chapter  14
Dogs in Saapmi
From competition to collaboration to cooperation to now
ByMyrdene Anderson
Pages 11

In Saapmi, where a few dogs are involved in some reindeer-herding operations, more and more families rely on snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles or even planes for herding. These families may be the ones bringing in dogs of exotic breeds, often small in stature, that are kept indoors as sheltered pets, by women, who were once the breeders of herding dogs, and by children. Most of these herding families claim that these dogs, whether certified breeds or mutts, function quite satisfactorily with the reindeer herd. The human-wolf relation was competitive as both species were invested in reindeer, while the human–dog relation gradually shifted from collaboration in hunting to cooperation as both parties shared herding and surveillance chores with the seasonally migrating reindeer. The dog had already distinguished itself from the wolf farther east in centers of its domestication, but both canines figure as actors in conjunction with reindeer and other cervids as objects of human attention.