Posts Tagged ‘laika’

This is dubbed in English, so you can understand the method. They don’t believe in closed registries out on taiga. The dogs they use in the crosses don’t even have to be domestic!


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Pavel’s pretty much grown up.

Pavel with Riley the vallhund in the Alberta taiga.

Pavel with Riley the vallhund in the Alberta taiga. Photo by Dave Parsons.

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Warning:  Violent hunting scene. Viewer discretion advised:


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Pavel grew up

pavel grew up

Photo by Halla Seppälä.

Yes. This is the same puppy I sent to Canada!

Pavel at 11 weeks.

Pavel at 11 weeks.    

Pavel’s spend most of the winter in Finland, but he’s going back to Canada next week.



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Pavel is fetching

Yep. He’s a fetching big game hunting spitz. He oddly looks nothing like a retriever.


He is being clicker trained to refine the behavior.

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pavel West Siberian laika

Pavel, a West Siberian laika in Alberta. Photo by Dave Parsons.    

Mark Derr reviews Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov’s Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2011).

In the piece, Derr extols the virtue of the multipurpose dog, the one that has the intelligence and the ability to do many different things and pursue a wide variety of quarry.

Laikas certainly fit the bill. Developed over the millennia over the vast expanses of Russia, these dogs have had to have the abilities that the English have reserved for specialized hounds and gun dogs.  The laika may bay up a moose or brown bear or wild boar, then dive into a frigid river to fetch a shot duck.

They were the dogs of the people who lived off the land, and in Happy People, the dogs are their sustenance.

Left alone for months at a time in the taiga, the Siberian trappers must hunt to survive and to provision their traps.

And without the dogs, they simply couldn’t survive.

Very few dogs living in the West make their own keep.

And virtually none are their owners’ survival.

These laikas are that and so much more, for these trappers live for much of the year as hunter-gatherers.

Perhaps their relationship with their laikas is much like the relationship that man had with the wolves that eventually became dogs all those thousands of years ago.

It’s tempting to think so.

It’s certainly tempting to imagine.


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This is Pavel at 11 weeks treeing some squirrels in Miley’s woods:


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