Armenian Gampr Club of America
Gamprs have been bred for function more than appearance. Any color is permissible,
except merle, liver or blue, and blue eyes or eyes lacking dark eyeliner, and pink noses.
This makes sense, because been line-bred/inbred or have a high coefficiant of
inbreeding. The gampr is a landrace with a healthy heterozygous genotype, so the
double-recessive mutations have not yet appeared in the breed.
The thick coat of the gampr is excellent protection in all weather extremes. Typically,
longer-haired dogs were from the snowy highlands, and shorter-haired dogs were
from the lowlands. The outer hairs tend to be darker than the dense, downy
undercoat. They shed their coat once or twice a year, in great amounts. Puppies often
are born slightly darker than they grow to be as an adult.
Gamprs have strong, muscular bodies with large bone structure. It is often surprising
how large their heads are when compared other modern 'pet' dogs. On short-coated
dogs, the tail is usully cropped, but not very short. It should be similar to the tail of a
jack russel, proportionally.
Traditionally, the ears on the gampr are cropped at three days after birth. At this
time, it is mainly cartilage, and almost no bleeding occurs. This is prefereable in
working dogs. The historical necessity was to prevent easy holds and resulting pain
Various close relations, such as ovcharkas, central asian shepherds, and modern Kangal are all very similar and display
many of the same characteristics. The Gampr is unique in that it retains all of the genetic variation that it began with, and
even has supposedly had occasional crosses with native wolves until about 300 years ago. The breed evolved for a rigorous
lifestyle requiring independent intelligence, strong survival instincts, reliable livestock guardianship, and a dependable,
Although much of the native stock had been depleted in the early twentieth century and continues to be drained by lack of
recognition resulting in dogs being registered as other breeds, careful persistent breeding can thoroughly revive the breed.
Historically, only dogs who were intelligent and hardy could survive to be reliable breeders, therefore natural selection has
done a superb job in designing one of the most durable, reliable, and enduring breeds in the world.
when defending livestock from predators. Most dogs are still used this
way, and it can be a sensible thing to do, possibly even saving a dogs
life if under heavy threat by wolves or coyotes..
When raised under appropriate circumstances, gamprs develop into
level-headed, reliable and intelligent dogs. This means that they need
adequate space, cleanliness, and a good healthful diet. Puppies need
ample room to explore, to wrestle with each other, and to be able to
defecate away from the nest. It is important to socialize young dogs
learn normal human and dog social behavior in order for instinctive
signals to be interpreted correctly as an adult. This is the beginning of a
sound-minded, reliable dog.
A dog who doesn't learn the natural order of, and subtle signals of
authority is possibly going to be a problem as an adult.
Puppies should be introduced to livestock early, and the ones who have
a particular affinity for this work will be preferred as breeding dogs.
Gamprs can make great livestock guardian dogs at a later age, but
starting young is ideal.
In Armenia, Gamprs excel as personal companions and guard dogs as
well as livestock guardians. Whatever the task may be, they do need
large, open space for exercise.
One of the most important differences in this breed is their
independent mind - if they decide that you need protection, they will
They have a very strong desire to love and be loved,
and especially to belong to their family. Unlike more
domesticated breeds that will unthinkingly devote
themselves to you absolutely without question, these
dogs will think about it. The owner will create the
relationship with the dog, consistently. If the owner
ignores the dog, the dog will begin to ignore the
owner. Somewhat like a good friendship - it has to be
kept up, nurtured, or the dog will end up finding new,
Gamprs have a tendency to create bonds with
children and women first, and recognize the leadership
within a family. This is also true for livestock: lambs
and kids first, and will therefore bond with the
flock/family. Once the dog has decided that they are an
important part of a family, thats where they stay and
protect. Basically, if this is to be a family dog or estate guardian, the dog has to be included in a working relationship, not
just put out back on the assumption that it will function without emotional input or attachment. If the dog is put to work
as a flock guardian, it will need to get to know its family and particularly be involved with the new babies.
For the purpose of preserving the breed, AGCA is developing a three-part evaluation system, where each dog is scored on
various attributes. We are opposed to breeding dogs per a bench standard, as the inflated price of dogs who conform to
certain physical characteristics defined by human desire for a good-looking specimen has reduced the usefulness of many
other breeds of dog.
The gampr is uniquely shaped by nature and necessity, not fashion or vanity or pocketbooks, and should remain so.
- A landrace breed, they are not similar in appearance but are similar in function and ability.
- A large guardian dog of ancient origin, from the southern Caucasus mountains and historic Armenia.
- Kind and loving to family and friends, but fierce and protective when needed; a livestock guardian, a
family and farm guardian.
- Athletic, powerful and graceful.
- Practical and intelligent, exhibiting self-control in stressful situations.
- Very very rare.
- Often mistakenly called one of the more recognizable related breeds out of convenience.
- An Alabai, a Caucasian Ovcharka, a Kangal, an Anatolian, an Akbash, a Karakatchan, a Central Asian
Shepherd, a Koochee, a Tornjak, a Sharplaninatz, or a cross of these. The clubs for these breeds formed
before the Gampr clubs, and several of them claim the gampr as part of their breed. The history of many
of these breeds do include the gampr, but have now become removed by focused breeding practices.
- A standardized breed, conforming to a certain look, color, or type specified by a PRESCRIPTIVE physical
standard. Rather, the gampr has a DESCRIPTIVE standard which describes the breed as it is, rather than
what our current personal opinion dictates that it should live up to.