Alabai Dog – Everything You need to know about the Central Asian Shepherd

alabai dog

The Alabai Dog, also known as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, is an impressive, powerful, and dedicated working pup. This ancient breed was first bred in the huge Central Asia region as a loyal herder and protector of property, livestock, and people.

While devoted to their owners, Central Asian Shepherd dogs are reserved around strangers and aloof with people they’re wary of. These big dogs must be socialized from a young age and exposed to different people, animals, sounds, sights, and smells. If they’re not socialized when young, they can grow up to be dominant and even aggressive in situations they don’t understand.

For experienced owners who are used to handling large dog breeds, this pup could be the perfect match. They’re loyal, excellent workers, and very protective of those they love.

Still not sure if the Alabai Dog is for you? Read on to find out all about these big fluffy dogs.

History of the Alabai Dog

The Alabai dog is an ancient breed and some even think it’s the oldest dog in the world. They’re closely related to the Tibetan Mastiff and some other Mastiff dog breeds (as you can tell from their size and fluff) and date back almost 5000 years!

These strong dogs were bred through natural selection, rather than by humans, which is why they’re so robust and excellent workers. This breed developed in some very harsh climates which means it has a dense coat to keep it warm, a strong personality, and an independent nature.

They’re used to spending long periods alone guarding and aren’t exactly a lovey-dovey breed. They do, however, form very close bonds with their owners and show their affection in different ways.

Is The Central Asian Shepherd Dog Accepted By The AKC?

Yes, the Alabai Dog has been recorded in the American Kennel Club’s foundation stock service since 1996. So, even though they’re one of the oldest breeds in the world, they’re pretty new to kennel clubs.

They’re also recognized by the United Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

white and tan asian shepherd dog

Temperament of The Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Central Asian Shepherds are very confident dogs that can put their mind to anything. They’re proud and independent and very intelligent too. As you’d expect from an ancient livestock guardian dog, these pups are courageous and are not afraid of making a stand if they need to.

Whilst that all sounds like the perfect guarding dog (and they are), they’re not a good choice for owners who don’t have experience with big and strong dogs. Their willpower, combined with their physical strength can make them a challenge.

Do Alabai Dogs Get On Well With Kids?

A well-socialized Central Asian Shepherd will tolerate kids and can even be a bit playful. Usually, however, these pups find their work too important to be chasing around after children. What’s more, their large size makes them a difficult playmate for smaller kids as accidents can happen. The likelihood of a Central Asian Shepherd getting on with a kid is much bigger if they grow up together.

It’s important to always supervise interactions between dogs and children.

Do Central Asian Shepherds Get On With Dogs and Other Animals?

Again, these pups can tolerate other dogs and animals – especially if they’ve grown up with them from puppyhood. They won’t love being around overly boisterous dogs and they can be very territorial around new faces. You must introduce other animals/pups correctly to an Alabai dog so that they develop a good relationship and don’t see them as a threat.

Does The Asian Shepherd Dog Beed Bark?

These pups aren’t particularly yappy but they are happy to use their voices if they perceive a threat. They’ll let you know if there’s something you should be aware of and their booming bark is usually enough to deter most threats or intruders.

Are Central Asian Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs?

Nope! These dogs are big and need lots of space to roam. They’re used to working in fields and on the grounds of property, so keeping them in a small apartment will probably lead to frustration and undesirable behavior. And trust us, you don’t want a frustrated dog of this size.

Appearance of the Alabai Dog

Alabai dogs are very impressive-looking pups and will be sure to catch your eye if you’re lucky enough to see one. They can grow to be 27.5 inches tall and weigh a very heavy 110 pounds!

These dogs often have a white coat which is common amongst rugged mountain dog breeds as it helps them to blend in with the snow and protect their livestock better. They can also have black, brindle, great, and fawn-colored coats with white or brindle markings. Their coats are medium-length and usually straight and dense.

These dogs are very well-built and have strong and compact bodies that look even bigger with all that fur. They have large heads, thick necks, and surprisingly small ears which, unfortunately, are often cropped. They usually have dark eyes and dark noses too.

asian shepherd dog in woods

Grooming and Alabai Dog

For such a fluffy dog breed, the Aabai dog is surprisingly easy to groom and won’t need too much of your attention. Well, most of the time at least. They do shed their coats once a year and the American Kennel Club describes this as a ‘fur storm’, which sounds about right.

Other than the occasional brush and wash, these dogs don’t need that much in the way of grooming. During the shedding season, it’s a good idea to brush them more often to release the dead hair.

As with all dogs, pet owners need to regularly clean their dog’s teeth and clip their nails to an appropriate and comfortable length. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask a groomer or your vet.

Grooming dogs is an excellent way for you to bond with your pooch and spend some quality time together. If you get them used to it from puppyhood, they may even enjoy it! It can also be a good way for you to check for any lumps and bumps of parasites that will need veterinary treatment.

Health of The Asian Shepherd Dog Breed

The Alabai dog is a robust pup that’s generally very healthy. Other pups that have been specifically bred by humans tend to be prone to more health conditions. However, because these dogs came about by natural selection they’re hardy and normally healthy.

Having said that, they can still suffer from some health worries. One of the main ones to look out for is hip dysplasia which is where the thigh bone doesn’t fit correctly into the hip socket. Not over-exercising these guard dogs when they’re young and taking them for regular checkups can help to prevent and treat this.

Of course, when it comes to the health of your furry friend, adopting them from a reputable breeder is essential. They need to give you the required health checks as well as prove the pups are from a healthy and happy bloodline. Research them well so you know you’re getting a pup that will be around as long as possible.

Life Span of a Central Asia Shepherd Dog

These dogs have an amazing life span of 12-17 years. Feeding them high-quality dog food as well as plenty of trips to the vet and love from you can help them to live as long as possible.

Exercise Needs of The Central Asian Shepherd Dog

These dogs are not overly active (not, for example, like a Border Collie Blue Heeler mix) but they do need their space. They’re not exactly high-energy but long walks and a yard to walk around in is best for these dogs. Because of their herding pasts, they’ll also benefit from toys such as really fun herding balls which they’ll love to push about.

Other forms of mental stimulation such as puzzle toys can also help to keep them happy and entertained.

Training a Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Training an Alabai dog from a young age is essential. Because of their independent streak, they can become dominant if they’re not well trained and socialized as a puppy. Positive reinforcement training is by far the best way to go with these dogs.

Like all furry friends, they don’t respond well to scolding but do respond well to affection and treats! Try to avoid overly processed shop-bought treats and opt for a new toy or a healthy treat instead (you can find lots of healthy snack ideas on the BarkingTalk food page).

Diet and Nutrition of Central Asian Shepherds

These are big dogs so they’re going to eat more than smaller pups. They also like to spend a lot of their time outdoors wandering around, which means they burn calories. It’s important to feed these pups good quality dog food that’s appropriate for their age and activity level.

One of the best fresh dog food brands could be an option for your pooch as it helps to get extra nutrients in their diet and is specifically formulated for them and their needs.

white alabai dog breed

Is The Alabai Dog Rare?

These dogs are still very rare in the US and it’s likely to be difficult to find one. They’re much more common in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Adopting an Alabai Dog

As we just mentioned, it can be difficult to find one of these amazing dogs in the US. It’s best to start off looking in your local shelter or shelters that specialize in large pups with similar dog breed characteristics (such as other rugged mountain dog breeds).

If you would prefer to adopt a pup from a breeder, it’s essential you research them well.

Albai Dog Price

Because these dogs are rare, you can expect to pay a little more for them. Prices will also depend on breeders (if any) in your area, demand, and whether you need to organize transport for your pooch.

Generally speaking, however, pet owners can expect to pay around $1500 for an Alabai dog.

beautiful alabai dog

Conclusion: Should You Buy an Alabai Dog?

If you’re looking for an excellent guarding dog with a thick double coat and an independent side that won’t hesitate to protect property and people, then the Alabai dog could be perfect. These dogs are courageous, wary of strangers, and surprisingly loving towards their owners.

They need to be adopted by someone who has experience with large dog breeds and that can train and socialize them well. They’re not a good choice for first-time pup parents and they can be demanding and dominant, but make excellent working dogs for the right owner.