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Eskimo Dogs from Canada – What Are They? – Find Out!

canadian eskimo dogs

Eskimo Dogs from Canada – What Are They? – Find Out!


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is one of just five breeds unique to Canada, and it is renowned for its strength, stamina, and ability to survive harsh weather.

Despite being on the verge of extinction, this unique Arctic breed survives due to conservation efforts to save its populations.

Important Facts About the Dog.

  • Weight range: 40–105 lbs.
  • Height range: from 20 to 28 inches.
  • The expected lifespan: is 10 – 15 years.
  • Asian and Oceanian breeds are included in this category.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a specialized working breed rather than a typical everyday companion. It is bred to pull loads of up to 80kg over long distances of over 70 miles per day in difficult Arctic conditions.

They prefer to live in a friendly group of people and dogs, and they prefer things to be cold! The normal pet dog owner will have difficulty providing a lifestyle that will allow the Canadian Eskimo dog to thrive.

A disruptive, loud, and unhappy dog will result if you attempt to do so without being willing to lead a significantly different lifestyle. In a group with enough activity, the Canadian Eskimo, on the other hand, is friendly, playful, and curious about everything.

The History of the Canadian Eskimo Dog

Origins and Early History

The Canadian Eskimo Dog, also known as the Qimmiq in Inuktitut, is one of the oldest and rarest indigenous domestic dog breeds in North America. Their history is tightly interwoven with the Inuit people, dating back up to 4,000 years ago.

canadian eskimo dogs

Archaeological evidence from bones and art objects reveals that these dogs have been present in the Arctic regions for thousands of years, being integral to the survival of the Inuit people.

The dogs served various practical roles for the Inuit people. They were primarily used for transportation, pulling sleds over vast icy terrains, but they also assisted in hunting and provided warmth during harsh Arctic nights.

European Contact and Change

The arrival of European explorers, traders, and whalers in the Arctic during the 19th and 20th centuries significantly impacted the breed. The dogs were highly valued for their strength and endurance and were often used in polar expeditions.

However, the introduction of new technologies and the encroachment of southern dog breeds into the Arctic threatened the existence of purebred Canadian Eskimo Dogs.

Snowmobiles began to replace sled dogs for transportation, reducing the need for these sturdy canines.

Decline and Near Extinction

In the mid-20th century, the Canadian Eskimo Dog-faced a rapid and dramatic population decline. A tragic and controversial part of their history involves the alleged mass culling of dogs by the Canadian government during the 1950s and 1960s.

While the reasons are disputed, it’s widely accepted that these actions brought the breed to the brink of extinction.

Revival Efforts

In the late 1970s, recognizing the precipitous drop in the Canadian Eskimo Dog population, Brian Ladoon and William Carpenter initiated efforts to revive the breed.

They started breeding programs in Churchill, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories, aiming to increase the number of pure Canadian Eskimo Dogs.

Present Day

As of now, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is still considered a rare breed. There are fewer than a few hundred dogs registered as purebreds.

However, thanks to the continued efforts of dedicated breeders and recognition by kennel clubs, the breed’s population is slowly growing.

Preserving the Canadian Eskimo Dog is not just about maintaining a dog breed but also about preserving a crucial part of Inuit culture and history. As we move forward, it’s essential to continue efforts to protect and revitalize this remarkable breed.

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Characteristics of the Canadian Eskimo Dog

Appearance in General.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog, like other Arctic dogs, has long, thick fur and a strong undercoat in other to keep him warm and protected from the elements during the harsh winter months. In addition, the breed has a robust, medium-sized frame.

canadian eskimo dogs

Coating and coloring are two different things.

White, red, buff, cinnamon, grey, black, and sable are just a few of the hues available in Canadian Eskimo Dogs breeding. Their fur may grow up to six inches in length and is available in various colors and patterns.

Physical traits that make the dog stand out.

Canadian Eskimo Dogs are distinguished by their distinctive face masks and wolf-like look. On the other hand, Males have longer hair around their neck and shoulders, which resembles a mane.

The Temperament of the Canadian Eskimo Dog

Despite their adorable and cuddly appearance, Canadian Eskimo Dogs are not well-suited for living in a home environment. Working dogs, raised to accomplish tough jobs in adverse surroundings, are happiest when given a task to complete.

Having said that, when properly exercised, Canadian Eskimo Dogs can be relaxed, affectionate, and friendly.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a pack-oriented breed that frequently overreacts to stimuli such as food and toys, making it an unsuitable companion for families with children.

Because of their hunting dog heritage, Canadian Eskimo Dogs have strong predatory instincts, making them less friendly with other pets than other breeds of dogs.

Strengthening leadership and establishing a well-established pack order is crucial in multi-dog families. The Canadian Eskimo breed dogs tend to guard valuable resources such as food and toys.

You must establish strict guidelines from the beginning and socialize with your puppy in order to prevent undesired tendencies.

Canadian Eskimo Dogs are also known to be loud and obnoxious. Instead of barking, they wail, making them less ideal for apartment living situations.

The history of this breed could be traced back to the Arctic. The Canadian Eskimo breed dogs thrive in sub-zero temperatures and do not do well in milder climes.

Care for Eskimo Dogs in Canada


In order to maintain their high energy levels, Canadian Eskimo Dogs require high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate, whether it is purchased commercially or cooked at home (with the supervision and agreement of your veterinarian).

The Canadian Eskimo, for example, is a huge breed dog that, in addition to having a large appetite, requires a different mix of nutrients, including minerals and vitamins, than smaller-bred dogs.

With our simple-to-follow guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about feeding your dog a healthy diet.

Historically, they’ve subsisted on a diet of walrus, seal, caribou, and other seafood. This breed is well-known for its ability to work hard while receiving very little nutrition. As a result, Canadian Eskimo Dogs are not known to overindulge.

Although it is vital to check the amount of food you give your dog, it is also important to lower portions or restrict calories if they become overweight. In addition, keep in mind that providing too many treats and normal meals can contribute to obesity in some people.


The Canadian Eskimo’s warm, weatherproof coat comprises a thick undercoat and a topcoat that is 8-15cm long, providing excellent insulation.

Male dogs have thicker, longer hair (a mane) around the neck and shoulders, which helps to distinguish them from female dogs.

Brushing the coat should be done twice a week, but daily brushing will be required if the coat is shedding excessively. In general, combing your Canadian Eskimo Dog’s thick coat once a week will assist in keeping it looking its best.

However, this breed necessitates special brushing throughout the late summer months to encourage the shedding of the thick undercoat. A coat rake and matted fur can aid in this process (leading to skin problems).

Canadian Eskimo Dogs, like all dogs, require regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care, which includes at-home tooth brushing and annual professional dental cleanings, among other things.


Originally designed to pull heavy goods over long distances, Canadian Eskimo Dogs can regularly travel up to 40 kilometers per day. Consequently, it should be no surprise that kids need to engage in frequent physical activity.

Furthermore, a simple walk around the block is insufficient. This breed requires a lot of outdoor exercise and plenty of space to frolic.

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Even if they are successful in obtaining it, Canadian Eskimo Dogs may seek methods to escape and run free. As a result, a high, partially buried fence is essential for preventing climbing and digging from occurring.

It is recommended that this breed receives two hours of dog activity every day at the very least, and you cannot rely on physical exercise to exhaust this breed.

Besides training, problem-solving, and playing dog games with his or her owner, the Canadian Eskimo dog is ideally suited for someone who appreciates northern breed dog sports such as Cani-x, Bikejoring, sledding, or anything similar.

In order to avoid overheating in hot weather, you’ll need to give enough cool space and be willing to exercise very early in the morning and very late in the evening.

Requirements for space

However, while the Canadian Eskimo Dog does not require a large living space, they will thrive in a house with other Canadian Eskimo dogs, and a large home with numerous dogs is recommended.

This high-shedding breed does not tolerate high temperatures, whether they come from the sun or your central heating.

In order to participate in sledding or running activities, property owners should be prepared to leave the heating off for the majority of the year, keep the doors open all year, and have a large and extremely well-fenced garden.

Owners should also have access to various walking routes and suitable sporting clubs. Not ideal for city living or a hectic metropolitan lifestyle.

Health Issues and Other Common Concerns

This dog breed is typically healthy, with only a few breed-specific health issues to contend with.

Eskimo dogs, often referred to as “Canadian Eskimo Dogs” or “Inuit Sled Dogs,” are an Arctic breed with a long history of being used for work by the native Inuit people.

They are well-adapted to harsh, cold environments, but they also face various health issues and concerns common to the breed.

1. Hip Dysplasia: This is a common issue in many large dog breeds, including Eskimo dogs. It is a condition in which the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly, leading to pain and potential mobility issues as the dog ages. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition, but severe cases may require surgical intervention.

2. Eye Problems: Canadian Eskimo Dogs are prone to various eye issues like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and cataracts. These conditions may cause impaired vision or even blindness in severe cases.

3. Obesity: As with all dog breeds, obesity can be a significant health concern for Canadian Eskimo Dogs. They are traditionally working dogs with high energy levels, so they need a lot of exercise. Without it, they can easily gain weight, which can lead to other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems.

4. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): This is a serious condition that can affect deep-chested breeds like the Canadian Eskimo Dog. Also known as “bloat,” GDV happens when the dog’s stomach twists, trapping air and gases. This condition is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention.

5. Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, leading to problems such as weight gain, lethargy, skin conditions, and other health issues.

6. Exercise-induced Collapse (EIC): Some Canadian Eskimo Dogs can develop this condition, characterized by muscle weakness, loss of coordination, and life-threatening collapse after intense exercise.

7. Dental Disease: Eskimo dogs are prone to dental diseases like periodontitis, which can lead to bad breath, pain, tooth loss, and can affect the dog’s overall health.

Apart from these health issues, there are other concerns associated with Eskimo dogs. For instance, due to their history as working dogs, they have high energy levels and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Without it, they can become bored and potentially destructive. They can also be somewhat challenging to train and may be aggressive towards other dogs.

Canadian Eskimo Dogs also have a thick double coat, which requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep the dog comfortable. The breed is also susceptible to heat, so they need a cool environment during hot weather.

Furthermore, the Canadian Eskimo Dog breed is currently endangered, with a dwindling population. Efforts are ongoing to revive the breed, but prospective owners should be aware of the responsibilities of owning such a dog.

Before getting a Canadian Eskimo Dog, it’s essential to do thorough research and ensure that you can meet their specific needs and requirements. Regular veterinary check-ups are also vital to catch any potential health issues early.

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Educating and Training Canadian Eskimo Dogs

Canadian Eskimo Dogs are known for their intelligence, endurance, and independence. As these dogs were originally bred to work and survive in harsh Arctic conditions, they can be both challenging and rewarding to train. Here are some guidelines for educating and training this breed.

Socialization: Like all dogs, Canadian Eskimo Dogs need early and continuous socialization to become well-rounded pets. This includes exposing the dog to a wide variety of people, places, sounds, and experiences when they’re young. Positive early experiences help them to grow up to be sociable, friendly, and confident.

Positive Reinforcement: Canadian Eskimo Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. This involves rewarding the behaviors you like and ignoring or redirecting the behaviors you don’t. Rewards can include treats, toys, praise, or a combination of these.

Consistency: Consistency is key in dog training. Make sure all family members use the same commands and reward system. Changing the rules can confuse your dog and hinder progress.

Patience: Canadian Eskimo Dogs are independent and sometimes stubborn, so patience is crucial when training. Not all training days will go smoothly, but with patience and persistence, progress will be made.

Exercise: Eskimo Dogs have high energy levels due to their history as working dogs. Regular exercise helps keep them calm and more focused during training. This breed would greatly enjoy activities such as hiking, jogging, playing fetch, or participating in dog sports like agility or obedience competitions.

Mental Stimulation: These dogs are not only physically active but also mentally sharp. They need activities that stimulate their minds. This can include puzzle toys, advanced obedience training, and jobs or tasks around the house.

Boundary Setting: Being firm and setting boundaries from a young age is vital with this breed. Canadian Eskimo Dogs can become dominant if not correctly managed. However, always ensure that your dog knows that they are loved and appreciated.

Leash Training: These dogs have a high prey drive and may not do well off-leash. Leash training from a young age is important to ensure they are safe and well-behaved during walks.

House Training: Like any breed, Canadian Eskimo Dogs need to be house-trained. This process involves teaching your dog to eliminate outside or in a designated indoor area. Praise your dog immediately and enthusiastically when they go to the right place.

Training a Canadian Eskimo Dog can certainly be a challenge, but with the right approach and plenty of patience, you can raise a well-behaved and loyal companion.

Keep in mind that every dog is an individual, and what works for one may not work for another. If you are struggling with training, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Breeds of Dogs that Make Excellent Family Pets

With adequate exercise and instruction, the Canadian Eskimo dog may coexist peacefully with children and with other dogs if raised alongside them.

However, due to the amount of hair shedding and the amount of time required to teach and exercise these dogs, they will most likely be unsuitable for households with very young children or many other time-consuming obligations.

This is not a breed that you should be left alone at home, even if they have access to daycare and dog walkers. They are sociable to the point of being annoying and require constant company.

The time it takes you to deliver children to school can be used to demolish a three-piece suit by an Eskimo Dog who is lonely or bored.

While many dogs are typically seen as being good with children, all dogs and children must be educated to get along with one another and be safe when they are in the same environment.

Despite this, dogs and small children should never be left alone together, and parents should monitor any interactions between the two groups of people.

What You Need To Know!

The Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Greenland dog, according to a DNA study conducted in 2015, are genetically the same and separate from the very similar-looking Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes, according to the same study.

Molecular analysis revealed that the maternal mitochondrial DNA sequences belonged to haplotype A31, which implies that they came from the same female ancestor.

There are no other modern canines with this haplotype; the closest match was identified in the remains of a dog from Florida that was more than 1000 years old.

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