Comment to 'Central Asian Shepherd Types and Strains'
  • Hi Gary

    A very valuable piece of information; thank you; it sums it up nicely; it also confirms my understanding that there are varying types and strains; however, I don't think that the response fully addresses the post, as a question is about both the physical and temperament differences between CAS types and strains.

    To start and without being fussy, does Type = Strain? I am just trying to narrow the discussion as much as possible, and as a dog owner not a breeder, I am really eager to learn and don't mind being spoon fed :)

    The most interesting part in your response for me is that there are still some countries that focus on dogs that are bred for work, and not for show; thank God for that :) Applying the rule of elimination from what you said, these countries are: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgystan.

    Having said that, I believe that the Russian CAS produced by the late Red Star Kennel was very successful in producing exceptional quality of guard CAS; where they also exceptional as shepherds; I wonder what happened to the Red Start Kennel, who inherited their breeding stock, and again what are physical and temperament differences between the Russian CAS and the rest?

    The more I think about it, the more I realise how large the topic is .. So, if you may please allow me, I will come back to where I started:

    What are the physical differences between the different types?  How can the different types be identified?  What are the different traits between the different types?  What do different types of CAS excel in over the other? 

    Perhaps, it might be easier, as a starting point, to classifying CAS according to their terrain: Mountain Type, Steppe Type and Desert Type - And build up from there ..

    Thank you for your time, and I would like to take the opportunity to wish you a Blessed Festive Season and a Happy 2020 :)

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    • To start and without being fussy, does Type = Strain? 

      What are the physical differences between the different types? 

      How can the different types be identified? 

      What are the different traits between the different types? 

      What do different types of CAS excel in over the other? 

      Perhaps, it might be easier, as a starting point, to classifying CAS according to their terrain: Mountain Type, Steppe Type and Desert Type - And build up from there ..

      Type = Strain - Yes this is loosely used to mean the same thing though in some cases a type is an established subset of a population. The Mountain Type - would be a good description, not mountain strain. A breeder can produce a strain from that type - say a particular coloring or maybe a lighter boned strain. It is good to find out how the terms are used before deciding on the relevant meaning. In my case, I use type to be established and recognized and strain to be a particular variant of the type.

      Physical Difference - are mainly the three that you mentioned and have to do with morphology. Mountain types are usually heavier boned and greater mass on the body. Longer coated with a double coat, heavier blockier heads, deep wide chest, and large paws - all adopted to moving on the mountain and snow. Steppe are not as heavily built have the body type that is between the plains type and the mountain type. Of course, this is dictated by habitat and function. Look for lighter-colored, narrower dogs that can traverse the large expanses of land quickly and efficiently.  Longer legged, slightly longer blocky muzzle deep-chested, well tucked up and powerful well-coupled structure. Plains version (desert type) by necessity are slightly built animals with long legs, deep chest, strong lithe muscles, and narrower heads compared to the mountain type. Colors would range more to fawn, straw and multi-colored including a good dose of white. Have a look at some photos here.

      You will see many Turkmen Alabai and other types. Some look like Caucasians with docked tails - possibly mountain type and some may resemble the Kangal or Anatolian but with different coloring.

      This one is Russian: 

      Have a look at Murat that was used as a fighting dog - http://sicard.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=1051

      This one is a Russian import to Israel.

      http://sicard.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=1905

      Temperament is a function of breeding and work. it takes about three generations to completely change the temperament in a breeding kennel. The tasks that the dogs is bred for will dictate their temperament.   Will continue the discussion later - Christmas calls. :)

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      • Gray; this is a grand reply; thank you; I noticed that breeders often avoid this subject; not only here but also on Facebook; not sure why exactly such a basic topic may become sensitive; I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this topic and I look forward to learn more especially about the difference in temperament between the 3 main types of CAS; this would be very interesting to read (on the root of the discussion please); thank you :)

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