Activities For Central Asian Shepherds

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Introduction

Central Asian Shepherds are large, self-assured dogs that developed as guardians to sheep and goats in Central Asia and also served as protectors for home and hearth. They are generally a very intelligent dog breed with a great deal of confidence. Many of these dogs were later bred as fighting dogs as well and can be quite aggressive towards other dogs and even people that are strange to them. Although they are known for being territorial, they also tend to be predisposed to kindness towards children and the elderly. 

Camping

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
24 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Veterinarian information
Collapsible bowls
First Aid kit
Food
Water
Bed pad
Activity description

Many pet parents enjoy taking their dogs with them when they go camping, as they can provide warmth, security, and companionship. A confident and well-socialized Central Asian Shepherd typically makes a great camping companion. Their thick, heavy coat protects them from harsh weather conditions, and they tend to be calm and collected while in the campground. It is important to remember when camping with your dog that they will need to be your constant companion throughout the trip and should never be left at either the campsite where they may encounter unfriendly or diseased wildlife or in the car, where temperatures can quickly cause this breed to overheat. 

Step
1
Do your research
While there are many dog-friendly campgrounds available, not all campgrounds will welcome your companion, and some of them have very specific restrictions both for the safety of your pet and to avoid disturbing the local wildlife. Check the rules and regulations surrounding dogs at the campground you plan to visit before traveling to avoid confusion and grief. It is also a good idea to locate an emergency veterinarian near your campgrounds before you leave, so you can have their name, number, and address ready, just in case you need them.
Step
2
Gather the gear
There are several things you will want to bring along if you are planning camping with your Central Asian Shepherd. You will want to bring your dog’s kibble of course and plenty of fresh water, along with dedicated collapsable bowls, but that is not all you will need. Most campgrounds require that your dog be kept on a six-foot lead to protect both the wildlife and the dog, and a first aid kit consisting of a muzzle (or a bandana which can be fashioned into a makeshift muzzle), a tick removal tool, emergency blanket, some form of paw protection, and needle-nosed pliers for removing porcupine quills or thorns. A sleeping pad of some sort will also help your pet stay more comfortable when they are sleeping with you in the tent.
Step
3
Training
The wilderness can be a fun and exciting place or a dangerous one for your dog and often the difference between the two is a matter of training. Essential commands for your dog's safety include come, stop or whoa, and some form of “leave it” command. This last command is particularly important for camping as dead critters may be particularly interesting to your dog, but may carry dangerous diseases, and some plants may be dangerous for your pet to eat or to touch.
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Socialization

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Any Day
Free
Hard
15 - 45 min
Items needed
High value treats
Activity description

As livestock guardian dogs, Central Asian Sheepdogs are naturally somewhat territorial, and with their large size, intimidating appearance, and sheer strength, these dogs can pose a threat to intruders and guests alike if they do not have proper socialization or are left untrained. There are several ways to help ensure that your dog remains friendly, respectful, and pleasant towards your guests, an important skill for a guardian dog to have. The training techniques that can be employed to make your canine companion more comfortable and sociable towards guests are the same for all dogs, regardless of their size or breed. 

Step
1
Basic socialization
Basic socialization is simply introducing your dog to as many types of guests in as many situations as possible, preferably with positive interactions. This is most easily done during the dog’s early formative weeks, between three and twelve weeks of age, although with patience this step can be taught to older dogs as well. Properly managing this step can avoid aggression problems in the first place.
Step
2
Positive association
Greet your guests off of the property at first, giving them a high-value reward to give to your pup. Instruct your guest only to give the treat to your canine companion if they are calm and not showing any aggression. The positive association between the arrival of guests and the dog’s calm behavior often stops aggressive behavior in its tracks. If your Central Asian Shepherd has already shown aggressive behavior towards humans, you may want to use a basket muzzle or put them in their crate, and since these items still allow your dog to eat, positive associations can still be built while your guests remain protected.
Step
3
Counterconditioning
Counterconditioning is a training technique in which your dog is taught a command that essentially interrupts their aggressive behavior. If you ensure that you are aware of your dog’s triggers, you can even use counterconditioning to stop the behavior before it starts. If you see your dog becoming tense or if you are aware of the triggers, you can give the command and subsequent reward prior to your dog exhibiting the troubling behavior it may help to extinguish the behavior.
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Swimming

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Canine Life Vest
Activity description

The Central Asian Shepherd breed, like other large and giant-sized canines, are more likely than other dog breeds to develop joint problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis than many other dog breeds. The activity of swimming is an excellent way to ensure that your dog gets a good cardiovascular workout without the additional stressors on the dog’s joints. This activity also strengthens the muscles that surround the joints, allowing them to be better supported as they age and on occasion can even help slow the damage for dogs that have begun to show signs of hip or joint problems. 

Step
1
Find a place
When swimming in natural bodies of water outdoors, there are several hazards that you will need to watch out for, including dangerous wildlife, viral and bacterial infections, and unexpected currents that can cause your dog to get swept into the water. Another way to ensure that your dog gets in some swimming time on a regular basis is to utilize an indoor canine swimming pool. Indoor swimming pools do usually charge a small amount for the use of the pool, between ten and twenty dollars per visit, but offer a great deal more peace-of-mind.
Step
2
Introduce the water
Central Asian Shepherds may not be as excited about getting in the water as dogs that were developed with swimming in mind, such as retrievers and water spaniels. In order to prevent creating a fear of the water, ensure that you do not attempt to force your dog into the water or frighten them to get them to jump in, but instead gently coax them into the water. This is more easily done if you lead the way for them and go into the water first. Dogs that are unproven or weaker swimmers should be fitted with a canine life vest before attempting to swim, particularly when swimming outdoors where there is less control of the situation.
Step
3
Splash
Once your canine companion has learned to be comfortable in the water and how to navigate, they may find the activity of swimming enough of an incentive, without needing further encouragement. Retrievers and dogs that enjoy games of fetch may enjoy moving the game to the water while others may not be interested in chasing things, only in enjoying the feel of the water.
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More Fun Ideas...

Schutzhund

This breed was developed with protection in mind, and one way to help ensure that the urge to protect is properly utilized is to train the dog with regards to when and how to use force for the maximum effect and minimum damage

Therapy Dog

While some Central Asian Shepherds have been shown to be aggressive, others are known to be disposed to gentleness, particularly in regards to children and the elderly. These traits, combined with the breeds confidence and calm behavior make them ideal therapy dogs when they are properly socialized.

Conclusion

While Central Asian Shepherds are large animals, they are not particularly active, so they may not require quite as much exercise as other canines. The activities that are listed here speak to the dog’s natural proclivities as well as helping to address certain character traits that may be less than desirable in a large, powerful dog.