Central Asian Shepherd: Dog Breed Facts and Information

Country of origin: Russia
Shoulder height: 65 – 80 cm
Weight: 45 – 60 kg
Age: 10 – 11 years
Color: all colors
Use: guard dog, protection dog

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog (Central Asian Ovcharka) is a large livestock guardian dog that is primarily distributed in the Central Asian republics and surrounding areas. The strong and strong-willed dog has a pronounced guard and protective instinct and therefore belongs in the hands of a connoisseur. As a pure family companion dog or for life in the city.

Origin and history

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a very old breed of dog that has its origins in the vast Central Asian region. From the Caspian Sea to China, the ancestors of this robust shepherd dog were reliable companions of nomadic pastoral peoples. They reliably protected the herds of cattle, the caravans, and the dwellings of the shepherds. Hard living conditions in the barren steppe areas and the high mountains and the constant fight against attackers made the Central Asian Shepherd Dog a strong and fearless dog that has learned to be particularly careful with its energies.

In Europe, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is relatively unknown, but in Central Asian countries it is still used today as a working dog and accompanies shepherds on their hikes through the steppes.


Due to the extensive range of this dog breed, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog also has a large number of breed types. The hounds from the steppe regions are lighter, more agile, and agile than the more massive dogs from the mountain regions.

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a large to medium-sized dog with a sturdy build and strengthen muscles. Its fur is made up of a harsh, smooth top coat and plenty of dense undercoats. The top coat can be short (3 – 5 cm) or slightly longer (7 – 10 cm). If the top coat is longer, it forms a distinct mane around the neck. With a well-developed undercoat and different lengths of top coat, the dogs are well adapted to different climatic conditions.

The coat color of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog is very varied: It comes in the colors white, black, grey, fox red, brown-grey, straw yellow, mackerel, piebald, and spotted.

The ears of the  Central Asian Shepherd Dog are triangular, set low, and hanging. The tail is thick at the base and set fairly high. The natural tail is long and carried like a sickle. Tail and ear docking are still practiced in the countries of origin.


The Central Asian Shepherd Dog has a calm temperament, is very self-confident, and makes its own decisions. It remains calm and composed even when threatened, but then attacks without warning. Like all livestock guardian dogs, it is particularly characterized by its courage and fighting strength.

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is usually only partially compatible with foreign dogs. It is territorial, dominant, and very strong-willed. Therefore, it needs clear leadership and very consistent, intensive training. Puppies also need to be socialized very carefully and gently introduced to anything unfamiliar. Equally important is the close family connection. Without proper training and socialization, these dogs can become aggressive toward people and other dogs. Dog experience is therefore essential for keeping this breed.

The Central Asian Shepherd is a dog with a great urge to move. Therefore, it is also not suitable for life in the city. The ideal habitat is a house with a large garden, where it has sufficient freedom of movement and at the same time its natural guard and protective instinct are required.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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