L’Alabai is a dog with very ancient origins. Used as a guardian of the flocks, it stands out for its imposing size and powerful and muscular structure. It comes from Central Asia and is a very strong dog, so much so that the Russians included this breed among the so-called Volkodav, which literally means ‘destroyers of wolves’. He has a proud, autonomous and very courageous character. This is among the dog breeds not recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), such as Pitbull.
Also known as the Central Asian Shepherd and Central Asian Ovtcharka, it is not to be confused with the Kangal, the Anatolian Sheepdog.
It has origins from the Turkmenistan region, where it was already present about 4000 years ago, naturally developing from the crossing of several types of Molosser. From there, it then spread to China, up to the Caspian Sea and up to the Ural Mountains and Afghanistan.
The physical characteristics represent the adaptation to a very hostile environment, with a harsh climate and a large presence of predators.
The first civilizations of those places used them as watchdogs and to protect their flocks. Around 1930, the Soviet Union began to study the breed and to breed it in a more structured way.
With an imposing muscle structure and considerable endurance (it is considered between the strongest dogs in the world in terms of endurance), they are dogs capable of sustaining intense efforts for a long time. Despite their mighty size, they are also quite agile.
Let’s see in detail the various parts of the body.
- body size: well proportioned, powerful and muscular. The rib cage is wide and deep, while the back is straight
- Average height: at the withers it measures in males, from 65 to 80 cm, and in females, from 60 to 70 cm
- Weight: a male specimen varies from 55 to 80 kg. The females, on the other hand, are a little lighter and range between 40 and 65 kg
- Legs: broad, rather rounded and with arched toes. The fingertips are quite thick
- Head: large and rectangular in shape (when viewed from the side), it remains in any case well proportioned with the rest of the body
- Muzzle: of moderate length, tapering towards the nose. The chin has advanced
- Tail: thick at the base, it is normally worn a little curved or slightly curled. In case of alert, the dog raises it in a straight line up to the height of the back
- Fur: rather dense, there are long-haired (about 10 cm) and short-haired (max 4-6 cm) specimens
- Color: there are various colors: white, black, red, gray and brown
The character of Alabai
Considered among the shepherd dogs more proud and independent, it is courageous and does not fear the clash even with large predators. He has a very protective attitude towards his territory.
Despite its large size, it has a marked agility. At the same time, he is also calm and knows how to rest for long periods in order to conserve his energy.
Love open spaces and rural environments. You need to move often. While he is able to adapt, it is not recommended to let him live in an apartment.
He grows fond of his master and the other members of the family. He also behaves well with children towards whom he develops a strong sense of protection.
The Alabai training
If you are planning to adopt this dog breed it would be wise to have specific experience with large guard dogs. Furthermore, even before proceeding with the adoption, it is strongly recommended to contact a dog trainer so that he can help us in choosing the breeding and litter.
Being a very autonomous breed by nature, training should be started immediately, right from a puppy. When giving orders, we must be rigid so that the animal will recognize us as deserving of respect.
He is a very intelligent dog.
On average, an Alabai gives birth to 5-7 pups. Awake and very active, they must immediately be trained in a suitable and rigorous manner.
Alabai health and pathologies
Among the most common ailments, we remember:
- hip problems
- intestinal blockage
- rectal fistulas
- intestinal parasites
This breed does not require special care. It is good to brush the dog every day, both in the direction of the hair and against the hair.
It is good to pay particular attention during the moulting period (2 times a year): the thick layer of fluff must be removed well with a brush.
Food of Alabai
In the case of dry meals or kibble, use high quality products specifically for large dogs.
In the case of more traditional foods, beef is recommended and not pork. In any case, it is good to always feed the dog at the same time every day.
How long does an Alabai live
Its average life span is between 12 and 15 years.
How much does an Alabai dog cost
The price of an Alabai puppy vfrom € 800-1,000 to € 1,500-2,000.
In Italy there is a fair presence of amateur breeding of this breed, mainly concentrated in the north of the peninsula.
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Alabai: characteristics and temperament of the Central Asian Shepherd