The Central Asian Shepherd

  • (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)

    The post was edited 3 times, last by Kyle ().

  • if you love an off breed, don't popularize it.

    popularization = destruction.

    Kyle, you do know that 2 hours in real life is worth two thousand on the internet.

    thanks for raising awareness about a little known breed, nice looking dogs, the tail looks spitz like and of course short??

  • Most definitely agree with your thought on real life research. But again, due to lack of local CASs that is what I am stuck with at the moment. The real research will be when we take the chance on our own. Also agree with your thought on popularity. See it every day with many amazing working breeds turned away from their instincts. Can't seem to find it now but if I recall correctly the ears are close cropped and the tail is docked to the 2nd or 3rd joint.....can't quite remember that part. This is according to a breed standard description I found somewhere. Not sure in the reasoning in that length of docking versus shorter docking.

  • My take on LGD's.....

    To be fair I haven't worked an LGD as a helper so I am purely basing my opinion off of video, article, and official breed websites translated into english from Russian.

    I posted months ago about their use as proteciton animals as there are two distinct types or lines of LGD's going back hundreds of years. A herder or a fighter as in dog fighting. There are not any known lines if any that are purely based on man work so getting a man dog-like the big brindle one is rare.

    I also havent seen many LGD's outside of Caucasian's which do have a history of man work in their breeding (along with rollingother dogs in the standard) take much abuse in protection scenario's. Even the brindle dog gets zero pressure on him by the decoy. I dont see that as protection work rather tha prey work with a pissed off dog. Trust me, I've seen big mastiffs put on a show like that and the second a hand is raised they peace out:confused1:

    There's a ton of rotts, GSD's, and strong Mals out there that will keep the fight going if they have the piss beaten out of them. Like Chad mentioned in another thread a good Dogo will also not back down but you have to know your breeds, lines, and pedigree combinations that will produce just that.

    My point in all of this is that you may be searching for the perfect dog Kyle. If the sire, dam, and their parents present the qualities you're looking for (and this would be VERY tough to find out with that breed) then it's a total crap shoot. Hell, even getting the rott I ended up with was a 1 in 10 litters from a working rott breeder-not bragging just realize the odds of getting such a dog.

    At the end of the day your experience with this breed will be closely watched and observed on this forum......hopefully we can all learn and gain appreciation for this unknown breed.

    Looking forward to seeing your first video's when he arrives home.:toast1:

  • Thanks Brody! I will say that your thoughts are correct from what I have seen. It is not in the breeds purpose to protect against man. They were selected and bred for guard against predators. That is mostly what I am looking for. However, they have been noted to be extremely territorial and a human intruder would be pretty desperate to push beyond their display of aggression. If they are crazy enough to try, I do believe that they would end up with a solid and painful bite. Even if the dog were to back off after the bite due to aggression by the person, I feel that very few people would not tuck tail and leave after a bite from such an intimidating dog. I will be documenting all that I can with our dog, in the form of pictures, video and written data. As I am new to this type of training and breed, it will be quite the learning process for me and I will be asking a ton of questions I am sure. I am currently in search of a local trainer to guide me through the guard work. I am confident that obedience training is something I should easily be able to accomplish on my own. Have been very successful on several dogs of different breeds. However, even when that time comes I will be asking questions. Not sure if my process of obedience training might hinder my ultimate goal with the dog, protecting my property from any intruder (predators and man) day and night, without my guidance or presence.

  • Kyle apart from dog breeds how much have you thought of an actual security management plan.

    others will differ but imo dogs are good against opportunists and random drunks, mainly for early detection, intimidation, buying a few seconds of time etc .

    in a planned attack (by a human) i am yet to be convinced any dog ever born is worth the money spent on feeding them.


  • Pete,

    You cant be serious bro? Am I reading that right?

    If protection dogs were that useless they wouldnt be used in the first place man.

    I know people with serious dogs and I'll tell you 100% if I wanted to do them harm not even a gun would make me feel fully confident about pulling off an attack. If you've personally worked a dog who literally wants to kill you, you would know that a manstopper is a legit weapon that will cause an attacker to stress/confuse and possibly misfire in a real situation....and who's to say if they hit the dog with one or two shots in a non lethal area it will stop its attack and not just piss it off that much more?

    When I'm gone for work I feel absolutely secure knowing that my wife and kid are at home with my dog, who has been proofed in just about every scenario. Gun shots, heavy stick hits, even prodded with an electric stick and the prick keeps on coming. The amount of shit that would be raised if someone tried any "planned" attack would not leave the assailant unscathed and they would best weigh the odds out and piss on someone else's life.

    And that's why my dog is fed very well:toast1:

  • Brodie, I won't counter your argument on a public forum but I disagree. a planned attack would certainly not involve a bad guy having a fist fight with a dog on his own ground.

  • Poison proofing is a must for a protection dog.

    Are you referring to household or lawn poisons or the possibility of someone poisoning your dog on purpose?

  • Someone poisoning your dog on purpose. This is a very little addressed but very important part of owning a protection dog. Most people who have "protection dogs" don't have a clue how to train it. If you don't have anything else at least expose your dog to baited rat traps.

  • I can see that as a very important training. Not just for poisons but for any distraction. I.E. treats, toys, etc.

  • Poison proffing and fence proofing-as in training the dog to keep a minimum of 3 feet distance from it when they charge territorially. I find that poison proofing is like OB-you have to do it every day as in the dog is never allowed to eat anything unless you have feed it to him. No problem. The fence proofing as done in KMODT takes some patience as the dog really needs to hold back his natural instinct to charge an intruder.

    A dog could easily be wounded from a spear if it isnt trained to keep his distance.

  • Without trying to completely derail this thread, this is my thought. There is no way to completely secure your home. Military installations, with some of the highest security measures, are still broken into all the time. Even with their security cameras, tall fences, hundreds of military police and some of the best trained working dogs out there. However, you can minimize the risk. A protection dog is part of the concept. It is not the fool proof method but it certainly helps. A person still needs to take other messures to ensure the safety of their family and property. Locked doors, hidden valuables, tall fences, etc. But at the end of the day, if a person is determined enough, no matter what you have done, they will still get in.

  • Put my deposit down for my CAS. Pretty excited! Hopefully will have him sometime between march and April of next year! Once they are born, they do weekly temperament tests so I will be posting those vids as they share them.

  • Looks like our puppy was born yesterday! He is a line breed doubled up on Anchar, the male in the picture in the original post. Will post pictures when I can.

  • Seems like a pretty interesting breed Kyle, hopefully your dog will fit the bill.

    If you ask me, trainability is extremely important in a PPD :) and poison proofing should be taught early and be reinforced at least twice a week regardless if your dog is a man stopper or just a lap dog :nono:

    Now, I have to agree with Pete -_-! ... The main function of a PPD is to intimidate, this deterrent factor will do most of the job.

    Imagine a house with a mean looking Pitt, most bad guys will get discouraged from entering the house. Now imagine another house with a neat looking Airedale Terrier (nothing against the breed, those are some feisty bastards :cool2:) most of the guys who bailed from the first one, will be more inclined on trying the second.

    At the end of the day, there isn't enough money in the world to make your house UNBREAKABLE :( 
    If a bad guy is determined to enter your house, he will find a way :( 
    Your dog, electric fence, reinforced doors, security guards and alarms will function as a deterrent mostly, reducing the number of bad guys to the minimum possible and making whatever you have in your home not worth the trouble :thumbsup2: