Syncope Falls Farm
Breeders of Fainting Goats &
Karakachan Livestock Guardian Dogs

Bulgaria 2010 - Meeting the Officials of the Bulgarian Karakachan Dog Association
May 2010, we traveled to from Bulgaria where we visited with the Sedefchevs family of BBPS Semperviva and attended the annual Karakachan dog show.  We also met with the officials of the Bulgarian Karakachan Dog Association and gained permission to be the first American farm listed in the breeding directory of the International Karakachan Dog Association.  Here are some pictures from our wonderful and educational trip.




Opening of the dog show by a traditionally dressed Gaida (bulgarian bagpipes) player.  The bagpipe bag is the entire skin (body) of a sheep.  It is said to take great skill to skin the sheep to make the bag.
 
On the way to Vlahi - yes, it's a stork!
On the way to Vlahi, the bulgarian countryside
Dog collars, sheep and goat bells at the educational center in Vlahi.  As with many things on the farm, these were handmade.
There were several classes of dogs shown.  The dogs were pulled from the fields, no grooming or styling attempted.  The man in the black leather jacket was a vet that was checking the teeth and composition of the dogs. 

The vet had a vote on the best dog in class.  The other vote was cast by a group of farmers that decided which dog had the best working abilities.  Usually, the votes agreed.  If not, the farmers vote seemed to win out.

Many of the dogs seemed to be known to the farmers and stories would be shared of a bear or wolf the dog had taken down or herd animals the dog had saved.
Dogs waiting to be shown.  Notice the thick chains.  These dogs were away from their pastures and a rather wary
Meeting with the IKDA President and President of the Bulgarian KDA at the Third National Exhibition Karakachan Dog Show in 2010.  We learned a great deal about the organizations and the excellent work on-going to continue the interest in saving this wonderful breed of dog. 

We explained our work and interest in bringing this dog to the US to help our farmers.  We are not interested in changing the breed to make "an American Karakachan" or breeding just to make money.  We were thrilled to be granted the opportunity to be the first American farm registered with the IKDA and allowed to register our Karakachans with them. 
It was easy to see how these dogs are a working part of the rural families in Bulgaria.  This dog had been trying to fight with a variety of dogs all morning, but when its owner's son came over, this dog became very docile.  The boy spent most of the afternoon with the dog. 

This dog was well regarded by the judging farmers as being a very good working dog. 

We were very fortunate that the KDA President was kind enough to translate the stories for us.
Traditional Bulgarian shepherd (and one of the most prominent farmer judges) taking his flock and dogs home at the end of the show.
If prompted, you may need to click to allow                 Windows Media Player to run to see the video.
To share the experience of this wonderful show, here is a brief clip. 

The show has ended, the Gaida is playing the final song, and the shepherd is taking his Karakachan dogs and sheep flock home.