Our New Addition!
Another New Pup?!
It’s been a bit since our last post, and so much has happened! If you follow us on social media, you know that Freya has been dealing with a paw injury and has been recovering. You may also have seen that we recently welcomed a new puppy! Before I brought Freya home, I was actually on a waiting list for a puppy. When Freya came to us, I decided to put that puppy off until Freya was at least a year old. Watching that litter go to their new homes was a little sad. We’d been looking forward to said puppy for a while. But I knew there would be another litter, another puppy. Someday. In the meantime, we were enjoying Freya and watching her grow.
As it turned out, someone backed out of a pup from another litter (same breeder). I couldn’t get his little face out of my mind. After mulling it over for a few days and learning that the pup in question was still available, we decided to bring him home.
After arriving at the airport
We’d kept his arrival a secret, so it was a wonderful surprise for the kids. I told them I had to go pick up my birthday package at the airport. You can imagine how excited they were when we approached the cargo desk and there he was! You can watch the video of his arrival and first evening with us here.
About The Breed
Khan (loosely translated as “king”) is a Central Asian Shepherd. Also known as an Alabai, the Central Asian Shepherd is–as its name suggests–from Central Asia. They are working dogs, recognized by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) as a Molossoid-type dog. They have enjoyed great popularity in Russia where the breed has been carefully studied and bred for desirable temperament and working ability.
It is believed that this breed most likely formed from natural selection. This means that they formed over many thousands of years out of necessity for certain genetic characteristics. The look of this breed varies by region as they were primarily bred for working ability rather than appearance. They are guardians of livestock, homes and their people. Stable, courageous and calm, Alabai dogs were (and still are) invaluable to sheep and goat shepherds. They can still be found guarding livestock today, as well as demonstrating their innate guarding abilities in homes across Central Asia and the world.
Why I Chose The Central Asian Shepherd
I have long been a fan of guarding breeds, and the one thing in particular that caught my attention with the CAS (other than its impressive looks) was their lifespan. Unlike many other large breeds, it boasted an impressive 12-15 year lifespan where others were lucky to get to 9 or 10 years.
Central Asian Shepherd, photo property of Wikipedia
They were also a breed accustomed to covering large distances with nomadic peoples from a young age, and could withstand harsh climates–both hot and cold. I was looking for a hiking companion and guardian; one that would compliment Freya’s energy and not necessarily add to it. I spoke with breed experts and asked questions. I watched videos of these dogs working, interacting with family and strangers and decided that the CAS seemed perfect for us.
A Long Journey & New Life
Khan started life in the Pacific Northwest. His journey to us included two planes and took him from a very cold climate to a much warmer one. We took him to the airport’s doggie relief area as soon as we could, and he was playful from the start. During the ride home he slept between my children in the back seat, oblivious to their arguing over whose lap he would rest his head upon.
His first night with us he woke me every few hours to go out, and from general distress, I’m sure. The first night away from litter mates is always a difficult one for a pup, but his crate was right next to Freya’s and both were right next to my bed. The next night was easier, and eventually he became more calm as the days went on and he became more comfortable with his new surroundings and routine.
Getting established at his new vet
He visited the vet and got more puppy boosters and lots of snuggles. Who can resist a cute, fuzzy puppy? He was a first for everyone there. None of the staff had seen a CAS in person, so he was of course a big hit. The vet declared him in perfect health and ok’d him to begin classes, which is an important step in a young puppy’s life. Training is paramount from the time you bring your puppy home, as is socialization with other puppies, adult dogs and people.
We hope you will join us for all of these exciting moments in Khan’s life as he grows up alongside his new sister Freya and all of our other dogs. He has a lot to learn, but life is an adventure, right?
Khan’s first hike and puppy class!