Article chairman of the "Association of Lovers
Native Caucasian sheep-dogs of Azerbaijan "
Ilham Gasimzadeh

Azerbaijan has a right to be proud of its native breed dogs, went down in canine guides of the former Soviet Union under the name of Azerbaijan steppe Caucasian Shepherd. This breed, with more than three thousand years. presumably is the origin of the Tibetan mastiff, which is similar to the ancestor of our Shepherd, Mongolian, Kyrgyz (the now extinct), Central Asian. And it can be seen from the evolution of the Tibetan mastiff. Mingling with the local dogs on the territory of ancient Assyria and Iran, quite real education of aboriginal dogs, whose habitat, spread exists currently in the Caucasus. And as Azerbaijan, as well as other republics of the Transcaucasus, geographically closer to Iran and ancient Assyria, it seems more plausible version of the origin of the Caucasian Shepherd Assyrian war dogs. Originally, these dogs, hitting with the troops of Alexander of Macedon to Greece, They are called "Molosser".

The historical center of the Caucasian Shepherd or, as it is called Azerbaijanis, "Gouna go" (Shepherd dog), "Shepherd go" (sheepdog) or Wolfhound in its pure form is Republic Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Dagestan. Further, its habitat extends to the north of the Caucasus, Krasnodar extremities, etc.. d.
The atlas of rare breeds 1993 year of publication Caucasian Shepherd introduced to the breed standard. And in the "country of origin" – dash.

Recently, there is a big discussion on DA belonging to a particular region or country. Each side tries to prove, KO that is their national breed. Caucasian Shepherd in connection with a wide distribution area, includes an extensive territory with different climatic conditions and lanshaft, as well as due to the geographical isolation of certain regions, acquired significant external differences. But in Azerbaijan there are five subspecies of inbreeding with a wide variety of appearance and color, many of which are not found anywhere else.

In the Caucasus, in general animal husbandry, and sheep farming in particular,, for centuries engaged Azerbaijanis, and consequently, and breeding Caucasian Shepherd doing they. In the "Caucasians" Georgia and Armenia diluted Azerbaijanis living areas. This is confirmed in at least these facts, that the best Caucasian Shepherd USSR 30-ies of Georgia, He had a nickname "Topush" (translated into Azeri, "Powerful"),and its owner called Ibrahim. "Topush" different unique physical properties and their lives destroyed more 100 wolves.
A.Mazover in the book "breeding business in the service sobakavodstve" ( ed. "DOSAF" 1954 year.) He writes:
The Azerbaijani SSR two types differ among the Caucasian Shepherd . One dlinosherstny found in mountain areas and short-haired type - in the steppe regions , strong, dry constitution, more high on, with more elongated, dry-head. For dogs of Azerbaijan SSR characteristic red color with a dark mask, rarely found in other parts of the. There is a large percentage of spotted (about 30%), often encountered in the steppe regions. stretching of the index in dogs the same mountain, that the Georgian. In the steppe regions of frequent short dogs with an index prolixity 100-102.
I think, that the world-famous Soviet canine A.Mozover accurately described the Azerbaijani native Shepherd.

so, There are two main types of native Caucasian Shepherd Azerbaijan: dlinosherstny and Shorthair (prairie). In Azerbaijan, there are five types of inbreeding native Caucasian Shepherd. Although experienced shepherds and breeders, against the division of the dogs on the mountain and steppe types. they believe , Both of these types of , dlinosherstny and Shorthair, found in mountain, and in the steppe regions of the country. Most of Azeri shepherds prefer short-haired type of the Caucasian sheep.
At all, due to climatic conditions (in Azerbaijan 9 climatic zones), as well as the, Livestock more historically developed on the territory of South and North Azerbaijan with constant transitions flocks from the mountain summer pastures to winter in the steppe regions of the country , all types of native shepherd found in various regions of Azerbaijan.
Collie type – found in Kazakh, Sheki-Zagatala region, Belokan, Kakhi, Ismayilli regions (A wide range, absolute identity). The same type of mountain, with their individual characteristics have in Kalbajar, Kedabek areas, Karabakh conflict zone, Lacina, Kubatly and adjacent to those areas of the Territory.) A good stock of available dogs and in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

Coated type, so-called Azerbaijani Stepniak, all canine directories is called Azerbaijan native dogs and the Caucasus, not found anywhere else. Steppe Shorthaired Shepherd native Azerbaijan - the dog of big growth ( height at the withers comes to 70-80 cm ) Heavily medvezheobraznoy head, with blunt short muzzle, with deep black mask, well-developed cheekbones, lighter skeleton, than the long-haired dogs. Bony index on average 17,3 . Eyes oval - almond. The length of the coat 3-5 cm ( at the intermediate 5-7, dlinosherstnyh -14 cm - aboriginal dogs, not from nurseries). color: pale yellow, white, gray, brown, mottled white with brown or black spots ( black background with white spots is undesirable), They live mainly in Shamakhi district. Sometimes there are also more Sherstnev dog, but without explicit manes. Particularly appreciated flame-red color ( popularly called "golden").

Besides, in the central regions of Azerbaijan inhabit and are considered one of the main types of, a so-called intermediate type- dogs with long fur medium ( I think the best type of KO, with excellent working qualities, feeling quite well enough in the cold mountainous areas, and in hot regions. for example, easily transferring cold, otdelnye years in excess of minus 30 degrees in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Region, and heat, reaching to 40-45 degrees in lowland steppe regions of the republic.) by the way, best Soviet Caucasian Shepherd (in the 30s 20 century) named Topush, It had woolen cover intermediate type.

The area of ​​distribution of this type of dog is Absheron, Divichi-Khachmaz zone, Cuban, Xızınskïy, Gusar region.
In some areas of the country, there are varieties of dogs, which for centuries been bred in these areas and have their own individual characteristics. Of particular note Khinalig mountain village of Guba region, which still protected the flock from wolves because of the dog. This large dog area, tall animals are strong and fast, rough-type constitution, short or srednesherstnye, with massive bone, relief muscles, large heads. Among them, a lot of white,tiger in different variations, spotted dogs.
AT 1933 , Stalin signed a decree "On the development of the domestic dog," and began a real disaster. Hundreds of dogs were taken from the territory of Azerbaijan, the border of Georgia and Dagestan areas. AT 1941 year with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Stalin ordered all thoroughbred animals declared national property and evacuated. The best of the dogs, have been taken out of our country in the future it has been used in breeding kennels in Moscow and Leningrad, as well as to create a new Soviet breed - Moscow sentry.

Subject indigenous sheepdogs guarding a flock of sheep at all well represented in traditional Azerbaijani culture, as the shepherd was considered in Azerbaijan, traditionally engaged in sheep breeding, one of the most relevant human helpers.
For centuries, there are in Azerbaijan folk traditions in breeding native shepherds and the rules of the fights. Fights were held during national holidays. only dog ​​breed Caucasian Shepherd participated in the battles. It was in battle determine the best of the best dogs, especially if it otarnye, dogs. In such competitive fighting spirit revealed strong dogs with good physique. And then it is easier to conduct breeding business.
It had its own system for determining the best dog. To become a champion among Caucasians, the dog must win all season. Absalyutno Champion is determined once a year, at the close of the fighting season to the Novruz holiday. Legends about the champions passed down from generation to generation. Outstanding dog goes into the category of spiritual values ​​and not sold for any money.

Native Caucasian Shepherd also widely represented in many works of Azerbaijani artists and writers.
Association of lovers of the native Caucasian Shepherd Azerbaijan a number of expeditions have been undertaken in different regions of Azerbaijan, to study the existing dog population, Breeding methods used shepherds,diet dog food at a flock, Record interesting episodes related to the security of the flocks from predators. These traditions make us special interest, since they are the result of thousands of years of human experience in the evolution of methods of optimization of working qualities of dogs, error-free identification of the best puppies, etc..
In this way was the beginning of the description and systematization of the indigenous population of Caucasian shepherd dogs in the territory of Azerbaijan is currently, , covering the foothill and steppe villages. In connection with the pastoralists transition to winter pastures, monitoring area was limited to the villages of Shamakhi, Akhsu and Ismayilli regions. It described 20 priotarnyh dogs aged 1,5 up to 6 years.

dogs described were red-golden, light gray and pure white, but mostly priobladal spotted color. among the dogs, intermediate form of wool was 8 m, others were short-haired. Males in the withers reached -70-72 cm, Bags 60-65 cm. There were also very large dogs, above the withers 75 cm. Head in dogs is mainly massive and broad skull. Closer to the steppe villages sabaki more long-legged, less massive head, muzzle slightly lengthening, hindquarters are well developed, large teeth with scissor bite.
Aboriginal Studies KO hardy, stable, devoted, fight with relatives do not come. At a meeting of flocks belonging to the shepherds from other villages, limited to warnings from a distance. Five of the dogs studied repeatedly entered the fight with the wolves. Wolves in these places are not large, but very aggressive. In addition to the wolves, in the local mountains are many jackals, which in winter are trying to attack the dogs protected the flock, among which there wolfhounds.

According to local herders, after a fight with predators once they cut the sheep and to prevent possible infection from feed fat tail sheep dog. According to shepherds in the skin of wolves and other predators peculiar odor is formed when dogs fight, that repels wolfhound. And eating fat tail sheep, Wolfhound forgets this smell. According to the biologists, lipids in fat sheep can neytrolizovat toxic substances to the body and quickly restore lost power.
Dogs with flock traditional corn-fed scones svochennyh in water of sheep cheese production. The best puppy in the diet of added goat's milk up to six months. Dog food of animal extract themselves. Quite often dogs catch and eat snakes, lizards, sometimes catch hares and birds.
Winter grazing flocks of sheep are attacked by wolves-singles(yalguzag). A characteristic feature of these wolves, attack on a flock, regardless of the time of day. Attempted attack can occur both day and nochyu.Kromi wolves yalguzag sniper rifle, many shakalov, bobcats and foxes. In connection with the work of the Conservation and limitation of hunting, the number of different predators in Azerbaijan has increased dramatically. In the cold snowy winters they bolshh amounts collected from farms and Flock House. Especially the increase in the number of steppe lynx, Some instances where unusually large for this subspecies.
In such years working qualities priotarnyh Caucasian sheep can not be overestimated. In most cases, Nadezhda Chabanov in protecting, only to them. Sometimes it is a real battle of shepherds armed with guns and dogs with wolves.
Regardless of the number of dogs at a flock, Protection is always the same scheme, visual detection of the "enemy," the duty of young males, followed by the females when they have puppies, and the older male wolfhounds-climbing on the highest and most convenient place for the review of waiting until the last, exactly "computing" among the few diversions from the wolves, place real attack.
Protect the flock from wolves in Azerbaijan relevant today. Below is an article from 13 Martha 2006 news portal of Azerbaijan :
Narimankend village of Bilasuvar district, was attacked by hundreds of hungry wolves.
The Bilasuvar region continued attacks of hungry wolves on the district of the village.

APA reports quoting villagers Narimankend Bilasuvar region of Azerbaijan.
Hungry wolves attacked the farm, which contains a small cattle, thereby causing serious damage to subsistence farms.
On Sunday night the wolves entered the courtyard villager Narimanked Kamal Bayramov and bitten 10 sheep. According to residents, wolf attacks on villages and farms, which contains livestock, We have become accustomed.
According to villagers, The reason for this is, that in this year's hunting season is closed, and the hunters do not go on the hunt: "People are afraid to go on sowing. Wolves are not afraid of anybody and roam in packs. At any moment they can attack on humans.
Although the Executive Power of the district has been advised, they refuse to take action. And the villagers continue to suffer losses ".
It should be noted, that a few days ago, the wolves attacked and destroyed a significant number of sheep, belonging to the villagers Narimankend Sarraf Mammadov, Farruxu Sarvievu Veli Gasыmovu.
Another intersnyh case told us the old shepherd Rza kisi, which occurred in Shamakhi region of Azerbaijan in January 2006 of the year. During a severe snowstorm, from barns in panic broke goat and ran, dragging flock to deep gully. Ran to the ravine shepherds saw the following picture. Native Caucasian Shepherd named Garabashi stood at the edge of the ravine, blocking the path of the flock, and at her feet lay strangled goat. Shepherds incessant surprised innate analytical ability Caucasian Shepherd, The ability to assess the situation and to calculate their next steps.
In mid-January 2006 , members of the Association of lovers Caucasian Shepherd Azerbaijan undertook a research expedition to the Gobustan.

Gobustan – a mountainous area on the south-east of the Great Caucasus Range, located in 60 km from Baku, It is the territory in which lived ancient people. «Gobu» in Azerbaijani beams. Hence the name of Gobustan – edge and ravines. Once the sea reached the foot of the high mountains, but it receded with time, leaving their distinctive marks.

In the mountains of Gobustan Boyukdash, Kiçikdaş, Djingirdag, Shongardag and Shyhgaya concentrated evidence of the past of Azerbaijani people of the Stone Age and subsequent periods – rock paintings, person parking, tombstones etc.. found more 6 thousand. ancient drawings. The most significant of these are rock carvings – petroglyphs, carved primitive people on the walls of caves, rocks and boulders. These primitive works of art reflect culture, economy, world view, customs and traditions of ancient Azerbaijanis.
Rock carvings of Gobustan occupy a significant place among the similar cultural monuments, found in Karelia, Siberia, Central Asia and in other parts of the world. They have many features in common with rock petroglyphs of Scandinavia, Perineev and Africa.
We had the idea to study the drawings and try to find a mention of the dogs, that, as is known, They were among the first animals domesticated by ancient man. These assumptions are fully justified. We were with the assistance of Archaeological Museum was able to study and photograph several petroglyphs, where the person is a hunting scene with dogs.
On this rock carvings which is subsidized by the era of "enolita"(3 thousand years BC, "copper-stone age") scene of hunting for wild boar.
A careful examination figure shows that the dog catching boar Molosside, with a powerful , big boned and long limbs.
According to scientific workers to reserve 1963 next year the dog was painted man. Under the influence of corrosion pattern gradually washed away.

Studies show picture, what else 3 thousand. BC on the territory of Azerbaijan aboriginal dogs help man hunt.

On the other rock carvings depicted rider hunting scene with dogs on boar. This drawing date the Middle Ages. In one dog collar around his neck prickly.( Exactly the same form scratchy collar, to protect the throat of their dogs from wolves, Shepherds used in Azerbaijan at present.) We are thinking, that these dogs were used not only for hunting, but also for the fight with the wolves when flocks Protection.

chairman “Fanciers' Association
Native Caucasian Shepherd Azerbaijan”
Ilham Gasimzadeh

Journal “FRIEND” August 2006 №8