Hinterland Sled Dog
The Hinterland Sled Dog is a medium sized dog, standing at about 1.8 - 1.11 feet tall at its shoulder, and weighing in at around 35 - 60 pounds. They are usually quite stock in build, and heavy around the shoulders and hindquarters, making them look a little bigger than they actually are. Their lifespan is around 12-15 years.
Hinterland Sled Dogs are a very wolf-like breed; they have long snouts, standing ears that are rounded at the tips, long tails, and sport similar colors to that of grey and piebald wolves. They are some of the more varied breeds when it comes to coat colors, as they are not bred for appearance like some other breeds are in the west. They come in wolf grey, black, white, brown, blue, red, and a sometimes have a combination of those colors. They also often have piebalding on their coats, or pale chests and bellies for countershading.
Their exact origins aren't clear, but they likely got their start as domesticated wolves in Snow Elf tribes, and have developed from there. Most of these dogs indeed do still live amongst the Snow Elf tribes of the north, but they are also found in smaller settlements in the north that are unable to afford to keep horses, or don't have the resources for such animals.
They are pack animals through and through, and prefer the company of other dogs to being on their own, as well as people. As a result, most dogs are kept on lines and together so that, when they're not working, they can interact with one another, rather than be confined to kennels where interaction is harder for them.
Their main features are their high energy, their stamina, and their strength. They have a lot of energy that can take hours and hours to burn off, making them rather tricky to handle at times, and definitely not good house pets. Their stamina is nearly unmatched; they can travel up to forty miles in a single trek without much need for rest, making them ideal for covering the snowy north. Their strength is impressive too, considering they are not particularly large dogs. They can pull up to twice their weight on their own, and a full team of around six dogs are able to pull up to four hundred pounds of weight.
Hinterland Sled Dogs are very talkative dogs, often barking and howling without being urged or for any apparent reason. This sort of noise is useful in camps, as the howls and barks usually keep predatory animals away.
Hinterland Sled Dogs are found exclusively in the northern regions of north, and largely among the Snow Elf tribes. A few smaller settlements have them as well, and larger ones keep them in case of bad weather that prevents horses from being able to travel. Due to their coats being so thick, and it being detrimental to their health to shave them, they do not do well in warmer climates. Regardless still, they are considered quite common.
As their name suggests, they are largely used as sled dogs. They can pull heavy weights with ease, especially in teams, and can run for hours and hours without fatiguing. They are also used as a deterrent for predatory animals, as they often sound like a pack of wolves howling, though this isn't a trained behavior, nor are they very good at fending off wild animals, as they can be a bit cowardly towards animals larger than them.
They are highly social dogs, and enjoy the company of both other dogs and people. They bond well with their masters, but are friendly to just about everyone they meet, including strangers. Strange dogs will be greeted kindly, though they are always cautious when it comes to meeting them for the first time. As a result, they make very poor guard dogs.
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