Over the years I’ve found that Central Asian Shepherds have many wonderful qualities. With this dog you don’t have to worry about the safety and security of your home. They are self-confident, independent, and devoted to their family. When properly trained they are calm, balanced, and sensible. They respect others’ belongings and don’t spoil the furniture. Their coat is self-cleaning, and they remain clean even after a whole day of rolling in dirt and mud.
By Katerina Rekowski
Photo Credit: Boris Gluharev/Guardian Dog Kennel
Love for a Lifetime
I met a Central Asian Shepherd for the first time when I was a schoolgirl. The two-month-old puppy belonged to my Russian family’s friend who had brought it from Central Asia to sell. I still remember how adorable this puppy was in his light yellowish-brown coat with a black mask. I fell in love with him from the first sight, and I visited him for almost a month to play. There was a Rottweiler puppy there too but I preferred the Central Asian Shepherd. I felt that we were on the same level, kind of like we bonded together.
My parents wouldn’t let me have such a large and strong dog at that time but I knew that Central Asian Shepherd, or Alabai, will be my lifetime dog. I began studying the breed, I read books and talked to the people, and I kept dreaming of the day when I get a puppy of my own.
Central Asian Shepherd Puppy
It happened only five years later, in 1994. When my dad and I entered the breeder’s yard, an Alabai puppy with bright reddish hair, white chest, and one black eye came up to meet me. He was so happy to see me but I ignored him because I had a different coloring in mind. I was still remembering that light yellowish-brown puppy with a black mask I had bonded with so many years before.
Well, I was examining nine other puppies and I was about to take a light brown girl, but that reddish pup with black eye was again and again trying to get my attention. The breeder said that this puppy was the strongest in the litter, and that they called him Rambo because he was brave and dominating. Even though he wasn’t what I was looking for, he still won me over. It’s almost like he knew that he was going home with us from the moment we walked through the gate.
I named him Chingiz, and we were the best of friends for almost thirteen years. He was loyal and sweet with our family but when it came to strangers he was serious and bossy! Even at four months old he was very protective and would bark at and try to attack strangers who entered our gate. As time went on I would take Chingiz everywhere with me, from kayaking to investigating abandoned basements and buildings. I felt protected and safe by his side. I knew that when I walked with him late at night no one would dare to approach me with some bad intentions.
US Breeding Kennel
My husband Larry’s first introduction to the Central Asian Shepherd breed was when he visited my parents’ house in Russia. There he met the son of Chingiz, and was really impressed by him. When I moved to the United States, I couldn’t wait to bring my favorite dog breed here, and Larry supported me in this. By that time I was a certified dog trainer and an experienced breeder, and Larry was an experienced dog owner.
It took us three years to establish a Central Asian Shepherd breeding kennel in Michigan, the Guardian Dog kennel. In our search for best Alabai bloodlines we contacted a lot of breeders in Russia and neighboring countries, we visited many dog shows until we found the Moscow kennel Sary Shaitan.
This kennel produces champion show dogs and family guardians for many years. I especially like that they have dogs of the same look and body structure that I am accustomed to. Not big and sluggish with droopy eyes and a lazy demeanor that represent the fashion fads for giant dogs. But calm, brave, ready to run and act, and proud like the Central Asian Shepherd is supposed to be.
In summer 2015 we’ve got our two Alabai girls, Aya and Alsu, from them. The girls traveled a long way as cargo from Moscow to Frankfurt, and then to Detroit where I have picked them up at the airport. The cargo people were amazed how calm and quiet our pups were after their long overseas travel.
In our own kennel I wanted to have a variety of colors, so I decided to get a white Central Asian Shepherd boy to breed with our girls. When I traveled to Russia in January 2016, the Sary Shaitan had around seventy puppies available! But only one of them, Safar, has at once melted my heart.
When I first saw him, he told me “Hi!” with his unique funny howl, and I knew it was a good sign. He’s now a member of our family, and he keeps talking to me and Larry.
Safar has got an amazing bloodline. His great grandfather was a famous dog in Russia. For several years he was a Champion at Conformation show, and he won many prizes in protection work. He is still the lead example of the ideal Central Asian Shepherd dog and you can see him on the covers of books about the breed.
Alabai Dog Breeding
Our goal is to breed Central Asian Shepherd dogs of true temperament and structure, free from genetic defects. We want to produce healthy offspring that can achieve any task and is easily trained. In case we breed our dogs with dogs from other kennels we want to be absolutely sure that it will benefit the breed. And, of course, we are selling our puppies only to responsible and experienced owners.
The Turkmen Alabai, or the Central Asian Shepherd dog, is not a dog for beginners, but in proper hands it becomes a splendid, beautiful, loyal, and intelligent friend and guardian.
These dogs love to think. They tend to dislike rude or aggressive strangers, and they treat them dismissively and with caution, but they’re not dangerous or overly aggressive. They’re quite calm but aloof at times. They are also known to be good with kids; they’re gentle and tend to not jump on or knock down the toddlers.
About the Author
Katerina is a certified dog trainer with 20 years of experience. She will be happy to help dog owners to learn more about the Central Asian Shepherd.
If you decide to get a puppy from her Guardian Dog kennel, she can train your new puppy before you bring it home!