Central Asian Owtscharka

Central Asian Owtscharka Breed description: Character & Co

Central Asian Owtscharka


Central Asian Owtscharka: The Guardian of the Silk Road

The Central Asian Ovsharka, often referred to simply as the "Alabai," is one of the oldest dog breeds and has its roots in the countries along the Silk Road, particularly in regions such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. The history of this impressive breed goes back thousands of years.

  • Ancient Guard Dogs: Prized by nomads and farmers alike, they served as guard dogs to protect livestock from predators.
  • Military Past: It is believed that they were even used in ancient armies, both as war dogs and sentinels.


The Central Asian Owcharka is known for its strength, endurance, and natural guarding instincts. However, its powerful character requires special attention:

  • Loyalty: they are fiercely loyal to their families and can be very protective.
  • Extensive socialization required: without proper socialization, they can be suspicious of strangers. Early and consistent training is essential to ensure they become well-mannered companions.
  • Owner Experience: Because of their size and strong character, they are best suited for owners who have experience with large breeds and their training.

Working and guard dog.

Today, the Central Asian Ovcharka is still used as a working and guard dog in many parts of Central Asia. Thanks to its hardiness and adaptability, it can work effectively in both hot and cool climates.


The Central Asian Ovcharka is an impressive, proud dog with a rich history and distinctive character. With proper leadership and training, it can be a loyal and reliable companion, but requires an experienced hand.

Banner: Depositphotos / art2435
The Central Asian shepherd dog close up Central Asian shepherd dog is on the lawn Portrait of a young Central Asian shepherd dog sitting in a meadow between curtsies Man and Central Asian shepherd dog are walking in the park. He holds the dog on a leash.
Alternate Name Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Alabai
Origin Russia
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Pinscher and Schnauzer type
AKC group Foundation Stock Service
KC group not recognised

Character and personality

The Central Asian Owcharka, often called "Alabai", is not only imposing in appearance, but also in personality. He is known for his independence and determination, traits that make him an excellent guardian.

  • Loyalty and Bonding: He bonds deeply with his family and often shows a particularly close relationship with an individual.
  • Confidence: his presence demonstrates self-assurance and calmness, making him a quiet and reliable housemate.

Interaction and Socialization.

Despite its impressive size and strength, the Central Asian Ovcharka has a gentle core, but it must be properly addressed:

  • Strangers: He can be distrustful of strangers and therefore requires thorough socialization from a young age.
  • With other animals: He generally gets along well with other dogs as long as he is properly socialized. However, his strong protective instincts may cause him to see smaller animals as potential threats.

Education and Training

The Central Asian Owtscharka requires consistent and thoughtful training.

  • Leadership: he respects authority and needs clear instructions. A wavering or insecure owner may have difficulty in training.
  • Activities: He loves physical and mental challenges, which means he should be kept busy on a regular basis.


The Central Asian Ovsharka is a complex dog with a mix of strength, loyalty and sensitivity. With the right training and guidance, he will become a tireless protector and a loving family member.

Side view of a running and smiling Central Asian shepherd dog. Alabai running on an autumn field. Central Asian shepherd dog on blue background Portrait of central asian shepherd dog Alabai - Central Asian Shepherd Dog

Care of the Owtscharka

The Central Asian Owcharka, also known as Alabai, has a dense, coarse coat that requires special grooming:

  • Regular brushing: To prevent matting and accumulation of loose fur, it should be thoroughly brushed at least once a week.
  • Bathing: Only when necessary, as frequent bathing can strip his coat of its natural oils.
  • Paw Care: The tough paws should be checked regularly for cracks or foreign objects.
  • Dental Hygiene and Ear Care: Regular teeth brushing and ear checks are essential for his overall health.

Health Issues

Despite his hardiness, there are some health concerns to be aware of:

  • Hip dysplasia: As with many large dogs, the Owtscharka can be prone to this condition.
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease has been observed in some cases, so regular checkups with a veterinarian are recommended.

Breeding and heredity

Breeding the Central Asian Owtscharka requires knowledge and experience:

  • Health testing: potential breeding dogs should be tested for common health problems to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases.
  • Responsible breeding: Breeders should have a thorough knowledge of the genetics and lines of their breeding dogs and use only healthy dogs with good temperaments for breeding.


The Central Asian Ovsharka is a powerful and hardy dog, but still requires careful grooming and regular health checks. When breeding, utmost importance should be placed on the health and welfare of the animals in order to maintain the integrity of this ancient and venerable breed.

Close up portrait Central Asian shepherd dog looking to the side on gray background

The Central Asian Ovcharka has a dense, double coat that gives it protection in the harsh climates of Central Asia:

  • Coat Type: The coat is coarse and can be short to medium in length. It not only serves as protection from the cold, but also protects the dog from bites.
  • Colors: Common in shades of Fawn, Brindle and White, often with masks and various markings.
  • Grooming: At least once a week, the coat should be thoroughly brushed to keep it clean and free of tangles. Frequent bathing is not recommended as it can strip the coat of its natural oils.

Appearance & Stature

The appearance of the Central Asian Owcharka is impressive for its mass and strength:

  • Head: Broad and massive, with a pronounced forehead and strong jaw.
  • Eyes: Almond shaped, dark and expressive.
  • Body: Muscular, broad-shouldered and with a deep chest. Back straight and firm.

Size & Weight

This dog is one of the largest breeds:

  • Males: A height of 65-78 cm and a weight of 50-80 kg.
  • Females: A height of 60-70 cm and a weight of 40-65 kg.


The Central Asian Owcharka, often referred to as the "Alabai", is impressive not only for its size and weight, but also for its striking appearance and dense coat. For all its size and strength, this majestic dog requires consistent care to stay healthy and in top condition.

Fur length medium
Fur -
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 60 - 69 cm
Weight ♀ 45 - 65 kg
Size ♂ 65 - 78 cm
Weight ♂ 55 - 79 kg
Suitable For -
Central Asian shepherd dog on blue background
Portrait of central asian shepherd dog
Alabai - Central Asian Shepherd Dog
  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Joint problems

    Especially due to overweight, joint problems can occur in dogs.

  • Knee injuries

    Some breeds, unfortunately, especially suffer from knee injuries of various kinds.

Other large dogs

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