Dogs in Saapmi: From competition to collaboration to now

Date and Time: 
Friday, 18 March, 2016 - 14:15
, myrdene - purdue

The Saami of Lapland hunted in competition against wolves, and in collaboration with dogs, since 8,000 BCE, even before dogs cooperated with the Saami in the herding of semi-domestic reindeer during the recent half-millennium.  The Saami reindeer-herding dog, until recently an essential partner in herding and husbandry chores but never a pet, is not trained, but rather, like the Saami child, matures with unique constellations of habits.  In recent decades, various vehicles have replaced the dog in many tasks, and dog-as-household-pet has emerged.  However, these pets in Saapmi are not from the traditional dog stock, but are purchased exotic breeds that are kept indoors as sheltered pets.  Yet, herding families may take their pets out to reindeer roundups, letting the short-legged and -haired canines try their hands and feet at herding chores.  Some of these dogs have earned recognition by both male and female herders.