Standard development

First standards were different from first descriptions - they were aimed to cover different types and regional varieties of Aziat. The approach "one breed under many names" turned to be very productive, and those first standards, perhaps, were the best ones in describing real Aziats in their diversity.
Breed standard of 1931


General description.

Turkmen Ovtcharka in general conformation and built is a dog greater than average height, robust built ( also seen “overdone” built). Her massive body, somewhat longer than tall, somewhat taller at the rump than at the shoulder, and great muscle tone assure strength and endurance. Males are 67-75 cm tall at the shoulder, seen up to 80 cm. and the bitches are 65-70 cm. Aggressiveness, vigilance, sharply developed hearing and tightness of a hair of these dogs allows to use them not just for protection of sheep herds and personal property, but also for  security work at regions with different climate types.

Notes: 1) in general, Turkmen Ovtcharka comes in two types:

             a) massive, or very coarse or “overdone” built type 

             b) slender built type

             2) Massive built dogs often have overhanging jowls and dewlap underneath the neck and at the chest area, and heavy movement

Slender built type run with ease.


Large, with well developed and broad forehead, long, somewhat narrowing around superciliary arch area and tapering towards the muzzle without  a defined stop. Muzzle is well developed, somewhat long and broad. Jaws well fit together. Teeth are white and strong. Nose is proportionate with the muzzle, black.

Eyes are small, round, deep set, black , dark brown and greenish-gray color, fierce expression.

Ears are high set, hanging, triangle. Most dogs have docked ears.  Neck is short, powerful, often dewlap.


Back is developed, short, somewhat inclined towards loin part. Loin is broad but loose, slightly dipped. Croup part is developed and elevated.

Chest is broad and well muscled. Ribs are well developed, deep to the elbows line, some dogs have barrel chest.
The flanks are not tucked up. Slender built dogs usually are well cut up in the flanks.

The tail is of medium size, curved, sickle or ring shaped; at movement often carried as  a saber pointing left or right, or circles over the back.  


Strong, parallel, shoulders are well laid back and sloping, with well developed forearms and pasterns.


Tight well developed, somewhat obliquely set in relations with the lower tights. Lower tight is dry, well developed, somewhat obliquely set with pronounced obtuse angle hock joints. Rear feet is strong, inclined towards paws.

Paws are large, dogs from desert areas often have loose fingers while dogs from mountain regions have tight feet, Nails are large and black.

Color .

Dark gray, ticked, sandish tan, solid black, red with spots and markings.


Medium length, thick, with heavy undercoat. Sometimes dogs have fuzzy or wavy coat.


Sighthound-like head, any faults influencing working abilities of the dog.

     The dogs, pictured below, though different from each other, are still well described by the standard '31. These are Aziats from 70's, when  Aziat gained popularity in the European part of the former USSR, and kennel breeding began prevailing on the importing of aboriginal dogs from Central Asia.
     As a result the standard of 1976 was very detailed, scrupulous description of the breed, which appeared to be too much for the breed diversity.  And in 1980's as a compromise was written the most known standard for Aziat - the one which was soon adopted by FCI, together with recognition of the breed.
Akbai, 1979
5 years old. Imported from Turkmenistan into Moscow. Heigth at the shoulder 82 Cm, pastern circ. 17 Cm.
 (From archives of V. Katsnel'son, FCI expert, Ukraine)

 Nalaiha, 1974
3 years old. Owner Baltic Factory, St Petersburg
(from N.M.Oleneva archives)
Breed standard of 1976
(published by DOSAAF, USSR)


Central Asian Ovtcharka –dogs above average and large size, robust built, strong, brave, untrusting towards strangers, unpretentious, easily adaptable to different climate zones. This let  widely use central Asians in different regions of the country.

The basic areas of distribution of the Central Asians – Central Asian republics and surrounding areas.


Built type.* 

Robust, coarse, with massive boning and   powerful muscles. Often seen dogs with tendency to excessively loose, “overdone” type. Skin is thick, well  developed  subcutaneous tissues (panniculus adiposus), sufficiently elastic, often forms folds at the neck area (dewlap).

Faults. “Overdonebuilt type

Disqualifying faults: lightweight type, insufficient boning, weak muscles.


Length-to height at the shoulder ratio (multiplied at 100 %) Males 100-105, bitches 102-108.        
Faults Minor deviations from ratio proportions

Disqualifying Faults Major deviations from ratio proportions


Height at the shoulder Males 65 Cm and up, bitches 60 Cm and up

 Faults Males between 64 and 60 at the shoulder, bitches 60 to 58 Cm at the shoulder.

 Disqualifying Faults Male sunder 60 Cm . bitches under 58 Cm


Temperament specifics.

Type of the neuropsychological activity is counterbalanced, quiet. Prevailing reaction is actively defensive. 

Faults. Excessively slow dogs, shyness.

 Disqualifying Faults Excessively hyper dogs, fearful dogs.

 Gender difference is well pronounced. Males are more powerful, larger and more massive than bitches. Sexual
dimorphism is clearly pronounced.

Disqualifying Faults. Males at a bitch type. Unilateral and bilateral Cryptorchidism.


Hair is coarse, straight, with well developed undercoat, short at the head and front parts of the limbs, well fit.    

Dogs are graded depends on the length of the hair:

Dogs with long (7-8 Cm) guard hairs and integumentary hair at the ears, rear part of the legs and the tail; dogs with short (4-5 Cm) smooth fit hair.

  Disqualifying faults. Very short hair, absence of undercoat, soft, wavy or curly hair.

Color.  White, black, gray, tan, fawn, fulvous, brindle, spotted on white with more or less spots.


Head ,

Massive, broad at the forehead part, with well developed cheekbones. Flat forehead, stop is almost non noticeable. Muzzle is somewhat shorter than the forehead, broad between the eyes, almost not narrowing  towards the nose. Viewed  from the front and from above it seems rectangular, while viewed from the side  is blunt with thick overhanging lips. Nose is large, black. Light color dogs may have brown nose.
Faults. Somewhat lightweight head, protruding zygomatic arch, domed forehead, sharp stop, protruding superciliary arches,  shortened or elongated muzzle. Wrinkles formed by the head skin (forehead wrinkles.).

Disqualifying faults. Narrow, lightweight, turned-up, pointy muzzle


Ears. Small, hanging down, triangle (Shortly cropped at early age)

Faults, High set ears, uncropped ears.  

Eyes. Dark, set wide apart, roundish, set straight.

Faults. Light orobliquely set eyes. Loose lower eyelid. The presence of cataracts.

Teeth. White, large, set closely to each other. Incisors are lined up. Scissors bite.

Faults. Teeth are worn inappropriately to the age. Mild yellow plaque or a minor  damaged enamel (up to 1 / 3 of the tooth surface). Presence of broken teeth, that does not interfere with the determination of the bite, also excessive incisors or premolars


Disqualifying faults. Small, sparse, yellow teeth, severely  damaged enamel ( exceeding 1 / 3 of the tooth surface). Incisors misalignment (one or more incisors shifted forward or backward  at the base of the tooth further than on the thickness of the tooth from the  teeth’ common line). All deviations from scissors bite.    


Short, muscled, low set at about 30 to 40 degrees Neck. Short, muscular, set low, at 30-40 degrees to the back line (topline**) .

      Faults.  Elongated neck, with a lack of muscles. Strongly pronounced dewlap.

      Chest. Broad, deep, with rounded ribs. The bottom line of the chest is in line with the elbows or below them.

      Faults. Flattened chest of somewhat insufficient volume. Protruding frontal lower chest part.

Disqualifying faults.  Flat, narrow, lacking volume, underdeveloped chest..

    Abdomen. Moderately tucked up.
Faults sharply tucked up or pendulous.
. High, well defined, especially male dogs. Height at the shoulder exceeds height at the rump by 1-2 Cm.

Faults. Low withers, withers insufficiently distinguished above the back line. 

Back. Strong , straight, broad.  

Faults. Soft or arched back.

Disqualifying faults. Sway or camel backed.


Loin. Short, broad, slightly arched.

 Faults. Somewhat long, straight, or excessively arched.

Disqualifying faults. Long, narrow, or dipped loin.

Croup. Broad, muscled, almost level.

 Faults. Sloping croup.

 Disqualifying faults. Narrow, short, steep rump. Height at croup exceeding height at the shoulder.         

Tail. High set, sickle, carried down, reaching the hock joint. Docked short.

Faults. Not docked.


Viewed from the front, straight and parallel. Length of the forearms up to the shoulder slightly more than half of the dog’s height at the shoulder. Angle of the scapular-humeral (shoulder joint) articulation is around 100 degrees. Upper arm bones are  straight, massive, long. Pasterns are short, broad, strong, vertical.


Faults. Insufficient deviations of the shoulder joint angulations. Minor bending inwards or outwards. Somewhat soft pasterns.

Disqualifying faults.  Shoulder joint angle 90 degrees or less. Dogs down in pasterns.   Distinctively pronounced fiddle front or feet turning inwards. .



Parallel set, somewhat straight angles of hock and knee joints. Lower tights are short. Metatarsus are massive, vertical set.

Faults. Minor deviations from parallel legs set, minor cow hocked dogs.  Angulation somewhat towards an open angle a the hip joint.

Disqualifying faults.  Sharp deviations from parallel set. Sickle hocks. Sharply insufficient hip and knee joints angulation.


Paws (front and rear), Large, oval, arched, well fit.
Faults. Splayed feet, long feet, flat feet.

Disqualifying  faults. Grossly spread or flat feet.   


Movement. The most typical allures for this breed are shortened heavy trot and gallop. Front legs move rectilinearly, while rear legs move towards the body centerline while trotting. 

Faults . Insufficient deviations from regular movement.

Disqualifying faults. Tied-up movement.

 Disqualifying faults

This group of faults includes all deviations from scissors bite, absence of at least  one incisor, fang, 3rd or 4th premolar, 1st or 2nd molars, more that 2 of the 2nd premolars, and any 4 teeth in any combination. Cryptorchidism, unilateral or bilateral. Underdeveloped testicle.



Correction in the text of the Standard above at dental system characteristics section (teeth, faults, major faults, disqualifying faults) in accordance with decision of Presidium of USSR Working Dogs Federation from 02/25/1982


All deviations from scissors bite are classified as disqualifying fault and shall be grounds for “Satisfactory” rating(**).



(*) Russian cynologists widely used term “constitution” to describe type specifics and related physiology and anatomy features. We substitute the term for “built type” to avoid misunderstandings. More literature and information  here

(**) The Central Asian does not have a "straight topline", and the neck angle is evaluated as an angle between the neck and the line of the back, not withers.

(***) “Satisfactory” rating was awarded to dogs that are purebred, but breeding not permitted.