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The ibiyarf are large, docile dogs, willing to let children ride them and to pull ricksaw-like carriages as well as plows. They are not very bright or very territorial, and tend to love everyone. They are tall, burly, and study, with medium-long, shaggy fur in light brown, tawny, and white. (ibiyarf comes from ib – plow, and yarf – dog).
The olayarf are intelligent and territorial, loyal to one owner or one family. They transport goods, but also act as guard-dogs for the family home or farm. (olayarf comes from ola – help and yarf – dog). They are blocky and muscular, the size of a small husky, with soft curly hair, floppy ears, and warm brown eyes. Their fur ranges from gold to reddish-brown.
The aduriyarf and kasiyarf are descended from very intelligent breeds; their basic training is similar. As puppies, they were taken from village to village, meeting people and sent home with messages much like a homing pigeon. (aduriyarf comes from adurt – porter and yarf – dog). (kasiyarf comes from kas – top and yarf – dog; the kasiyarf were bred from champion fighting dogs.) By the time they are assimilated into the Empire, the tale is told that the kasiyarf are descended from Kasiikar’s legendary dogs.
Eventually each messenger dog would know its own way to a dozen or more places, and could be sent running there as easily as sent home. The aduriyarf are very friendly dogs, very safe to be around—and it’s easy for anyone to grab their cargo. The aduriyarf is also the breed most often used as canine assistant for the blind or elderly. The aduriyarf is smaller than the olayarf, with short brown, white, or dappled hair. They are built for speed, but burly enough to carry packages.
A kasiyarf, in contrast, behaves like it was descended from fighting dogs. Kasiyarf were very loyal to their pack, which included (in their minds) their handlers, and they would only give their cargo to one of their handlers. Any attempt by anyone else to take their cargo would be resisted with force. Such dogs had to wear bright red gear to warn people off. These dogs were legitimately used to transport legal documents, dangerous medicines, and other things that needed protection. The kasiyarf are sleek and black, and built more for fighting and running than carrying. They seem more dangerous and less domesticated than the other three Yasiluu dog breeds.
There were very few remaining small dogs during sundered times; they were status symbols for the rich. Most people could only afford to feed working dogs.
Once rejoined to the Empire, some of the ibiyarf become family dogs. They are more famous, however, for pulling tourist carriages in the farmlands where they were bred and in the city of Yaisilith.
The olayarf are used as family dogs and guard dogs, and are considered a good companion for travelers and explorers.
The aduriyarf continue to be used as canine assistants for the handicapped or elderly, and many are picked up to work in theater or circuses, their ready intelligence and willingness to please giving them a facility for learning many tricks. In many parts of the empire they come to be known as rokeisharf (from rokeish – circus and yarf – dog).
The kasiyarf are carefully kept in-clan, and used as guard dogs. They also can be trained to detect things the Yasiluu cannot, including certain poisons and explosives, and for Yasiluu working in professions where those things are necessary, they double/masquerade as working dogs.
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