Archive for the ‘Grey Wolf’ Tag

The Wolf and the Firebird Fairy Tale   27 comments

There are a vast number of different versions of this tale of the Russian Firebird. Of the ones I have viewed I have chosen “The Wolf and the Firebird Fairy Tale”  as this was the one I enjoyed the most. I hope you will also enjoy this French version of the Russian Fairy tale, ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

So! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin!! …. 

The Wolf and The Firebird Fairy Tale

Wiki Mythical Firebird

Once upon a time there was a tsar who was the proud owner of an orchard of golden apples. One day he discovered a mysterious thieffirebird Russian Art was sneaking in under the cover of darkness and stealing his golden apples! He was so distressed that he lost his appetite and he tasked his three sons to take it in turns to stand guard in his orchard and catch the thief. Two sons were lazy, worthless men who made no effort to stay awake and simply slept all night. But the third son, Prince Ivan, being a conscientious son, allowed himself no such luxuries. Consequently it was he who saw the orchard light up with an ever-brightening, glowing light which revealed a beautiful golden firebird pecking happily at the golden apples. Prince Ivan made a valiant attempt to capture the firebird but to no avail and it flew away leaving only a single tail feather in his hand.

The following morning the Prince explained everything to his father, Tsar Berendey, showing him the tail feather to prove his story. Determined to catch this golden firebird the tsar sent all three of his sons out on horseback in three different directions to track it down and bring it to him.

 

TheKnightAtTheCrossroadsPrince Ivan eventually arrived at a “crossroads” in a field containing a pillar with an inscription on it offering him three options: : "Whosoever goes from this pillar on the road straight before him will be cold and hungry. "Whosoever goes to the right side will be safe and sound, but his horse will be killed. And whosoever goes to the left side will be killed himself, but his horse will be safe and sound." Prince Ivan opted to go right on the basis he could always get another horse and continue on his quest.

But to his horror a huge magical gray wolf appeared in his path, attacking and killing his horse before running away. However riddled with guilt and seeing the Prince was very sad the wolf returned and said to him "Why, you could have ridden even on your good horse for three years and never found the Firebird for only I know where it lives. I ate your horse, so now I will serve you faithfully and well. Get on my back and hold on tight."

On reaching a fortress the grey wolf said to the Prince, "Listen to me, and remember what I say. Climb over the wall and do not be afraid; all the guards are asleep. In the attic you will see a small window; in the window hangs a golden cage, and in that cage is the Firebird. Take the bird and hide it under your coat; but be sure not to touch the cage."

Prince Ivan did as the wolf had told him but on seeing the cage forgot the wolf’s warning. As soon as he touched the cage he set off alarms all around the fortress and he was unceremoniously hauled up in front of a furious Tsar Afron.You should have come to me and asked me for the Firebird and I would have given it to you out of respect for your father. But now I shall see to it that all the world knows of your behaviour! And in order to earn my forgiveness you will have to enter my service. A certain Tsar Kusman has a horse with a golden mane. Bring that horse to me, and I will give you the Firebird and the cage."

Angry though the wolf was that he had been disobeyed he forgave the Prince and took him to his destination, issuing another warning on their arrival. "Climb over the wall; do not be afraid, the guards are asleep. Go to the stable and bring out the horse. But be sure not to touch the bridle you will see hanging there."

But once again Prince Ivan could not resist temptation and the whole scenario repeated itself, this time with Tsar Kusman. "To attempt to steal a horse shows little wisdom! Even a peasant would not try to do that. But I will let you off, Prince Ivan, if you agree to enter my service. A certain tsar named Dalmat has a daughter, the beautiful Helen. Carry her off and bring her to me, and then I will give you the golden-maned horse and the golden bridle."

Firebird and WolfOnce again, albeit reluctantly, the wolf forgave Prince Ivan and took him on his back to the fortress of Tsar Dalmat. However this time he insisted that he, himself would carry out the task and ordered the Prince to head back to Tsar Afron assuring him he would catch him up. Having seized the Princess the wolf paused only to tell Prince Ivan also to jump on his back so he could carry them both, and in due time they returned back to Tsar Kusman’s fortress.

However Prince Ivan was very sad, not wishing to part with either the horse with the golden mane or the Princess. So the wolf said to him, "I will see to it that you are not parted from her. We will hide her somewhere, then I will turn myself into the beautiful Princess Helen, and you can lead me to the tsar."

The tsar was over the moon with his new wife and gave the Prince the horse with the golden mane and the bridle, not realising that he was going to collect the real princess and ride away with her on the golden maned horse. The realisation hit the tsar full on when he lay down on the marital bed and discovered a huge grey wolf lying next to him!!

In the meantime the Prince and Princess had arrived at the fortress of tsar Afron and once again Prince Ivan was sad not wishing to lose the golden maned horse in exchange for the firebird. So once more the magical wolf took charge and turned himself into the horse with the golden mane. Tsar Afron was over the moon and Prince Ivan, the Princess Helen and the caged firebird rode away to Ivan’s homeland astride the horse with the golden mane. Tsar Afron was not so lucky discovering the trickery only when his golden maned horse turned into a huge grey wolf as he tried to mount it! Terrified he fell from its back and the wolf made good his escape.

On seeing the wolf again Prince Ivan bowed low to it three times in great respect and in thanks for all it had done in making his dreams come true. However the wolf warned him cryptically, "Do not bid goodbye forever to me. I shall yet be of service to you."

As Ivan and Helen and the horse with the golden mane were sleeping, not far from Ivan’s home, his two brothers chanced upon them and filled with jealousy at his success and their failure plotted to kill him and claim the fruits of his success for themselves, and to win favour with their father. As Ivan lay dead the grey wolf appeared alongside him healing his wounds with still water and bringing him back to life with sparkling water.

"I have had such a deep sleep," he yawned.

"Yes, you were sleeping very soundly," the grey wolf said. "But for me you would never have awakened. Your own brothers killed you and carried off all you had gained. Now get on my back, quick!"

On catching up with the brothers the magical grey wolf killed them both and one last time Prince Ivan thanked him again and bowed respectfully three times to him, before saying good bye forever, and returning home to his father Tsar Berendey with the firebird, the princess and the golden maned horse and its bridle. He told everything to his father who was delighted to see them and although he naturally mourned for his two lost sons he gained great comfort from the wedding to Princess Helen of his remaining son Prince Ivan….and they all lived happily ever after!

prince_ivan_and_the_firebord_by_ookamikasumi-d3jcxj9

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.   68 comments

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.

 

K9 Federal Border Guards     Volkosoby - Russian Wolf Dog

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union an agreement was put in place between Russia and Tadjikistan that the border with Afghanistan would be patrolled by Russian border guards. This is a highly popular border point for drug traffickers whose sole intention is to cross it undetected.

Federal Border Guards – The “Volkosoby” (Russian for wolf dog) is a relatively new breed of Wolf Dog, bred by the Russian military to help defend and protect the Chinese and Mongolian borders of Russia. Bred in the Perm Institute of Internal Troops it originated in Russia in year 2000. A fully trained wolf dog is valued at $2,000-$3,000.

Powerful animals they are the size of, and the grip of a wolf, but retain an obedient and friendly attitude to people who are not a threat. None-the-less they are not officially sold, being instead, rented to internal security organisations.

Russian Wolf Dog

The first 200+ wolf-dog puppies bred at The University of Cologne were considered to be a failure as they all expressed the typical wolf characteristics of extreme fearful-caution around humans. Therefore the subsequent breeding success at Russia’s Perm Institute of Interior Forces was both a big surprise and a major achievement. Such good fortune could have been achieved by virtue of the fact that the She-wolf used in the breeding process was an exceptionally, and uncharacteristically friendly and sociable wolf. And contrary to the natural wolf nature she got on just great with humans.

She herself, despite having the choice of mates, chose a male dog as her mate rather than a male wolf, and her pups are the beautiful and unique military/police dogs with their high level intelligence and the benefit of their enhanced wolf instincts that today the Russians have the great pleasure and privilege of training. 

Russian Wolf Dog Pup  Little and Large!    Male wolf "Akella" and Female German Shepherd Dog mate 

The wolf part of the breed mix involves the Caspian Sea Wolf, officially known as Steppe Wolf but also referred to as the Causican Wolf. It was classified by Ivan Dwigubski a Russian scientist in 1804 as Canis lupus campestris a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Originating in the countries around the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, it is now found only in remote regions SW of Russia, bordering the northern half of the Caspian Sea, though it has also been sighted in N Afghanistan and Iran and from time to time, the steppe regions of Romania and Hungary. 

Grey Caspian Sea WolvesCaspian Sea wolves weigh Red-Coated Asian/Kazakhstan Steppe Wolvesbetween 35-40 kg (77-88 lbs.); have short coats in a variety of grey shades, with overlay hair in rust or brown and black shades across their back. They also have a characteristically thinly furred tail. Asian and Kazakhstan Steppe wolves are inclined to lean heavily towards more reddish toned pelts but in both cases these are the colours of the desert and designed to allow the wolves to blend into their surroundings. They are slightly smaller than the Eurasian wolf – used in the creation of the Czechoslovakian Wolf dog and not to be confused with it, and its fur is scanter, bristlier and shorter.

“Volkosoby” – Russian wolf dogs take on a variety of specialized tasks. Some are trained specifically to track mines, others are trained in drugs and alcohol detection techniques, and every checkpoint has three or four tracker wolf dogs.

Trained "Volkosoby"-Russian Wolf Dogs at checkpoint

It is the job of border guard headquarters to ensure there are sufficient numbers of appropriately and fully trained wolf dogs to cover all border posts. Wolf dogs in training guard the perimeters, guaranteeing absolutely, that no one has any chance whatsoever of getting past them.

Federal Border Guards! 

 

 

Wolf dogs are very friendly work-loving creatures. “When they enter the training hall their teeth chatter as they are impatient to do exercises.” ~ Animal trainer Olga Galperina. And they have excelled on dog training programmes regularly out-performing the dogs.

 

   Happy to work...  Russian Wolf Dogs in Training  Russian Wolf Dogs_Sit-Stay Training

In training German Shepherd Dogs took a good four minutes to sniff out a ‘criminal’ hiding in a confined space of the building. The wolf dogs took a maximum time of between fifteen and twenty seconds! (BELOW)

Working Russian Wolf Dog

Unlike dogs who naturally love to run around enthusiastically investigating the training grounds in a hectic, unruly fashion prior to getting down to the process of actually working, these Russian Wolf Dogs cut straight to the chase. One circle of the area in question to establish relevant locations, is all that they find necessary before initiatiating a speedy no-nonsense track-down of the drugs, criminals or explosives hidden around the training area.

Exhibition Activities also inc GSD's and BSD's (Belgian Shepherd Dogs-Malinois)

 

They also display an eagerness to be involved in exhibition activities at the Institute’s ‘Championship Competitions of the Internal Troop Service.’ (RIGHT>>>)

 

 

Russian Wolf Dog detecting explosives

The wolf dogs are considered to be “strategic weapons.”

They have proven themselves in conditions close to the area of the North Caucasus fighting, and show a keenness to work on the oil pipelines searching for illegal connections, detecting explosives in vehicles entering oil installations.

 

 

The Russian wolf dog has proved to have a great affinity for the search and apprehension of intruders and in contrast to their German Shepherd Dog counterparts can easily trail criminals on the run for a good two days at a time without tiring.

   Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training  Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training 2 

Wolf Dogs (Or Wolf Hybrids) (1)   29 comments

Wolf Dogs (Or Wolf Hybrids) (1)

A wolf dog (also known as a wolf hybrid or wolf-dog hybrid) is a dog with recent wolf heritage.

  

 

The majority of first generation wolf dogs are created by crossing Grey Wolves with domestic dogs – usually German Shepherd Dogs, Alaskan Malamutes and/or Siberian Huskies- these breeds bearing the closest resemblance the wild pure-bred wolves.  Any wolf dog has a pure wolf ancestor somewhere within the last five generations. These animals are very different breeds from domestic dogs. And their genetic mix makes not only their physical characteristics unpredictable but also their behaviour.   It is very important to understand that without the appropriate handling, good, rounded socialisation and proper training, and if they are unhappy in their surroundings that they have the potential to become a very serious and dangerous problem.

 

The term “wolf hybrid,” is technically inaccurate. A ‘hybrid” is the offspring of two different species. In 1993 the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) was reclassified and is now classed as a domestic variant of the Grey (Timber) Wolf (Canis lupus).

 

 

Wolf dogs are not wild animals. They are domestic animals with special needs. They were created by humans and for some they are “exotic pets”. They are dependent on humans for food and protection, and often for companionship. A wolf dog will not survive alone in the wild.  Ultimately it will starve to death, die from disease, attacks by other animals or it may well be shot.

 

Wolves are naturally timid around humans. This is also true of their high content wolf dog cousins. They will not make good protection and security dogs! 

 

Most wolf dogs have a very high prey drive.  This also applies to a number of other breeds including Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.  Anything that is small, fast and squeals, as often occurs with young children or other pets will spark the wolf dog’s instinctive prey drive. Some wolf dogs if they are raised amongst them will be absolutely fine with them, but this cannot be guaranteed especially with an adopted wolf dog.