Alabai Dog - Fun facts about the Wolf Crusher dog

Alabai Dog - Fun facts about the Wolf Crusher dog

Author WDF Staff


The Alabai is one of the most impressive dog breeds in the world. These natural protectors have been helping humans survive for more than 5.000 years. They have protected us and worked alongside shepherds in the region of Central Asia. They have stuck with us through thick and thin, and if you ever have the pleasure of meeting one, we are sure you will be impressed by the imposing statue of this breed. Here are some fun facts about the Alabai dog breed.

1. Dog of many names

As you can imagine, a breed that is so old has been known by many different names. The Alabai dog is officially known as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. That is their registered name with all the major cynology associations like the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

The Alabai is also known as Central Asian Sheepdog, Central Asian Owtcharka, CAO, Middle Asian Shepherd Dog, Central Asian Ovcharka, Turkmen Alabai, and Aziat.

alabai dog and kid

2. Ancient origin

Only a few dog breeds were developed through natural selection and with little to no human interaction. Most dog breeds were carefully bred for their characteristics. Humans wanted to promote characteristics that made specific dogs useful for the task they were entrusted with. It could be hunting, herding, protection, or just companionship.

The Alabai dog evolved through natural selection. That is a testament enough about their adaptability and strength. These dogs had to be the strongest, largest, and best equipped for survival in the wild. They are related to the Caucasian Shepherds, Tibetan Mastiffs, and Anatolian Shepherds, but their development was completely independent.

There is another giant dog breed from that area that is equally impressive. Check out this article - Russian Bear Dog.

3. The Wolf Crusher

The Alabai is an immensely strong dog breed. These dogs are used as livestock and human protectors, which is a job they excelled at for more than five millennia. Their owners gave them different names and nicknames, but one nickname sticks from the rest - Volkadov.

In Russian, Volkadov can be translated as the Wolf Crusher. If you had any concerns about the strength of the Alabai, this should be a clear indication of how strong they are. The central Asian region is full of large predators like wolves, bears, end even snow leopards. While an individual dog cannot take on a pack of wolves, a pack of Alabai can certainly stand up to them. There are many testimonials of Russian farmers that have claimed their dogs have taken down wolves, and since we saw a working Alabai ourselves, we can honestly say we are not surprised.

alabai dog laying

4. Life expectancy

The Alabai dog is a giant dog breed. These dogs can reach a height of 28 inches and weigh well over 110 pounds. They are absolutely massive, and their size played a crucial part in their survival and work. However, the downside of being a giant dog breed is that they have a shorter life expectancy. Breeds like the Great Dane, Newfoundland, Bullmastiff, or Scottish Deerhound have a relatively short lifespan.

The good news is that Alabai dogs are above average when it comes to longevity. These dogs have an average lifespan of 13.5 years, and some owners have reported dogs living up to 17 years. That is very unusual for such a giant breed. If you ever decide to go for an Alabai dog, you can be sure they will stick with you for quite some time.

If you love big dogs, check out this article - Best Big Dog Breeds.

5. Mongolian war dogs

Dogs have been used for wars and battles for thousands of years. It is certainly understandable that such an impressive animal would strike fear in the hearts of the opposing army, and there was no one more aware of that than the mighty Genghis Khan.

Genghis Kahn conquered half of the world, and the Alabai dog played a vital part in that conquest. Mongolian armies used these dogs as protectors of their livestock, troops, and war dogs. They used to charge into battle alongside the legendary Mongolian riders and their fast horses. The agile cavalry used Alabai dogs to break enemy ranks and reap havoc in the opposing infantry. While the soldiers were trying to avoid the powerful Alabai jaws, the Mongolian cavalry used that opportunity to decimate them.

alabai puppy

6. Dog fights

Another part of the Alabai’s bloody history was dog fights. The Central Asian region was filled with nomadic tribes that used these dogs for protection. These tribes were often in disputes about lands that offered the best grazing areas for their livestock, and often, they used Alabai dogs for settling disputes. After the tribes made peace and Russia invaded them, the tribes became small regions with their forms of government. The elders used to meet up and talk about important issues.

The second part of these meetings was alcohol, food, and downtime. One of their favorite activity was fighting Alabai from different tribes. The strongest dogs would be brought into rings and pinned against each other. However, these tribes valued their dogs, and they rarely allowed them actually to fight. Most fights would end after the weaker dog backed down during the first few moments inside the pit. A fight would happen when two equally dominant dogs wouldn’t back down. Even then, the owners rarely allowed severe injuries to occur. 

Alabai is a fantastic guard dog. Check out some other amazing dog guards - Best Guard Dog Breeds.

7. Modern-day dog fights

Unlike the dog fights of the olden times, the Alabai is now used for much brutal practices in the Central Asian region. Unfortunately, countries like Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan have not outlawed dog fighting. Russia has laws against animal cruelty and dog fighting, but it remains a common practice.

Alabai is a large and powerful dog breed, so it is no wonder they are a popular choice for people involved in these activities. Unlike dog fights in the old, the modern-day versions are a lot more brutal and often end up with one dog killing the other. Other than the Alabai, people from these areas import other fighting dogs. The most popular choices are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Anatolian Shepherd, Rottweiler, Tosa, and Bully Kutta.

If you want to know more about dog fights, check out this article - Dog fighting through history.

World Dog Finder team

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