However, regardless of how much we have done with our puppies prior to their arrival to your home, you will need to “keep up the good work” by socializing and working with your dog frequently after it arrives in your home. If your dog is to be an LGD, it will have to live with the livestock (but you need to continue socializing and training your puppy). When you receive your puppy, your puppy will still be very young. Like a young child it will need a lot of work, set boundaries and exposures to different environments to continue to develop well and cope well in variety of settings (more on this topic will be covered in subsequent blog posts).
Beyond the scientific approach, we simply love on our puppies as often as we can (several times a day) and we handle them frequently which greatly increase our and YOUR (as a puppy buyer) future ability to handle them in variety of situations without limiting their working ability.
4. We match our puppies with their owners.
When you contact us initially about your interest in a Central Asian Shepherd puppy, we ask you that you fill our non-binding application (you can review our application here or simply apply for a puppy). Your responses help us gain insights into your needs and expectations regarding a puppy. We then contact you and try to establish a relationship with you so that we can better learn your needs, your lifestyle, your levels of knowledge about the breed, etc.
This is how we go about matching a puppy with a buyer.
Once we have a litter of puppies born, we watch them carefully. We look at how they interact with their mother, their littermates and our animals. We also watch their responses to humans, noises and any other changes in their environment. We spend a lot of time with our pups analyzing them. Finally, we evaluate them with respect to their potential. Studies suggest that the best time to evaluate a puppy is around 7.5-8 weeks of age. This is the time when we get together with other dog breeders and evaluate our litter of puppies based on the structure as compared to the standard and as needed for a dog to be functional. We evaluate them based on Pat Hasting's protocol called Puppy Puzzle ( see blue link) and Puppy Development (see blue link)
6. Our goal is not to profit from the dogs.
Our goal is to preserve this wonderful breed. By purchasing a puppy from us, you directly contribute to the breed preservation and expansion of the genetic pool in the USA. For example, the proceeds from our last litter went directly toward importing a Central Asian Shepherd puppy. This resulted in expansion of the genetic pool in the USA by the new genetic material. Here is our statement about the importance of genetic diversity and why we import dogs (HERE). You can read more about us here.
We hope that this post helped you understand what we do, why we do what we do and how. While it is impossible to describe everything we do with our dogs, we hope that this overview gave your some insights into our program. Breeding program aside, the most important to us is that daily care and interaction with our dogs make our lives complete and our world a better place.
This protocol is widely used in structural evaluation of dogs and has proven to be a highly reliable measurement tool. Puppy’s structural characteristics get evaluated and scored based on the available scale. It allows comparing puppy scores across the litter, pin point puppy strengths and some weaker points. It also allows taking out the emotional aspect from the evaluation as…who can resist a cute puppy face? Comparing a cute puppy to another cute puppy would be a nightmare otherwise.
We also assess our puppy’s working ability along with their base temperament.We do this by using an aptitude test that has been designed by experts in the field that show a high correlation to the potential of the puppy's adult temperament and working ability. We also rely on the book by Orysia Dowydiak (Please see a link below).
The evaluations paired with day to day interaction with the entire litter of puppies and on one-on-one basis allow us to match the puppies with their future owners. Remember, we match the puppy characteristics with your needs and lifestyle as well as the role the dog is to play in your life.We do not breed or sell puppies based on color. However, if we have two puppies who would match your needs and lifestyle, we are more than wiling for you to choose from the two.
While it may be frustrating to potential owners to wait until pups are about 8 weeks old to know with which puppy they will end up, it is done for the benefit of the future owner and the puppy. Only the best matches between puppy and the owner will thrive at their best. Mismatches may result in unhappy puppy or/and owner.
5. Buyer support.
While we are not dog trainers by trade, we are always happy to share with you some of the dog training techniques that have worked for us and our Central Asian Shepherd dogs. We never claim that we know better than anyone, we are always happy to discuss different training techniques and learn from others.By now, however, we have found what works for us and are always happy to share that. Since we are often located several states (even countries) away from our puppy buyers, we will always recommend that you also see a professional trainer regardless of the suggestions we may offer you. Please check or blog from time to time for updated content (here).
Our support is far reaching. Not only we offer you advice or direct you to the right people but we are always here to help you. In the past we have taken our puppies and hosted them back on our property for training and show preparation. Puppies went back to their owners after reaching their milestones set prior to their arrival.
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3. How do we raise a litter?
When raising our litter, we believe greatly in early neurological stimulation and early socialization of puppies. Early stimulation exercises are based on by Dr. Carmen Battaglia published paper (please see here and see a youtube video here) while early socialization approaches are based on compilation of studies and experiences of other breeders. Early simulation has been suggested to pups’ performance later in life.
Our puppies are also socialized with people and variety of animals. This is done to increase the puppies ability to cope with new experiences. Socialization with people enables our puppies to become citizens of the world where the puppies are safe members of society and the family they protect. Socialization with animals (being raised on our farm with animals such as our goats and poultry) sets them up for success as future livestock guardian dogs. We take our puppies on short car trips so they are comfortable riding in a car. Certainly, these are only a few examples. Regardless of whether our puppies are to be family protectors or livestock guardians, they will be started/initially prepared for their future job.
2. Breeding and decision making.
When we are choosing stud male or brood bitch, we take into account numerous factors such as structure, temperament, health, ancestors, all through a lens of breed standard, functionality and our vision for our breeding program.
Our goal is to show the beauty, loyalty and capability of this breed to people who are in need of loving companions, property and family guards or livestock guardians. “The vision of Grand Central Asians is to become a leading breeder of Central Asian Shepherd Dogs in the United States with the main focus to aid in the preservation of the breed, continue to promote overall health, stable temperaments, structure as stated by the standard through proven lines and to continue diversifying the genetic pool of the CAS population in the USA by importing new lines. We plan on achieving this through collaboration with the top breeders across the U.S.A. and the world.”
There is no perfect dog in this world, even if we have dogs that are perfect for us and our needs. With that in mind, we try to match a stud dog with a brood bitch in such a way that the future generation of puppies is the most likely to outperform their parents in terms of structure and functionality. In other words, we are trying to reduce the likelihood of weaknesses while emphasizing the importance of functionality and the breed’s natural beauty. For example, we may try to breed a dog with an average rear to a dog with a strong rear in a hope that puppies will have better rear than the average CAS dog. Structure is very important but we will always focus on having strong stable temperaments.
Our code of ethics states: “We strive to plan each breeding with the paramount intention of preserving the breed. We select the stud dog and brood bitch with an eye to conformation, temperament and working instinct and ability, with a careful study of the breed standard and the principles of genetics.
We do not breed any male or female until they are both physically and mentally mature. We avoid unintentional breeding.(…)
As responsible breeders, we refrain from using a dog that, although free from serious or disqualifying defects, consistently produces afflicted puppies.”
More information about Grand Central Asians and our philosophy.
We are often asked additional details about us and our program so we would like to share some of the answers with everyone.
First of all, we believe that a number of quality Central Asian Shepherd breeding programs exist around the world and we are always happy to point you in the right direction. However, we would like to provide you with information about how we operate in case you are considering us as a breeding program from which you will get your next Central Asian Shepherd puppy (read about breed here). We always want our puppy buyers to make an informed decision. Ultimately, our puppy buyers become our friends while we remain actively engaged in how they raise their puppies (based on mutual agreement). Choosing the right breed for you is hard but you may find that choosing the right breeder may even be harder.
In this post, I will briefly cover the following topics: how we operate, how do we go about choosing dogs for mating; how do we raise and train our puppies. I will also cover how we match the right puppy with the right buyer and how we support our puppy buyers throughout their dog’s life. This post is not a sales pitch. It is an informative piece (or so we hope) to give you insights in what we do and who we are. Questions are always welcomed.
1. How we operate.
First thing you need to know about us is that we are a team. Greg and Ania work together. We make joint decisions regarding our dogs’ health, diet, training, puppy homes, etc. We further our education by taking courses and participating in seminars in canine training, genetics, reproduction, care and health, even dog showing. We always discuss and share what we have learned.Each of us has their strengths which complement one another to generate a team who works very well together. Our long term goal is to take part in breed preservation. We want to educate members of the society about the breed, its history, functionality and more. We also always want to learn more, beyond what we already know. Read more about us and our mission and vision here.