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History of the breed
Archaeological finds suggest that the Alabai were born earlier than most other breeds – the first images of Alabai with docked ears and tail date back to 2000 BC. A statuette depicting a dog was found during excavations of a Bronze Age dwelling. It is believed that the appearance of the breed has remained unchanged since that time.
The formation and development of the breed took place on a vast territory belonging to nomadic tribes: from the Caspian Sea to the Dzungarian Altau and from the Pamirs to the Urals. On the site of the steppes, various states were formed that consider the Alabaevs “theirs”. The most famous names:
- Kazakh wolfhound.
- Turkmen Alabay.
- Central asian shepherd dog.
The latter name is correct geographically and has been used in Russia since 1989. On the territory of Turkmenistan, there is another standard, where the breed is called “Turkmen wolfhound”, is recognized as a national treasure and is prohibited from being exported from the state.
Alabai is the result of crossing the ancient breed of Molossians and the ancestors of the Great Danes. The nomads needed a strong, brave, large dog to protect herds and property. Wolves were the main opponents of guard dogs, therefore the nickname “wolfhounds” is absolutely deserved. The strongest representatives survived in battles with predators. They gave offspring.
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Life in wanderings and fights affected the development of the breed:
- Powerful body and jaws – for victories over wolves.
- Thick skin – so that insects and predators cannot bite through it.
- Thick and dense fur – for protection from cold and heat.
- Endurance and grace – essential for long journeys.
- Courage, pride, willingness to give their lives for the owner – the result of thousands of years of security practice.
At the end of the 18th century, there were attempts to “correct” the character of animals, to instill in them complaisance and friendliness. But the dogs staunchly resisted the upbringing contrary to their nature. The idea was abandoned.
Alabaev began to be exported from Asia only in the 1930s, and club copies appeared even later. Many dog lovers are happy about this – the breeders have not had much time to change the millennial characteristics of wolfhounds. Modern representatives of the breed have the same qualities as their nomadic ancestors..
Description of the breed
Huge, massive dogs, “dressed” in a pleasant to the touch wool. Formidable appearance, courage, devotion are distinctive qualities. The uniqueness of the breed is that it developed without human participation, in the process of centuries of natural selection.
- Height at withers – males: from 70 centimeters, females – about 67 centimeters. At home, in Central Asia, there are specimens up to 90 centimeters. Growth is valued in the breed – if the build remains proportional.
- Weight – males: about 70 kilograms, females: from 50 to 65 kilograms.
- Life span – from 11 to 15 years old.
- Head – large, in proportion to the body, with a powerful and voluminous lower jaw, hidden by the lips. The occipital protuberance is clearly defined.
- Muzzle – hardly narrows. A straight nose, a slight hump is allowed by the standards. The lobe is black, in dogs with light coat it may be lighter. Black lips.
- Ears – small and slightly pendulous, pointed. Docked.
- Eyes – large, widely spaced. Color – shades of brown. The eyelids are always black.
- Neck – short, massive, with pronounced dewlap.
- Chest – wide, muscular, long, expands closer to the back. The bottom goes down to the elbows, sometimes lower.
- Back – broad, straight, with prominent muscles. Short, strong loin, slightly arched.
- Tail – Set high, thick, can curl up into a ring. Both natural look and docked tail are allowed by breed standards.
- Front limbs – parallel, straight, with strong bones and muscles.
- Hind limbs – straight, parallel, strong, set wider than the front.
- Paws – oval, compressed into a lump.
- Wool – coarse texture, straight, dense, tough, with a developed undercoat. The breed is divided into short-haired – length from 3 to 5 centimeters – and long-haired – from 5 to 7 centimeters, with a mane, increased “shaggy” behind the ears, on the legs and tail.
- Color – depending on the variety and place of birth, alabai can have different colors of wool. Standards allow all shades, except for mixing blue-gray and brown.
Proud dogs with a dominant temperament. It takes a lot of effort to gain respect from your pet. Alabai is ready to fully obey only those who demonstrate leadership qualities. For this, dog handlers recommend that both the dog and the owner take a specialized course aimed at obedience – in the process, the wolfhound recognizes the leader.
A strong psyche, endurance, self-confidence, lack of fear and protective instinct make the Central Asian Shepherd an ideal guardian. At the same time, possessing the undeniable qualities of a fighter, if there is no reason for concern, wolfhounds will be calm and even phlegmatic, unlike close relatives – Caucasian shepherd dogs.
The dog attacks the offender immediately, without trying to resolve the issue peacefully. The bitch will first warn against intrusion with a bass bark or threatening roar. If such measures do not help, it will demonstrate itself in all its glory. And only in the event of a direct threat will he fully demonstrate the skills of an unsurpassed fighter – for the safety of the health and property of a large family, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog will fight with all ferocity and willingness to sacrifice itself.
Wolfhounds will take care of children – in the company of such a “calf” a child is not afraid of anything. At the same time, young dogs are playful and do an excellent job with the additional duties of a companion. Safety will be ensured, they will play, but they will not let them sit on their necks – large dogs have their own ways of showing the boundaries of what is permitted without harming the playing child. Huge animals do not divide children into “us” and “strangers” – the Alabai will not harm the child.
In ancient times, nomadic Asians shot shepherd dogs showing increased aggression towards people, so an evil disposition is not inherent in modern representatives of the breed. Do not imagine these unique dogs as monsters. They are effective guards and unpretentious companions..
Looking at the heavy gait of a wolfhound, it is difficult to believe that these dogs can show unexpected agility. Nevertheless, this is so: in numerous fights with predators, speed is indispensable.
There is an ongoing debate about the amount of exercise that Central Asian Shepherd Dogs need. Someone insists on excessive training, others believe that everything should be natural. Truth is somewhere in between.
It is difficult for nomadic dogs without fresh air, so the best place to keep is in a private house with a fenced area. Alabai, carrying security functions, will “wind” as many kilometers as it needs in a day. Satisfy curiosity, inspect all hidden places. If the territory is not fenced off, the wolfhound will try to capture the maximum area, driving away strangers from new “own” territories.
The older the dog is, the greater its tendency to gain weight – a common occurrence in massive animals. Physical activity should be increased, not allowing the pet to spread out in breadth and acquire related diseases.
For many centuries, the nomadic way of life made the Alabai very unpretentious animals. Even after lying on the ground for a long time, the wool does not need cleaning or washing.
- Two scheduled bathing a year is enough.
- No hair clipping required.
- The dog sheds throughout the year, the coat must be combed out. Strong molt occurs in spring. With regular removal of dead hair, its amount will be seriously reduced. Comb out better in open space.
- Ear cleaning – as needed. No cotton swabs – just a swab dipped in special products.
- Claw trimming – twice a month.
- Regular visits for examination at the veterinary clinic are not needed – routine visits are enough for vaccinations.
- It is better to walk your pet in different places – for new sensations of a “nomad”. Leash and muzzle are required.
- For the health of teeth and gums, wolfhounds need to work a lot with their jaws – meat products should be the basis of the diet. The menu should alternate between liquid and solid foods, preferably with a high fiber content. Nutrition should be balanced – a large dog is prone to joint problems, vitamins and minerals necessary to strengthen them must be supplied to the body.
- Banned – pork, tubular bones and sweets.
- Keeping a close eye on your weight is a harsh necessity: a large body tends to be overweight, and overeating can lead to digestive problems. Alabai’s ribs should not stick out, but they are easy to feel.
Dogs are excellent at tolerating various temperatures, but thrive best in cold and temperate climates. If the region is hot, the animal should have access to shade and plenty of fresh water.
These animals are champions of cleanliness, so the bedding should be washed at least once every two weeks, and shaken out or vacuumed daily.
Males are more independent and self-confident, dominant, bitches are calmer and more agreeable. For balance, it is better to keep two opposite-sex Alabai.
Alabai is a serious dog that does not forgive mistakes in education, so training and training should be entrusted to professional dog handlers. Learning begins as early as possible – already at three months, basic concepts and behavior are fully formed. It will be very difficult to change something in the future.
The socialization of a puppy is an important stage of learning, which should start at a very young age. Acquaintance of the kid with dogs of other breeds, cats will be useful. If a little warrior is aggressive towards his fellows, you need to punish.
When the puppy is three months old, it is time for learning commands and continuous parenting. From three to nine months, the basic needs of a future security guard are developed: a craving for positive emotions, for a game, a desire to communicate with the family, owner, pets.
Allocate at least twenty minutes every day for training. The puppy learns new information quickly, but developing the habit of obedience is a long, continuous process.
Teaching a pet to give food to the owner is a good way to show him who is in charge of the pack – only the leader is given food.
It is impossible to ignore pranks and disobedience – a huge dog will consider himself a leader. It is imperative to strive for the execution of the sounded commands. So that the dog is not distracted by extraneous things, you need to walk with it in different places as often as possible – for the habit of constantly changing the environment.
Alabai perform the command “Sit” with pleasure, but “Stand” and “Lie” are more difficult. The commands “To me” and “Near” are obligatory for studying.
Curiosity and persistence are inherent qualities of the breed. If a pet is striving for something, he will not stop until he achieves his goal.
Do not allow the puppy to “hug”, standing on its hind legs. While he is small, it is fun and pleasant, but under the weight of an adult Alabai it is difficult to stand on his feet.
Males learn better. Bitches find tricks easy to avoid command execution.
The naturally evolving nomadic guard dog boasts health and resistance to infections. They do not have the bloating common in other large dogs..
- Dysplasia of the pelvis and elbow is a problem common to large dogs. She did not bypass the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs.
- Allergic reactions.
- Problem joints.
- Metabolic disorders and diabetes – as a consequence of improper diet.
- Excess weight.
To maintain the health of a pet, attention, maintenance in suitable conditions, proper nutrition and timely vaccination are necessary.
The price range is large: from 10,000 to 50,000 rubles and above. Puppies can be divided into three price categories:
- About 10,000 – defective specimens: malocclusion, irregular proportions. Such animals will not be able to participate in exhibitions, but they will be excellent companions and guards..
- Between 15,000 and 20,000 is not a marriage, but nothing special either. In show programs, he will not achieve success, but will become a true friend.
- From 20,000 – puppies with the prospect of a championship, capable of taking high places at exhibitions. The most expensive are Alabai with white wool.
List of nurseries
- Alabai 62 Ryazan – alabai62.ru/
- Prima-Alabay Rossosh – prima-alabay.ru/
- Sheriff AGA Moscow – sherif-aga.ru/
- Klovi Fryazino – klovi.ru/