|HISTORY OF THE ALABAI BREED|
The Central Asian Sheep-Dog, Turkmen Wolfhound or Alabai is one of the most ancient breeds of dogs.
Military collisions, necessity of protection of settlements gave a push to usage of dogs for guard and fighting. This fact has started dog's selection by physical data from shepherd's dogs. In this way an early "mastiff similar" dogs were intended not only for persecution of animals and support of herds appeared, but also for protection of the person and protection of dwelling. The term "mastiff similar" unites group of breeds that begin the origin from Tibetan Shepherd's and sentry dogs.
For the first time this dog was described by hunt-writer Yuate in 1845 under the name of Tibetan mastiff. The Tibetan mastiff is large, rough and crude dog, with enormous force, heavy and short head, a wide muzzle and crude lips. Far ancestors of the Tibetan mastiff - large wolf similar dogs. The earliest mention of the Tibetan mastiff was at 1121 B.C. when one of them, training for search of people has been presented to the Chinese emperor.
From Tibet these dogs have got to Mongolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia. Having got mixed up with a local livestock the Tibetan mastiffs have lost long wool and became more homogeneous painting but the main features were kept (large growth, rough combining, massive head with a volumetric rather short muzzle). The closest descendant of the Tibetan mastiff is the Mongolian sheep-dog. It is a large dog: growth of dogs - 75cm, females are lower, powerful skeleton, a wide breast. Mongolian Sheep-Dog is malice, active; with an advanced sentry reflexes. Tibetan mastiff and the Kirghiz sheep-dog have very close descriptions. Journal "Dog's breeding" (1929, #7) in Tkachenko's article: "The Kirghiz sheep-dog is large wolf-similar dog of powerful combining. It is possessing perfectly advanced instinct of protection. It is affectionate to the owner; it perfectly grazes herds of rams and protects them from the steppe wolf. As this description shows the Kirghiz Sheep-Dog is the descendant of the ancient Asian mastiff-similar dogs with the blood of the local dogs".
Our Central Asian Sheep-Dogs are also descendants of the ancient mastiff similar dogs. The population of those areas of Central Asia where were engaged in cattle breeding concerned to a dogs very well. In hierarchy the dog was right after the domestic cattle that were their basic riches.
Professor, academician of the Kazakh Academy of sciences S.N.Bogolyubsky was one of the first scientists studying the Central Asian sheep-dog. In 1927 he has published in the journal "Dog breeding and training" ¹15 article "Concerning the shepherd's dogs of Turkmenistan ". The Central Asian sheep-dog or Alabai is the breed developed during the most ancient times in conditions of extensive "subsistence economy" at "unconscious natural selection by methods of national selection".
The name Central Asian (Turkmen) Sheep-Dog meets in 1935. In a number of exhibition catalogues this dog refers to as the Turkestani sheep-dog, but probably with abolition of the name Turkestan and introduction of the term Central Asia, the Turkestani sheep-dog is renamed in Central Asian. It has taken place by the end of 40th years, A.P.Mazover thought, that most the best livestock, with the purest and homogeneous type is concentrated in Turkmenistan. The best Turkmen dogs are rough and strong type with short or average length, rough and dense wool.
Dogs of Tadjikistan are cruder with a friable folded skin. In Uzbekistan also are numerous livestock of the Central Asian Sheep-Dog. Outside the former USSR the Central Asian sheep-dogs (or as it name in Turkmenistan - Alabai) are distributed in Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Northern States of India, East Iran. In each of these regions breed has got the special specific features. To show a special role of Turkmen people in cultivation and selections of Alabai, it is necessary to name a dog Turkmen Alabai.
In 1947 A.P.Mazover wrote: "The Central Asian sheep-dog has very well kept characteristic for the Tibetan dogs muzzle that wide at the basis and on the end which at the further culture of cultivation was transformed in peculiar mastiff and further to bulldogs and boxers. Thus the Central Asian Sheep-Dog (Alabai) is the closest to the initial form of the Tibetan mastiff after the Mongolian Sheep-Dog".
From the book "Domestic breeds of dogs"
Kalinin, Ivanova, Morozova Moscow, 1992ã.