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Central Asian Shepherd Dog Breed Standard

Central Asian Shepherd Dog Breed Standard

From the history of the breed
The Central Asian Shepherd is one of the oldest dog breeds, a typical molosser-type dog. Central Asians were formed as a separate dog breed from national selection during more than four thousand years in the vast territory, stretching nowadays from the Caspian Sea to China and from the Southern Ural to Afghanistan. Their ancestors are ancient Tibetan dogs, cattle dogs from various nomad tribes' fight dogs of Mesopotamia, Mongolian Shepherd Dogs and Tibetan Mastiffs. During its existence the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs were primarily used for protection of cattle, caravans and the owner's dwellings, being exposed to rigid natural selection. Hard living conditions and constant struggle against predators had influenced on dogs' body shape and character. They've become strong and fearless. In the places of primordial habitation, the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are mainly to protect herds from predators and also as guard dogs. 
The official breeding started in the USSR in the 1930s. Because of their ability to destroy predators Central Asians sometimes are called "Volkodav", "The Wolf Crusher" in Russian. Nowadays, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog remains to be one of the most popular dog breed on the territory of former USSR republics.
Country of origin
Russia.
General appearance
Large, strong, courageous, dignified, unpretentious, adapts easily to different living conditions; that allows to use the Central Asian Shepherd Dogs as service dogs.

Format
Slightly stretched.
Coat
Thick, straight, rough with well-developed undercoat. Hair on the head and on the front part of limbs is short and dense. Depending on the length of the outer coat there can be either shorter hair 1 1/5 inch - 2 inch (3-5 cm), covering the whole body or with longer hair 2 4/5 inch - 4 inch (7-10 cm) which forms a mane on the neck, feathers behind the ears and on the back parts of the limbs and on the tail.
Color
Any, except blue or brown.
Head
Massive, proportional to the total length of dog's body; muzzle is deep, almost rectangular when viewed from above and sides.
Ears
Of medium size, triangular, hanging, low set - the tip of the ear is at or slightly below eye level. Should be cropped, if it is not prohibited by law. Uncropped ears are not a fault.
Eyes
Small, set well apart, of oval form, looking straight ahead, moderately deep set. Eye color is of various shades of brown - from dark brown to hazel. Eyelids are thick, moderately dry, characterized by the presence of visible third eyelid. Fully pigmented eye rims are preferred. Expression is confident and dignified.Neck
Of medium length, massive, oval at cross-section, well-muscled and low set. Dewlap is a specific feature of this dog breed.
Teeth
Jaws are broad. Teeth are white, large, close to each other, a full set (42 teeth). Double first premolar is allowed. Incisors are set on a line. Scissor bite, pincer bite and also reversed scissors bite is accepted (with very large lower jaw). Canines are set well apart.
Body
Solid, well balanced.
Chest
Deep, long, broad, distinctly developed, ribcage broadening towards the back. False ribs are long. Forechest extends slightly in front of the humerus/scapula joint.
Belly
Slightly tucked up.
Tail
Thick at the base, high set. The natural tail is carried in a sickle curve or curled in a loose ring that begins at the last third of the tail. Tail is usually docked if it is not prohibited by law. Natural tail is of equal value to a docked one.
Limbs (front and rear)
Forequarters: straight, wide and parallel set - when seen from the front. Shoulder blades are long, set obliquely. Upper arm is long, sloping. The pasterns are massive, strong, slightly sloping. 
Hindquarters: straight and parallel - when viewed from behind, set slightly wider than the front. Thighs are broad and well muscled.
Attractive features
Central Asians are confident, well-balanced, calm, independent and dignified dogs. They are distrustful and unfriendly to strangers. A perfect working dog, very brave, sturdy, an ideal guard dog. Fearless in struggle against big predators.