This Ancient Dog Breed Was In Danger Of Dying Out Because Of False Rumour

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The ancient Mongolian Herding dog is one of the oldest breeds in the world.

 

Source: Fred Dufour/AFP

These canines were long since considered sacred by nomad populations in Mongolia. Their fur, once dipped in oil, was alleged to have medicinal qualities such as subsiding joint pain. Mongolian Herding dogs were used, as their name suggests, to herd yaks, horses, goats, and sheep.

 

Source: Fred Dufour/AFP

 

The dogs were very popular until the 1960s when an entirely false rumor that the canine were carriers of the plague began to circulate. While this allegation is completely untrue, the Mongolian Herding dog fell victim to bad press, and the breed was almost forgotten about.

 

Source: Fred Dufour/AFP

 

Luckily, thanks to conservation efforts put into place to safeguard the breed, these canines are no longer at risk of disappearing. Delgeriin Tserenkhand is one of the people trying to protect this ancient breed. He confesses:

 

These dogs are a very special breed. They are comfortable with people and herds and they have a very strong protective instinct when confronted with predators. Without them, the number of nomads decreased.

 

Source: Fred Dufour/AFP

 

For Tserenkhand, saving the Mongolian Herding dog means saving Mongolian culture. These dogs were extremely helpful to farmers as they protected their animals from predators. Bruce Elfstrom, founder of the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project which aims to ‘bring back the traditional use of the livestock guardian dog known as the ‘Bankhar dog’’ explains:

 

This breeds runs quickly, is heavier than the Mongolian wolf and more protective when faced with other dogs or snow leopards. 

 

Delgeriin Tserenkhand is a specialist in breeding Mongolian Herding dogs and sells them for around $2000 (£1500) but is keen to sell them to nomadic hunters for a much lower price.

 

H/t: La Croix

 

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