THE NORTHERN INUIT INTRODUCTION
The Inuit dog has existed for thousands of years, the
Inuit people needed a dog to suit their lifestyle, and as a
working companion, for this, legend has it, they staked
out several bitches to be mated by wolves .
By selective breeding and culling of the offspring, they
eventually got what they wanted - a dog that could
work long hours in cold temperatures, would live as a
family pet and be obedient and loyal.
In the early 1980's, a few Inuit type dogs were imported
to Britain and by following the Inuit peoples example
and using northern breeds of dogs, we have arrived at
the Northern Inuit dog we have today, they withhold
the original characteristics and traits of the original
Inuit dogs, but have had a lot of the working drive other
northern breeds have, now bred out.
Although, originally having to battle against the
elements for survival, they have fitted in well with our
modern day lifestyle as a loyal pet capable of
competing successfully in obedience, agility and also fly
ball, as well as their original job of pulling sledges.
Where the Northern Inuit has not proved a success
however, is as a guard dog, due to their friendly manner
and a willingness to greet any visitor as a long lost
friend, sometimes you will find the odd one who
becomes quite protective of his family.
With their incredible sense of smell and eagerness to
please, the future of the N.I looks bright, and could
provide future services, such as search and rescue, guide
dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf, some
are already registered PAT dogs, but all are the pride
and joy of their families as their loyal pets. We
ourselves are pleased to say we have bred 4 that are
registered PAT dogs.
The Northern Inuit dog is generally a non aggressive
breed, but you do find that when they hit the teenage
years and are not guided correctly they can become
quite reactive to other dogs, training is on going.
They are the most versatile of dogs, but, they are not
for the novice owner as they can be very stubborn and
are very quick witted, the owner of an N.I must show
themselves to be the lead member of the pack or be
prepared to be the underdog, and be taken advantage
of, a firm direction is most definitely needed, however,
the pluses far outweigh the cons of owning an N.I as
they are a joy to live with, give so much love, and
attract attention where ever they go.
Nice gardens don't usually exist alongside a northern
Inuit as they love to dig and eat any variety of garden
plant, so most owners now have gardens consisting of
slabs, pot plants and concrete.
Some N.I dogs if introduced to livestock at an early age, will grow up not wanting to chase sheep and so on, but two or more N.I become a pack and pack instinct will take over, and as their prey drive is quite high, caution
should be taken at all times when out near sheep, cattle
Common sense dictates that you should never leave
children and dogs unsupervised. The N.I can be quite
boisterous at play, and though they would never bite
intentionally, they do sometimes like to 'mouth' things
eg arms and hands, and can easily knock a child down.
But they love children and are happy to play games for
The Northern Inuit dog is also generally non dog
aggressive and will usually submit when challenged.
They don't like to be left alone and can often suffer
separation anxiety, at these times they will destroy
anything in the immediate vicinity, chairs, doors, table
legs, the best solution for this is to ensure your dog is
never left alone for long periods of time, another dog as
a companion is a good idea, the N.I is a very sociable
animal and loves the company of people or other dogs.
They are a loyal companion they make great family
members and like to be included in everything the
They do need early socialisation otherwise they tend to
spook easily when faced at new things.
This breed of ours is very addictive, so beware, because
it is a great possibility that you will end up with more
than one, most people i know have several and
wouldn't have it any other way.
Plenty of patience and a good sense of humor is a
must when owning one of these dogs.
This was written quite a few years ago when the
rumours were again circulating about the breed having wolf heritage.
So the story goes.........
In the 1990,s, there was an increase in the amount of
advertisements offering ‘wolf hybrid’ pups for sale. As
the recent ‘Pit Bull’ horror stories from an over zealous
tabloid press emerged, the RSPCA and other authorities
grabbed the chance to try and have many people
prosecuted and their dogs confiscated under the
Dangerous wild animal act. Because of all the
controversy surrounding any wolfy looking dogs, a
group of people got together to try and safeguard the
future of a particular line of these dogs.
The dogs were given the name ‘the Northern Inuit dog’
(which I shall hereafter refer to as the N.I.), due to the
Northern breeds and Inuit type dogs that were used to
create the breed. Two of these original Inuit types were
imported to the UK from the USA as ‘wolf hybrid’ dogs,
and there ensuing progeny were sold up and down the
country as ‘wolf hybrids’, it is very dubious as to
whether there was any actual wolf content in these
dogs at all.
At the time of the N.I being established, one of the
founder's of the breed, had the local authorities
hammering at her door, trying to seize her
dogs as dangerous wild animals. Although they went
away empty handed, it resulted in a court case being
brought against her, at the local magistrates court on
the 20th of june 1998.
At this time, the N.I was well on its way to being established as a breed of dog and not as a wolf hybrid.
The end result of the court case was a not guilty verdict
due to the fact that it could not be proven that there
was any wolf content in the breed.
The N.I has flourished since then and is rapidly gaining
in popularity, therefore, the Northern Inuit society was
formed to govern the breeding and well being of this
wonderful dog, although, some members, in the past,
were obviously not satisfied with the N.I as it was, and
went on to cross their dogs with other breeds, which
has resulted in several splits, and breeds such as the
Utonagan, British Inuit, Tamaskan and ‘Inuit’ groups
being formed. The N.I society believed that crossing the
N.I with any other breed would only be detrimental to
them and they are quite satisfied with the N.I as it is, with its high breeding coefficient, and health problems rising.
So, the question still remains ‘is there any wolf content
in the N.I.’? this is a question many people ask, and the
truthful answer is, it really is impossible to say, without DNA testing. If there is, it is so far back that it would have been diluted in most lines to almost 0 percent, although some people would prefer that we steer well away from the wolf question, we are proud that our breed resemble the wolf in looks and of
the unanswered question ‘IS THERE OR ISN’T THERE
Since this was written a lot has come to light and infact
the Northern inuit dog itself is now so inbred that other
breeders are injecting some much needed outside
blood into the lines on the quite.
Like many large breed dogs the Northern Inuit can
suffer from hip dysplacia, therefore when looking to
buy a puppy it is wise to check that the hip scores of the
parents are below that of the breed average. The
current national average for the Northern Inuit is 15.
The Northern Inuit Society required that all Northern
Inuit’s born after Jan 2006 are to be hip scored and
Northern Inuits born from Jan 2009 are to be elbow
scored,and have received a satisfactory result before
being bred from.
Also remember that as with any large breed dog,
restriction of exercise in the first year is wise, as these
dogs grow at a fast rate and this will help with
unnecessary pressure on all of the joints. Follow the 5
minute rule. 5 Minutes of exercise for each month of age
is a great guideline. We as Breeders can only put the
foundations down in creating a hip dysplacia free dog,
owners play a big part in the development too.
Northern Inuit’s can also be prone to sensitive
tummies, which comes from the German shepherd
This is why a lot of Northern Inuit owners choose the
Raw food diet, as these dogs do very well on it. If that
isn't for you then a good quality natural grain free kibble ( biscuits) or home cooked balanced food can work well with these dogs, but its normally trial and error to find the right one.
Retained testicles in males are not uncommon in this
breed, so this is something to think about if wanting a
future stud dog, all our dogs are sold as pets only with
the possibility of restriction being lifted if the dog is of stud quality.
There have been a few cases of Epilepsy in this breed
and this is being monitored to see if it is a hereditary
condition. I know lots of research within the Animal
health trust is going on to help find the cause. We in the
13 years of breeding have only had one case, and
removed the parents from our breeding program, i know
many other breeders who have had more.
It has come to light that some lines have the
Degenerative Myelopathy Gene ...This is not a problem
if all breeding dogs are tested and no carrier to carrier or effected to carrier are bred together.
If a carrier is bred to a clear then this will not cause a problem. We test all of our dogs and will never put carriers together.
Addisons disease has come to light in more recently, and has been around a while, but sadly some breeders have
kept this quite and its now being seen in some Northern Inuit lines, it was originally common in the British utonagan breed.
Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism,
occurs when the adrenal glands don’t secrete enough
cortisol and other steroids. There’s often no apparent
cause of Addison’s disease. In some cases, however, it
may be immune-mediated, or it can occur in response to
drugs given to treat another condition. It may also
result from damage to or destruction of the glands by
some other illness or from trauma or inflammation.
The hormones secreted by the adrenal glands are
involved in helping to regulate normal body functions
such as metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance for
kidney function, blood pressure, appetite stimulation
and more. When those hormones aren’t on the job, dogs
can develop a variety of health problems.
Addison’s isn’t common, thank goodness, but trying to get a handle on it can really put veterinarians through their paces.
The problem is that symptoms can differ wildly from
dog to dog — and in some cases, Addison’s can look like
Signs such as lethargy; muscle weakness; lack of appetite; drinking and urinating more than normal; occasional vomiting and diarrhoea; and weight loss are common to many other disorders.
There’s a reason that Addison's is nicknamed “The Great Pretender.”
If the disease goes unrecognised, though, the adrenal
glands become less and less functional. Eventually,
dogs with the disease may suffer sudden collapse,
known as an Addisonian crisis. They require immediate
aggressive treatment to survive. Fortunately, with early
diagnosis and treatment, dogs with Addison’s
disease, can have an excellent prognosis.
We have had one case in all our years of breeding, and again to air on the side of caution both parents were not bred again as health is important to us.
The NORTHERN INUIT Dog Breed Standard
HEAD: Not too broad, skull slightly domed. Muzzle
equal in length to skull, strong and gently tapering.
Cheeks flat. Nose preferably black but a ‘snow nose’ is
permitted. Nostrils large. Slight stop. Lips close fitting
and black. Perfect scissor bite.
EARS: Fairly wide apart but not low set. Not too large,
EYES: Oval and set at a slightly oblique angle. any
NECK: Strong and muscular with a well defined nape.
FOREQUARTERS: Shoulders flat. Moderately angulated
upper arm but shoulder blades well laid back. Elbows
fitting close to the chest which must not be too broad (
approx 4 finger width between front legs ) or drop
below the elbow. Distance from ground to elbow
slightly greater than that from elbow to withers. Oval
bone, neither too heavy or too light, pasterns upright
but flexible. Feet oval and toes open and well knuckled.
Pads black and well cushioned with hair.
BODY: Topline level, Ribs long to give overall
proportions of height to length as 10 – 9, well sprung
from the spine but flattening on the sides to allow the
elbows to move freely. Loin short and deep with no
exaggerated tuck up. Croup broad and fairly short but
not steep. The tail is a smooth continuation of the croup
and must reach no further than the point of the hock.
May be lifted when excited and carried upright or sickle
HINDQUARTERS: Well angulated with broad, muscular
thighs, the strength being carried through to the second
thigh. Hocks short and perpendicular to the ground.
Upright when viewed from the rear. Feet oval, can have
five rear toes. Removal of dewclaws optional.
COAT: Dense, waterproof double coat, slightly coarse in
texture. Body coat 3 – 5 cm. Longer on ruff and
breechings. Tail bushy.
GAIT: Far reaching, covering the ground with an easy
SIZE: Height: Bitches-Minimum 23” (59 cm) Maximum
-28” (71 cm)
Dogs- Minimum 25” (64 cm.) Maximum 30” (76 cm)
Overall balance more important than size.
Pure white or any Colour, Sable from Grey or Apricot
through to pure black. White faces permitted on any
Colour. Masklike or cap like markings permitted on the
faces of any Colour other than whites. Where white
appears on the legs and feet the Colour change must be
Friendly, placid and out going, great with children, not
Note. Males should have two apparently normal
testicles descended into the scrotum.
FAULTS: Curly tails, long or single coats, Ink Marked,
black and tan colours. Cow or sickle hocks. Any
departure from the standard should be considered a
fault; the seriousness with which the fault is regarded
should be in proportion to its degree.