Pet Insurance for Central Asian Shepherd Dogs

Find out all about Central Asian Shepherd Dogs and their common health conditions, then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 28th, 2023       

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Price range

$1,250 – $2,500






Protective, confident, independent

Coat length

Long or short, double coat

Exercise needs

Moderate to high


Yes – with proper training and supervision

Life expectancy

10–15 years

Central Asian Shepherd Dog


The Central Asian Shepherd Dog, also known as the Alabai, is a breed with a rich history and a formidable presence. Originating in the harsh terrains of Central Asia, these dogs were initially bred for protecting livestock from predators like wolves and leopards. They are robust and muscular, with a dense double coat that shields them from extreme weather conditions. Their ears are typically pendant-shaped, and their tails are often curled over their back, adding to their distinctive look.

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are known for their steadfast temperament. They exude confidence and are reserved around strangers, making them excellent guardians. With their families, they form deep bonds, displaying a gentle and affectionate side. However, they can be territorial and independent thinkers, so consistent and firm training is essential to establish boundaries and ensure they understand their role in the family.

Common diseases and conditions of Central Asian Shepherd Dogs

The Central Asian Shepherd Dog is a generally healthy breed. However, it may be susceptible to:

  • Hip dysplasia: this is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. It’s common in large breeds like the Central Asian Shepherd Dog. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help manage this condition.
  • Elbow dysplasia: similar to hip dysplasia, this is a genetic condition affecting the elbow joint. It can cause lameness and arthritis. Management may include medication and, in severe cases, surgery.

Breed-specific issues:  

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are known for their independent and assertive nature, stemming from their heritage as livestock guardians. They can be reserved around strangers, requiring early socialisation. These dogs are also territorial and benefit from consistent, firm training to establish boundaries.

Furthermore, their high intelligence requires regular mental stimulation to prevent boredom-related behaviours like excessive barking and destructive habits. Providing engaging activities and training sessions is essential. These dogs thrive in spacious environments and may exhibit herding instincts, necessitating supervision around small animals and children. Adequate exercise is crucial to prevent restlessness and behavioural issues.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Central Asian Shepherd Dog?

There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your Central Asian Shepherd Dog, including the following: 

  • Age: the older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because older dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.   
  • Type of insurance you choose:  there are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most. 
  • The policy annual limit: each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.  
  • Sub limits: in addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub limits that apply to the policy, for example a $300 sub limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.  
  • Benefit percentage: pet insurance may not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies up to 90% for top-of-the-range cover. 
  • Excess amount: this is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, while others do. 
  • Any add-ons you choose: it’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.  

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Central Asian Shepherd Dogs

Are Central Asian Shepherd Dogs suitable for families with small children?

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs can be gentle and protective with children when raised with proper socialisation and training. However, it's crucial to consider their large size. Due to their substantial stature, there is a potential risk of accidental injury to small children, especially during play or interactions. For this reason, close supervision and caution are strongly advised, particularly with younger children. Early exposure to children and positive reinforcement of good behaviour can help foster a strong bond between Central Asian Shepherd Dogs and the young members of the family. Additionally, teaching both the dog and children how to interact safely and appropriately is essential in creating a harmonious household.

Are Central Asian Shepherd Dogs aggressive?

Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are known for their protective and assertive nature. While they are not inherently aggressive, they have a strong guarding instinct that can manifest as territorial behaviour. This means they may be reserved around strangers and can become protective of their family and property. Early socialisation and consistent training are crucial in shaping their behaviour. With proper training and responsible ownership, Central Asian Shepherd Dogs can be well-adjusted, confident and reliable companions.

Are Central Asian Shepherd Dogs suitable for first-time owners?

No – due to their assertive nature and independent thinking, Central Asian Shepherd Dogs may be better suited for experienced dog owners who are familiar with handling large, protective breeds. First-time owners may find it more challenging to manage their confident temperament and guarding instincts. However, with dedication to training, socialisation and responsible ownership, it is possible for a first-time owner to successfully care for a Central Asian Shepherd Dog.

Are Central Asian Shepherd Dogs suitable for apartment living?

No – Central Asian Shepherd Dogs are large, active dogs that thrive in environments with ample space to move around. While they can adapt to different living situations, they are better suited for homes with access to a yard or open area. Apartment living may not provide enough space for them to exercise and explore to their full potential. Owners considering apartment living should be prepared to provide daily exercise and mental stimulation to meet the needs of their Central Asian Shepherd Dog.

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Central Asian Shepherd Dog

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