Among people who are fans and admirers of the dogs originating in the Caucasus, nearly all who are not Armenian merely skim the surface of the available historical material which might explain their origin and differences more clearly, if one cared to analyze the situation deeply.

One example of this superficial analysis is the acceptance of the so-called 'gurdbasar.'

Azerbaijan is a recently-formed nation, created as a place for Stalin to put many extra turkic people and Tatars. Historically, the Iranian province of Atropatene/Aterpatakan/Aderbajan had never reached further north than the Araxes River, and was a Persian area. However, it suited Stalin to prune the Armenian lands back to very little, which he did so by creating Azerbaijan out of the eastern portion of Armenia, leaving Western Armenia up to the Turks, arbitrarily giving Nakhijevan to Azerbaijan, trading some areas west of the current Armenian borders to Turkey, and giving Javakh and other predominantly Armenian areas to Georgia.

As was customary for the Soviets, industry itself was segregated into parts - each country within the USSR was equipped to make components, but never the whole of anything. And their habit of divisiveness of cultures was not much different.

This policy assured the maintenance of power of the Soviet government.

So, creation of the 'fictitious' country of Azerbaijan suited the agenda of Stalin - divisive tactics to weaken the smaller republics, and let them fight it out among themselves.

To justify their presence (and considerable wealth from oil and gas) the government of Azerbaijan has continued to erase and falsify the true history of the area - bulldozing graveyards, smashing Khatchkars, and teaching young children to hate their neighboring cultures based on lies.

And now, when we are simply looking for good information regarding the history, the published stories from each region do not agree with one another. So, it is easier for most people to tell themselves, do not get involved and just take the explanation given - its 'not my problem.'

So, generally, dog enthusiasts accept the story given, particularly with the understanding that there have been many cultures in the Caucasus throughout history, anyway.

But-

  1. The Azeris have NO historical claim to the dogs they own, unless 'historical claim' is summarized into importing and appropriations of the last 100 years.
  2. The Azeris purchased many dogs from the Armenians during summer grazing in the hills of Nagorno-Karabakh while still under Soviet control, and took them home.
  3. The photos of pictographs showing dogs & horses together are likely completely false, anachronous
  4. The ancestors of the Azeris did not exist in the Caucasus at the time of domestication of the dog, of livestock, and of development of civilization
  5. Their very capital, Baku, is built on the remains of an Armenian King's fortress
  6. The lands of Nagorno-Karabakh were and still are over 90% Armenian - according to a census by Russia in the late 1800's-early 1900s.

The attempt to exterminate Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1980's failed, after many years of fighting that culminated in the referendum of 1994, where the population voted by over 90% majority to be separated from Azerbaijan. Until this time, the Soviets had fought by the side of the Azeris - and still the Armenians prevailed.

Now, the Azeris employ mercenaries and fighters from ISIS/Daesh, they begin skirmishes and threaten to take what is 'theirs,' but, they are not fighting with the full-hearted knowledge of their own proper right to be there, as are the Armenians - so they have repeatedly failed to steal back any territories.

The historical dogs, and any other historical artifacts of modern Azerbaijan, are predominantly Armenian.

But now, the dogs being bred by Azeris may contain any number of mixes or concoctions of imported fighting dogs, blended with shepherds dogs. So, personally, I would assume we do not want them back.

Therefore, a 'gurdbasar' is a modern mongrelized version of the original Armenian gampr, with a false history and likely falsified breeding.