About Northern Inuits

The History of the Northern Inuit Dog

Mahlek Call of the Wild a.k.a Kyle

This is one of the founder stud dogs, Mahlek Call of the Wild, pet name Kyle, owned and bred by Julie Kelham, founder breeder of the Northern Inuit. This picture was taken when Kyle was 16 years old, shortly before his death in 2003.

The Northern Inuit dog was created in the UK some 20 years ago, using northern breeds, i.e. the Malamute and Husky, adding the GSD for trainability. Since then, the N.I. has come along way and is gaining in popularity at an alarming rate. Where once we were always asked when walking our dogs 'is that a husky', sometimes people actually recognise the breed in its own right.

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, i.e. a willingness to work and to please.

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 flyball, as well as their original job of pulling sleds.

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.

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.

The N.I. is a wolf look-a-like, and is totally non aggressive. 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 Alpha member of the pack or be prepared to be the underdog. A firm hand is most definitly needed, however the plusses far outweigh the cons of owning an N.I. as they are a joy to live with and attract attention where ever they go.

Nice gardens dont 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 and concrete!

Some N.I., 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. As their prey drive is quite high, caution should be taken at all times when out near sheep, cattle or horses.

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. e.g. arms and hands, and can easily knock a child down.

The Northern Inuit dog is also non-dog aggressive and will usually submit when challenged. They don't like to be left alone and can often suffer seperation anxiety, which can lead to destruction of anything in the immediate vicinity, such as chairs, doors, table legs, etc. 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 as the N.I. is a very sociable animal and loves the company of people or other dogs.

Adapted from "In The Beginning" on the Northern Inuit Society web site.

Northern Inuit Breed Standards (as of 25th July 2010)

General Appearnace
A dog of medium build, athletic but not racy.

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.

Fairly wide apart but not low set. Not too large, carried erect.

Oval and set at a slightly oblique angle. Any Colour permitted.

Strong and muscular with a well defined nape.

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.

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 in movement.

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.

Dense, waterproof double coat, slightly coarse in texture. Body coat 3 – 5 cm. Longer on ruff and breechings. Tail bushy.

Far reaching, covering the ground with an easy stride.

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 gradual.

Friendly, placid and out going
Note: Males should have two apparently normal testicles descended into the scrotum.

Breed 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.

Taken from the official Northern Inuit Society Breed Standard.