The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  P. 359), that dog-sledges appear
to have been known to the Chinese, for in a Chinese poem occurs the - Page 910
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P. 359), That Dog-Sledges Appear To Have Been Known To The Chinese, For In A Chinese Poem Occurs The Line: "Over The Thick Snow In A Dog-Cart." - H.C.]

The bigness attributed to the dogs by Polo, Ibn Batuta, and Rubruquis, is an imagination founded on the work ascribed to them.

Mr. Kennan says they are simply half-domesticated Arctic wolves. Erman calls them the height of European spaniels (qu. setters?), but much slenderer and leaner in the flanks. A good draught-dog, according to Wrangell, should be 2 feet high and 3 feet in length. The number of dogs attached to a sledge is usually greater than the old travellers represent, - none of whom, however, had seen the thing.

Wrangell's account curiously illustrates what Ibn Batuta says of the Old Dog who guides: "The best-trained and most intelligent dog is often yoked in front.... He often displays extraordinary sagacity and influence over the other dogs, e.g. in keeping them from breaking after game. In such a case he will sometimes turn and bark in the opposite direction; ... and in crossing a naked and boundless tundra in darkness or snow-drift he will guess his way to a hut that he has never visited but once before" (I. 159). Kennan also says: "They are guided and controlled entirely by the voice and by a lead-dog, who is especially trained for the purpose." The like is related of the Esquimaux dogs. (Kennarts Tent Life in Siberia, pp.

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