The Kyrgyz sighthound taigan is one of the rarest breeds, not only among the sighthounds, but in all canine world.
It is believed that nowadays, there are around 300 registered dogs of this breed. The situation is even more complicated as the country of their origin, which is Kirgistan, still has not joined the FCI. So the FCI-member pedigrees are owned only by dogs registered outside Kirgistan, all in all there might be 30-40 dogs considered.
The taigan is a primitive sighthound. One can say like that especially when thinking of its character. The taigan sport breeding is quite a new activity, so the dogs still have not lost the features which were characteristic for their ancestors. Thus they are dogs with a hudge hunting instinct, who need an unlimited freedom of movement, they are not quick in showing freindly feelings towards strangers. The last feature makes the taigan a good guarding and protecting dogs.
Dogs of this breeds are very much present in the kyrgyz culture. A taigan has been mentioned in the national epic Manas, whish has been composed by various authors from the 6th up to the 19th century. Stories about these dogs are also popular with the folk stories or legends, as the one which tells about a snow eagle who turned into a taigan, by being given dog food in isolation.
The structure of the dog enables agile moving on rocks. Nearly in all published worked devoted to taigans, one can read that the dog may turn back to front in the air, in just one jump, and as the taigan smoothly moves up and down the hills, it has been the reason to compare the dog to a bird. The magnificient agility and movement coordination made the taigan highly usefull for hunting various types of game, including the hares, foxes, and even the wolves and mountain goats.
The kyrgyz sighthound taigan is a breed not recognized by the FCI. Its first written standard has been published in 1964 and the author was prof. S.A. Miniukhin. At present the valid standard is the one which has been published in Kirgistan by the Republican Kyrgyz Canine Council. Thanks to the FCI regulation it has been possible to present these dogs in many dog shows organized by members of this international canine organization, also in Poland.