Armenian Gampr Club of America
This dog is an uncle to Kaits and Gailug, who were imported
to the USA in 2004. Photo courtesy of Hacob Mkrtchian.
|R.P.xVoski daughter. She
age when photographed.
is the style most of Lala's
dogs are turning out to
be. She is placed with a
family in Garni village.
Works on 22 acres with
live stock. She and one
other have been selected
by Lala Minasian for
search & rescue training.
This family of dogs, the
parents of the white pups and
the puppies, are from a set of
photos taken by Tigran
Nazaryan, of Gampr.net. The
puppies are Gailug and Kaits,
now here in the USA.
Some photos of dogs in Armenia
Arthur Bursegyan's dog Chalo as a pup, photo courtesy of Arthur Bursegyan
Photo by Hamlik Parsanian
"Dzik (left) is a cross between a
male "Amasia type"(west
Armenia native blood, massive
and hairy) and Garni village
working type (slender and
smaller). Dzik gets up early in
the morning to wake the kids
then escorts them to class and
then escorts them back when
school is out. He is extremely
intelligent. He proudly guards
the sheep and boldly walks in the
front to let everyone know the
sheep are not alone. He was so
gentle but Sako (his owner) said
he springs into action to guard
the sheep and can get very
protective. He also has awesome
physical guarding and fighting
ability." H. Parsanian
|Some links to sites with
Gampr.net is the original site by Tigran Nazaryan,
who began the work that AGCA is now continuing.
comprehensive guide to the country, the history
and many cultural aspects.
The photos below are by Hamlik and Hermineh Parsanian, on a recent trip to
Lala Minasian: for information regarding current events, trends in gampr breeding and a good contact in Yerevan. Lala is seeking to develop a Search and Rescue program in
Yerevan, and has been tremendously helpful and consistently available during the development of the AGCA.
Shortly after meeting her husband she moved to Armenia. While doing environmental portraits of young girls in various villages, she came across the Gampr. After working with and
keeping various rescue dogs and wolves through out her life, she acquired her first female Gampr pup in 2003, which eventually led her to establish her own kennel. In order to give
the Gampr a modern day job Lala hopes, through selective breeding, to establish a team of Gamprs that can be trained for search and rescue work. While Rohana Mayer was looking
for information and contacts in Amenia, Lala became the easiest source for current pictures and status of various dogs there. Because of her American background and knowledge of
the current events in Yerevan, she has been asked to join the AGCA in 2010 as the clubs delegate in Armenia. Her duties include keeping the board of directors up to date regarding
AGCA business and interests in the country of Armenia, and assisting with locating and exporting certain gamprs originating outside of professional breeders' kennels.
In Armenia, the gampr is commonly referred to as both a chobani shoon (shepards dog) and as a gampr. There, those are general terms, which we are seeking
to clarify in order help promote and preserve this great breed. The gampr has been in Caucasian mountains, also known as the Armenian Highland, for
thousands of years. The divisions amongst the related breeds have been relatively recent, which leads to some blurring of the definitions. Literally, the word
'gampr' means 'big-headed hairy beast,' and can be used also for referring to someone in a teasing way, like calling someone an ogre. You can see why the
term is used for these dogs, and is also the name of the breed. They have been called 'caucasian shepherds dogs' for centuries, and although the FCI
'Caucasian Ovcharka(AKA shepherd)' is now generally a show dog, a fighting dog and very commandable, it is has been changed from the original type. During
the Soviet era, many dogs were taken to the Red Star Kennel and other places and were subjected to an intense breeding program, the progeny of which are
now registered FCI as Caucasian Ovcharka, Alabai, etc. These breeds often had inclusions of german shepherd, doberman, rottweiler, bulldog etc. The dogs
coming from this program, and others, emerged with very long pedigrees, but also many genetic faults that come with 'line breeding' and other practices that
are used to 'improve' a breed. However, dogs with long pedigrees and an impressive physical appearance are often perceived as more valuable than the dogs
living in the mountains without papers or written history. The papered dogs are frequently imported back into Armenia, cross-bred with the native stock, and
mistakenly considered pure. The AGCA seeks to find and promote the original, 'un-improved' dogs from the mountains in Armenia. This can be difficult. Many of
the dogs imported here to the USA have a parent or grandparent that happens to be alabai, Caucasian Ovcharka, or Kangal. The dogs here in the USA are, on
average, about 75% geneticaly pure. It is our goal to improve this. One option we are working on is a mobile semen collection project, which can be used to
collect from the best males in the mountains of Armenia, then the importation of the better genetics can be bred into our best females, thereby raising the
genetic purity of the dogs here. This is a long term project, the execution of which will necessitate research and skillful fundraising. We as a group do NOT
support or endorse any particular breeder or kennel in Armenia, but will seek to find individual dogs in the mountains with verifiable lineage.