The Gentle Hearted, Fierce Defender
Gampr directly translated means "wolf-choker".
The Armenian Gampr is still the breed it has been for thousands of years. In order for the breed to maintain its integrity as a useful, reliable guardian, strict and thorough measures must be in place to assure correct breeding practices. Outside of the native country, any Gampr is at risk to a variety of misuses and misrepresentations. Armenia is a small country where there remain local shepherds in the hills, eking out a living the way their ancestors had for thousands of years. The native dogs and shepherds live the way they always have, and in so doing will hopefully be able to maintain the integrity of the breed that began 15,000 years ago.
Smaller and more slight in stature, agile and extremely active, this phenotype is a shepherd's bread + butter. A Hovvashoon's never stop attitude, alertness + attention to detail makes them a sharp + economical guardian, hunting for most of their sustenance. Hovvashoons working style lends to typically tend to bark more as nothing seems to pass their surveillance. Shepherds in Armenia typically have packs comprised mostly of Hovvashoon type Gamprs, with a one or two Gelkheght/Archashoon types. The Hovvashoons will identify and alert a threat, consequently isolating or surrounding the threat and then call in a Gelkheght to finish the job if the predator is larger such as bear, cougar or wolves. This synergy between the phenotypes is what makes this landrace beautiful sight to behold when working. A Hovvashoon is often found at rest at the highest point they can find to surveil.
Gelkheght + Archashoon
wolf-choker +bear hunter
Gelkheght and Archashoon are heavier set structurally, bulkier in stature and tend to be lower key in temperament. They tend to be more docile and have a deeper less frequent bark. Their heritage is rich with historical meaning as often referred to as palace guardians. This phenotype was used historically to guard Armenian royalty. The dogs would lay across the entrance to besotted royalty and read the intention of any requesting an audience with their royal charges. A Gampr's incredible intuition and emotional intelligence would either decline or allow the audience being said to be able to accurately perceive a person's true intentions. This remarkable trait is still present in modern Gamprs. Their working style will gently body block a stranger at first approach to read their intention before allowing them passage or at times, back their charges into building if a threat is perceived. Gelkheghts are often found at rest in doorways to this day.
search + rescue avalanche dogs
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