(Middle Asian Ovtcharka, Mid-Asian Shepherd, Central Asian Sheepdog, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Alabai, Turkmen Alabai, Sredneasiatskaïa Ovtcharka) The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a Mastiff-type breed with a massive, muscular build. The body is just longer than it is tall, and it is big-boned with a large chest and wide back. Their limbs and shoulders are powerfully built, and their overall appearance is one of ruggedness. They have brawny shoulders and strong thighs, and their backs are strong and moderately long. There is no pronounced stop from the forehead to the muzzle, and the ears and tails of this breed are often docked. The skin around the face is very thick and may form wrinkles. The dense coat of the Central Asian Ovtcharka is one of two varieties: long or short. The coat exists in a wide variety of colors.
The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a fearless, brave, and level-headed flock guardian. They are independent and calm, and they are good with all members of their family. They should be supervised with small children because of their tendency to play rough. Away from the home, this breed might try to dominate other dogs. They are leery of strangers, and they will act as guardians if they feel threatened. They like to bark, especially at night, so this may pose a problem for owners of this breed that live in close proximity to their neighbors. Unless the Central Asian Ovtcharka is being utilized solely as a working dog, it’s important for them to be socialized from an early age. They generally get along well with cats and other animals, as long as neither is posing a threat to their territory. They are a devoted breed that is used to spending time with their family, and they need to interact with people on a frequent basis. They are not suitable for timid or first time dog owners.
Because of their massive size, the Central Asian Ovtcharka is prone to hip and elbow problems. This breed can live for 12 to 14 years, though they typically live for 10 years in their native countries because of poor veterinarian care and a harder lifestyle.
The Central Asian Ovtcharka is a breed whose history stretches out for more than 4,000 years. Little is known about the particulars of the breed’s origin, but many believe that the Tibetan Mastiff plays a key role. The Central Asian Ovtcharka is found throughout certain areas of Russia, Iran, and from Afghanistan to Siberia. This independent breed has protected flocks and nomadic herdsmen from intruders and thieves for centuries. Similar breeds to the Central Asian Ovtcharka may have accompanied the Mongols when eastern and central Europe was invaded. These dogs were likely the source of Europe’s herd-protecting sheepdogs. The Central Asian Ovtcharka is rarely seen outside of the Central Asian Republic, and it is losing favor in Russia because of the increase in demand for the larger Caucasian Sheepdog. The Central Asian Ovtcharka is just starting to be bred in the United States.
The coat of the Central Asian Ovtcharka requires very little grooming or maintenance. The coat should be brushed to remove dead hairs, and extra care should be given to the coat when the dog is shedding. This breed sheds heavily during season, but is generally a very light shedder.
The Central Asian Ovtcharka needs plenty of space. They require at least a large-sized yard (the larger, the better) with a fence. They can become bored in small spaces, and they will often try to dig or chew their way out. Even with lots of daily exercise, this breed is happiest when it is outside. They will expand their territory as far as they possibly can. The Central Asian Ovtcharka enjoys going for walks, hikes, and jogs. Although they appear lazy when they are laying down, they are actually a very high energy dog that is most content to live an active lifestyle.
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