Turkmen, being true breeders, bred unique breeds of domestic animals, such as the Akhal-Teke horse, turkmen alabai, and hunting dog pots, keeping them intact for thousands of years.
Turkmen alabai is one of the most ancient breeds of dogs on Earth. On the territory of Turkmenistan, the most ancient remains of large dogs were found in the settlement of Jeitun (VI millennium BC). Later evidences of the fact that large dogs, the ancestors of modern Turkmen alabays, lived in the territory of modern Turkmenistan even in those days, were noted in the Altyn-Depe settlement (II millennium BC).
The noble, royal posture and at the same time fearlessness and perseverance glorified the Turkmen alabay far beyond the borders of their native land. They are not only a subject of special pride of the Turkmen people, but also their invaluable contribution to the treasury of human values.
Nature and man conscientiously worked on the evolution of the dog. Nature endowed the Turkmen alabay with such features as tremendous strength, impenetrable skin, powerful jaws, a good respiratory system, and constant fights with predators honed his martial art to perfection. The man, having made alabay a true friend and protector, highly appreciated his strength, endurance, unpretentiousness, fearlessness, and the instinct of a self-confident fighter. Turkmen alabay easily tolerates abrupt weather changes. It adapts both to very hot weather +45 in the shade, and to high-altitude temperatures up to -30 degrees. And one more special feature of the Turkmen alabay is the protection of its owner from snakes. These qualities make the Turkmen alabay indispensable friend and guard of the herdsman in his difficult life. The thick skin of the dog is impenetrable for the teeth of the enemy, as well as for many types of prickly plants that grow in abundance throughout the country, especially in the sand.
Alabay can fight with a predator and basically comes out victorious in this fight. He does not need to be strongly urged every day to carry out certain commands, like some other breed dogs. In contrast, the Turkmen alabay, still in puppy age, learns to feed cattle from its mother, to carry guard duty, to destroy snakes, to learn the skills of fighting, to warn by barking about the approach of the enemy. Nobody specifically teaches the alabay to stay with the sheep that beat off from the herd in the sand or in the mountains, he has a predisposition in his genes, he even protects his master's property at the cost of his own life. The ancient ancestors of the Turkmen dog, occupying an important place in religious ideas, was considered sacred. An important place was given to the dog and in Zoroastrism. In the holy book of Zoroastrians Avesta (II millennium BC) there are lists of all the virtues of a dog and, through the mouth of Zaratushtra it is stated that "the world exists, thanks to the rationality of a dog." Even dog hair was considered sacred. Therefore, tebibs (healers) spoke dog wool and salt, and then sewed them into triangular-shaped amulets (tumar). Tumar was fastened on the shirts and skullcaps of children, while women carried them on their feet.
Since ancient times, alabay was revered by the Turkmen so much that it was considered a sin to beat a dog. In the settlement of Altyn-Depe (Southern Turkmenistan), dozens of bone fragments were found in layers of the eneolit, early and developed bronze, which belonged to large and medium-sized individuals with massive short muzzle and powerful jaws. Found in those places, terracott figures depict dogs of very large build with a massive shortened snout. In some figures of animals, fashioned with great skill and differing in realism, the ears and tails were cropped (this custom has been preserved to this day).
Roman and Chinese emperors considered it an honor to have at their court these "dogs - warriors". Studies conducted by the scientist J. Pilat indicate that it was in Central Asia, in the region of Bactria and Margiana, that mastiffs were used for the first time, like “dogs - warriors”. This hypothesis is confirmed by a cylindrical seal of red stone, found by the archaeologist Victor Sarinidi during the excavations of Margiana (Gonur Depe), dated by the III-IV of the millennium BC. It depicts soldiers with swords in their hands, leading on a leash of mastiffs (protoalabays).
Alexander Macedonskiy is the first to bring protoalabays to Egypt. From there they were taken to ancient Rome, and then spread throughout Europe. They were enlisted in the Roman army as warrior dogs (Canes pugnaces).
In the Middle Ages, alabay became known far beyond the borders of Turkmenistan - in the territory from India and China to Mesopotamia and Egypt. In the East, with their help, hunted tigers, lions, wolves. A venetian merchant Marco Polo, traveling in the XIII century in Turkmenistan, wrote: "Here there are huge dogs, so brave and proud that even two dogs will be able to attack a lion without fear."
In the 17th — 18th centuries, Turkmenistan became the center of the intersection of the trade routes of the East with the West, the North and the South, and thousands of caravans passed through its territory, accompanied by acquired alabay guards, and with new owners they left for new places.
Tall, powerful, brave animals, accustomed to the harshest conditions of camp life, were used during the war of 1941-45, more than once pulling fighters from the battlefield.
In the XX1 century, thanks to enthusiasts, the breed again declared itself loudly. Its best representatives - Ak Yekemen, Akgush, Tohmet, Ker Gaplan and many others began to win in almost all major international exhibitions and tournament battles. The world-famous Turkmen alabays are awarded with dozens of awards and international diplomas. Currently, Turkmenistan regularly hosts festive festive exhibitions and traditional competitions to determine the best sports qualities of alabay.
An important step aimed at protecting the alabay was the adoption of a Resolution of the Government of Turkmenistan prohibiting the export of valuable breeding producers of this national breed from Turkmenistan.
The universal favourite - Turkmen alabay is approved as the mascot of the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in the autumn of 2017 in Ashgabat. A cheerful, friendly puppy with the characteristic features of a given breed (cropped ears and tail) is depicted in a stylized national dress or in a tracksuit.