Canadian Eskimo Dog

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Pros Cons

  • frisky, vivacious and staunch

  • accepting of familiar dogs

  • outstanding guardian and alert watcher

  • excellent sled dog

  • can attack street cats

  • needs a great deal of physical activity

  • not a city dog


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a tenacious, powerful and intelligent all-purpose working breed that has been a loyal assistant and companion of the Canadian northern folks for over than 2000 years. It faced the danger of complete demise in the past century and it’s still reckoned to be a highly rare canine variety with less than 500 pure-blooded specimens left in existence. This dog isn’t suited for keeping in a warm climate or in families with small kids.

Photo: © ArcticIce kennel (


The progenitors of the Canadian Eskimo Dog were brought to Canada’s North during the resettlement of the Thule Inuit nearly 1100-1200 A.D. This canine was treasured for their versatility as it was utilised for transportation, dragging sleds and other similar tasks. It earned the fame in the role of a skilful hunter, which could easily found seal breathing holes. Additionally the Qimmiq (the Inuit word for «dog») defended humble dwellings and food supplies of its masters from attacks of such fierce animals as musk ox and polar bears.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog was indispensable part the Inuit’s mode of life and greatly assisted them in survival in these extremely challenging conditions. With its unsurpassed robustness, strength and unfailing loyalty to humans it was one of few breeds that were considered suitable for expeditions to Far North. So during the late XIX and the early XX centuries this dog actually visited both poles of the Earth. It can haul the burden, which is twice as heavy as its own weight, through the most inhospitable terrain and dirtiest weather.

In the 50s of the XX approximately 20 000 Canadian Eskimo Dogs existed in Canada’s Arctic Region. In the next decades the progress began penetrating into this area so the breed’s population declined very drastically. Gradually snowmobiles substituted dogs in the role of a common transport facility. Other canine varieties were imported to Canada’s north and introduced to these region new contagious diseases to which the Canadian Eskimo Dog didn’t have any immunity. So lots of its specimens either perished or were heavily interbred with these foreign dogs. By the beginning of the 70s the breed was in just one step from total extinction with 200 pure-blooded members in the far north of this country.

In 1972 a program was started to ensure the survival of the Canadian Eskimo Dog and restore its numbers. William Carpenter and John McGrath in cooperation with the Canadian Government and the Canadian Kennel Club established the Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation Kennel Club. The program scored first success in 1986 when the first breed member was admitted to the Canadian Kennel Club. Today the long-term future of this dog is still unclear although it has already found some fanciers in the role of a companion animal.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a primeval breed that has been a faithful human companion for the last 2 000 years. Its docility, great intelligence and affectionate nature make it an excellent choice for active families with older kids. Be aware though that it tends to practise very little tolerance to sometimes cruel pranks of small kids so it must never be left one-on-one with them. Make sure to exhibit your pet to various situations, people and sounds in a young age if you plan to keep it in a family environment.

The member of the Canadian Eskimo Dog always keeps a bright lookout in the company of unknown people. It usually makes a wonderful guard dog whose only presence can deter the most intruders from their ill intentions. Without early obedience training this dog can develop propensity to immoderate barking. But thanks to this innate habit it becomes a very effective watcher.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog adapts easily to co-existence with other dogs and usually perceives them as members of its pack. At the same time it can be belligerent towards strange canines especially if they dare to invade its territory. At the earliest opportunity this dog will bring its masters presents in the form of killed small animals and can easily finish off a neighbourly cat. Nonetheless this breed will be very courteous with those non-canine animals with which it was brought up since very young age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· hip dysplasia;

· gastric torsion;

· eye problems;

· heat intolerance;

· arthritis.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog requires rather modest amount of care. Its gorgeous coat gives this breed very imposing look but it should be brushed only once or twice a week to retain its natural beauty. In normal condition it blows its undercoat annually although in warmer climate it commonly switches over to two shedding periods (in spring and autumn).

Nail trimming should be performed at least every other month and the dog’s ears need weekly examination as well as periodic cleaning (if they look dirty). Bathe your pet maximum three-four times a year since too frequent bathing may deprive its fur and skin of the layer of protective oils.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a smart and very trainable breed as long as training sessions begin in its puppyhood. It shares wolf’s aspiration to live in a pack with strictly defined hierarchy and its human masters become for this dog the pack. Only early obedience training can guarantee that it will timely learn its inferior place in a packing order.

If the handler is able to deserve the dog’s trust he will teach it basic commands with trivial amount of efforts. Be mindful that the Canadian Eskimo Dog won’t put up with rude attitude and commonly responds to it with retaliatory aggression. It’s important to encourage curiosity of this dog exclusively with its favourite food and kind words.


As was to be expected, the Canadian Eskimo Dog should be provided with plentiful of outdoor exercises on the daily basis. A simple quick stroll will never satisfy its thirst for motion so it can’t be considered as an appropriate choice for a town dweller. Ideally this dog should always have a roomy well-fenced yard at its free disposal.

Anyway it will welcome any type of active pastime with its masters and will readily accompany them in hiking or bicyclic ride. If you treat your Canadian Eskimo Dog as a coach potato it will soon begin showing its disagreement with such a situation by becoming destructive and totally unruly indoors.