ORGANIZED FIGHTS UNDER “WORKING TESTS” PRETENCES FOR SHEEP GUARDING DOGS

In the last 2-3 decades in Bulgaria a new form of organized dogs-fighting under the pretense of sheep guarding dogs “working tests” is gaining popularity.

This phenomena comes from Russia and the former Soviet Republics where not only legally but even under the wing of the “All-Russian Association of the Wolfhound Breeders”, dogs from aboriginal breeds (Caucasian Sheep Dog, Central Asian Sheep Dog) are tested in fights in order to show their capabilities to overcome a predatory animal in their every day work – guarding the flock.
Similar fights exist in the neighboring Turkey where the local sheep guarding breed Anatolian Shepherd Dog - Kangal is used for the same purpose.

With the rising popularity of the aboriginal to the Asia and Caucasus breeds in Bulgaria, fights are transferred on to the Bulgarian local breed called Bulgarian Shepherd Dog / Karakachan Shepherd Dog. . 

 

 

Fights are organized amongst breeders with the argument that in the fight dogs show their capability for dealing with predators in their every day task – guarding the flock – and that is needed in order a good selection work to be performed. They are basing their argument on an ancient local tradition – when two flocks meet the dogs shall be engaged in a fight till one of them to prevails. Breeders claim that such “tests” are the only way to preserve the qualities of the sheep guarding dogs as a breed. They believe fanatically in the above, and qualify each accusation in cruelty as incompetency and shallowness. 

Truth is there is no such a tradition in our lands.
In the countries where this tradition used to exist, it had been transformed in to something very distant to the qualities of breed preservation – it had been transformed in to a spectacle that satisfies the same primal instincts that led the organizers of the gladiators’ fights –satisfaction of sanguinary instincts, trill of watching violence, gambling and business. 

Canine behaviorists claim dogs’ reactions in humane induced fight have nothing to do with their behavior when dealing with a predator on their turf. Gladiator dog is not an adequate shepherds’ dog.

In the land native to these breeds, two separate lineages exist – work and fight dogs. Selection based solely on “fight” qualities cannot improve the “work” qualities of the breed. Main purpose of these dogs is to guard the flock in extreme conditions for long hours, and for this a complicated set of qualities is needed. When selecting solely on aggression and fight readiness, dog with unstable and atypical nervous system is created, and this dog is not a good guard dog.

In Bulgaria this specific form of dog fighting has many supporters, which only some months ago were organizing tournaments, shared pictures and published the results in the net. They claim these fights are not open to bids, don’t bring financial benefits and don’t lead to the death of the animals. Never the less the off springs of the “proven fighters” are sold dearly and the fight qualities of the parents are openly advertized. It is not a wonder these shepherd breeds are gaining more popularity. It is not a surprise these shepherd dogs are gaining popularity among the “pitmen” and are breed by them, together with pitbulls for fights.

We live in such times when in the developed countries organized dog fighting is already prohibited for 250 years, and the society is not tolerant at all to such activities. Suspicions for taking part in such “sports” can ruin the reputation and career of the breeder and also can tarnish the whole family.   
In the same time Bulgarian breeders are not ashamed to call it “selection activity”, to organize it dressed in national costumes, before the eyes of children, and doing that to annihilate something very valuable - the national breed of shepherd dogs. 


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Nice job! alot of usefull

Nice job! alot of usefull information, thank a lot!