1. What is a Central Asian Shepherd?
The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a large, ancient breed already established as a Guardian of Persia when Alexander the Great conquered Darius. We believe it to be 10,000 years old, and can prove 6,000 years by grave artifacts, pottery decorations and stone etchings found in the Middle Asian countries of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.
2. What does it do?
The Central Asian was developed from a land race breed (semi-domesticated wild dogs, similar in structure, size and temperament) as a defensive guard dog by Mother Nature. Man had little to do with their development, letting nature select the strongest, long before written histories or pedigrees were kept. Out of these wild dogs were some that demonstrate an affinity for human companionship. After bonding with their new found human friends, they demonstrated both a tractable, loving nature and a natural guarding instinct. Thus was born a defensive protection dog, for property, livestock, families and business. They can also make a wonderful Therapy or Service Dog, as they are massive and strong, highly intelligent and eager to please. But for these services, the temperament must be carefully evaluated, as the breed does come in varying degrees of “hardness” or eagerness to defend, depending on the bloodline. A poorly bred Central Asian, or a mixed breed may exhibit unprovoked aggression. Great care must be taken in breeding multiple generations of dogs with stable temperaments coupled with an aggressive socialization program to ensure the breed will reach its’ potential as an excellent family companion.
3. On a number of occasions you have described the Central Asian as “defensive” in nature. What exactly does that mean?
The Central is a thinking breed, an reacts to a threat by positioning himself between the threat and the threatened, By doing so, rather than immediately engaging, or worse still, following the retreating predator, he is constantly in position to intervene, as the occasion warrants, This trait is instinctive in nature.
4. You seem to be stressing your accomplishments in the show ring. I am not interested in showing my dog. I want a dog that will guard my home, my property and to be a loving family pet. This said, why should I spend the extra money to purchase my puppy from “show lines”?
Many people see dog shows on T.V. or attend a few shows, and assume that show dogs cannot work, or make suitable family pets. This is far from true. Qualities that show dogs need to have, approachability, stable temperament, train-ability, intelligence and an eager to please attitude are also the requirements of a good working dog. That being the case, show dogs, especially from show stock whose parentage are working dogs, are one and the same. Our foundation dogs, i.e. Nik Han, Hammer and Mishka started their lives as livestock guardians before their successes in the show ring, and upon their retirement from the show ring enjoyed their final days as beloved couch potatoes.
5. I have perused a good number of websites, and many are impressive. How can I be sure that the websites are an accurate representation of the breeder’s qualifications, and the quality of their dogs?
Websites are great, but they can be misleading. You are making a sizable investment, both monetary and emotional in your puppy. If possible visit the breeder and be prepared to spend some time observing the puppy individually, and as a member of the litter. As important observe the adults. Are they confident, do they appear to be healthy and well cared for, are the premises clean, does the breeder seem knowledgeable; does the breeder have a “track record”? Can the breeder clearly tell you why he chose to breed the dam to the sire, and what he expects to achieve from the resulted litter? Are those expectations realistic? Ideally, if you are not knowledgeable about dogs, bring along someone who is. If a personal visit to the kennel is not possible, you may consider employing someone to do so in your behalf. The AKC (American Kennel Club) publishes a book containing a list of AKC licensed judges. By contacting an AKC judge within a reasonable distance of the kennel in question, he/she may agree to visit the kennel in your behalf for a nominal fee. You will then get an unbiased and informed evaluation of the quality of dogs, the quality of the puppies and the conditions in which they are kept. Maxomagic encourages personal visits. If you are not an expert, by all means bring someone who is.
6. How do I maximize my chances of getting the puppy of my dreams?
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, choose a breeder who is experienced and has a positive reputation and track record. Secondly, you hat to be 100% forthright, clearly stating your expectations. Finally, how much time will you be able devote to the puppy? Continued puppy socialization is a must. Puppy “kindergarten” is highly recommended. Well-adjusted, confident dogs start out as well socialized puppies. The breeder will tell you if you expectations are attainable or not. An honest breeder will take great pains to match you with the right puppy. He is constantly observing the puppy individually and in a group. He will know which puppy is more or less dominant, which puppy is more or less people orientated. It is to the breeders benefit to match you with the right puppy. You have the right to expect 100% honesty form the breeder; conversely the breeder has the right to expect 100% honesty from you.
7. What is the difference from a “show” and breeding prospect and a pet?
The show and breeding prospect is as close to the breed standard as possible. He will tend to have better over-all conformation than the pet quality puppy, be heavier boned, have perfect or near perfect dentition, darker eyes, etc. Both show quality and pet quality puppies are raised identically, will have been socialized and cared for in the same manner, and will be confident and well-adjusted appropriate to the age of the puppy. If you do not plan to show or breed by all means purchase a pet quality puppy at the lower purchase price.
8. What are your prices for pet quality and for show and breeding quality puppies?
We sell our pet puppies for $1500 and our show and breeding potential puppies for $2500.
By Steve Nash