The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan is now mandating that its famous Alabay dog breed acquire a passport before it can leave the country.
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan says if you’re trying to smuggle its prized native dog breed out of the country, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
The government is now instructing its famous Alabay dogs to receive a passport before leaving the country.
A law that took effect Tuesday needs that all pups of the breed, also known as the Central Asian shepherd dog, be marked in the government’s pedigree book and register of pedigreed dogs.
Passports will be issued, including data on the dog’s sex, date of birth, color, and details about the owner. A special government export license will be needed. Turkmenistan, an isolated desert country of 6 million people, prides itself on its dogs and horses, honoring centuries-old herding traditions. Alabay, traditionally used for guarding livestock herds, are among the world’s most giant dogs, weighing as much as 80 kilograms (175 pounds).
In 2020, then-President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov established a holiday honoring the dogs, and last year unveiled a 15-meter (50-foot)-a tall golden statue of them in the nation’s capital, Ashgabat. The Turkmen leader extolled the Alabay for years. He published a book, wrote a song about the breed, and presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with an Alabay puppy in 2017.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s son, Serdar, who was elected president this year, heads the international association of Alabays.