This is an ancient, many thounsands years old dog breed, that is native to the Armenian mountains – mainly the Caucasus mountains and Armenian Highland, where it was throughout its whole history used by Armenian people for protecting their livestock and homes. The Armernian Gampr is believed to be one of the foundation breed of some Turkish livesock guardian dogs and we know for sure, that in the 20th century, the Armenian Gampr was one of the main breed used for developing Caucasian Ovcharka.
The main utilization of this breed is, of course, protecting the livestock. They were used for this purpose for thousands of years and it is their natural instinct. They are independent, intelligent, good problem solvers, very strong, brave and naturally protective, all very important traits for this purpose. The Gampr is known to be able to protect the flock even against very strong predators such as wolves. They evolved into these skilled livestock protectors naturally over the time. Of course, these dogs can be also used for protecting the homes, as family companions and interestingly, they were many times used for search and rescue jobs.
Even though this is a courageous and strong protector, they are absolutely friendly and faithful to its family members. They truly love them and create a strong bond with the owner and family. Most of them would protect the family with their life. These dogs are absolutely loyal and they are known to be quite gentle, even towards kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. If they are raised with other dogs from the puppyhood, than they typically do not have problem living with them.
4) Landrace breed
It is important to mention, that as a landrace breed, the Armenian Gampr was developed localy by adapting to the environment and for a function, for a purpose and not for showring or for appearance and indeed, the appearance can vary somehow from one dog to another. Sometimes they might be similar in appearance to other dogs such as Cacasian Ovcharka, Alabai, Karakachan, Turkish breeds such Kangal or Boz Shepherd or to Sarplaninac. And even though these dogs might be somehow similar, the Gampr is a pure and separate breed!
5) Almost extinct
For a long time, the Armenian Gampr was popular dog and its numbers were relatively high. That changed in the 20th century, when Armenian Gampr dog numbers declined a lot and the breed was almost decimated. It is because of the agressors that taken Armenian land and killed many of the Armenian people. With the Armenian people, many Armenian Gampr dogs died as well. After that, many of the remaining Armenian Gampr dogs were taken to Soviet kennels to produce other experiental breeds, like the Caucasian Ovcharka. Luckily, today, the Armenian Gampr numbers are slightly growing once again and there are some dedicated breeders in Armenia who are trying to preserve the breed!
As i just mentioned, the apperance and so as the size can vary quite a bit, but the Gampr is always a very strong, athletic and muscular dog breed. The weight is often times somewhere around 60 kg, which is 135 pounds and height is usually around 70 cm, which is 27 inches. Some individuals are smaller and some are larger than that. In this breed, there is a visible sexual dimorphism, where the males are larger and stronger than females.
These dogs have extremely dense and thick coat, which is providing them protection for all kinds of weather. The length of the coat can be different, but it always must provide the protection. With this breed, it is all about the purpose. Very often, puppies are born darker and their coat gets ligher as they grow. You can find this breed in almost any color, with exception of blue or merle.
8) National heritage
When Armenia gain independence in 1991, the Armenian Gampr dog was designated as national heritage, which only shows how important this dog is for its homeland. The first breed standard was written later in 1990s.
These dogs do shed some deal all year long, more heavily during the shedding seasons, most often two times a year. If you want to minimize the shedding and keep the coat in good condition, regular brushing several times a week is recommended. No other grooming needs are required. Just like with any other breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
Just like majority of landrace breeds, even the Armenian Gampr is usually extremely healthy and hardy breed with average lifespan between 12-14 years. Of course, just like any other breed, they may suffer from some health issues, those might include hip and elbow dysplasia, some allergies or bloating, but none of those are extremely common with this breed