Description
Yakutian Laikas can be used for reindeer herding, pulling sleds and hunting. The Yakutian Laika was developed in very ancient time for native peoples of Yakutia involved with hunting mammals and birds; the dogs were their indispensable assistants. This is a versatile dog with excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision, strong hunting drive, endurance; they are aggressive to predators and soft and gentle to humans. Yakutian Laikas are not demanding to conditions of life and easily endure hostile climate of the north. Under harsh conditions of Yakutia, they are excellent working dogs; they can work in small groups and from dawn to sunset. Peoples of vast territory of Yakutia have been reindeer herders and hunters since ancient time and the dogs were their indispensable assistants. Origin and subsequent formation of the breed are still not quite known, but because of the hard to access country and extreme natural conditions, Yakutain Laikas have lived as primitive aboriginal breeds; they were rarely confined and mated free. Naturally, local type dogs could be preserved only under conditions of complete isolation from dogs of other breeds. First scientific descriptions of dogs of Yakutia were published in late XVIII Century, when first geographic studies of the north were conducted. Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov wrote in his monograph about Laikas: “Researchers of the north, of course, could not overlook northern dog; they could not disagree with hard fact that presence of this dog makes life of northern people possible. It is even more strange that so little attention was paid to description of dogs of he north; their ancestral aboriginal type and numerous varieties remain obscure Yokhelson wrote: “Sled dog is a burden animal not only of nomads living in not forested country, but also of settled near the river Russians and russified minorities and the dog of majority of cattle keeping Yakuts. Except southwestern part of the territory, one can find 5-6 dogs in every yurta, which are used for howling firewood and other works needed by the household. The polar dog is not big, 50-60 cm at the shoulder… In the appearance, with his prick ears, oblique set eyes, thick coat and broad massive head, pointed muzzle, low carried tail (when the dog is tired, eats or in a bad mood), the dog is very similar to wolf. Among them, there are shaggy dogs, and somewhat blunt muzzle not different from our Spitzes … Generally, type of Kolyma sled dog is diverse and, perhaps, it is a mix between Kamchatka and Eskimo sled dogs with another imported breed.” It stands to a reason that other dogs relocated here together with new immigrants. Both Sero[evsky and Yokhelson described the Yakutian Sled Dog similarly: “Legs relatively thick and short, chest, which is used to pull sleds, perfectly developed; neck is thick and short. Face is unusually intelligent and with melancholic or grim expression”. In principle, it remains so today and the dogs little changed with the spreading civilization in the Yakutian north. The Yakutian Laika is a sturdy, proportionally built, slightly rangy, medium size dog with well developed coat, which is sufficient for surviving under harsh arctic conditions. The Yakutian Laika is active, agile, curious dog with a friendly and obedient character, very sociable and absolutely not aggressive. His major purpose is sledding and hunting. Males are 55-56 cm (optimum 55 cm). Females are 52-55 cm (optimum 54 cm). The Yakutian Laika is bold, outgoing, active, friendly and sociable. Deficienices: Sluggishness and shyness. Faults: Aggressiveness and extreme shyness. Head is wedge-shaped, proportional to the size of dog. Skull is rounded, voluminous and slightly longer then muzzle. Forehead is sufficiently high. Stop is distinct. Nose is large and well developed, black or brown, white dogs may have not well pigmented parts, but not more then on 80% of it. Muzzle is well filled before eyes, full, moderately broad, short, length of muzzle is approximately ½ length pf skull.
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