The Greenwood Sledge is a breed of draft and hunting dog native to Palladium in Aufanaie. They are of medium build, with a strong work drive and high intelligence.
The breed's name comes from its town of origin, Greenwood Village, and its original purpose as a sledge or sled dog. They are sometimes called "Greenies", though the more common short form is "Sledge".
The Greenwood Sledge is a direct descendant of local wolves selectively breed over several years.
The true Greenwood Sledge resembles its wolf cousins closely enough that one would have to stand the two side-by-side for most to catch the differences. And even then, the wolf might be mistaken for a lighter-built Sledge. Sledges have a thick double coat that protects them from the cold and from the claws and teeth of predators. The fur is rarely longer than 2 inches.
Size and proportionsEdit
Males stand between 20-24 inches at the shoulder, females 19-23 inches. Body length is 30-45 inches. Males usually weigh about 80 pounds, females 75 pounds. The head is square, with a long, broad but sharp nose. Their paws are smaller than those of the wolves, but larger than they would be if they were in proportion to the body.
Sledges come primarily in shades of gray or brown, though pure white or black is not unheard of. They usually have markings on their face, chest, underside and at most halfway up their legs. The coloring of the markings is usually white or a lighter shade of their main coat. The nose is usually black. Their almond-shaped eyes are usually shades of brown. Blue eyes have been observed, but never gold like their wolf cousins.
The tail of the Sledge is a long brush. It is usually held hanging loose, though some have been seen curled over the back. Usually the underside is the same color as their markings.
Sledges have wide-set, mid-sized pointed ears that are well-furred inside.
Sledges are wary of strangers, yet lovingly affection with their owners. They tend to be reserved with all but their close humans. They bond closest with one human of their choosing - if a Sledge doesn't choose you, no matter what you say it will never truly be your dog. They can be stubborn and their owner must never let them doubt the human is in charge or the dog will take the leadership role itself. If kept with other dogs, it is advisable for the owner to observe and respect the rankings the dogs themselves establish. Failure to do so will cause the dogs to push for what they see as their fair due.
Sledges are extremely fond of children. Unless pressured they will not show aggression to a child. They may, however, discipline a child that gets out of hand as they would one of their own pups, which can lead to shallow bites if the owner doesn't intervene.
They have a strong prey drive and must be socialized young with other animals if the owner doesn't want them to consider the species fair game. They will chase anything smaller that moves, and kill if they can.
Sledges are extremely intelligent, to the point that they must be mentally stimulated to avoid them finding their own entertainment. They are a working breed, and do best with a job, regardless of what that job is.
The Sledge is mostly passive until it reaches two years old. Then they become domineering. They will push the limits and if any ground is given, will eventually force their way to the dominant position. This applies to both their owner and any other dogs in the household. Sledges are also territorial and will defend their owners and home. They distrust strangers in general, human or otherwise. Their dominant behavior will lead to fights with other dogs. These fights are usually bloodless and will cease altogether among dogs in the same household once rank has been settled. Any fight that goes beyond general dominance should be broken up as quickly as possible.
Sledges have two health problems. White, blue-eyed specimens are usually hard of hearing if not completely deaf. They can develop stiff joints, though this is rare.
In the past, the residents of Greenwood Village, known today as the Silvano, lived side-by-side with pureblood wolves. These wolves were treated as family members and worked alongside their human companions to ensure their mutual survival. They often pulled sleds or assisted with hunting, but were allowed to breed as they wished and only minimal effort was applied toward taming them. Even today, the Silvano line is capable of going feral and surviving on its own. Because of this, the villagers have never considered their stock "dogs", even though none of the living stock was born wild.
Thus when Palladian outsiders, known to fear and thus exterminate wolves, expressed interest in the villagers' stock, oral history insists the outsiders "mistook wolves for dogs", Rather than "correct" the outsiders and risk the lives of their companions, the villagers sold pups that were physically weaker or lacked the temperament needed to survive in their native environment. These pups were the foundation specimens of the Greenwood Sledge. The outsiders bred their new dogs selectively for strength, stamina, and intelligence. In a few generations, the outsiders' line was visibly different from its relatives among the Greenwood Villagers. While new stock still comes out of Greenwood on occasion, no Sledge has direct wolf blood.
The Sledge has always been used as a draft dog, pulling carts, sleds, and plows for their owners. They are worked in teams of up to six if one can afford their feed and care. Poorer individuals may keep a single dog or two. Like their Silvano "w counterparts, they were used for hunting as well, until some owners started breeding for specific skills. While these breeding practices were a success in that they created dogs better suited for those tasks, it caused the more specialized Sledges to start carrying new traits. Shorter muzzles, floppy ears, brighter coloration, shorter and longer coats appeared. These dogs eventually became breeds in their own right that are rarely bred back intentionally to the Sledge. Now Sledges are only used for hunting if their owner cannot afford dogs for that purpose alone.
Known Greenwood SledgesEdit
- Jagger is 1/4 Greenwood Sledge.
- Crepundium's Seminole Wind - "Seminole"
- Crepundium's Ancient Wisdom - "Sonja"
The Sledge is mostly found in Palladium. Some wanderers have found their way to Rosmerta as well, but those are few and far between.
Wolf-crosses are common, in assumption and in fact. The Silvano, which will forever consider their stock wolves, still sells the less capable pups. In Palladium, wolves have been eliminated, but Silvano Sledges sometimes "disperse". These ferals sometimes wander great distances and mix into the remaining wolf populations beyond the country's border. There are no known hybrids of the Sledge outside of these incidents.
Due to its origins, among wolves and the Silvano, the Sledge is looked down upon. It is believed they wouldn't survive without the coddling of the new humans. This has been proven false several times by dogs that "go wild". While not all Sledges are capable of being self-sufficient, neither are all wolves.
- It is canon in deviantART's Dog Art Role-Playing Games that the Sledge, along with its three contemporaries, was brought back to Ohio by Ashtree Waxwing in 2010. Waxwing noticed the similarities between the Palladian breeds and better-known counterparts in the USA, and was interested in seeing how they stack up against each other. Ashleigh Cutler expressed interest in the project, and together the two founded Crepundium Kennel in 2017.