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Utonagan: The Northern Inuit Dog

Utonagan: The Northern Inuit Dog

The Utonagan is a larger, wolf-like crossbreed that is still a new and unexplored breed. They are also called the Northern Inuit dogs, and they became especially popular after they made an appearance in the iconic TV show “Game of Thrones”.

Originally, this is a hybrid between the dog breeds: Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd, and it was bred by Edwina Harrison.

Many people also believe that the Utonagan dog was originally a loyal companion dog for the Chinook Indian people, in America. But today they’re only bred with other Northern Inuit Dogs by breeders who are seeking to secure purebred status for this hybrid.

Even though they might have a bit of spirit of the wolf in them they still have a balanced, mild temperament despite looking intimidating and wild. That’s why they make great companions for any active and exercise-loving dog owner.

Temperament of the Utonagan Dog

While they are playful and energetic, the Utonagan will win you over with his gentle nature and sweet spirit. If you have enough time on your hands to give your Utonagan a lot of attention and exercise — you will be incredibly lucky to call them your dog!

Their loving temperament makes them the absolutely perfect family dog. Even though they are a larger breed, they still believe that they somehow lap dogs. And because they have a double coat and shed a lot there will be many dog hairs stuck on your clothes and furniture.

Facts and information about the Northern Inuit Dog

Due to their high need for exercise, they aren’t for people with busy lifestyles. They need good and long walks at the park with owners who understand their prey instincts and activity levels.
If they aren’t provided with enough exercise, they may become destructive and scared.

Additionally, keep your Utonagan in a well-fenced area. Because of their strong prey instincts, they might chase some small animals in your neighborhood.

Personality of the Utonagan

Even though they may seem a bit intimidating at first, trust us — they aren’t! These dogs are sweet, gentle, friendly, and affectionate. They will be wagging their tail at anyone who has a friendly attitude towards them. That’s why they don’t really make the best watchdogs or guard dogs.

They thrive on company and spending time with their family. Due to their pack mentality, they also do well with other pets in the house and get along with them fine.

But when it comes to training — you should start as early as possible. Utonagan puppies want to please you. Later on, they can be a bit more stubborn because of how smart they are.

While training, establish a firm and consistent leadership but make sure to give them a lot of treats and praise!

What are they like?

This dog is great with kids! Just like their parent breeds, these dogs are protective over their small humans. They absolutely adore children which makes them great playmates and family dogs.

They have a large amount of patience and tolerance, you shouldn’t worry about your kid ever getting hurt. But, just to be careful you should supervise them while playing.

Even though they might seem a bit scary to people who don’t know them, they are good around strangers. They might bark a bit but they will still be excited to meet anyone new. These dogs are naturally friendly and sociable, and they will be glad to make new friends. Either dog or human.

But, they aren’t aggressive at all. In fact, they are loving and friendly. Even though they might look fierce, these pups are absolute sweethearts! Make sure to make them feel loved and warm while growing up, and you will end up having the nicest and most lovable dog.

Health and life expectancy

Because Utonagan is a relatively rare and newer dog breed, we don’t know much about them. But, we do know some health issues and health problems of this mix.

These conditions include:

  • Cataracts – dogs develop cataracts in much the same way that humans do. It looks like a cloudy film on their eyes and it keeps light from entering. But why does that happen? Well, your dog’s eyes have water and proteins in them. When those proteins begin to clump together they form a cloud-like substanvce in your dog’s eye lens.
  • Epilepsy – the most common neurological disorder seen in dogs. It’s a condition that causes recurrent, unprovoked seizures resulting from an abnormality of the brain.
  • Addison’s Disease – the cause of this conditin is unknown, but it occurs when the adrenal glands fail to produce important hormones. Dogs with this condition experience bouts of gastroenteritis, poor appetite, slow loss of body condition, and can’t respond appropriately to stress.
  • Hip dysplasia – the most common hereditary condition among dogs. It results in the loosening of the hip joint, which causes dysfunction and pain. As the dog grows, the cartilage and bone of the hip begin to wear down.
  • Elbow dysplasia – another common hereditary condition in dogs. It occurs when the bones that make up the elbow joint don’t come together right. This leads to painful movement in the forelimb.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease – it’s the most common inherited bleeding disorder in humans and dogs! It is caused by a deficiency in the amount of a specific protein needed to help the blood cells used in clotting stick together. If that happens then a dog’s body can’t form clots to seal broken blood vessels.

It’s also important to mention that their average life expectancy is between 10 and 15 years.

Food and health

When talking about health we can’t forget that a part of a dog’s health is making sure they have a balanced diet. Good dog food will provide them with all the needed nutrients to keep them healthy.

But, who of us isn’t guilty of giving our dogs human food? I know it’s tempting to give your dog a bite of your food, but that can be bad for them if it’s the wrong food.

Because we love to give our dogs human food, you should also know which human food is safe and which is not.

You can learn more about human foods in our “Food category” or check out the following articles:

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.