To be a good breeder, one must breed a lot of dogs. To be great, one must learn from a lot of mistakes. Which means, no great breeder has ever become so without having made a LOT of mistakes, analyzed them, learned, and bred more.
Someone who has only ever bred good to excellent dogs is either lying, or hasn’t been around very long.
I have bred some really great dogs, and some really NOT great dogs. I have bred dogs who were not good at being gamprs, whose instincts were vague, who had underbites, or bad hips. That is because I have bred a LOT of dogs.
I have also bred some really excellent, beautiful, perfect dogs. Quite a few, actually.
This does not make me a great breeder. I have a lot to learn. I actually don’t like to breed all that much; I feel it is a necessity sometimes. For reasons I will not explain currently.
I have a strong resentment of breeder politics, particularly breeder worship. This causes divisiveness. It is always bad for the breed when breeders have factions, and there are groups or individuals who try to put them on a pedestal – it doesn’t help the breed.
Every breeder I met in Armenia, I have a lot of respect and high regard for each of them. I really like all of them personally. I hope to return and spend more time with them, with their dogs, and learn of course. But also, in every breeder’s selection of dogs, there were some great and not so great dogs. Some I envy, some I wouldn’t want to own … If any breeder says they only breed great dogs, go find someone else. I really don’t think that the breeders I spoke with and met think they are infallible, they seemed very direct and honest.
Singling out one breeder and placing that person above others will not help the gampr, and I personally find it frustrating when it happens; it happens frequently. No one breeder is more infallible than the rest. We are all human. We breed great and not so great.
Arguing over who is the best breeder is not helpful. Who to go buy from, who breeds the best changes. Many breed great dogs. Most have also bred a trainwreck or two. Putting a breeder on a pedestal gives them a long way to fall. And every breeder has a few failures, will have more as long as they breed.
But without dedicated, long-term multi-generational breeders we will just have amateurs, people who have a pair and breed only the one pair, never learn beyond that.
So breeders like Armen Khechoyan, Armen Simonyan, Garnik, Vahan Mkhtarian, Vagarsh Gasparyan, and many more I did not meet – all of them are a very valuable resource, have acquired the wisdom of experience, have contributed to the gampr, have and will continue to have great successes and failures. They are worthy of respect, but please – remember anyone who breeds creates great and not great dogs. We must allow all breeders the grace to do so, without condemning them for mistakes or placing them too high that any dog who doesn’t measure up is their undoing.
No one is infallible, no one person can encompass all that is gampr, and it is disservice to breeders to expect only excellence, and as well it is a disservice to the breed to not learn from ALL the breeders who’ve been breeding numerous dogs for any considerable length of time. Not just about their great dogs, but also learn about what does NOT work.