The Central Asian Ovtcharka, or CAO, grows to be a very large, massive dog and has the inborn urge to protect his family from strangers; he has the capability of being quite aggressive, as his ancestors were required to fight dangerous predators, such as wolves and tigers. Many people, especially in the US, look to get involved with this breed specifically for their protective characteristics; they view the CAO as an impressive mobile burglar deterrent. What many people don't realize, however, is that this dog must be trained very early on to not view every single new person or animal as a threat; they must especially be trained to not attack people or animals who approach their homes or family members.
Central Asian Ovtcharkas do not need to be trained to carry out guardian activities; the guardianship of their human owners is genetically hardwired into them. They also easily learn how to live harmoniously with their humans, as this was a trait that allowed them access to food and warmth; if the nomadic humans that began keeping the CAO felt they could trust a dog around their campsite, the dog was allowed to remain close to the humans. This is a very positive aspect of this breed. Their innate urge to protect their family, however, causes some problems in modern life, especially in urban or even suburban areas; the fact that CAOs are now found in areas that are more densely populated than the steppes, mountains or deserts of Central Asia makes some form of obedience training absolutely imperative to avoid risks to others and lawsuits for yourself.
These dogs are highly intelligent and so can pick up right away what is wanted from them in basic obedience training; in fact, they excel in basic obedience. For the majority of Central Asian Shepherds though, that's the end of the line, basic obedience. These dogs were bred to work alongside humans, often independently of humans; these are not herding dogs that can be trained to execute a series of complex behaviors on command. Often, CASs take action before their owners can even finish sizing up the situation. These dogs will not excel at higher levels of obedience; they will not see the necessity in performing tricks and will not do anything that is not necessary to their job of protecting their family. Given their superior intelligence, furthermore, they also get very bored with routines and will not be able to complete the training necessary to reach the higher obedience levels.
The training that is absolutely necessary for this breed, really, is socialization, and this must occur as early as possible. If a Central Asian Ovtcharka is socialized early and learns that people and dogs outside their family are not always threats, then the dog is a very pleasant companion to be around. Puppies should be taken out and exposed to as many different situations as possible. You should invite people to your home to handle your CAO puppy; you should also purposely visit areas or houses with other animals to make sure your puppy gets used to the sight of other animals as well. A properly socialized Central Asian Ovtcharka is truly a welcome addition to any family.