October 2017

The origins of the Hungarian flock guard and herding dog breeds

The dog is the domesticated form of the wolf, however it is still not known where and which subspecies played a role in the process of domestication started maybe 135.000 years ago (Vila et al., 1997) and ended within the Old-World long before written history (Clutton-Brock, 1984; Kovács and Rózsáné Várszegi, 2015).

Doǧan Kartay

Dear valued lady Gyöngyi Hajnal;

I am investigating the "Turkish Shepherd Dogs", Karabaş (Kangal) and Akbas breeds, whose history and geography originated in Central Asia for about 60 years. I accepted your gentle invitation with respect. Thank you.

Breeding Better Livestock

"In beginning the concluding section of this book, let's remind ourselves once more that neither selection nor systems of breeding can create new genes. The can, if properly applied, create new and better animals, but they do it by putting the old genes into new patterns or combinations - not by creating new genes.


Sometimes, the traditional ways of doing things really are better.

In the stark landscape of Mongolia, nomadic herders have migrated with their livestock to follow the forage for thousands of years.

During the Soviet occupation of Mongolia, most of the livestock guarding dogs were shot or released. Without the dogs, herdsmen resorted to shooting the predators - wolves and the endangered snow leopard.

Lessons from wolves

For decades, scientists have been following a population of wolves on Isle Royale that has served as a model system for the study of the evolution and genetics of small, isolated populations. Isle Royale is a remote island in Lake Superior, USA, and wolves first arrived via an ice bridge from Canada in the 1940's. They found a healthy population of moose and no other predators, and their numbers grew. Over the years, the populations of the wolves and moose cycled in the dynamics of predator and prey.