Uralistica

This may sound strange or even stupid to some but one of my favorite dogs is the Samoyed.  Did the Samoyed dog owe it's existence to the Samoyed people.  Things like this were never taught in school...

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If I am not mistaken, the Samoyed dogs have originated from Lapland, so they owe their existence to Saami people. It is according to many sources I've been reading, but some say otherwise. In any case, these dogs have been called also as "Saami dogs". Samoyed people had similar dogs though. Both Saami and Samoyeds were practising reindeer herding, so they also needed similar dogs for helping in this purpose. The dogs had to have thick coat, so they would not freeze in cold winter days and nights. Dogs had to be light and not so large, so they would not drown in deep snow, but run lightly over it. The dogs had to be friendly and smart, they were the best friends to reindeer herders. They helped to control and lead reindeer crowds, running around them and barking etc. The dog had to understand herder's commands, and sometimes itself make good decisions. So this is why Samoyed, and it's related dog breeds such as Finnish laphund or some of Western Siberian laikas are known as being friendly family dogs, they sometimes were even used to guard children, if they were left alone. They also are known for smartness.
Here is real Samoyedic herder dog, more precisely named as Nenets herder laika (ненецкая оленегонная лайка).


Thank you that you started so interesting theme, there is so little known about history of dogs from NE Europe and NW Siberia, i.e. Finno-Ugric areas. I have been myself trying to find out the roots of several dog breeds from this region, and came to interesting things. F.e. dog breed called as "Karelian bear dog" could originally come not from Karelia but from Komi area. The roots of "Samoyeds" also is under question, some say it came from Lapland, some other say it is from Western Siberia (Samoyedic regions). In any case, I remember seeing old pictures of Nenets with dogs with white and thick coat, so maybe the dogs indeed could be from there, although I don't remember any who would look precisely as modern Samoyeds. My own Khanty grandfather had white dog, but not really like Samoyed dog, it was quite small dog and hair was shorter.

You can look at video from year 1945 about Mansi people from Ural mountains. Mansi were neighbours to Nenets, and many things were similar between them. In this video you can tell apart at least 2 or 3 different dog breeds. First dog looks like Western Siberian laika, other dog look like Samoyed.

http://uralistica.ning.com/video/mansi-people-from-lozva-and-1
Sometimes it would seem they were to smart as my Samoyed was always coming up with new ways to get in trouble. Nothing serious and sometimes funny. She was a great dog and I still miss her even though she has been gone for a long time.

Luhta said:
If I am not mistaken, the Samoyed dogs have originated from Lapland, so they owe their existence to Saami people. It is according to many sources I've been reading, but some say otherwise. In any case, these dogs have been called also as "Saami dogs". Samoyed people had similar dogs though. Both Saami and Samoyeds were practising reindeer herding, so they also needed similar dogs for helping in this purpose. The dogs had to have thick coat, so they would not freeze in cold winter days and nights. Dogs had to be light and not so large, so they would not drown in deep snow, but run lightly over it. The dogs had to be friendly and smart, they were the best friends to reindeer herders. They helped to control and lead reindeer crowds, running around them and barking etc. The dog had to understand herder's commands, and sometimes itself make good decisions. So this is why Samoyed, and it's related dog breeds such as Finnish laphund or some of Western Siberian laikas are known as being friendly family dogs, they sometimes were even used to guard children, if they were left alone. They also are known for smartness.

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