Canadian Eskimo

Hard-working, majestic and beautiful rare dog

Canadian Eskimo

A Rare, Majestic and Beautiful Animal, This Hard-Working, Obedient Dog Prefers Cold Temperatures

As one of Canada's only indigenous dogs, the Canadian Eskimo Dog breed is possibly 4000 years old and comes from the Thule Inuit Culture of Greenland and the Canadian North. Some say that the Greenland Dog is the same as the Canadian Eskimo Dog, despite the Greenland Dog’s lack of proper breeding program. Today, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is extremely rare, even though it was once the chosen working dog of the Inuit people with a temperament and physicality that can survive the harshest of climates. Canadian Eskimo Dogs have been integral working partners with human explorers throughout history in the harsh Arctic and Antarctic climates. Famous figures including Charles Darwin thought that the Canadian Eskimo Dog was actually a wolf-dog hybrid or a tamed wolf breed because of its similar appearance and vocalizations. However, genetic testing has shown that it has no wolf ancestry of recent origin.


Originally, these dogs were used to pull sleds and help with hunting duties. They were excellent pack and draft animals. As both a working dog and an exceedingly kind and proud animal, the Eskimo dog, as it is also called, craved human companionship. Experts say that the Inuit people would have had difficulty surviving without the influence and work ethic of the Eskimo Dog. Canadian Eskimo Dogs can pull twice their weight and yet travel up to 70 miles a day in very dangerous, frigid, and rugged conditions. Today, the Canadian Inuit still use the Canadian Eskimo Dog to do any number of "multipurpose" activities, such as hauling, and in some cases, hunting. Historically, they have been used to hunt seals and other game found in the Arctic, including polar bears. Notably, the Canadian Eskimo Dog showed a great and instinctive fear toward wolves, howling fearfully if they approached.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog remained in demand throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries for polar expeditions. Once the snowmobile was introduced, however, their numbers began to decline rapidly. Snowmobiles are faster and don't need as much care as Canadian Eskimo Dogs, which is why some believe they have been replaced. While approximately 20,000 dogs lived in the Canadian Arctic in the 1920s, at one point the population dropped to as few as 200 by some estimations.

In 1972, the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation was established by John McGrath and William Carpenter. This organization and the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation began to breed dogs from the remaining population of about 200 still in the Canadian Arctic at that time. After 30 years, Brian Ladoon of The Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation still has the largest genetic stock colony of the breed in the world. Today's breed has enough genetic variability from the 200 or so dogs that started the resurgence to avoid difficulties with inbreeding that might have occurred otherwise.

Although still rare as a pet, these dogs have become a central part of Arctic tourism, because they're needed to entertain tourists. In addition, commercial polar bear hunts must be conducted by dog team in the Northwest Territory, largely because of safety. The Canadian Eskimo Dog is very sensitive to the polar bear and will be able to tell when it's around, while a snowmobile would actually drive the polar bear away or at least mask signs of its existence. On May 1, 2000, Nunavut, a Canadian territory, adopted the "Canadian Inuit Dog" as a symbol of its region. The breed was commemorated in Canada with a stamp in 1988 and a 50-cent piece in 1997.


Powerful, majestic, and beautiful, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is a spitz-type dog with triangular and erect ears, a feathered tail carried proudly over the back and a dense, thick coat comprised of a soft undercoat and a stiff, coarse overcoat. The thick mane of fur around the Canadian Eskimo Dog's neck gives the dog an even more imposing appearance, although more abbreviated in females. The breed can be almost any color, with no dominating color or color pattern. It's common to have the Canadian Eskimo Dog appear as a solid white dog, or as a white dog with patches of another color. Colors can occur on the head alone, or on both head and body. Dogs that are solid silver-colored or black-colored are also common. Dogs with solid coloration can have white masks on the face with spots over the eyes, white socks, and/or nose stripes. In adulthood, the Canadian Eskimo Dog weighs between 40 and 100 pounds and stands 20 to 28 inches at the shoulder. Females are smaller and somewhat finer-boned, and may have a slightly shorter coat. Although the Canadian Eskimo Dog has a superficial similarity to the wolf (and has been mistaken for either a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid in the past), the tail has a more distinct curve and is shorter than that of the wolf.


This gentle, affectionate, kind dog wants nothing more than to bond deeply with you, its owner and to work hard. While superbly obedient, the brave Canadian Eskimo Dog nonetheless has a very strong prey drive because historically, it has been required to hunt for its own food, especially when used as a sled dog. Should you decide to get the intelligent Canadian Eskimo Dog as a pet, you will find pure delight in ownership, although you must take great pains to keep your alert pet very active. Plus, be prepared for some very loud vocalizing. Your tough pet will actually like to sleep outside in cold weather.

In addition, even though the Canadian Eskimo Dog is cooperative, it is also a dog that is accustomed to working with strong direction. You will need to apply firm but gentle discipline in training your pet so that it always knows what to do, and is kept occupied at all times.

Proper Environment

It is absolutely essential to give your pet a very significant amount of exercise on a daily basis. More than just "going for a walk," you'll need to truly put your pet to work. Very intelligent and indeed submissive, your pet loves to engage in dog sports, like pulling sleds (mushing), carting, or something called skijoring, whereby your pet pulls you on cross-country skis.

Despite this breed's docile nature, however, this is not a dog for the average person. Since the breed requires a serious amount of exercise, you'll need to be very active yourself in order to keep your pet's exercise quota fulfilled. If you decide to adopt a Canadian Eskimo Dog, it's also best that you live in a cold climate year-round because this breed is very susceptible to heat stroke


The Canadian Eskimo Dog lives between 10 and 15 years. It is important to feed your pet a high-protein dog food, perhaps supplemented with meat, fat and bone meal if the dog is particularly active. Grains other than rice should not be fed to your pet, since Canadian Eskimo Dogs have difficulty digesting most grains.


Although the Canadian Eskimo Dog is easy to care for most of the time, it "blows" or heavily sheds its fur once a year and will need significant grooming every day during this period of time.


Canadian Eskimo.

Retrieved March 21, 2014.

Canadian Eskimo Dog.

Retrieved March 21, 2014.

Canadian Eskimo Dog.

Retrieved March 21, 2014.

Canadian Eskimo Dog.

Retrieved March 21, 2014.


Retrieved March 21, 2014.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog.

Retrieved March 21, 2014.

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