Northeasterly Hauling Laika

Northeasterly Hauling Laika

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These dogs possess a long and wolf-like head. Their eyes are dark in color. Their ears are long, triangular shaped, and stiffly erect. The dog?s muzzle is of medium size and tapering to a point. The nose is black and colored according to coat.

During the 1940s, Russian cynologists attempted to consolidate the multitude of existing Northern draft/hunting/herding type dogs from Siberia and the Soviet Union into six distinct breeds. This amounted to an exercise in “lumping.” They established four hunting or hunting/sledding breeds, one sledding/ herding breed and one pure sledding breed, although they recognized there were other types that did not fit into these parameters.

The pure sledding breed is the Hauling Laika, which is probably an amalgamation of various native draft types. The standard established is one for a large hauling dog, very similar to the Eskimo Dog or the Malamute.

Soviet cynologists recognize the necessity for sled dogs in the most remote areas of Siberia and the Arctic. They say dogs and vehicular transportation, even in the 1980s, complement each other.

Should a visitor arrive in the lower Kolyman and Anadyr River areas of far east Siberia during their short summer, says a modern Soviet dog writer, he would immediately notice many idle, dirty dogs. They wander about, covered with clumps of shedding hair and mud, seeming quite useless to the visitor. But the locals know that the long, bitter winter is not far off. Then the dogs grow a beautiful winter coat and work constantly. They pull skiers (doing “skjoring”) and haul sleds to all parts of the tundra. They deliver the physician and veterinarian and supplies as well as mail and news from afar.

This dog furnishes warmth to his master when, during a sudden blizzard, every living creature digs into a snow drift. And he can unerringly find his way home even in blinding snow. Hauling dogs often second as hunting dogs as well. A team of six to ten Hauling Laikas, pulling a load of 88-110 pounds per dog, may average three to four miles per hour. 

This figures to 40-48 miles a day for a four to six day trip in -40 to -50 degree weather, all on only about three pounds of fish a day per dog! Thus to this day, the northern peoples of the Soviet Union love and respect their amazing helpmates.

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