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Efforts to preserve rare nomad dog breed in Kazakhstan 29 сентября 2014, 17:42

Kazakhstan is stepping up its efforts to preserve the nearly extinct tazy dog breed.
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©Still of Tengrinews video ©Still of Tengrinews video

A Kazakh nomad’s best friend is now one of the rarest dogs in the world. It is extremely graceful and well-proportioned, of small elegant stature with a small clear-cut head, large dark eyes, thin and flexible neck, light stride and long muscular legs. The Kazakhs did not even call it a “dog”, just “Tazy”, meaning “pure”. 

Tazy are excellent hunters. Since the ancient times the Kazakhs used them in hunting and were had a very careful attitude to this breed. This is evidenced by a Kazakh proverb that goes "it zhaksysy - tazy" - "the best dog - tazy." In fact, tazy was the only animal allowed to sleep inside the yurt (portable nomad dwelling) and approach children.

The breed is nearly extinct nowadays. Unfortunately, it is not even recognised as a breed and is not on any official register. Because the population of the dogs has been insufficient for registration. This makes it extremely difficult for tazy to be accepted by international canine organizations.

Now there are efforts to preserve the breed. In Astana, the first tazy show took place on Sunday, September 21, Tengrinews reports.

Kansonar National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Hunters and Hunting Companies together with the Association of National Sports of Kazakhstan organised the event. The show was attended by 158 tazy from 12 regions of the country.

"What does the review include? Taking measurements and external inspection of the dogs presented here with respect to tazy breed standard. The breed standard was developed in 1938 by (zoologist Arkadiy) Slutskiy, and then in the 1980s and 1990s it was revised by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Soviet Union. The breed has centuries-old roots. It is our task to ensure this breed does not disappear," CEO of Kansonar Alexander Berber said.

The dogs also took part in various competitions, including rabbit hunt. NExplorer correspondent Salauat Temirbolat-uly reported that "to avoid criticism from animal advocates, the competitions usually use artificial bait. They attach foxcase or rabbit fur to a fishing line and use it as a bait."

One of the goals of the pedigree show, according to Alexander Berber, was to conduct an expert examination of all dogs of this species regarding the breed standards. The Association intends to conduct inspections in all regions of the country and create the stud book of Kazakh tazy in 2015.

The need for a common standard is key in preserving the breed of Kazakh tazy pure; omitting this could lead to the complete extinction of the breed, chairman of Kansonar Oralbai Abdikarimov was quoted by BNews.kz as saying.

By Dinara Urazova

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