Central Asian Shepherd Dog
(aka: CAS, Central Asian Sheepdog, Middle Asian Ovtcharka)
The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a very large, muscular, Mastiff type dog. Docking of the tail and ears is optional depending on the country in which you live. This is due to countries like France, Netherlands Australia etc, and many more that are banning cropping and docking. There is no real stop from forehead to muzzle. The body is a bit longer then tall. The dense coat comes in two varieties, long and short. The coat comes in a wide variety of colors. CAS should be rugged in type with big bones, large chests and wide backs. The well-boned forelimbs have powerful shoulders muscles. The skin on the face is thick and may form wrinkles. The thighs are powerful. The back is strong, and moderately long.
Central Asian Shepherd Dog Temperament
The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a calm, fearless flock guardian. Independent, they stand their ground and do not back down. They are good with all members of their own family, however, they should be supervised with children. Outside the home they may try to dominate other dogs and are wary of strangers; they are guardians and will act as such. They like to bark at night and this may present a problem if you have close neighbors.
Socialization is a must for the Central Asians, unless they are being used as flock guards. They get along with cats and other non-canine animals and other dogs, as long as the dog is not a threat to their charge. The CAS lived its life with the Family of Turkmen thus they are family dogs that want and seek interaction with daily life. This flock guardian is not for everyone. They need an owner who understands the flock guard type and the temperament that comes along with it. This is not a breed for the timid, or meek owner. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.
The CAS do not require a lot of grooming. Weeds and brush tend to not stick in the heavy, double coat, and mud, once dried, brushes right out. These dogs shed their coats heavily in the spring. The coat should be brushed extra at this time to remove the dead hairs. The rest of the year they are light shedders, with easy coat care.
The Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are said to be the oldest known group of dogs in existence today. Dating back over 5,000 years according to Artifacts found in native lands.
Unlike most breeds today they are not man made or created by any specific person or country. They were created by the climate and culture of uncivilized time long forgot. You will find different breed types depending on terrain from the mountains of Mongolia to the deserts of the Kara Kum. Their history is merged with the civilization of man and their timeline can be found by tracing the history of the ancient silk route. To understand their past history you must understand a time when surviving one day against extreme climates, predators now extinct and invading tribes was a goal not easily achieved.
Today you will find Nomadic tribes using this pedigree group of dogs to guard what they hold sacred, their family and their ancient form of transportation, be it Camels or Horses. Recent History has these dogs improperly classified as Traditional Livestock guardian dogs. They are territorial guardians bred to guard people and their possessions. They seek out human attention, thus bonding with their humans first and the flock second. They guard what ever is placed in their perceived territory.
Present history has a division between breed types and creations of new ones. The Former USSR is credited with standardizing the breed in the 1920's. However, the recent creation of a new Russian standard years after USSR Rule ended in their native lands has resulted in a modern version of the breed in Russia (called the Central Asian Ovcharka). This new versions has separated them from other aboriginal types found in the native countries of Central Asia. We are just now seeing the difference of size, color and temperament between native species and modern Russian cultivated dogs.
The Central Asian Ovtcharka does best with a consistent training regime. Because it is known to be a moderately independent breed of dog training needs to consist of a firm, yet gentle manner and early obedience and socialization is important and recommended.
The CAS has hip and elbow problems that require screening for all genetic related disorders commonly found in large breeds. Also bloat is a problem with many Mastiff breed, though so far, this hasn't been seen in the CAS.