Turkmen alabay is a shepherd whose pedigree qualities were polished by nature and people themselves. The dog breeders of the world received a ready-made breed, representatives of which were collected by villages and villages, in adyrs and takyrs, in the sands and on the slopes of the mountains of Central Asia.
Turkmen alabai is a shepherd whose pedigree qualities were polished by nature and people
Alabai: why is that name
Now they are called Central Asian Shepherd Dogs. Alabai they are called in their homeland, in Turkmenistan. The translation of this name is interpreted in different ways.
Some believe that this is from a respectful combination of two words: Ala - spots and Bai - rich. It turns out that this dog is rich in spots. Indeed, there are very few pure white dogs in Turkmenistan. Basically, these are large, white, but with rarely located black-red or red spots.
Another version interprets the first part of the word as scarlet. In the Turkmen language, there are many words in which there are two sounds connected as “al”, which really translates as bright red. However, in any language, the designation of color bears also an allegorical designation. For example, in Russian, the red-damsel is not a leader of the redskins, but a beauty.
The word scarlet means really red, but in the sense - bright, noticeable, fiery. So there is also the opinion of some experts that the name Alabai came from two words - scarlet and buy, which can be interpreted as bright, noticeable as fire.
Finally, there is another very simple explanation. Once upon a time, the Turkmen people lived very isolated from others. From the south, the territory of this ethnic group was limited by the large mountains of Kopetdag, from the north - the endless Karakum, from the west by the Caspian Sea. Ethnic unity was possible only from the east, but mountains also played their separating role there.
Turkmens simply did not have any other dogs besides Alabaev. An amazing sight was presented by the Turkmen villages of the Soviet period - only purebred dogs lived there. Apart from the Alabaevs, there were no other dogs there. So the version was born that Alabai is just a dog.
So alabai is:
- just a dog;
- spotted buy;
- scarlet bye.
If you combine all these linguistic models, it turns out that this is a dog, rich and big as a buy, spotty and bright, majestic and noticeable to everyone.
Gallery: Turkmen alabay (25 photos)
Central Asian Shepherd Dog or Turkmen Alabai (video)
Territorial differences of the Central Asian shepherd
Dogs, which are called Central Asian Shepherd Dogs, are territorially divided into 3 parts. These are the Uzbek, Tajik and Turkmen Shepherd Dogs. This separation is not accidental. Popular breeds are formed not only by selection for the necessary qualities, but also, to a large extent, by geographical isolation. All the isolation barriers described above played a role in the genetic and phenotypic polishing of each of these variants of a single breed.
The dog breeders of the world received a ready-made breed, representatives of which were collected by auls and villages, in adyrs and takyrs, in the sands and on the slopes of the mountains of Central Asia
The largest alabai was formed in Turkmenistan. It is difficult to say what exactly played a role in the selection, but the Turkmen shepherd of all Central Asian shepherds is not only the largest, but also the most calm and friendly. Despite the powerful insulating barrier in the form of the Caspian Sea, the shepherd dogs of Turkmenistan in many respects are very similar to the Caucasian shepherd. If you mentally remove the dense and long hair and fluffy tail from the Caucasian Shepherd, the difference between these breeds will significantly decrease.
See also: Russian Black Terrier
Central Asian and Caucasian shepherd dogs represent a similar genetic line of the dogs of the same type. The Turkmen wolfhound represents a transitional stage between the lighter and more aggressive shepherds in the eastern part of Central Asia and the dogs of the Caucasus. This suggests that the peoples of the western and eastern coasts of the Caspian interacted with each other very actively.
Exterior of the Turkmen version of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog
The most striking characteristic is huge growth and a large head. However, the size of the head relative to the body seems so large due to the short coat. For example, in a Caucasian shepherd, the head seems more proportional to the body only due to a very thick six and the presence of a similarity of mane on the neck and front of the body.
Shepherd dogs from Turkmenistan due to the large head and cropped ears look a little frightening. First, a person sees a large streamlined head, and then everything else. Of course, according to this characteristic, the dog of the Turkmen Alabay does not compare with such short-haired fighters, such as, for example, the pit bull terrier. However, in the formation of the Alabaev, the factor of awesome appearance played, certainly, a considerable role.
So, dogs of this breed have the following characteristics:
- Large size, strong, rough, slightly loose physique.
- Very long growing up. The final maturity comes to 3-4 years. At the age of 1.5 to 2 years, they seem light and not even very strong.
- The format of the shepherd is moderately stretched, streamlined. This is especially pronounced in bitches. Selection by these indicators is aimed at the formation of a compact type of dog with an index in the range from 102 to 104.
- When selecting, preference is given to large individuals with a massive skeleton.
- The optimal height for males is 70 cm and more. For bitches, less height and weight are allowed. They are lighter, more mobile, with a smaller head.
- Turkmen wolfhound has thick, impenetrable and at the same time elastic skin. This “reserve" of skin is needed for fights with wolves and other dogs. The drawn-out skin does not allow the opponent to bite the dog to vital organs. At the same time, the owner of such skin himself gets the opportunity to twist and bite the enemy. This principle is brought to the limit by the Chinese at Shar Pei. For the same reason, the wolfhound Alabai has saggy skin on its neck. This suspension does not allow to bite the dog's throat during fights.
- The main breed character is the structure of the head. The historical significance of this feature is also recognized by archaeological data.
It is believed that the shepherd from Turkmenistan is descended from Tibetan dogs, which is quite logical if the migration routes of the owners of these dogs are taken into account. Tibetan breeds are the same big-headed, massive, with a wide skull. A large head is combined with developed cheekbones, a flat forehead, a relatively dull muzzle. All these properties are necessary in order to develop a very large force of compression of the jaws, as well as the ability to keep the enemy in a fixed state.
Character and work in the specialty
This dog is not for nothing called a wolfhound. In order to graze flocks of sheep in a deserted area, you must be able to:
- make sheep, goats, cows, horses, camels, donkeys and other farm animals obey a shepherd dog;
- protect the property of its owner from encroachment by people;
- protect their wards from wolves, hyenas, leopards (and earlier also from the teeth of tigers that lived in the mountains and foothills of Kopetdag and on the Kaplankyr plateau);
- recapture herd from other dogs.
See also: Rules for the use of dog repeller
Turkmen wolfhounds, like their Caucasian counterparts, know how to work themselves, without a person. The main thing is to have a herd of sheep and to know where to bring them for an overnight stay. Of course, a person determines the direction of movement of a herd, a place where there is more grass and there is water, but an experienced dog herself knows how to collect sheep or goats in a tight pile and direct them to where they currently need to be.
This is the property of all shepherds working in the specialty. Caucasian shepherd dogs do the same.
Dogs performing such functions are distinguished by special independence and independence. This creates problems when raising such shepherd dogs in conditions where sheep and goats are not to be grazed. Alabai, even in the city, knows better than a man what to do now. The problem is only that he knows how to graze sheep and defend the property of the owner, but does not know the rules established in cities and other crowds.
The independence of these dogs creates the illusion of their low intelligence. However, the shepherd can not have a high level of intelligence, otherwise she could not fulfill her complex functions.
Turkmen alabay (video)
The Turkmen wolfhound in terms of behavior has a number of features. It would seem that a character formed in the vast expanses of mountains, deserts and semi-deserts should be particularly aggressive. In these open spaces people and cattle were in danger from natural disasters, fangs of other predators, and most importantly, from other people. Indeed, in these parts there have long been robbers who hunted not only theft of livestock and property, but also the slave trade.
However, this dark past in a strange way affected the character of the Alabais, especially the Turkmen. If these dogs are next to the flock and their owners, then an approaching stranger will be stopped by a moderate, non-aggressive barking. This is just a warning, which continues until the owner finds out with what the person came. If the situation is peaceful, then Alabai will never be aggressive towards a new person, allowing him to be in this territory unhindered.
So these dogs are generally positive towards people. However, only as long as a person came to them in peace.
Another thing is if these Alabai do not have an object of protection nearby and the will of the owner who would guide them. In small Turkmen villages where it is not customary to keep chain dogs, Alabai gather in packs and begin to guard the village itself, controlling it along the perimeter.
If suddenly under the cover of night, when the inhabitants of the village are sleeping, a random traveler will enter this territory, then the Alabai will take it in their own way. A harmonious flock of such a person surrounds, trying to go behind him. If the traveler’s nerves are strong and he won’t run, a characteristic carousel is formed. A person, turning to face each of the dogs, is constantly spinning in place. Each dog, trying to go behind him, is forced to run in a circle all the time. We must pay tribute to these dogs, such a carousel does not last long. If it turns out that a person has strong nerves, he does not use weapons, does not call for help, then the pack, with a sense of accomplished duty, runs away on its guard affairs.
See also: Test: What kind of dog owner are you?
At the same time, the Turkmen Alabai, despite their decisive nature, having tested the person for strength, use their teeth only in emergency cases. For a frightened dog carousel, there is only one way out - to scream until people come to the rescue.
Children treat these dogs well. For them, these are the same puppies that need to be protected. However, puppies to obey these dogs are not accepted. For any dogs, and especially service ones, there is an age threshold to which a child should not command a dog. It’s about 12 years old. After that, a dog can recognize the right to control itself for a grown-up human “puppy”.
Another property of these dogs should be mentioned. Alabai wolfhounds really know how to fight well with other animals, including dogs. This property is used in dog fights in Turkmenistan. For this, they do not keep shepherds, but special dogs of this breed. This is not to say that Alabai is a fighting breed. It’s just that they, like the Caucasian shepherd dogs, have fighting skills in their genes that they successfully use in battles for flocks, their people and their territory, not only with wild animals, but also with other people's dogs claiming to be expensive for this alabai .
However, Caucasian and Central Asian shepherd dogs have one difference from fighting breeds. They do not have bloodthirstiness and “frostbite”. At some point, one of the fighters of this breed may substitute a throat for a bite as a sign of reconciliation. Other shepherd dogs will understand him, and this will stop the battle. Dogs of special fighting breeds do not have such brakes - they can break the throat set up as a sign of reconciliation.
Turkmen wolfhound represents a transitional stage between the lighter and more aggressive shepherd dogs of the eastern part of Central Asia, and the dogs of the Caucasus
How to raise this dog
Given the above characteristics of the character and formation of the genotype of this dog, the following rules must be followed in raising a puppy:
- From the very first days, the dog must understand who is the owner of the house. They immediately realize who the inner strength is here for and who needs to be obeyed. However, this does not mean that all other family members are in the position of sheep, which need to be grazed.
- The dog does not feel the strength of the leader through beating, although sometimes a light slap does not hurt. He is needed in order to stop the dog in time if she does something wrong. The leader's strength is manifested in determination and consistency. If you can’t do something, then you can never. Otherwise, you will soon begin to besiege roar. And if you are frightened at the same time, Alabai will become the leader in the pack.
- If, having acquired a charming puppy, you are not confident in your abilities, go with him to obedience courses, and then, if necessary, special training for guarding.
Oddly enough, in the formidable Central Asian giants there is a soft, vulnerable soul, which makes them even closer to Caucasian shepherds. Just about them, and said one American dog handler - these are dogs growing from a small bison, but with the soul of a child.
The Turkmen Alabaev must be educated in severity, but they cannot be offended, that is, punished in vain, showing cruelty. Otherwise, get an uncontrollable wolfhound. These dogs are partners by nature, they are used to trusting people and obeying them according to the principle of justice.