SPECIAL GENETICS PROGRAM

Purpose

saving our breed

AGCA has been assisting owners with importing thoroughly investigated, approved pups direct from working shepherds of Armenia as part of our Special Genetics Program in order to save our breed from extinction.  Armenian Gampr numbers have plummeted dangerously over the last few centuries, due to wars and genocide, Soviets pillaging the gene pool, poverty and loss of land.   To make matters worse, in the last three decades, the gene pool has dwindled even more with the popularity of breeding fighting dogsfalse labeling and widespread misinformation within the Gampr community. Most of the dogs labeled as Armenian Gampr are not.  Out of all the dogs posted to social media or seen in the villages of Armenia, very few are not mixed.  This situation was (and still is) dire and the Club needed to act.  

For years, up until 2018, there were very few breeders AGCA recommended, and even then only puppies from certain dogs.  Over time, the list of good breeders dwindled down to just one.   AGCA has a strict policy of immediately severing ties with anyone who is caught fighting dogs or actively breeding dogs intended for dogfighting. Unfortunately, all well known breeders currently supplying puppies to the US are active dog fighters.  The only exception to this is Armen Khechoyan, a trusted breeder, who is working to change the hearts and minds of fellow Armenians to stop this barbaric sport.

 

In 2018, Club Founder, Rohana Mayer traveled to Armenia to gather samples for the DNA Project and finalize this import path of procurement in person.  This included visiting dogs in isolated camps and villages with Armen & Irena Khechoyan, networking with other friends and meeting new handler, Tigran Grigoryan, who is not a breeder but is excellent at sourcing aboriginal Gamprs.

The goal of the Program is to source true, natural landrace gamprs who will help balance and stabilize the gene pool to prevent the Armenian Gampr from going extinct, due to over breeding of mixed  fighting dogs.  It is our goal to help educate and bring breed awareness in Armenia and in the US.   AGCA is not the seller of any puppies but merely a facilitator between parties who help buyers safely import reliable, true working Armenian Gampr dogs.

 

In order to increase the level of care of all dogs owned by each shepherd and to ensure that puppies remain in good health and not mistreated, each person involved in this partnership is required to agree to certain standards and are held accountable. The Program has been successful and beneficial in many ways:

  • Allows US & Canadian buyers a safer route of importing a puppy

  • Saves puppies who would most likely otherwise be abandoned

  • Provides income for shepherds and incentive to breed correct dogs

  • Places true aboriginal Armenian Gamprs into potential future breeding homes to carry forth the genetics. It is the intent that puppies in this Program imported to Approved Breeders

  • Ensures proper nutrition to parents and puppies

  • Creates breed awareness at the source and grows the community of local Armenians who also want to become involved

  • Provides education, anthelmintic medication and other anti-parasitics, and all vaccinations to dogs who would normally not receive them

  • Provides revenue for other individuals and businesses in Armenia

  • Increases cross cultural relations between countries

In the first two years, AGCA helped over one hundred owners import a Gampr from Armenia.

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Special import puppies in west Armenia, Fall 2020

Terms & Availability

how it works

Puppies in this Program are available to homesteads and farms in the US and Canada, direct from working parents who protect the sheep camps of Armenia and Artsakh. After a thorough, multipart investigation, the parents and puppies chosen for this project are deemed highly valuable SAF dogs and a crucial part of the efforts aimed at preserving the breed and balancing the current gene pool. 

 

Due to the dire situation of the gene pool and rarity of true Gamprs, puppies are only available to AGCA and AGCC Members who wish to carry forth these genetics in a sound breeding program and who agree with and will adhere to the AGCA Code of Ethics.  Each puppy will also come with a contract (see below) prior to purchase.

 

At times, there may be one available for a non breeding or pet home if there are several available from the same lineage. AGCA reserves the right to decide which puppies will remain in the gene pool and who, if any, may be available to other homes, based on many factors.

As part of an in depth agreement with the sourcing handlers, shepherds and breeders in Armenia, each puppy will receive proper, regular deworming, medical documents and passport which lists full vaccinations, including rabies, and dates given, arrive microchipped with an ISO international chip and a large crate that is yours to keep.  The total cost sent to Armenia to purchase a puppy is $1600.  

To reserve a puppy from a shepherd, a $600 deposit is sent via MoneyGram (USD to USD) or bank transfer to the handler in Armenia. The balance of $1000 is sent about two weeks prior to their  flight. If the puppy is within two weeks of the flight, the entire balance of $1600 is sent at once. When sending MoneyGram, you only need the recipient's name and the country of residence. The receipt showing the amount of money to be received, recipient's name and pick up number, along with a legal photo ID, must sent to finalize the reservation and flight requirements. 

Tigran Grigoryan and sourced import puppies

Armenian sheep, in a small village, Armavir Province

Flights

& arrival

Once puppies are old enough, they fly from Yerevan (EVN), fly to Doha, Qatar (DOH) and will board a connecting flight to one of the following cities where they must be processed in person by the owner, friend or ground transporter:

  • Los Angeles

  • Houston

  • Dallas

  • Chicago

  • Boston

  • Washington DC

  • Atlanta (cargo temporarily on hold)

  • NYC

  • Miami

  • Montreal, Canada

 

After arriving at one of the above cities, puppies cannot board connect to an airport closer to you, as the pups must be picked up in person and cleared through customs.  Once the puppy has boarded in Doha, their progress can be monitored in real time via an online live tracker.

At pick up, the cargo office will charge a customs fee that ranges from $80-$140, depending on the airport.  This is a US/CAN government fee not included in the price of the puppy.

Some airports require a broker to clear a puppy through customs but can be arranged when you get to your airport's cargo office. Brokers set their own pricing and it could be a $185-400 fee depending on which company you choose. As of 2020, Chicago requires a broker for every puppy and at times so does Atlanta. One reliable broker in Chicago is $305, in Atlanta it's $200.

Anyone living an extreme distance from one of the mentioned airports may be connected with a ground transport or a Club friend who  may be able to help, for a fee (discussed and decided upon amongst yourselves), help with pick up or logistics. 

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Shepherd's son, Temur, with a 2020 import pup

2021 import from Armen Khechoyan

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Kura in Armenia before traveling to her new farm in Mississippi

Get Started...

import a puppy

If you're an AGCA Member and want to participate in the Special Genetics Program, please review and submit the following signed documents via email here.

Import Contract

Code of Ethics