Stray dogs may be the first thing to spring to mind when it comes to thinking about dogs in Turkey as their numbers are quite high compared to other countries. But the country is also home to diverse canine breeds, some world-famous, others, not so much.
Breeds endemic to Turkey and more renowned are not exclusive to central Turkey, however. A university in the country’s Black Sea region wants to make several breeds raised there as famous as the Kangal or Akbash dogs.
In cooperation with the International Dog Breeds Cynology Federation (UKIFED), Ondokuz Mayıs University in the northern Turkish province of Samsun is undertaking efforts to promote Zerdavas and Tonyas – breeds of mountain shepherd dogs. A project is underway to define the exact anatomic features and characteristics of those dogs in order to set a standard on the dogs’ descriptions.
UKIFED president Boran Aydın told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday that they have been researching the breeds and their genetic orders. It is anticipated that the breeds will be certified after a year of study.
“This study will contribute to the promotion of those dogs as local breeds. These are Turkey’s values. Just as Sivas has its own Kangal dogs, the Black Sea region has endemic breeds that have long been overlooked. We need to protect these breeds and ensure they thrive. Scientific studies will certify these breeds and prevent any attempt to spoil them,” he said, referring to cross-breeding.