The Armenian Gampr is a breed originating from Armenia where it developed as a herd guardian dog. The coat of these dogs is thick to protect them from the harsh climatic conditions of the mountains. They are noted for their independent character and intelligence, with great self-confidence.
The breed has a large size and robust appearance. Males can weigh between 59 and 81.5 kilograms, while females range between 50 and 72.5 kg. The height in males is approximately 65 centimeters, and in females 62 cm. Its life expectancy is 12 to 16 years and it is not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
Breed history in brief
Armenian Gampr is an ancient breed of dog that emerged approximately three thousand years ago. The breed originated in the highlands of Armenia, including some areas now belonging to Turkey and Iran. It is considered that they may be descendants of the wolves that resided in the area and are related to breeds such as Central Asian Shepherd Dog and Caucasian Shepherd Dog. The Armenian Gampr were bred as livestock guardians and home protectors, although they were also sometimes used for hunting and fighting.
In the 20th century, the breed was on the verge of extinction due to crossbreeding with other breeds and abandonment during periods of war. Nevertheless, many breeders and fanciers made efforts to preserve the breed. Today, the Armenian Gampr is widely used in Armenia for herding livestock, as well as for guarding rural and urban properties. In addition, it is also bred as a companion animal because of its protective and loyal attitude.
The Armenian Gampr shows a muscular and rectangular body, slightly longer than tall. The chest is broad and deep and slightly rounded. The head is large, with small almond-shaped eyes. The color of the eyes is usually darker than that of the coat. The tail is high set and at rest is held low, while when excited it is carried high and curved.
The length of the coat is slightly variable, as in mountainous areas the coat is usually longer than in lowlands where a shorter coat and a lighter body build is more common. In addition, the coat is rough and the color can also vary depending on the region from which the dog originates. Armenian Gampr show a wide variety of coat colors, although, according to the standard set by the American Kennel Club (AKC), brown is not desirable. Some have a black mask.
One of the main characteristics of the breed is its endurance, independence and protective attitude. Despite the rough appearance of these dogs, loyalty and adaptability make them good family companions, although they require early socialization. The Armenian Gampr has rather simple instincts, similar to those of a wild animal. Even so, they are characterized by being calm, non-aggressive and intelligent dogs.
Common health problems
The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac and dental screening examination, as well as a series of tests to assess the following diseases: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, autoimmune thyroiditis, degenerative myelopathy and gangliosidosis.
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