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Canadian Eskimo Dog: Basic Breed Info

Canadian Eskimo Dog: Basic Breed Info

Similar to the Hotocho (or Mongolian German Shepherd), the Canadian Eskimo Dog (or Qimmiq en inuktitut) it is a very old breed of dog, perhaps one of the first to accompany man in this part of the world, almost 4,000 years ago. Faithful companion of the Thule people he was bred and trained to become a working dog.

These dogs are able to cover long distances at an even pace. In addition, their complexion, excellent sense of smell and intelligence were used to locate the breathing holes of seals for hunting and to protect families from musk oxen and polar bears. Also, whey would hunt for their own food.

Origin and history of Canadian Inuit dogs 

In the 19th century, the Canadian Eskimo remained closely linked to the Inuit culture, with almost 20,000 Eskimos working with men in the northern territories. However, this golden age would not last long. In fact, the arrival of the snowmobile in the years 60, the massive and systematic killing of Inuit dogs by the Canadian government (officially, for reasons of public health – unofficially, some say to intimidate and violently assimilate Inuit peoples, eliminate their main work equipment and a symbol of their culture), the introduction of new inuit sled dog In 1963, there was only one Canadian Eskimo dog in the studbook of the Canadian Kennel Club, which then declared the breed extinct.

This statement turned out to be premature. However, it did not count on the tenacity of William Carpenter, Bill Thompson, John McGrath (founder of the Research Foundation of the Canadian Eskimo Dog) and Brian Ladoon (breeder and Musher, i.e., sleigh rider). With state support to preserve the cultural heritage of the Inuit, the quartet undertook an expedition to the most remote regions of the Canadian Arctic with the aim of finding purebred Canadian Eskimo copies.

Canadian Eskimo dog history 

Their efforts paid off and, thanks to the specimens excavated in the Inuit villages, a breeding program was launched. A few years later, in 1970, there was nothing less than 200 animals in remote Inuit camps on Baffin Island. Today, (last update in 2018) this number reaches only about 300 individual purebred dogs in the whole world.

Although the The American Kennel Club recognized the Canadian Eskimo as an independent breed in 1996, was not until 2018, year in which the breed from the International Cynological Federation and (FCI) and the Central Canine Society, when the breed really passed to the front line of the dog world.

Canada and USA as the mainland

However, although some specimens have crossed the Atlantic to Great Britain, the spread of the breed remains essentially limited to Canada and the United States for the time being, and even there, the breeders of Canadian Eskimo dog are still scarce.

In 1986 the first dogs registered with this project were bred creating the genetic stock on which the breed rests today. 

On May 1 2000 the Canadian territory of Nunavut officially adopted the Canadian Husky as the animal symbol of the territory.


At first glance, it is clear why the Canadian Eskimo dog has helped the Inuit for so long. Strength, power and endurance are the first adjectives that come to mind when describing these modern dogs, who is able to constantly exert himself under difficult environmental conditions and enjoys the cold climate and those cold times of the year.

These Siberian huskies are of medium construction, with a strong neck and chest, but with legs of medium height. Well defined with its bones and muscles, its powerful and majestic body reflects that it is mainly a very resistant dog, not very fast. It should be noted casually that females are slightly smaller and less muscular than males.

It is also interesting to note that the Canadian Eskimo dog is quickly large enough to work: although it is only about 3 years old, it is able to load from the 7 months. Puppies are often described as miniature adults, wrapped upright and upright on the skull and tail with their ears from the third week.

Like most of the Spitz breeds, the head of the Canadian Eskimo dog is angular and elevated, with straight, thick ears. The eyes are placed at an angle and give the animal a serious posture. The bushy tail is worn high or curled on the back.

The Coat of the Canadian Inuit dogs 

The coat of the Canadian Eskimo dog It is thick, with a smooth top layer and a dense and uniform wool floor layer, optimal thermal insulation for adverse weather conditions. This makes it one of the dog breeds best adapted to the cold. Males also have a long mane that covers the neck and shoulders. Females usually have shorter coat, which helps to give the impression of a finer animal.

The breed standard does not allow smooth fur. Therefore, the Canadian Eskimo dog must always have a coat with a combination of colors, without the distribution of one color taking precedence over the others.

The shaded white mask around the eyes and/or around the nose, with or without dots above the eyes, is a common physical feature in dogs with a clearly defined head color. Very rare, the dots above the eyes, as well as the cheekprints, can be buff color, adding a third color to a normally two-tone dog.

Size and weight:

  1. Male size: 58 – 70 cm
  2. Female size: 50 – 60 cm
  3. Male weight: 30-40 kg
  4. Female weight: 18-30 kg


The character of Canadian Eskimo dog, so similar to the Greenland dog, reflects the harsh environmental conditions in which you live and work, which shape your everyday life. Therefore, it is closer to the wild animal that is domesticated by the tribal peoples in a logic of working together than to a real pet that overflows with affection for its master. Intelligent, courageous, but always on guard, so it can sometimes seem distant.

This does not prevent this dog from being gentle and loving with his family, or express a friendly curiosity about strangers who welcome your family. But moderation remains the keyword for him. The Canadian Eskimo dog rarely celebrates his master, although he does not hesitate to ask for a pet as a sign of recognition. As a packdog, is extremely loyal to his master, whom he considers the clan leader, and is therefore less distant. Beware of anyone who shows signs of hostility to this guide: the Canadian Eskimo dog it will quickly remind you of the meaning of the word respect, with many grunts. 

Is the Greenland dog same as Canadian Eskimo dog?

The Greenland Dog is considered the same breed as the Canadian Eskimo Dog since they have not yet diverged enough genetically to be considered separate breeds despite their geographic isolation. Ears of the Eskimo dog are so similar to the ears of wolves but these solid white dogs are missing the black mark which clearly separates them apart.

The herds of Canadian Eskimo dog have a reputation for being very organized. From time to time, some fights and scratches may occur, but it is not a sign of serious fight or rebellion against the established leader.

Training – Known Facts 

Unlike many newer dog breeds, the Canadian Eskimo or the Canadian Husky, has retained a very strong hunting instinct. The smallest encouragement, either eating, starting a game or fighting, leads to a quick and very enthusiastic reaction from this dog.

In fact, this dog is best suited for an adult family and should never be left with children, as this can lead to unintended injuries, especially as an adult dog.

You can live with dogs that do not belong to your pack, but with some reservations, as he tends to consider every animal smaller than him as a prey to devour rather than a partner. Cats, rodents and small dogs are put to the test when they have to live with him. That is something all dog owners should know and be aware of.

Canadian Inuit dogs in apartments – Yes or No?

Last but not least, as an outdoor dog par excellence, who appreciates cold temperatures and prefers to sleep outdoors on occasion, the Canadian Eskimo is by no means a breed of dog adapted to an apartment. They have to spend many hours outdoors every day in cold weather to maintain their physical and mental fitness.
Sporty and hyperactive dog, accustomed to pulling a sled, the ideal for him is to have such a resistant master as him. They are not really made for domestic life, since they are purpose dogs for higher intensity work tasks.

In other words, it is a perfect companion for those who want to practice singing, cani mountain biking, ski jurage, canikart… Without physical activity at the height of their abilities, becomes destructive and/or aggressive dog.

Being very intelligent animals, there is no sensitive plant or reinforced fence that can stop these dogs. If they have decided to run away, it will be very difficult to stop them. And trust me, they can cover great distance in short period of time.

Health and Life expectancy

The Canadian Eskimo dog has an excellent physical predisposition, which makes it resistant to many of the genetic diseases that usually occur in dogs of similar breeds.

However, although they are a force of nature in their natural environment, they are more susceptible to parasites and skin diseases that develop at warmer temperatures.

In addition, like many Nordic dogs, are predisposed to the following diseases:

  1. Hip dysplasia
  2. Arthritis
  3. Gastorsion
  4. Entropion

Their life expectancy is around 10 to 15 years.

You like Huskies? Take a look at other Husky breeds.

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.