|Barked: Mon Aug 9, '10 3:50pm PST |
|Dahlia, curious, could you post the Russian site?
With LGDs, especially those of Russia and Central Asia (not sure if they do the same with other LGDs with the job to "eliminate" predators elsewhere), fighting may or may not be what we traditionally think of when we think dog-fighting. In Central Asia it's referred to as "wrestling" and it's more like a sparring match than anything else, so that may be what's largely referenced when mentioning using Alabais, CO, and CAOs for fighting.
Here's an excerpt from an article entitled A Review: The Use of Livestock Protection Dogs in Association with Large Carnivores in the Rocky Mountains in the Sheep & Goat Research Journal, Volume 25, 2010 (can be found here and is a very interesting read):
"Ovcharkas (both Central Asian and Caucasian) are used in the dog-fighting ring in current times, including in Central Asia and Russia. While there is much criticism of dog fighting, traditional dog fights in Asia are not like pit bull dog fights in America, which involve severe injury or the death of the dog. Dog fights involving LPDs in their historic context of nomadic people play an entirely different role -- that of testing the best dogs as wolf fighters, and promoting the best dogs for breeding. Dogs with the proper drive, tenacity and strength needed to confront and kill a wolf are selected to pass their genes on to the next generation. Serious injuries are reported to occur rarely since these matches are conducted to observe traits, such as dominance display, agility and physical strength (http://www.centralasianshepherd.us/cao_or_alabai.html, accessed Nov. 1, 2009).
Dogfights, which are called "wrestling" in Central Asia, serve to test a dog's level of canine aggression and have a set of stringent rules developed over centuries (Gasymzade and Azizov 2007). Any dog that is inactive or cries is determined to have lost, and human handlers end the match. Signs of submission end the fight as well. Traditional LPD dogfights or wrestling matches involve the dogs' controlled aggression, not blind fury as seen in pitbull-type fighting. In LPD matches, the fights begin and end quickly, and the result is a determination of the best dogs to fight wolves. One champion fighting dog, a Caucasian Ovcharka dog that lived in Russia in the 1930s, was believed to have killed 100 wolves in his lifetime, an enviable record (Gasymzade and Azizov 2007)."
Just something to think about or keep in mind, though of course there are the unsavory sorts who do use such powerful dogs as these in dog fights more akin to pit-fighting, unfortunately.
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