Meet Our Livestock Guardian Dogs: The Armenian Gampr's

May 13, 2021

When you visit Honeysuckle Farm, you will see a variety of animals. Most of the time, they go about their business, ignoring passersby. But there is one animal that will certainly take notice of you're arrival, and they will let everyone else (humans and livestock alike) know that something is amiss!

Meet our livestock guardian dogs: The Armenian Gampr's (gămp'r).

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Hazel came to Honeysuckle Farm in the summer of 2019. She came from our Hoosier friends at Silver Ridge Gampr's. Coincidently, Hazel has a littermate brother that also lives in Morris.

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Hank came to Honeysuckle Farm in early 2021. He was imported from Armenia. At the time, he was unrelated to any other Gampr's living in the United States. This will help provide genetic diversity within the breed.

Originating 12,000+ years ago in the region from the southern Caucasus mountains and the Armenian Highland, the Armenian Gampr is a landrace family & livestock guardian dog. A landrace is defined as any livestock animal that has been bred without a formal registry, as opposed to dog breeds that have breed standards, clubs, and registries. 

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Gampr's are large dogs, usually weighing between 85-185 lbs. and standing between 25"-35" in height. They are dimorphic, meaning that males are often significantly larger than females. Typical litter size is generally 6-8 puppies, and the ears are often cropped at three days old. This tradition derived out of historical necessity to prevent predators from gaining the advantage of an easy grasp. Naturally, Gampr's can tend to be more active at night, and often prefer to patrol at dawn and dusk. A Gampr's thick coat protects in all weather extremes. This heavy coat is shed once or twice a year. Gampr's do well on a raw diet. 

According to The Armenian Gampr Club of America, a Gampr is:

  • A landrace breed, they are not similar in appearance but are similar in function and ability.
  • A large guardian dog of ancient origin, from the southern Caucasus mountains and historic Armenia.
  • Kind and loving to family and friends, but fierce and protective when needed; a livestock guardian, a family and farm guardian.
  • Athletic, powerful, and graceful.
  • Practical and intelligent, exhibiting self-control in stressful situations.
  • Very very rare.
  • Often mistakenly called one of the more recognizable related breeds out of convenience.

At Honeysuckle Farm, Hazel's main job is to protect the chickens from both land-based and aerial predators. She does such an amazing job at this that we have yet to witness any chicken losses to preditors under her watchful eye.

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We intend for Hank to be a guardian of the home and family. And he seems to be taking to this task well. He has no issues alerting us when someone stops by, and continues to bark and alert even after we have assured him that the stranger is welcomed. We are working to teach him to read our social cues.

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We love to treat our dogs to raw chicken, usually chicken feet or chicken backs and necks.

Next time you visit Honeysuckle Farm, please be sure to say "hello" to the hardest working members of the farm!

Joe Conley
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