Gamper (Armenian wolfhound) is an indigenous breed of Armenian highlands, which, according to breeders, does not need to be specially trained to protect the owner and his property, all this is in the blood of the gamper. Smart, strong devotees and beautiful dogs deserve worldwide recognition, but so far the breed has not been officially recognized by the International Cynological Federation, only by the International Cynological Union (IKU).
Dogs of this type have been distributed throughout the Armenian Highlands since ancient times. Cave paintings in historical regions of Armenia testify to this. About 20% of petroglyphs are dedicated to dogs, which practically do not differ externally from modern gampra. The rest depicts animals and dogs that have disappeared in our time.
Gamper is one of the few native breeds that has not undergone strict selection. In most cases, the expansion of the gene pool was facilitated by spontaneous mating with local wolves, which sometimes occur even now.
February 10, 2011 the recognition of the Armenian wolfhound gampra by the International Cynological Union (IKU).
The word "gamper" in translation from Armenian means: "strong, powerful, large." In Armenia, the breed is known under various names that reflect its functionality: gailhekht - wolfhound; archashun - a bear dog; potato shaker-rescuer; ovvashun - shepherd dog, shepherd dog; and, of course, gamper is a guard dog. From this we can conclude that for centuries with gumpers they hunted a large beast, shepherds used the dog to protect herds from predators and ill-wishers, at home she was the only guard and protector. In addition, the gampra worked as part of rescue teams, mainly to detect people in the mountains under snowdrifts.
Video about the breed of dogs gamper (Armenian wolfhound):
Gamper is a very large, strong dog of athletic build, slightly stretched format. The height at the withers for males should not be lower than 67 cm, for females - 63 cm. Weight varies from 45 to 70 kg.
The head is well drawn, large. The skull is wide with a soft stop. The forehead is straight. The jaws are very powerful. Cheeks are dry. Ears are set slightly below eye level. The eyes should be darker than the color of the coat, relatively small, almond-shaped, set deep and slightly slanted. A typical serious and severe expression appears in puppies as early as several weeks of age. Teeth strong, white, well developed, scissor bite.
Physically and psychologically, gambles are fully formed by two years.
The neck is strong, powerful, medium tilt. The body is elongated due to the chest. The chest is wide, deep with a slightly rounded sternum, falls below the elbow joint. The stomach is slightly tightened. The withers stand out. The back is straight, wide, strong and muscular. The loin is short. The croup is elongated, wide. The tail is set high, lowered. During movement or arousal rises above the back with a crescent or in a ring. Forelegs are straight, parallel, very massive. The backs are straight and parallel, somewhat aligned in the hock and knee joints. Shin and thighs are long. The knee joint is well expressed. Paws are strong, round, well assembled, with soft pads.
Outwardly and in character, the gamper is very similar to the Turkish kangal, which allows dog handlers to talk about their kinship or common ancestors. It is likely that dogs in neighboring territories crossed each other many times.
The skin is very thick. The coat of gumpra is rough to the touch, very dense, thick. It is able to protect the dog not only from weather disasters, but also from the teeth of a predator. The average hair length is about 4 cm, according to the standard, from 2 to 6 cm. The undercoat is very well developed. On the paws and face it is slightly shorter. There is also a long-haired type, but so far it is recognized only in Armenia. The colors are diverse and all are evaluated equally. Only hepatic and its shades are not allowed. A dark mask on the face is welcome, the absence is not considered a drawback.
Nature and behavior
Gamper is calm, independent, brave and alert, has a balanced temperament and strong character. Able to make decisions independently and has a vivid instinct for self-preservation. Willingness to protect the owner and his property in gampra in the blood. In addition, he is distinguished by exceptional friendliness to a person, which is an important factor for a family dog, and not just a guard of a commercial property.
Characteristic features of the character of gampra: independence and a lively mind.
Gamper is very attached to people, considers himself a member of the family. This is especially true for dogs that live in close contact with humans. If the owner ignores the gampra, he will answer the same. Proud and confident, he will not devote himself to the owner if he does not need it. Relations with a wolfhound resemble friendships, which must be guarded and maintained.
Today, Armenian breeders are developing a program of cooperation with the Ministry of Defense. In their opinion, the Armenian wolfhound is quite suitable for the role of a border dog and can easily displace the German shepherd.
I wonder how gamper builds relationships in the family. Before he recognizes the chapter, he will show affection for younger members of the family, women and children. Then he will try to take a leading position and, if the owner does not allow this, the dog will remain in its place. This gamper manifests in relation to pets. First of all, he takes care of lambs and kids. Only making sure they are safe will protect adult animals. With males fellow tribesmen arranges fierce battles for leadership. If socially adapted it is completely indifferent to cats and other small animals.
Gamper is a guard dog, which at any time is ready to protect the territory entrusted to it, people and animals, at all costs. He will never raise an alarm due to a suspicious rustle, does not show nervousness or fuss. If necessary, acts quickly, decisively and toughly. In general, this is exactly what they expect from a dog whom they trust their safety. To be the keeper of livestock, and this is what is considered the main work of the gamper, it must have complete self-control, independent of human decision. Gampra has a mind and insight, pride, a strong character, a desire to work and serve the master, but not slavishly.
The emphasis in breeding solely on size and fighting ability has led to the emergence of several lines, the dogs of which lack intelligence and wisdom to do the job of protecting families and livestock or to be trusted with children.
Without mental and physical intimacy with a family, the gamper loses the meaning of life. But at the same time, for the dog to show all its positive qualities, the owner must become a real leader and leader for her. In their reviews, the owners of the gampres write that the dog somehow always knows what to do, as if he understands human speech, and fulfills requests that no one purposefully taught. Very calm, but always alert.
Parenting and training
Gampra is difficult to train in accordance with generally accepted schemes and standard methods, but you definitely need to take an OKD course with it. As for protection, the gambler will turn into a reliable watchman and guard as a result of competent education and close contact with a person, and not after a course of ZKS. Ideally, puppies should learn from older dogs, but this is not always possible.
At any age, it is very important that self-control is the main feature of gampra. If the puppy cannot control his excitement, it will be more difficult to work with him.
Gamper is a typical resident of the yard who needs a lot of space, good workloads and regular hours-long walks. He loves to run, very active and athletically built. Of course, it is not afraid of frost, snowfall or heavy rains. Gamper is not suitable for chain life, in the aviary it can be closed for a short period. In urban conditions, providing decent living conditions is almost impossible.
Gamper is not suitable for apartment or home maintenance, it is a yard guard dog, which is adapted for year-round life on the street and for guard duty.
At the same time, gamper should always be among people and animals. This applies not only to puppies, but also to adults. They themselves strive for close contact and should not live somewhere in the backyard, but be part of the family. Gamper takes under his protection all family members, take care of them and foresees danger. On the one hand, this is a plus, but it can be a minus. If, for example, during a walk, the dog decides that a cyclist rushing away will attack the child. In unfamiliar, fenced areas, the dog should always be in a muffled muzzle, even if it is perfectly raised.
Gamper is absolutely undemanding in terms of care. If the dog lives in the yard, hygiene procedures are reduced to periodic combing during seasonal molting and very rare bathing. They also monitor the cleanliness of the eyes and ears, but they usually do not require regular cleaning. From time to time, the dog is fully examined to notice signs of infection in time. Gampra claws often do not have time to grind on their own on soft ground, so they have to be cut not only to sick, elderly or weakened dogs, but also to adults, healthy.
Like any other dog of this size, gampera needs a well-balanced diet, especially during the period of active growth. A lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to improper physical development, weakness of the musculoskeletal system and other problems in adulthood. Gamper eats 1-2 times a day. Meat and offal should be at least 1/3 of the diet, the rest: cereals, vegetables, dairy products, eggs. The total daily serving size is approximately 3-5% of body weight.
In rare cases, owners accustom gampra to dry food for large and giant dog breeds. Most breeders are of the opinion that natural food is a better option for native breeds.
Health and Life Expectancy
Gampra are strong and healthy, very hardy and adaptable dogs. To date, the breed is positioned as safe in genetic terms. However, there is evidence that gampros have dysplasia of the hip joint, heart disease, and other internal organs. There may be skin and ear problems. It is difficult to say whether these problems are hereditarily caused or related to improper care, nutrition and maintenance.
Life expectancy is usually 10 to 12 years. The dog needs standard veterinary preventive measures no less than any other. The fortress of health and immunity, which the breeders talk about, does not allow owners to save on the maintenance and nutrition of the wolfhound.
Gamper puppy selection
Small gampra are very different from adult dogs. They are soft in every way, they have a large head, short hair and very powerful legs. Sometimes the nose, pads and eyelids of newborns are pink. Over time, they gradually blacken and by four months should have acquired full pigmentation. During the first 9 months, gumpra may have a small snack, which with age is either corrected or remains. It is worth remembering that according to the standard, the bite should be scissor-like. At the birth of puppies, breeders pay attention to the ability of babies to tear their bellies off the ground at the age of 2 weeks. Failure to do this may indicate genetic pathologies in the development of bones and joints.
For a layman, a puppy of gampra is practically no different from a puppy of Caucasian, CAO and other similar breeds. And someone does not even distinguish a pedigree puppy from a cur of a similar type and color. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a little wolfhound only in a certified nursery.
Outside of Armenia, the breed is very rare. There are single nurseries in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. Today, several nurseries in the USA are engaged in the cultivation of gampres, which work closely with Armenian colleagues.
To take puppies from unknown parents is a big lottery. In this breed, it is important that for several generations the dogs possess typical character traits, a calm, balanced temperament and those working qualities, thanks to which the gamper gained recognition.
The price of a puppy gampra varies in a very wide range. In Russia, the average cost is 50,000 rubles. Toddlers of elite lines from well-known manufacturers can cost significantly more. Often in the markets you can find puppies of an Armenian wolfhound at a price in the region of 20,000 rubles. Usually these are dogs of breeders, who do not bother much about preserving the character and working qualities of the native breed.
The gallery contains photos of puppies and adult dogs of the gamper breed (Armenian wolfhound).