Activities For An Armenian Gampr

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Introduction

The Armenian Gampr is a livestock guardian that developed in the Armenian Highlands. They are considered to be a landrace dog, which developed in response to their environment and isolation rather than being developed by humans for a specific aim. While isolated from other breeds of dogs, Gampr dogs have been known to occasionally breed with the indigenous wolves of the area and they tend to be very independent dogs compared to many other breeds. In their native country, these dogs are also employed to hunt wolves and bear as well as to search avalanche sites. They tend to be rather aloof towards people outside of their families and while they can be territorial, they are more agreeable when they are introduced to others on more neutral territory.

Camping

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
24 - 48 hrs
Items needed
Dog Food
Water
Canine First Aid Kit
Tent and Sleeping Bags
Activity description

People go camping to get out into nature and escape the hustle and bustle of urban and suburban lives. We get to experience fresh air, hear the singing of the birds, and forget about schedules and alarm clocks for a little while. Dogs also enjoy getting out into nature and seeing new sights and smelling new scents, and they provide an extra sense of security and warmth when they join us at the camping site. Their thick, double-layer coats also help to give them some protection from extremes of temperature. Taking your dog camping can help strengthen the bond and communication between you and your canine companion and provide them with a sense of community and stability.  

Step
1
Do your research
Many campgrounds are quite happy to have canine campers, but others have restrictions regarding dogs. Some campgrounds with restrictions prohibit dogs entirely, generally in order to avoid disturbing local wildlife, while others just restrict dogs on certain trails. Almost all of them require that you do not leave your dog unattended and that they are kept on a six-foot leash, good guidelines to adhere to when camping with your dog in any case. It is important to check and find out what specific rules and regulations they have regarding dogs, in order to avoid trouble. It is also a good idea to find an emergency veterinarian near the campground and save their contact information in case the unexpected occurs.
Step
2
Get the gear
Camping is an equipment-heavy endeavor and bringing a dog along means that you will need to bring additional supplies. Along with enough dog food and clean water for your dog, you will need to bring along bowls for your dog, a six-foot lead, and a well-stocked canine first-aid kit. A canine first-aid kit should consist of a muzzle (or a bandana which can be fashioned into a makeshift muzzle), an emergency blanket, a tick removal tool, and some form of paw protection for damaged paw pads such as clean white socks or rubber gloves. Other necessities are needle-nosed pliers for removing thorns or porcupine quills, and styptic powder to stop the bleeding in case the dog’s nail gets cracked or broken.
Step
3
Training
Ensuring that your dog knows a few critical commands will help to make your trip much more enjoyable and will help to protect them from harm. A rock-solid recall command will help keep your dog from chasing after wildlife and getting lost, and a well-rehearsed leave it command can help prevent your dog from coming into contact with toxic plants, diseased wildlife, or even contaminated food.
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Socialization

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Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
High value food treats
Activity description

 The Armenian Gampr is frequently used as a guardian for sheep in their home country, where they protect their flocks against predators like bears and wolves. While these dogs tend to be aloof but polite in public, they are known to be rather territorial when it comes to their own homes. A large dog capable of fighting off bears and wolves that has a territorial nature can easily become a threat if they feel like someone is encroaching on their territory. One of the best ways to teach your dog to accept guests on your property is to give them plenty of socialization so that they understand that people coming to visit do not constitute a threat. 

Step
1
Basic socialization
Socialization can be beneficial to all dogs, regardless of their age or size, but is most easily achieved during the first three to sixteen weeks of life. If your dog is more mature than that, you may want to take the process more slowly as it may take additional patience and persistence to ensure positive results. If your Armenian Gampr appears to get along with people, you can start by simply inviting guests who are good with dogs over to your home where they can give your canine positive reinforcement.
Step
2
Introductions
Socialization should typically start as soon as possible, usually with just one or two people. If your dog is comfortable in their crate, put them there when the guests first arrive, or have them closed off in a different room. When you have guests come to visit during this socialization period, give them a high-value reward, to give to the dog if the dog is calm and not showing any aggressive posturing or overly insistent behaviors. If your Armenian Gampr has shown any sign of becoming aggressive, you can put them in a crate in the room for very short visits, with the visitor offering a reward when they become calm and relax.
Step
3
Response substitution
A slightly more advanced training technique is referred to as response substitution in which a dog is taught to substitute an appropriate response for an inappropriate one. In other words, if you see your dog getting triggered when they see men in hats, you can give them a command, such as to watch or settle, everytime that you see a man in a hat and reward them when they comply. Eventually, just the sight of a man in a hat should elicit the watch or settle behavior.
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Strength Training

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 15 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

This breed is a strong breed of canine that requires a great deal of exercise to maintain their muscle tone and vigor, but they are also more prone to disorders like hip dysplasia, which means that they should avoid high impact canine sports and activities, particularly before their skeletal system has matured. Strength training not only helps to prevent obesity, it also helps to lengthen your dog’s lifespan and according to recent studies, may even help to prevent certain types of cancer. While teaching your dog to roll over may not initially appear to be a strength training exercise, it is particularly helpful in strengthening your dog’s core muscles. 

Step
1
Start
Starting in a down position, let your dog smell a high-value treat that you have in your hand. Move your hand from the dog’s nose to their shoulder, when their nose follows it should result in the dog leaning back on their side. Do this on both sides and mark the behavior with a clicker or with praise, then give your dog the treat. Repeat several times to cement the behavior.
Step
2
Roll to back
Once the previous behavior has been mastered, slowly move your hand from the shoulder to the floor, then mark and reward every attempt to follow the treat that starts to look like rolling onto their back, encouraging them until they are able to roll all the way onto their back, at which point you would add in the verbal cue to roll over.
Step
3
Repeat
Have your dog roll over to both sides several times on each side to ensure that the core is strong throughout. If you want to add a greater challenge for your Armenian Gampr, you can move the exercise to an area with a slight incline and have your dog roll up the incline several times on each side. Be sure to do the same number of roll-overs on each side to strengthen the core evenly.
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More Fun Ideas...

Swimming

Large and giant breed dogs such as the Armenian Gampr are prone to joint issues such as hip dysplasia and arthritis, which can be instigated or worsened by high impact activities, particularly when the bones are still growing. The activity of swimming allows this large canine to get a great cardiovascular and muscle building workout without adding as much stress to the joints.

Hiking

The Armenian Gampr is a large, well-built animal who tends to be careful and aloof. They developed in an area with quite a bit of space and they tend to enjoy roaming in the outdoors and make excellent hiking partners. If they are not yet fully matured hikes should be kept short and uncomplicated to protect the still forming growth plates from becoming damaged.

Conclusion

There are many ways to entertain and exercise these large dogs, but they are prone to joint trouble and hip dysplasia. In order to help prevent these disorders, dogs under eighteen months should avoid activities that can present too much stress on the bones and joints in order to keep from damaging the still malleable growth plates. Low impact strength training should be employed to ensure proper muscle tone.