The Central Asian Ovtcharka, or CAO, is not a breed for the faint of heart. If you've never owned a dog before, or if you've owned something like a Yorkshire Terrier, you should probably not attempt to own one of these Mastiff-type dogs. They can be quite a handful, not in terms of energy, but in terms of sheer size and power. If not properly trained and handled, they could develop very aggressive and violent tendencies, putting others at risk.
As with other breeds, if you wish to own a CAO, it is important to make sure you go to a reputable breeder and discuss what it is exactly that you're looking for in your dog. Careful breeders have dogs that are calm and have a well-balanced temperament. You should watch out, though, as some lines incorporate genes from dogs that were used in the Russian Military; these dogs tend to be quite aggressive. Once you bring your CAO home, you will have to immediately start broadly socializing him and teaching him some basic obedience. All CAO will view strange people and dogs as threats initially, but with the proper socialization, they can learn not to feel overly threatened and merely act in a watch dog capacity; when trained well, the CAO will accept strangers if their family does not show signs of feeling threatened. CAOs do not need any training whatsoever to guard their families and homes; this is so inbred that it is instinct, hence the very important requirement for training the dogs to stay calm around strangers.
The dog should be taught some basic obedience, as stated, but don't expect your CAO to do any kind of tricks. The CAO is a very, very, intelligent and independent dog and considers himself an integral, equal part of the family. He will behave as if he has a very important job to perform and cannot be bothered with tricks. This is not to say that he is not loyal and affectionate; on the contrary, these dogs love their humans a great deal and will not hesitate to lay down their lives to protect their family. If socialized properly, they are especially good with children and the elderly; indeed, they can be quite calm and even take being playfully tormented by children.
Because they were used to guard against predators who were nocturnal, the CAO is often much more active at night than during the day. Indeed, when the sun goes down, the female will often start something similar to a howl, which could be very disturbing; males are much less vocal. Males, however, could give problems on walks when meeting up with other dogs, as males tend to display some male aggression which is difficult to fully eliminate. All CAOS will always show some discomfort around strange dogs, though they will love pets they grow up with. Grooming requirements are moderate, as the dogs do shed and blow out their coats once a year. While they can tolerate a large range of climates, they are not really suitable for apartment life; the ideal situation for this dog is a large farm or at least yard. They should be taken on daily walks and allowed to exercise, though they do not require a high level of activity.