Canadian Eskimo Dog Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is the dog used by the Inuit as an all-purpose haulage dog and is smaller than the heavyweight Alaskan Malamute but not as light as the quick Sled Dog, the Siberian Husky. It is thought they arrived in Canada from Greenland approximately 1,000 years ago. The Eskimo dog was crucial to the survival of the Inuit; they were used as sledge dogs and helped with hunting by locating seal breathing holes and were sufficiently courageous to hold polar bears at bay. With the introduction of motorised transport during the middle part of the last century the breed came under serious threat. However, John McGrath and William Carpenter began a programme to secure the breed’s future in 1970.
It was the Eskimo Dog that proved itself on Polar expeditions; on one trip a six dog team hauled a fully laden sled 750 miles in two weeks. There is a considerable variance in size between dogs and bitches – dogs at up to 68cm and 105lbs can weigh half as much again as the bitches. He has a dense double coat offering weather protection and excellent insulation; the undercoat is exceptionally thick with the coarse outer coat longest on the neck and shoulders with distinct breeches and a plumed tail. All colours and combinations are acceptable.
Challenges of the Eskimo Dog’s Behaviour
They were never domesticated whilst working as sledge dogs and were partly self-sufficient, being encouraged to hunt their own prey. These instincts to kill remain so they must be treated with great caution around livestock and other pets. Secure fencing is essential. They are good-natured and affectionate but distinctly independent, as would be expected from a breed who was accustomed to fending for himself. Early socialisation is essential as they are wary by nature.
They are not trainable in the usual way, and for those who choose to welcome one into their home immense patience is vital; they are also extremely energetic and will take all the exercise that is offered. As pack dogs they have a real need for company, whether human or canine.
Not the easiest of breeds, the Eskimo Dog will not suit everyone and thorough research should be undertaken before taking one on.
- Sled Dog Central (informative site)
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.