The Armenian Gampr today
approximately 8 weeks old.
Armenian Gampr Club of America
Gamprs are able to perform their duties reliably because they have not been bred for appearance. Any color
is permissible, except light-colored eyes or eyes lacking dark eyeliner, and pink noses. This makes sense, for
various recessive genetic faults. 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,
strong breeds in the world.
The thick coat of the gampr is excellent protection in all weather extremes. There are three coat variations,
and many people believe that it is best to breed short-coat to short-coat, and long to long. A cross of the two
results in a medium coat, with graceful feathering on the tail. (Currently, a very long haired version is in
vogue, but the super long coat is not a product of a natural environment, rather it stems from the old Soviet
breeding program and linebreeding.)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. 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 usually cropped, but not very
short. It should be similar to the tail of a jack russel, proportionally.
Dogs from from related FCI breeds must have their ears cropped for registration. AGCA does not require
this. The historical necessity was to prevent easy holds for predators when livestock was being attacked.
Many 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.
Modern Gamprs are not much changed from their forebears. The Gampr is one of the least genetically manipulated breeds of dog. Various close
relations, such as ovcharkas, central asian shepherds, Kars, Kangal and Anatolians 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, superior physique. 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.
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, high-protein
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 thoroughly. Gamprs have strong
domination instincts, and must 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, tractable 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
protect you. 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,
better friends. 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 points 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.
|Rare livestock guardian breeds
Livestock guardian website
Armenian gampr info
- A landrace breed.
- A large guardian dog of ancient origin, from the caucasus mountains and historic Armenia.
- Kind and loving to family and friends, fierce and protective, a family and farm guardian.
- Practical and intelligent, exhibiting self-control in stressful situations.
- Very very rare.
- Often 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.