Pictures of Chukotka Sled Dogs

edited January 2012 in Chukotka Laika
So in my endeavors of learning about the history and pre-history (before importation to Alaska) of the popular Siberian Husky, I had bumped into this site containing pictures of the Chukotka Sled Dog and felt it worth sharing:

It is interesting to see the similarities and differences of this breed to it's Americanize cousin (of whose foundation stock had come from various North-Eastern Siberian Tribes), the Siberian Husky.


  • Erm, it links to an article about the Princess Bride. I don't see any sled dogs.
  • Oops, fixed
  • Some pretty great photos there! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

    Do you know if there are any breeders producing this type of dog today?
  • edited January 2012
    @brada1878 - Haven't found any breeders yet, but that website looks to be a preservation society of sorts, located in Canada and wanting to help preserve the breed in both Canada and its native land. The rest of the website seems to have additional info and links about the breed:

    I like this one link they share, the page contains picture montages of the Chukotka territory and one specifically about the dogs:

  • I was poking around flickr for images of these dogs and I found this one...

    Vlad Kavry and his dog team in Chukotka, Russia

    Based on the head shape, those 2 dogs closest to the camera appear to have some CAO in them...

  • From what I've been reading, there was some mixed breeding with imports before attempts were made to establish it as a breed, so there may be a possibility of CAO in some of the dogs.
  • edited January 2012
    If we are to accept these dogs as a "landrace", as laika enthusiasts take pride in, then we need to ignore the suggestions they have been mixed.

    Obviously a CAO would not be able to survive as a sled-dog this far north.,N1Breed.html
    In terms of a landrace, how does one define "purity"?
    The word "purebred" is an invention of the modern dog world. Due to environmental isolation and survival of the fittest, landraces are pure. Here is a simple example. Let’s say a German Shepherd Dog pup has been taken into an Inuit village. His chance to survive the demanding environment is very poor. Let’s assume he or she survives, will he/she have a chance to reproduce? If so, it will be breeding with the local aboriginal dog. If a litter is born, how many pups will survive? Maybe one or two. If they again reproduce, their impact to the Inuit Dog population is minimal and after a few more generations is nil.
    Secondly, there is no real way of telling if a dog is a mix. I have seen some really bizarre looking huskies, not Alaskans or Eurohounds, which look like they are mixed, but DNA tests and pedigrees reveal they are pure.

    Keep in mind, in working dogs, phenotypes are not selected for, only their abilities are, so you will have some really strange-looking dogs. You get this in the working Border Collie world where some are so strange-looking, idiots scream they are not pure.
  • haha... So, @Dave, You disagree with me? :P

    I agree, it's impossible to tell what breeds are mixed into a dog simply by looking at them. But, I was speaking more about skull-shape, the skull-shape of the aboriginal Ovcharka landrace is rather unique... And that dog in the picture appears to have a similar skull-shape as many of the aboriginal Ovcharka breeds.

    But, perhaps the skull-shape came from interbreeding with wolves.

  • edited January 2012
    I am just contending phenotypic expressions are much more plastic when one breeds for performance. One see this in any dogs with a working registry where they are not shown. There is no consistency among them, despite as a whole, they are still a breed. Even in closed registries, working dogs tend to be quite variable in their structure, skull-shape et cetera. The only thing they have in common are generally the parents and their behaviours.

    But really, in Siberia, it is too rough up there to worry about that sort of things: the toughest dogs survive.
  • It's interesting to me that the Chukotka Dogs look much like the Karafuto Dogs.
    I wonder if they may have been derived from the same primitive origins of many north Siberian dogs.
    Could this be true from all of your studies?
  • edited August 2012
    @Hotarujishin - The Karafuto is the product of mixing Hauling Laika brought to Japan from Sakhalin (Karafuto means "Sakhalin")... Many of the dogs that are said to be Karafuto are called "Sakhalin Laika" or "East Siberian Laika" by their owners. So, I would guess that the Chukchi Sleddogs is probably a close match to the Karafuto since they are so closely related to the ESL.
  • Thanks for posting.
  • I really doubt these have CAO genetic in them, but I do see your point about the shape of the first two dogs' heads. But anything is possible. I think we underestimate how much migration and dog trading went on over long distances in prehistory. Just because the AKC doesn't have it in their registry doesn't mean it didn't happen. Wink wink!

    In discussing far north sled dogs breeds I find the idea of pure bred, "this," and purebred, "that," to be misleading. Aboriginal Sled dogs were never pedigreed with paper records, and I don't think the aboriginal people who used them imposed some sort of aristocratic ideas of, "good breeding," into their dog sledding plans. They used what worked well for them and culled the rest, regardless of origins, color or ethnic bias. If a new, strange dog came into the camp from people passing through, it likely was met with a few mating opportunities, as mushers were always looking for fresh genetics to offset the inbreeding that is natural to small isolated nomadic groups. If the accidental pups(sometimes purposeful)worked well then they were kept. If not, then neglected or culled(or eaten).

    It is only in the last 100-150 years that distinctive sled dog breeds were codified and papered into distinct titles and defined standards. Such was caused by contact with European methods of dog breeding and philosophy. And every camp and every village had dogs of their own distinction, just like every house in the neighborhood has a family different than the one next door.

    I see this diversity of genetics and experimentation taking place all the time in the Alaskan mushing environment. Necessity drives such diversity, contrary to kennel club logic.
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