The Central Asian Shepherd is officially recognized by the FCI, so the appearance description will be mostly based on this official breed standard. According to it, the Alabai is a dog of a harmonious build and large stature.
This breeds main purpose is to be the best livestock guardion, which is why they must be strong, muscular and robust. The breed is also famous for its massive head. There are quite big differences between the males and females, because the males are more massive, they have larger head and they are more courageous.
The average height of the Central Asian Shepherd should be between 65-95 cm, which is 26-37 inches and weight is typically between 50-100 kg, which is 110-220 pounds. The females are much lighter than males.
The Alabai can be either longhaired or shorthaired. The coat should be dense with heavy undercoat, which protects them in harsh weather. The most common colors are white, fawn, black and brindle
The Alabai is a very old dog breed developed by a natural selection. As the breed developed, three distinct breed types developed according to purpose and those are herders, dog fighters and livestock guardians and their personality should match their purpose.
But of course, all the Central Asian Shepherd share some similarities in their personality. They should always be smart, confident, brave, protective, independent. This breed is known to be fearless and they are able to stand up against any predator, for example, a leopard. This breed is also naturally territorial and they very hard working. This dog loves to have some kind of a job, they want some physical and mental stimulation. If you are not use them for working purposes, you can try some dog sport, task oriented playtime or longer training session to keep them occupied.
On the other hand, when this breed is around its family and owners, they tend to be quite calm, self assured, quiet and loyal. They should never show any agression towards their people, this is pretty devoted breed.
It is important to say, that especially the dogs used for dog fights differ from those who are used as herders or livestock protectors. They are more agressive. The breeder should always tell you, if the dog comes from a lines used for fighting.
Because of the dogs protective and territorial temperament and big strenghth, this is definitely not a dog for a novice or unexperienced dog owner. They need patient and firm trainer, who knows how to properly socialize a young dog and who knows how to show him boundaries. If you train and socialize your Alabai properly, you will have extraordinary loyal and courageous companion by your side.
Generally, this dog can live with other dogs or even cats, especially if they are raised together from the puppyhood. They also like children, so they can really make good family companions, but you should always monitor the situation between the dog and the child.
The Central Asian Shepherd has many nicknames, but there is a one that should give you an idea of their strength. And the nickname is Volkodov, which is a russian for Wolf Crusher and indeed, the Alabai would stand against a wolf, if needed.
It is believed, that this is one of the most ancient breed of dogs and according to the breed standard, hey were formed as a breed from natural selection during more than four thousand years in the vast territory, which spreads nowadays from the Caspian Sea to China and from Southern Ural to Afghanistan.
It is impossible to track down breeds ancestry when the breed is this ancient, but it is believed that they are somehow related to other very old breeds, the Tibetan Mastiff and Mongolian Shepherd dog.
Health and grooming
This is not a totally hyperactive breed, but they definitely have high endurance and need daily proper exercise. It is a worker after all, so they need some kind of a work in their life to stay healthy and happy.
Great fact is, that this is a lowmaintance breed that does not need much grooming. They are very easy to groom and brushing their coat, lets say once a week is enough to keep it in top condition.
Just like majority of breeds developed by natural selection, this is extremely healthy dog. Because of their large size, they can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. The average lifespan should be between 12-15 years.