Saturday

Bred from a Different Stock

Think of a dog, Canis lupus familiaris, just the name alone says that our pets are actually a sub species of wolf. This is true of every dog one can think of from Irish Wolf Hounds to Papillons, except a little known breed created in Russia by Klim Sulimov. This breed, known as Sulimov dogs, is descended from the Turkmen Golden Jackal (Canis aureus aureus). The breed was created in 1975 for sniffing out bombs and other dangerous materials for Russia's national airline Aeroflot.
So why use a jackal as the base for a breed rather than the wolf which has been used for thousands of years? According to Sulimov jackals have a better sense of smell than the wolf and have a natural desire to sniff things out, unlike the wolf-based breeds which have to be trained and bribed with treats to sniff out hazards. The first generation of the breed was pure jackal which was fostered by a Lapponion Herding Dog. This was done to increase the jackals' comfort with humans as well as their trainability. Even so, the first generation was hard to train and naturally wary of humans. Sulimov then bred in wolf-based breeds such as the Huskie, Reindeer Herding Hound, Spitzes, and Fox Terriers to in crease the dogs' size and genetic diversity. This mix eventually resulted in the modern Sulimov Dog. These dogs are not only easy to train and have a natural love of sniffing, they are also hardier than any other breed being able to withstand temperatures from negative 94-100 degrees Fahrenheit. This amazing tolerance is the result of crossing multiple arctic breeds with the heat-loving jackal.
As of this post the dogs are not available outside of Aeroflot's breeding program, but the airline plans to start selling them as a superior sniffer dog in the near future.

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