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Turkmen Alabai History

AkgushStrength and nobility are the main features of Turkmen dogs, Alabai. Nobody knows when the first dogs appeared on the territory of Turkmenistan. However, it is known exactly, according to the bone relics from the sites of ancient towns, that in Turkmenistan during the Bronze Age several breeds of dogs were bred. On the site of ancient Anau (5 km to the west of Ashkabad) in the lower stratum of the New Stone Age, relics of the Indian wolf were found which differed from other wolves by its exterior and skull. Specialists connect these relics with the origin of the modern German sheep dog. In old Merv (Gaur-kala) a statuette of a sheep dog was also found. In settlements in the mid-Amu-Darya archaeologists found terra cotta statuettes of hounds and shepherd dogs dating to the early Medieval Period. Dog bones found during the excavations in Khorezm of the 12th-14th centuries testified that the local dogs differed from each other by their types and sizes - from spitzlike dogs to small sheep dogs. One of the ancient local breeds is a shepherd dog which the Turkmen people call Alabai ,"a skewbald" is the most popular color of the breed. The Turkmen legend, retold to me by the historian A.M.Annanepesov said that in ancient times the Alabai females were taken away high to the mountain and tied with the lambs there. A snow leopard heard the lambs' cries and came down the mountains to mate with them. The largest Alabai dogs were descended from their offspring. Aristotle wrote about eastern dogs, that they were descended from the interbreeding of dogs and tigers. Later he said more abstractly "...with any beast that looked like a dog." The terra cotta statuette from Altyn depe (2000 BC) gave the ancient image of the shepherd dog with cut ears and tail. Archaeologists consider that this is the image of the modern Turkmen alabai. Some archaeologists state that the Tibetan mastiff is its ancestor. At present the Turkmen alabai is its direct descendant and it has not been influenced by other breeds. The image of the enormous dog represented on the Parthian rhyton from Nissa (18 km from Ashkabad) is related to the mastiff breed. The breed of giant mastiffs was very popular among cattle-breeding tribes of Middle Asia. They were highly appreciated in the Ancient East . The "Nissian mastiff" looked like dogs from Gandhara (the region in India) which were taken by Alexander the Great from Sopeifa. Sopeifa dogs were let go against the lions. Probably, such dogs were used during the funeral ceremony of the mazdeists as watchdogs to look after the deceased person. The massagets used special dogs to eat corpses.

Akush 1994Later, there was a dog cult among the Zoroastrians of Iran and Turkmenistan. In their opinion it would be a great misfortune for somebody if he offended a dog. If a man saw a homeless dog he had to bring it home and feed it. The dog chose itself whether it would stay at the home or go away. Such dogs were not afraid of big animals and they learned their habits in fights. The true Alabai puppies were not afraid of grown dogs and didn't put their tails between their legs in a fright. Alabai's differ from other breeds in Asia, and it is wrong to call them either Middle Asian or sheep dogs. Firstly, the breed of Alabai is found only in Turkmenistan and doesn't correspond to other Middle Asian breeds. Secondly, Alabai lives in the pasture with sheep flocks to protect them. In some regions it is used for guarding herds of cows. We should pay attention to the opinions of Russian scientists V.A. Kalinina, T.M. Ivanova, L.V. Morozova, who reject the breeding of the Middle Asian sheep dog as not corresponding to the essence of the Alabai breed. It is noted that within the breed there are different types which have no scientific appellations. In ancient times the Turkmen people divided internal breed types according to usage: "mergekchi" (wolf crusher), "grounchi" (sheep dogs), "sakchi" (a guard); also according to physical features: "kopek" (the most massive possessing muscular force and strong kick of the chest), "kopek-si" (less massive but having high speed) and the half breed of alabais with the Turkmen greyhound - tazy.The alabai is a noble dog. It will beat a wolf to its last breath in a fight, whereas in a fight with other dogs, Alabai will never exceed their opponent's limits. Alabai taking part in dogfights display brilliant techniques.

The preparation of such dog is similar to the preparation of a champion fighter. Before dogfights all dogs follow a particular regimen: rational feeding, massage, running, and swimming. The Turkmen Alabai has a strong nervous system which is the result not of evolution but of special selection. Turkmen shepherds rejected unbalanced dogs. Pure bred Alabai never barked at random and never howled at nights. Throughout the history of breeding there were always more male dogs than female. Only a notable female could give birth to a puppy. Fights were held among them; they were allowed to fight only once at the age of 6 months. The best bitches were selected for future breeding, taking into consideration their capacity for work and fighting. Turkmen Alabai's were widely used in Uzbekistan, Iran, Tadjikistan, and Kazakhstan. Many countries of Eastern and Central Europe are actively engaged in the breeding of these dogs. The ability to adapt well is an Alabai quality and they are trained easily. The Turkmen Alabai's have taken part in exhibitions since 1930. At the All-Union exhibition in Moscow 1964 the bitch Aina won, and in 1971 at the International exhibition in Budapest the Turkmen Alabai Karagoz got an excellent mark. Throughout Soviet history only the breed of Middle Asian sheep dog "Altai" was awarded the first pedigree class and it was the only representative of this breed put down into the All-Union stud book for dogs. The best dogs worked guarding flocks and the dogs masters didn't pay attention to the exhibitions. The definition of the breed's standards led to the breed's degeneration in Turkmenistan. Lately interest in the Turkmen Alabai has been growing. The best representatives of this breed, having been bred in Moscow with other breeds, cost from US$2,000 to $3,000. At International exhibitions nobody pays attention to Alabai's training, awarding prizes only for their existence.

The real pure breeds of Alabai's are in their motherland - Turkmenistan.

There used to be hundreds of pure Alabai's; now there are only a few dozen left. Besides excessive export, there is a tendency to interbreed Alabai with other breeds and it may lead to the disappearance of this breed. In order to preserve this valuable breed, the government has stopped uncontrolled export. Alabai enthusiasts are making efforts so that this unique breed, having influenced many other breeds throughout the world, will never disappear.

Legendary Ancestors

Black Ekimen

It is a pity, but it's been like this for centuries,that creating of a cult of any manufacturer , occurs after death. The similar situation has not bypassed Black Екimen.Whi le he was still alive there was a set of legends about his origin. East epos is beautiful and entertaining, but it would not be desirable to confuse the reader, and I shall try to acquaint briefly with history of an origin and separate fragments from a life of this wonderful dog. My Turkmen friends have allowed me to make it happen: Geldy and Kakish Kyarizov, family Meredovyh, Perman Мuhamedod, Aliev Hivolibaj and Амаnsаhат Nуryagdiev. My greater enthusiasm with Turkmen Alabai and especially Black Екimen with enormous quantity of trips in Turkmenistan have allowed me to collect rich information material. The family of hereditary shepherds Мedoix in Кааhка held three dogs: White Екimen, Black Екiмеn and the son of Black Екimen - Sаrdаrа. Very many shepherds got dogs on external similarity to an ancestor same thing happened to Black Ekimen. In the end of 70th the flock was brought in Кааhку . Together with a flock has come and it has been left black-speckled bitch, with very impudent character. After a while she has given birth to three puppies. One of them, namely identical by colorings with mother, has been left by shepherds Меredovim. The puppy grew very impudent and independent. In the age of one year Black Ekimen has received serious trauma, when he got hit by a motorcycle. Treatment was not done, but fortunately the dog has survived, though traumas have affected a structure of its back legs, According to shepherds Меeredovih, black ekimenB.Ekimen only once scuffled with wolves, but nobody saw details of fight, as it was very dark, and the scared flock of sheep's did not allowed to approach close enough to see the dog scuffling wolves.Also we need to mention ,that B.Ekimen after that fight for a long time could not rise and he was treated with old tested Turkmenian way by applying of fresh kurdyuck ( Sheep Fat). Finally having recovered, B.Ekimen continued to work in the flock until friend Meredovyh, Kumman began to take away Black and White Екiмеn's for the celebratory fights in Аshhabad. Black Екiмеn and White Екiмеn never were Champions. But at the same time B.Ekimen possessed huge internal energy and the impudent character, allowing to put him in fights several times. And B.Ekimen justified hopes, he always went to fight and always beat the opponent chest forward. In addition it is important to add, that B.Ekimen possessed very low threshold of painful sensitivity. Many Turkmens known B.Ekimen, remember so-called fight “ three toothed with three pawed ” when opponent of B.Ekimena, having caught him by a paw, has completely held down B.Ekimen's movements. Nothing foretold success, but B.Ekiemen has surprised all: he has seized himself by the paw and with powerful jerk has released himself from the opponent, having pulled out with this movement the opponent's canine. After that B.Ekimen's fight,he received greater popularity. They gave and sold, changed and returned him , but he has not justified desire of the owners. He did not possess a specific manner of fight. As before there was an impudence and indefatigability. At last, having returned to the former owner, but already to the senior from brothers, to Aman Meredovu, B Ekimen was used as the stud.But also here he has not justified hopes. Being not potent dog he has not embodied himself in the children. In known four breedings all his sons have inherited a phenotype of mother. B.Ekimen has served only as inhensment. Subsequently were made inbridings in all regions of former Soviet Union, but unsuccessfully. Only family Kjarizovyh managed to receive fenotipick grandsons similar to him, they were Тоhмет and Gurlen. At the same time, it was an initial point in opening of a line of the descendants in Тurkmenistan, such as Erlen, Аккеllо and Аrlаn, known already today. Thanks to B.Ekimen we have received : Bоvsеr (Bаbur х Тоgolok), Аккеllо (Аrlаn х Тоgolok), Акbаi (Акgush х Nokot), and also descendants ascending through the bitches: Diка (Sаrdar х Karali), used in cultivation in Minsk, Кеnurdzha (Umar х Inginlidzhаnа), Ugrel (B.Ekimen х Оira) in St.-Petersburg.

Finishing a narration about wonderful Black Екiмеn it would be desirable to say something to present selectors: appreciate and love the manufacturers of dogs while they are alive, the dog century is short, and "to catch" valuable qualities of "former" manufacturers in nowadays living descendants, very labour-consuming work and not always grateful for the selector.

White (Beliy)Ekimen

White EkimenHe was born in Kaakhka from old male dog, which was picked up by S. Meredov, when the dog was at the edge of the death from emaciation and diseases.About one year was spent to recover his health, firstly feeding him with liquid food, as he could not chew, Meredov managed to recover the dog so, that after that he worked for some time in the flock and participated in the fights. Particularly in the fights, as the herder treated indifferently enough to the combats and did not nominated to them .Elbars – he gave this name to the foundling. Later the owner had again to cure his Elbars, which suffered of people for his pugnacity: somebody knocked out all his teeth with the spade, even his tongue was cut, being bi sected, as snake one. Nowadays all this became overthrown with the legends, and in Kaakhka it is possibly to hear, that he intimidated other dogs with this tongue, showing it to them and even hissing. But, even being without his teeth, Elbars could not get calm, he continued fighting and won, logging his enemies with the head, and having seen the crowds of people, he thought that they certainly gathered to see the fights and ran there looking for the enemies. The herder Meredov got 5 puppies (2 males and 3 females) from this restless male and his female Gyunchi. The only puppy that survived was named Ak Yekimen. The metaphase of this name is: Ак – White, Ekimen – Unsociable, Morose. White Ekimen was very big, massive female white colored with hardly mentioned light-yellow-pale spots. ElbarsThe character feature was that, being very tolerated to the people during leisure at home, he was extremely aggressive to the strangers, when at work. He was very likely to love his job above all in the world, and he did manage with it. But, to say the truth, there was one accident when the wolf came to the sheep-fold, and White Ekimen, at that time he was just a puppy, barked, running around but did not attempt to enter in it.Sary Meredov tells that after that he told the dog: "if you do it once again, I'll shoot you!".And the male got it. "It was enough to have with the flock W.Ekimen and a female not to be afraid any wolves", – the herder adds. White Ekimen, even being the Champion of fighting, had never been a fighting dog. Gumman, the known fightist in Turkmenistan, which took him from Kaakhka to Ashgabat to fight, told: "Ekimen did not like me, he did not like city at all, and he was uncomfortable here. He always wanted to go back to the flock, he even had bad appetite. So I had to take him back after 4 months, and he did run last five kilometers, jumped out from the vehicle".W. Ekimn gave the Plead of the very big, malicious towards people dogs, chiefly black colored.

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Alabai

Black TahmetStrength and nobility are the main features of Turkmen dogs, alabies. Nobody knows when the first dogs appeared on the territory of Turkmenistan. However, it is known exactly, according to the bone relics from the sites of ancient towns, that in Turkmenistan during the Bronze Age several breeds of dogs were bred.On the site of ancient Anau (5 km to the west of Ashkabad) in the lower stratum of the New Stone Age, relics of the Indian wolf were found which differed from other wolves by its exterior and skull. Specialists connect these relics with the origin of the modern German sheep dog. In old Merv (Gaur-kala) a statuette of a sheep dog was also found. In settlements in the mid-Amu-Darya archaeologists found terracotta statuettes of hounds and shepherd dogs dating to the early Medieval Period. Dog bones found during the excavations in Khorezm of the 12th-14th centuries testified that the local dogs differed from each other by their types and sizes - from spitzlike dogs to small sheep dogs.One of the ancient local breeds is a sheperd dog which the Turkmen people call alabais ("a skewbald" is the most popular color of the breed). The Turkmen legend, retold to me by the historian A.M.Annanepesov said that in ancient times the alabai females were taken away high to the mountain and tied with the lambs there. A snow leopard heard the lambs' cries and came down the mountains to mate with them. The largest alabais were descended from their offspring.Aristotle wrote about eastern dogs, that they were descended from the interbreeding of dogs and tigers. Later he said more abstractly "...with any beast that looked like a dog."The terracotta statuette from Altyn depe (2000 BC) gave the ancient image of the sheperd dog with cut ears and tail. Archaeologists consider that this is the image of the modern Turkmen alabai. Some archaeologists state that the Tibetan mastiff is its ancestor. At present the Turkmen alabai is its direct descendant and it has not been influenced by other breeds. The image of the enormous dog represented on the Parthian rhyton from Nissa (18 km from Ashkabad) is related to the mastiff breed. The breed of giant mastiffs was very popular among cattle-breeding tribes of Middle Asia. They were highly appreciated in the Ancient East The "Nissian mastiff" looked like dogs from Gandhara (the region in India) which were taken by Alexander the Great from Sopeifa. Sopeifa dogs were let go against the lions. Probably, such dogs were used during the funeral ceremony of the mazdeists as watchdogs to look after the deceased person. The massagets used special Old timedogs to eat corpses. Later there was a dog cult among the Zoroastrians of Iran and Turkmenistan. In their opinion it would be a great misfortune for somebody if he offended a dog. If a man saw a homeless dog he had to bring it home and feed it. The dog chose itself whether it would stay at the home or go away.In ancient times the Alabais' ancestors were taken out to the Middle East. They were very popular in Ancient Assyria, Urartu and in Egypt. Egyptian and Assyrian reliefs show their images, similar to lions in size (as on the rhyton from Nissa). In the East, men hunted lions, tigers, wolves, and buffaloes with the help of these dogs. Later they appeared in Ancient Greece and spread in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient Rome these dogs were used in the circus, in bloody performances. According to our facts all the mastiflike breeds descenoied from these dogs. Many of them greatly differed from the initial type of shepherd dogs of Middle Asia. It was known that Huns (the Turkmen ancestors) took away the blind puppies from their mother's and the sheperds fed them themselves. The grown up dog remembered its caretaker and was faithful only to him. Such dogs were used for guarding sheep and house, for hunting and in the military service.

Аrlan

arlanHe was pure white color. Just like a rabbit inside very dark room, the puppy was sitting inside the cave with his mom. Wet,small, white with dark spot on his head . In the middle crying sounds of puppies one could clearly hear definite growl of one unhappy pup. All of a sadden the was a cry, the owner woke up and run to the yard. In the complete dark of night Gelda was able to observe 2 pups feeding. He picked them up and took a look. They where 2 males. Above of the ears of one pup was a spot. Gel da smiled and out loud thanked God. His owner dreamed of having dog just like that. For a long wile he had hopes to have a son of Erlan,for him to be as strong,proud and white colored. By that time Gelda Kyarizov had second master degree (Zootech) and he wanted to create his own line more than any one else. Happiness couldn't have been better and 2 white males that looked like twins brother Gyarizov's kept and named Erlen and Erlen 2. As days went by pups grew. Their mom,white dam with tiger stripes,wasn't very affectionate mom, but she had lots of milk to feed them.

By 3 month old they looked like summa wrestlers. Paying to much attention to the pups the owners didn't notice,how their dad Erlan wsa going down. By summer time he was dead. If that wasn't bad some one had stole Arlan. Arlan 2 was left as only hope for repeating the father . Since early puppy hood the felt competition. At first it was his brother Arlen and later, after moving to another property "Аhаll, near Gеок-Теpе, Esser became his permanent enemy,grandson of his father. Erlen 2 was cocky dog also caused him huge sympathy of grooms. Tender, externally very beautiful, he had got to himself constant attention and care. They constantly caressed and fed him. Subsequently these circumstances have rendered him few problems because he was stolen several times but by lucky charm was always returned to his owners. Near a year old Erlen was tested for fighting ability. He did not pass the test and was send back to Gеок-Теpе. Upset Gelda " in heart " has changed a nickname of a dog, and for some time has forgotten about him.Now he became Аrlаn. The recollection about the dog only came back when 10-month's female with a nickname Тоgоlок, received in a combination from the same Erlеn and it's niece Karalli , has accidentally bread with Аrlan. The born puppies were magnificent. Later this breeding had repeated twice and always with wonderful result.Thus, the life itself has predetermined purpose to Arlan. The grandson- legendary Black Екimen, the son of well-known Erlen which till now is one of standards of the breed, Аrlan became fine manufacturer. In that he has surpassed many relatives. Not being an inbreed dog, he steadily "printed" the heritage in his descendants. Even looking at his grandsons and great-grandsons, experts without effort see in them presence of Arlan,Erlen, Black Екimen. This fact had interested some breeders. And who "was in time", has a fine opportunity to work with this line. I am myself with maximum effort bread his grandsons, having a happy opportunity to attach every possible descendants of Arlan, and also Yunks, unique in the country and one and only -son of Apache (owner U.Mamedhyazob ) from Bаigush.


erlenMy lucky fortune has allowed me several times to interact personally with this remarkable beauty of a dog. Each time, observing so harmonious animal, I wanted the most figuratively and expressively to describe his physic. In one of trips in Turkmenistan it was possible for me to measure and carefully make the description. So here it goes: unusual beauty. Powerful, very tall, white, with rich coat:a mane, tanks, friezes as in heavy trucks.The head, comparing with the body is short but rough and heavy look and but very harmonious. A cranium in a cut square, that is why the volume is great.The muzzle small is length, wide, slightly курноса, without bright crisis to a skull. Because the eyebrows are visible,seems that structure has a stop. The bottom jaw is wide, its long bone not a straight line ,but качелью, because of that muzzle is even bigger. Under eyes and in the basis of a muzzle convex, but cheeks do not stand out. Lips are thick and "meaty", as if stung by bees. Upper lips do not hang down, but cover bottom. In corners of lips pockets. Nose is wide, black, because of the general cut of a muzzle does not stand out.yes alive, expressive, at a great distance from each other. The neck high, not long and from a long fur seems even more shorter, than actually is and does not border on a nape, and smoothly merges. A chest is wide, but not convex, "box". Chest is deep because shoulders are born forward. Edges, especially back, well lowered. The back short, wide "bench", before waist is bent, though a waist wide and convex. Groats long . Shoulders slanting, as well as knees. Forearms strong, convex. A bone of legs flat, wide. Paws are very strong. Movements soft, elastic.Finishing a brief narration about the history of a life of this remarkable dog, I'd like to say, that always there are many remarkable dogs with whom we are not always happy and not always find in them an embodiment of the hopes. Possibly, it is not necessary to be afflicted and wave away from them. Try to see the pupil on the other hand. Probably, it will prove magnificent sitter, so necessary for you at present, or the incorruptible watchman, a fine draught dog or remarkable and unpretentious.Postpone your dreams for a short while and they will necessarily be shown in your next dog. And this dog as is worthy your attention and love. And it will by all means answer you with the same. This is the main law of Nature.

Nikolai Demidov (San Peterburg)

Magazine "Inform CAO" #9

Translated by Admin

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Old Gaplan (Lame Gaplan)

old_gaplan

This dog shook by his size and massiveness. Gaplan was born in Kaakhke his owner was the shepherd Asenali Guseinov. Once in the village of Tedzhensk region Asenali saw two dogs, they struck him by their their great standards and huge size. After finding owner of the dogs, he made a request to sell one of them, the owned declined. Esenali traveled to the village several times to persuade the owner to sell and finally was able to buy a puppy - female form one of them. She became the mother of old Gaplan. Father was male, which belonged to Guseinov. From the words of old shepherd, precisely this dog,later was rescued by Sarah Meredov and, bread with his own female received White Ekimen. Old Gaplan was called Lame Gaplan when approximately at six years old he got hit by a car.

Translated by Admin

Erbet from TURKMENIA

ebertWhen translated from Turkmen, it means "demon" or "evil spirit". She was this kind of a dog, all her life long, a dog respected by all the "asiatists" who knew her. Respected for her courageous nature that combined the strength of an inflexible fighter, high intelligence and excellent figure qualities. Erbet was presented on bench-shows since the age of 10 months and until the age of 12 years, and always had excellent marks and a winner's or an awardee's title. There was something in this dog that bewitched you; many people couldn't stand her severe look, though Erbetka (or, as we called her at home, Erby), was the most tender creature when dealing with her own people. In 1990, when we visited Turkmenia another time, our buddy Kurban who was told we needed puppies, told us that he was going to visit a kishlak near Afghanistan border, and the herder out there had puppies. Kurban told us that when he had seen the puppies' mother for the first time, he had thought about a white donkey standing near the herd. He also told us that the dog was very violent and killed several wolves and even a hyena. "If you take a puppie, it will be a fighter having no equal", - Kurban was saying. I was listening to him, but didn't give much value to his words. During those long years of moving accross Middle Asia, I got accustomed to hearing impressive legends about calf-sized dogs with lion's strength; as to a dog's age, it was especially hard to find out the truth.Sometime I asked: "How old is the dog" - and got replies like "I don't know exactly, some three years", then looked into the dog's mouth, and there were already no teeth. One of our friends, Ashir, had a dog. For many years, when we visited him, he kept telling us: "Take my Sakar, he is three years old, good Alabay". Sakar was good, only he was born about the same year when the Second World War ended. For these reasons, Kurban's beautiful tale about Erbet's ancestors was paid no heed. I regreted that badly afterwards. On the appointed day, Kurban brought us a puppy. White fatty female with grey spots and big muzzle already had sort of a hypnotic look. In the house where a lot of experienced "asiatists" gathered, everyone started checking the puppy for the solidity of the nerves: shook her by the back of the neck, lifted her holding her by the tail, but the puppy remained steadfastly silent. Kurban went away, happy with the fact that we were satisfied, and on the same evening we brought home another puppy of the same age, named Orlan after his father. Little Orlan give our fatty girl such a bashing that she hid in the corner begging for mercy.

"So beautiful tales about unconquerable dogs turn out", thought I. If I knew what was in store for me... It didn't take long to I find out. That our trip was a lucky one, and we brought 23 Asiatians: Lama and Lastochka, very big females descending from White Ekemen; Malysh (White Ekemen's son) and his son, Sakar's daughter (that dog is well known, owner L. Kuznetsova, later S. Semeryakov); Belka, a daughter of Bely Medved; Gaplan, the last son of Gek Ekemen, and puppies, among those puppies was Kuzya, a little scalawag. He was very weak, but we decided to keep him, as he was a son of very good dogs. We put him in the same bag with Erbetka, and they were hiding their noses in each other's fur for the whole flight time, until we came to Novosibirsk. How we (four of us) managed to bring all those dogs to Novosibirsk is a separate story, now let's get back to Erbet. She treated Kuzya with a lot of tenderness, licked him all the time, and when coming back from a walk, immediately rushed to the bedding to make sure Kuzya is all right.  When Erby was 2 months old, some friends of ours came to visit us with their 1-month-old puppy and put him on the same bedding where Kuzya was. And immediately after that Erbet came back from a walk. What happened the next minute, shoked us. As usual, Erby rushed to check her favorite, but discovered a newcomer there, she attacked the puppy furiously, seized him and was thrashing him madly. We, three adults, set the unfortunate creature free with a considerable difficulty. During 12 years of dealing with Asiatians, I never saw this before: the puppy's skin was literally torn in pieces.

The second thing that made me think hard and start training this little monster immediately, happened when Erby got 6 months old. We were walking in the park when I saw an "Easterner" male well known to dog breeders and having a very bad reputation. His owner liked setting him on other dogs on the quiet, it was an adult and very pugnacious dog. I hoped to shield Erbetka at time and ran to her, but she saw the dog running to her and rushed to meet him. The dogs were hidden from me behind the shrubs, I heard a thud, then a wild yelp and horrible obscenities from the other shepherd's owner. "It's the end of my dog",I thought when strugling throug the bushes to the spot of the drama. Then I come to the place and see: the male dog is lying with his paws up, and my "evil spirit" is sitting on him and, seizing him madly by the neck, shakes him to and fro. The man is running around the dogs and swearing at me. I don't remember how we managed to pull them apart, but I never more saw that dog, as well as the man, in that park. Generally, Erby wasn't at enmity with male dogs, gladly played with them and even flirted as a dog would, but when any sort of stir happened, she rebuffed vigorously.

There were even some lethal cases. I scolded and even hit her in such situations, but it was useless. In such moments, I regreted that I hadn't listened to Kurban's tale in Turkmenia about Erby's ancestors. Sometimes I thought she wasn't a dog at all, but a new, special sort of an animal. By that time we had three Asiatians in our yard: the 5-year-old Joyce, that had been brought from Maryy region as a puppy, the 2-year-old Nisa-Bichara who had come to Siberia in the age of 7 days, and the 10-month-old Erbet. At home, Erbetka was a peaceful creature, lay down on her back before Joyce and Bichara, licked their muzzles. Neither Joyce, nore Bichara liked playing, they were both very serious, even somewhat withdrawn, and when Erby tired them with her games, she received severe treatment at times. She lay down on her back at once as if saying: "I got it, won't do it again" and never tried to snarl back. We wondered why that dog was so humble at home and such a monstrosity when out of it. But the idyls wouldn't last forever. Once while playing, Bichara overthrew Erbet, the latter assumed, as usual, the pose of humility. Bicha should have gone away at once, but she decided to reinforce the impression, and shook Erbet once more by the neck. This was the last feather, and the end to their peaceful relations. A wild fight started, neither of the dogs wanted to surrender, and by the time we pulled them apart, they injured each other badly. Erbet's skin was hanging loosely on her shoulder, but when I saw Bichara, I almost got sick. Her muzzle was one bloody jumble, all the "facial bones" were visible. Since that fight, Bicha and Erbet became the worst enemies. But we noticed one remarkable thing. When we visited bench-shows, the dogs were lying side by side in the train's compartment or the airplane saloon, but as soon as we emerged to the platform...

Erbet was growing, and we were getting fined for her "outrages", local dog breeders called her "bloody Mary", and whenever we appeared on the playground, everyone rushed to catch their dogs. It should be noted that the dogs weren't too anxious to make her acquaintance. Sometimes I thought she could hypnotize; when a dog came her way, she turned into a "cobra", the body strained, the paws wide apart, and the tail nearly "cracking" (Erbet's tail has never been down, even in her sleep), the head risen high, and the whole dog "frozen" in this pose. In such moments, she seemed to have grown in size. A few seconds of such hypnotism, then a flash-like attack, a vigorous seizure near the ear, the adversary is thrown to his back, and only a few could rise after that. Like a bulldog, she got at the enemy's throat, leaving the adversary no chances at all. The whole fight was carried out in absolute silence. She had her own fight technique and extraordinary strength. Dogs feared her; sometimes a stupid hairy mongrel rushed at her, but stopped half-way and ran away with her tail between her legs. The bravest ones barked at her from a safe distance.

There was another incident. After her just another winning on a bench-show we were acting for a documentary film for the "Kinopolis" TV program. Here I go, beautifully dressed, in high-heeled shoes, Erbet stepping ceremoniously alongside, all her medals on her neck (she had 85 of them). Going near private houses. Near one of them, a woman is standing, by no means a "Thumbelina", something about 120 kilograms at least, and a middle-sized mongrel is sitting beside her catching fleas. And suddenly his attention is attracted by Erbet, her medals clinking. He barks and runs towards us and starts circling around us. With my last bit of strength, I'm holding my ground on my heeled shoes, Erbet assuming the cobra's pose. I command her to stay tight as severely as I can, then ask the owner of the mongrel to take her dog away. But she is so touched by her dog's "bravery", my appeals remain unheeded. I feel like my strength is leaving me, Erby is strained to the limit, and here the worst happens. Her lead cracks.. The mongrel, seeing Erbet approaching, rushes to his wicket, but as the woman is standing there, he decides to slip between her legs. He slipped all right, but Erbet got stuck. At the same time a man came out of the house, attracted by the noise, and the picture he beheld was a marvelous one: his Polkan running around the yard, followed by his wife riding a huge dog...

I should note that we never set Erbet on other dogs on purpose and always muzzled her when going for a walk. But the events of 1994 pretty much laid me down and made me quit my "doggie life" for a year and part with many of my dogs, Erbet included. Sergey Semerikov, her new owner, visited all the cynologist undertakings with her, including fights. Her adversaries were always strong and well trained: pit bulls, Caucasians, Asiatians, but she NEVER lost! She fought until she got 8.5 years old and remained unconquered.Once Sergey brought Erbet to fight one famous Caucasian female that had 23 fights and won them all. Her owner, absolutely sure his dog will win, demanded a $1000 stake. The dogs were brought to the ring, their collars taken off, and they started moving towards each other. And suddenly the "cool" Caucasian falls on her back and opens her belly before her, trying to lick her snout. Usually, only puppies behave this way when they meet an adult dog. They fall on their backs opening all their vulnerable spots, as if saying: "Don't touch me, I'm smaller and weaker than you are". But an adult, fighting dog... Not only people got stunned, but Erbet herself, too. She stood motionless like a stone sculpture, choking with growls. The Caucasian's owner was running around, yelling: gobble, kill. He lifted the dog and throwed her on Erby, but the Caucasian fell again and crawled on her back. So, Erbet won $1000 accompanied by mad laughter of her audience.

A lot of times I heard that fighting dogs are not fit to guard and don't bite people. Erbet disproved that point of view totally. She, when necessary, attacked humans just as well. She was a very calm dog, never barked for nothing, you wouldn't hear or see her at home. But nobody could ever enter our yard when Erbet was there! The house and its inhabitants were sacred. And she knew exactly who should be attacked immediately, and who can just be warned with a growl. There was an incident. Our friend Abdulasis from Uzbekistan came to visit us and brought his friend with him. That man only accepted dogs when they were enchained. He wasn't happy at all to spend the whole night in a house with a dog. We assured him that this was a trained dog that wouldn't bite him and showed all her medals, which calmed our guest. But at night, the following happened. Our guest woke up and went to visit a toilet, but as soon as he emerged from his bedroom, Erbet appeared, her fangs bared, and started approaching him. He moved back, she followed, so they reached the sofa. The man was forced to sit down, Erby also climbed the sofa, thrust all her weight upon the man and bared her teeth. In the morning we woke up to see the following: our guest sitting, half-paralized, on the sofa and Erbet sitting near him with her snout on his shoulder. As soon as she saw us, she wagged her tail, jumped from the sofa as if saying: "My mission is complete, now you are welcome to look into it". After she departed, our guest was sitting motionless for some time and repeating, as if enchanted: "I so fear, Erbetka very big teeth!", then he suddenly remembered for what reason he got up at night and rushed from the room, mixing Russian and Uzbek words and swearing at us, Siberia and Abdulasis.    

Erbet was absolutely fearless. She feared neither water, nor fire, petard explosions only excited her. Once in winter drunk youngsters throwed a petard at her, alight and whistling. They believed it to be a good joke, but a second later their laugher turned into bitter tears. Once we came to a court where the dogs were trained to develop their malice. The dogs were tied up around the court, the trainer in his thick working clothes approached them all in turn and checked the strength of their bite. I tied Erbetka to a tree and watched the events from a distance. Dogs were straining at the running trainer and barking at him. Erbetka looked absolutely calm, it seemed like nothing interested her, but it was an illusion. When the trainer reached us, he lifted his arm at me, quite unexpectedly. At the same moment, all four paws lifted from the ground, and the jaws closed on his shoulder. A jerk, and a man weighing 85 kg was knocked off his feet. It all happened very fast; nobody was ready for such a course of events, and Erbet rested her paws against the ground, pulling the trainer's body under hers. After my prohibitive commands, Erbet stopped skinning the trainer, but she wasn't going to release him, either. We decided to switch her attention to somebody else. The group contained an Asiatian, Bichara's daughter resembling her mother closely. With her help we managed to free the trainer who admitted later that it was the first such incident in his long career. "I feel like I have been in Hell", he said.

Erbet was a perfect guard and accepted no fun about it. She was always ready to protect us, anytime and in any place.    It should also be mentioned that Erbet, however malicious, never offended little and defenseless creatures. She treated puppies and kittens with exceptional tenderness, was a perfect mother for her own children as well as adopted puppies. Once she brought up a Siamese kitten together with adopted puppies. As for human's kids, she had special treatment for them. She tolerated all their mischief's. In 1992, we were coming back from Byelorussia, the flight was delayed, and we tied Erbet and Bichara to an iron fence and settled on a bench opposite to them. The dogs, tires, fell asleep. We too, as the sun in Minsk was pretty hot. And suddenly some hidden force made me open my eyes. Near Erbet, there stood a kid 2 or 3 year old. Yes, she loved kids. But now she was asleep, what would she do suddenly awoken, after a busy show. What to do? Yell? I would just provoke her aggression. Run towards the kid? And suddenly, the kid hits Erbetka's head with his toy. The dog literally flew up, prepared to self-defence, but as soon as she saw a kid, she calmed down and gave him her paw. I sighed in relief. The kid's mom, muttering something about tapeworms and infection, took her child and withdrew. And Erbet continued her interrupted sleep. Doggie nervous system is amazing! The dog estimated the situation instantly, unlike us, humans.    

In closing, I would like to tell you that if you have bought a puppy with Erbet in the pedigree, be ready to give serious training to your dog, as her character and fighting abilities are inherited by many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A striking example is her daughter Haybat, another one is her son Drakula. Drakula, after being sent to a kennel, spent a year and a half their, but was only faithful to his original owners. The breeders tried hard to subdue the dog, broke a lot of spades beating him, beat his teeth out, but never succeeded in "breaking" him down.    After four years of separation, we took Erbet home again. She was 8.5 years old by the time. She lived 12 years, and every day spent with her was unique.That was a dog doing everything at full force: she fought until she won, defended with self-oblivion, loved with all her doggie heart. She was an ASIATIAN, and that says a lot!    I'm very grateful to Larisa Kuznetsova and Kurban Guydjiev for the gift they gave me, because through all the years Erbet was a gift to us!    

By L. Kononenko  Iskitim, Russia

Translated

 

Piton

Piton_alabai

Article in Russian part 1 and part2

 

 

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