(Anchar- Male Central Asian Shepherd that will be the Sire of our puppy)
After reading through this forum and the bounty of information that is has to offer, I have noticed not much mention of the Central Asian Shepherd (CAS). This is probably for good reason however. This is not your typical protection breed.
Though I am by no means any expert on the breed, I have put in thousands of hours researching the breed over the last couple years. This search has been somewhat of a difficult task due to the lack of popularity of the working version of the breed here in the States and many of the internet resources are in other languages. I have found one website through a breeder I have chosen to be a very useful resource and have done what I am able to validate some of their claims through other sites. (knowing that much of the information provided on the internet is opinion rather than fact, but that at this moment is the limit of my available resources) I would like to share what I have learned and offer up a chance for discussion on the breed.
Through my research, I have seen several names for the Central Asian Shepherd. Central Asian Ovcharka (spelled a few different ways, a primarily Russian word meaning “shepherd” in general), Alabai, Turkmen Alabai, Ekimen and the list goes on. I believe this is in part to be blamed on the 4000+ year lineage of the breed throughout many countries in Central Asia.
As did many breeds, the Central Asian Shepherd was refined by thousands of years of dog fighting. Not to be confused with what modern Americans think dog fighting is, the historical sport was fascinating to read about. It was, based on my research, not nearly as brutal as what the average person would think. This sport was vital in choosing the proper bloodlines to continue. This proved to be very affective as I have looked at the breeds today.
The current available bloodline of the working CAS holds true to it’s ancestors. It’s primary drive is to protect it’s flock and masters from the intrusion of predators. Some of the predators they have faced in true working situations range from coyotes, to wolves, to bears and just about every predator in between. Most often, they work in small packs of 2-3 in today’s working situations. Historically, it was not unusual to see packs of much greater numbers.
Some of the common traits of the CAS that I consider desirable are as follows: overall intimidating size, stature and sound. Significant aggression towards outsiders showing extreme protection of territory. They have shown much ingenuity and intelligence. They tend to be harder to train due to their drive of independence. They do not require as much interaction from their owner as some of the other protection breeds. They also require less guidance than some other breeds to work. These traits seem to be all very natural with little to no training involved. Of course, these are all generalities that I have found to be a trend with the breed. It all depends on bloodline and particular dog as with any working dog.
My goal: In the very near future we plan to move further out in the “country” here in Arizona on a property of at least 1-2 acres. We plan to raise small livestock (rabbits and possibly fowl of some sort) Predators will be a problem for us. Mostly coyotes and the occasional bobcat. Though we plan to have at least a 6 foot chainlink fence around the whole property (bottom of the fence buried), from what I have witnessed coyotes (and likely bobcats) will have no problem jumping that height. We want an intimidating dog that will take action against said predators and that will be very formidable against most would be human intruders. Though we will allow access to a small area of the house through an inside kennel and doggy door (for protection against the heat, the dog will spend most of it’s time outside patrolling the property. The dog will not be taken off the property to areas where other people may be. It will not be used in the tradition personal protection work but more as property/estate protection.
After much research we fell in love with the CAS and will be receiving a male sometime in April-June. This will likely be just our first with plans for another the following year.
Here are a couple videos that I had posted in my introduction thread. Thanks for sticking with me this far and am interested to hear any conversation that may come of this!
(side note: there are literally hundreds of videos of these dogs working, but between aweful music and slideshow affects it is difficult to find videos that are post worthy. Also, videos of them working in their natural state, guarding livestock in Central Asia, are honestly quite boring due to lack of action caught on camera)