Canadian Eskimo Dog
The Canadian Eskimo Dog, also called the Canadian Inuit Dog is a large Arctic dog. It is often considered to be North America’s oldest and rarest purebred indigenous domestic dog. The breed was once used as a method of transportation in Canada.
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is large; it can stand anywhere from 19 to 28 inches tall and weigh 40 to 88 pounds. It is a powerful breed, athletic, and built for hard work. The males are significantly larger than the females and more masculine.
Like most Spitz breeds, it has a heavily feathered tail which curves over its back and triangular ears which stand straight up.
The coat of the Canadian Eskimo Dog can be almost any color, many times with a white mask. The hair is coarse and thick, even thicker around the neck ““ like a mane. Its fur is dense and thick with a soft undercoat.
The breed is a working dog. It is tough, as well as loyal and intelligent. The breed needs a great deal of daily high-intensity exercise. It is excellent at dog sports, easy to train and submissive. It should be given room to play as well as a cold climate because it is prone to heatstroke. The breed is powerful and can be over-excitable, and is therefore best suited for an adult companion. It is an intense breed when it comes to bonding with its owner as well as working, and it can be extremely vocal.
It is fairly low maintenance for a majority of the year, needing coat care only once or twice a week. However, as the weather gets warmer and it starts to shed it will need daily grooming.
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is known to have lived in the Arctic for at least 4,000 years. It was originally used as a multi-purpose dog used for towing people and supplies as well as hunting game, such as seals.
The popularity of the breed declined when snowmobiles came into use during the mid 1900s. In a 30 year period, the breed became nearly extinct, declining from 20,000 dogs registered with the AKC to none, because it was dropped due to low numbers.
In 1972 the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation was founded by John McGrath and William Carpenter. This organization was funded by the Northwest Territories and the Canadian Government. The foundation bought dogs from a small population in remote camps and began to breed them.
The breed is still rare, yet it is becoming more popular in Arctic tourism, and going back to its roots as a working sled dog.