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Armenian Gampr
Armenia Not recognized by the FCI

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Gampr Armenio



Armenian Gampr (Armenian Wolfhound Gampr) is the name of a breed of guard dog of cattle that originated in the Armenian mountains (including the territories known today as Eastern Anatolia of Turkey).

The Armenian Gampr was bred by the local population starting from the primitive dogs of the area that, It was on par with the evolution of societies domesticated.

Not even being recognized by several important canine clubs as a breed of dog and undergoing an intensive genetic research, in April of 2011 the International Canine Union officially recognized the Armenian Gampr as the national dog breed of Armenia.

The Gampr has been living for a long time in the prehistoric Armenian mountains, This is demonstrated by thousands of petroglyphs (that symbolic motifs are stones or rocks which have been carved, belonging to very ancient cultures) found throughout the territory. The teacher Oktay Belli from the University of Istanbul has studied petroglyphs found near the modern city of Kars and according to data from his research, various domestic breeds from the area have lived there since the Neolithic period.

It is not known for sure when the Gampr, and while there is a great diversity among endemic species, back to tens of thousands of years, the Gampr modern is believed to have existed for at least 3.000 years. Petroglyphs found in the plateau of Armenia, show a large number and variety of dogs similar to the Gampr, What has given rise to generate a comprehensive record of development.

Of the hundreds of petroglyphs found in Ughtasar and the Geghama mountain range, up a 20% of the carved motifs resemble modern ones Gampr, while others show a remarkable diversity of dogs that do not already exist.

The results of an excavation carried out in 1954 in Lake Sevan, site dating from 800 or 1000 years before Christ, they found the skeleton of a dog perfectly preserved in a tomb. When comparing the skull found with that of a Armenian Gampr and other indigenous dogs, They concluded that he was an ancestor of the race, Although it presented some differences from the modern form in the face, her you estreches of the skull and powerful teeth, counting on these data and adding the changes that caused the selection and breeding process of the last 3.000 years that inevitably, affect the general appearance of the dogs, could affirm that the Armenian Gampr was already established and formed as a race in the first millennium BC.

The issue is that, the Armenian Gampr modern has changed little through the history of its existence in the highlands of Armenia. It is one of the few natural breeds that exist, “natural” because they were not subjected to the harsh selection of phenotypes by the human hand. So they keep intact the genetic diversity they had initially, While they have crossed with other locatarios dogs. But that genetic variation has been something natural and spontaneous.

Physical characteristics

The Gampr it is a mountain dog that has a large head, body well delineated and developed, without prominent cheekbones. The back is wide, straight, muscular and strong. To the cross, the height in the males is of 65 centimeters or more, and in females is of 62 centimeters or more. The weight is proportional to the size of the dog, and generally varies between 45 and 60 kg.

The Armenian Gampr has a highly developed double-layer coat of hair in order to protect it from the extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions of the area where it was born. The outer layer is long and thick hair, and the hair is short and dense internal.


There are two varieties of Gampr, guardian and the of Pastor. Pastor tends to be smaller in size, tireless, and a little lighter. The Gampr the guardian type is, generally, higher, more square, and loving and very protective. They have a tendency to be more sedentary, and stay in one place.

The geographical and cultural coexistence of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog and the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, and its use on farms over time has caused a problem since the survival of the creole breed Armenian Gampr has been threatened…

The Club of the Armenian Gampr of the United States tries to make it clear -given the similarity between the dogs- that the Armenian Gampr IT IS NOT: a Caucasian Shepherd Dog, a Kangal Shepherd Dog, a Kangal Shepherd Dog, a Akbash, a Karakachan, a Alabai (Central Asian Shepherd Dog), a Koochee, a Tornjak, a Sharplaninac, Although it has some similarities it is good to be able to differentiate between these breeds.

Character and skills

The Gampr is distinguished by its vitality, its independence, intelligence and instinct of self-preservation, capacity in the defence and protection of livestock, the exclusive kindness to humans.

The Armenian Gampr it is a guard dog by nature, Unlike other dogs, This has developed this ability naturally, without previous training. In Armenian the word "Gampr" means "guard dog”, but it is also known by other names, like for example "Gelkheht” (which is derived from the word Wolf), if it is usually used for hunting bears it is known as “Archashoon” (“dog-bear”) and if it performs typical functions of a shepherd dog, it is called "Chobanishoon”.

One of the main features of Gampr, It is his innate ability to adjust independently to different situations and reach a decision appropriate to the circumstances. If he Gampr he sees that his master needs his help, will protect it, but if not, pass it… They are affectionate but not corporate.

Images "Armenian Gampr"


1 – Armenian Gampr dog by hy.wikipedia user Zara-arush, GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons
2 – Armenian Gampr by Gampr1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
3 – Armenian Gampr by Safi-iren, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
4 – Sheepdog, Gampr dog in Azerbaijan by Elkhan Ganiyev, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo: gampr.org

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