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Mon Mar 8, 2021, 09:23 AM

How This Regal Canine Could Help Save the Mongolian Steppe

On the Mongolian steppe, there are predators, there are prey, and there are the bankhar. These large, powerful dogs weigh up to 125 pounds, with shaggy, thick coats that give them a bear-like appearance. For 15,000 years, bankhar dogs have been the guardians of the steppe.

In these grasslands, sheep and other livestock kept by traditional nomadic herders are under constant threat from wolves, eagles, and even snow leopards. For millennia, the bankhar safeguarded both animals and the family’s livelihood. In acknowledgement of their importance, bankhar dogs are the only animals that nomadic herders name. The bond is so special that herders believe humans can be reincarnated as bankhar, and bankhar as humans, another unique honor.

“What our ancestors used to tell us, and what our elders used to say to us, and what we believe in the community, is that having a bankhar is spiritually beneficial,” says traditional nomadic herder Nasantsetseg Battulga, through a translator. “There are four people in my household but, if we add our two bankhars, we consider ourselves a family of six,” she adds.

That special connection between herder and bankhar dog was nearly lost, along with the bankhar itself. Soviet-era socialist campaigns that sought to collectivize herds and encourage families into more sedentary patterns of subsistence had no place for the dogs. Let loose, exterminated, and turned into fur coats for fashionable Muscovites, the bankhar all but disappeared. The dogs survived only in isolated pockets scattered around the country.

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/03/how-this-regal-canine-could-help-save-the-mongolian-steppe/

https://www.bankhar.org/bankhar-dogs/





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Reply How This Regal Canine Could Help Save the Mongolian Steppe (Original post)
douglas9 Mar 2021 OP
UpInArms Mar 2021 #1
FoxNewsSucks Mar 2021 #2
Judi Lynn Mar 2021 #10
FoxNewsSucks Mar 2021 #3
WhiteTara Mar 2021 #5
Judi Lynn Mar 2021 #9
WhiteTara Mar 2021 #11
Duppers Mar 2021 #7
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #4
WhiteTara Mar 2021 #6
Donkees Mar 2021 #8

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 09:31 AM

1. Very cool

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 10:19 AM

2. Makes you wonder what that dog is thinking about.

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 10, 2021, 08:58 PM

10. Looks as if it has a wonderful disposition, too! Wow.

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 10:22 AM

3. I found this part interesting,

"Bankhar are comparatively long-lived. Examples of 15-18 year old dogs working with nomads in the field is not uncommon – this is of interest since most Bankhar never receive veterinary care and eat solely boiled livestock innards, rice or noodles, and bones."





Boiled animal innards, rice and noodles. Spending the day active. Sounds like a natural diet is a lot more healthy than the typical American dog's China-produced commercial dog food and a day lounging on the sofa or floor.



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Response to FoxNewsSucks (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:26 AM

5. I have an Anatolian and she eats

veggies, rice or potatoes, and ground meat and bones, lots of bones. She drags deer skeletons up to the garden and spends the rest of the year eating it segment by segment. My current formula doesn't have quite enough roughage for her but it is so much better for her than canned or pellets. Her favorite meal of the day is the one before I go to bed and she goes to work patrolling the garden.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 10, 2021, 08:56 PM

9. What a shame Anatolians are so puny!







Amazing doggies!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 10, 2021, 09:21 PM

11. I know! Actually Tashi is smaller

she weighs about 60 pounds and is about 1 hand smaller. Those are magnificent dogs, eh?

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Response to FoxNewsSucks (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:06 PM

7. That poor yellow Lab. 😣

Overly fed & under exercised. Shame on its lazy owner.

Most all Labs are "chow-hounds," so their diets must be monitored.

Our 2 yellow girls would eat most anything but we now have a very picky black Lab - he's such an anomaly.



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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:10 AM

4. Back when we had a herd...for pets, not profit... we had Anatolian guard dogs. Not one herd or

Anatolian loss to a predator.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 11:33 AM

6. they are indeed ferocious

I am always amazed how my sweet dog can be there one second and then gone before you can even see her fly off, or suddenly she is at my side and I didn't even know she was around.

But she doesn't let anything in the yard unless I tell her it's okay and woe to any animal who happens by. She keeps a pack of coyotes off the entire hill - our neighborhood has 4 houses on about 60 acres and they no longer come by, Tashi keeps them down by the creek and brings home the skeletons of their kills.

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 05:22 PM

8. I like this one ...

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