Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fellow Travellers who provide the vehicles

HT to Patrick for pointing us to another cell of the functional-dog Maquis.

Do I have an appropriate job here for Inuit dogs?

I do not.

Do I have a special personal connection to the culture, history, and society that is interwoven with functional Inuit dogs?

I do not.

Do I want to own Inuit dogs?

I do not.

Do I rejoice that there are people whose passion for conserving, using, understanding and appreciating real functional Inuit dogs is at least as fanatical as my own for my English shepherd dogs?

I do, I do, I do.

We are so much more the same creature than any "dog fancier" realizes. I have more common cause with the editor of The Fan Hitch than I will ever have with the beaming owner of a UKC "champion" English shepherd, or than the editor will ever have with someone whose show Malamute poses for Christmas pictures in a harness that gets stuffed back into the box with the colored lights.

As the recent articles by John Burchard and Vladimir Beregovoy demonstrate, The Fan Hitch gets it too.

I look forward to mining this resource for insights for some time to come. Their archives are online.

Check out this brief article on managing hierarchy within the pack, for example.


  1. I loved the social facilitator article...but then there still remains that vocal minority whose collective bleat consists of any derivative of "But studies show that wolves don't have a definite Alpha!"

    Or something like that.

  2. I've been reading about the fabled Qimmiq and Grønlandshund since I was a little boy. And never shall I own one. I was big into Arctic exploration for a time, and I am still morbidly fascinated with the Franklin Expedition, especially those bodies that were found nearly perfectly preserved in the permafrost.

    I do have experience with "Nordic" dog breeds. I grew up in a pack of Norwegian elkhounds, both gray and the rarer black breeds. The black ones were out of actual Norwegian hunting stock and they were a lot of dog. It didn't really matter they were all worked as hunting dogs. If you've ever watched a Norwegian elkhound flushing grouse, it's quite an experience. They don't retrieve, and they are more likely to pluck the bird if they get to it.

    I've often thought about going back to that breed. And I think I would name mine Fritjof or maybe Nansen. But I think the retrievers have me spoiled.

  3. The most recent studies DO show wolves have an 'Alpha'... however, the way that Alpha's status is established and enforced and is quite different than what most people have believed for years.

    Which is what most people mean when they refer to the 'Myth of the Alpha Wolf'.


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