calorie content of each serving will also need to be calculated by yourself. For people who have never counted calories and the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in meals, this can be very difficult.

On a natural type of feeding for dogs, lean meat (chicken, turkey, veal), cereals, and vegetables are purchased. Salmon and sunflower oil are usually used as a source of fats.

alabai lies near the bowl

Ready-to-eat meals are an easy option. You just need to buy ready-made food and measure a certain portion weight for your pet several times a day. The specialist will calculate the daily rate.

The number of feedings per day varies from animal to animal. Usually, such large dogs as Alabai are not advised to feed only once a day, since this diet often provokes the appearance of gastric volvulus. The optimal number of meals for large breeds is two.

The bowl should be cleaned immediately after feeding. Do not leave it for the whole day, the remnants of food in it may deteriorate, the dog will finish them, which will lead to her health problems. Only a bowl of clean, drinking water should remain in the public domain.

Do not forget about vitamin and mineral complexes. They are prescribed by a doctor. Vitamins are required for an animal for which a natural type of food is chosen, as well as for a dog that eats non-complete types of feed. Complete food already contains minerals and vitamins.

healthy alabai

Health of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Since Alabai are dogs of the aboriginal type – breeds that have formed naturally, without human intervention – their health is very good. They rarely catch colds, pick up infectious diseases.

However, there are several diseases that are considered characteristic for Central Asian Shepherd Dogs:

  • hip dysplasia ;
  • Diabetes;
  • Obesity.

If an alabai does not exercise, walks a little, he may have problems with being overweight, in particular, obesity. Excess weight, in turn, often leads to the appearance of arthritis and arthrosis.

Timely treatments for parasites, external and internal , will keep the animal healthy for many years. Also, do not forget about vaccination .

Photos of Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Who is this breed for?

Alabai is a breed that is suitable for dog breeders planning to get a dog:

  • For living in an aviary;
  • For the protection and protection of the home;
  • Big size;
  • Get along well with other pets;
  • Calm and balanced.

Such pets are not suitable for an owner who does not want:

  • Engage in active physical activity and socialization;
  • Get a dog of very large dimensions;
  • Acquire a pet that tends to be stubborn.

The owner of the Alabai must be an active person with obvious inclinations of a leader. The dog will only listen to the one he considers the “leader of the pack.” The breed is not suitable for a homebody.

Such a shepherd dog can be started by both single people and family ones. The main condition is to provide her with the necessary conditions of detention and regular physical activity.

Do not take Alabai as the first pet. The owner must be an experienced person, with a strong character, who knows how to raise dogs. 

Tips for choosing a puppy

If you have decided on the breed and are sure that the Alabai is exactly what you need, then proceed to choosing a breeder.

Finding a good specialist is the most important moment in buying a puppy. It can be either a cattery or a private breeder. The main thing is to find an experienced and honest worker who knows his business.

Acquiring a baby from a good specialist guarantees that the grown dog will have the correct anatomy, a balanced psyche, and he will not have a whole bunch of genetic diseases.

The Alabai breed is currently not considered extremely popular. Therefore, there are not so many nurseries in our country.

Before acquiring a baby, do not be lazy, study the breed standard. Reading the document will not take much time, but it will allow you to find out what kind of exterior such a dog has.

Alabai puppy lies next to the ball

Examine the puppy. His eyes, ears should be clean, without traces of redness. Feel the paws, tail. They must be straight and even. There can be no unnatural bends or creases on the tail.

The coat of a healthy puppy is shiny, even, without bald spots.

Ask the breeder to show you the baby’s parents. So you can understand how the alabai will look like when it grows up. Be sure to ask the breeder questions, ask about the breed itself, the features of its maintenance and upbringing. Experienced specialists always go forward, communicate with their customers. A breeder who works honestly has nothing to hide, he easily makes contact, answers any questions.

Healthy puppies should be active and friendly. You should not choose a timid baby, the one that hides behind the mother, runs away. He is likely to grow up shy, asocial. Will shy away from other dogs, loud noises, etc.

In professional kennels, the owner of the puppy is always given a veterinary passport and a metric. In addition, babies must be branded with a nursery mark, which is located either in the groin or on the ear. Some specialists implant a chip instead of a stigma.

Photos of Alabai puppies

What are the owners saying?

We have studied the reviews of the owners of alabai. After analyzing them, we made the following conclusions.

Dog breeders are sure that their pets:

  • Strong and powerful;
  • Very quick-witted and smart;
  • They love children;
  • Excellent guards;
  • Calmly relate to other animals;
  • They are devoted to their master and the whole family in which they live;
  • Bold and courageous.
happy alabai puppy

Most dog breeders are sure that Alabai is not suitable for keeping in a city apartment. He needs a lot of space. The ideal home for him is a country house with a spacious aviary with a roof covering the dog from the scorching sun and rain.

Aggression towards relatives of the breed is not characteristic. A well-bred Alabai is friendly with all dogs. He also treats other pets calmly. Loves children.

Security instincts are developed at the highest level. Alabai is distrustful of strangers. Of course, he won’t throw himself at everyone if he doesn’t sense a threat, but he will always be on the alert. Such animals are especially vigilant at night.

In food unpretentious. They eat whatever you offer. According to dog breeders, representatives of the breed practically do not have food allergies.

Pet care is minimal. Wool does not need to be brushed too often. The molt is not very active.

The main disadvantage of Alabaev, according to the owners, is the manifestation of stubbornness during training. The owner of such a dog needs a confident, persistent. Otherwise, the dog will grow up naughty and will execute commands only when he wishes it.

alabai performs training exercises with the owner

Alabai prices

We contacted the Alabaev breeders and found out how much the puppies cost.

In a professional nursery, the price tag will be higher – from 500 to 1000$. A private breeder has a lower cost – 300-500$.

Puppies born from titled parents, winners of various exhibitions, are much more expensive than all the others. The price tag for such Alabaev can reach 1500$.

Alabai or Central Asian Shepherd Dog – video


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