About the Canadian Eskimo Dog
AKA the Canadian Inuit Dog or the Canadian Husky Dog.
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is an Arctic breed of working dog which is often considered to be one of North America’s oldest and rarest remaining purebred indigenous domestic canines. Driven to near extinction in the 1950s-1970s, the breed was saved through the efforts of Brian Ladoon and the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation using traditional arctic methods, preserving their historical quality and breed integrity.
Formed in 1976 by Brian, the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation was established to preserve and better understand the Canadian Eskimo Dog (CED) breed. The Foundation has now grown into one of the world’s largest CED breeding kennels.
They are working dogsspecifically bred to survive harsh arctic conditions and are often kept outside. The thick double coat of Eskimo Dogs consist of a dense, air-trapping under layer of soft fuzz with a long outer layer of barrier hair. This type of coat is extremely effective at blocking severe winds.
They have very small ears, smaller eyes and overall smaller features than a southern-bred dog, which helps prevent frostbite with less surface area from which heat can escape. Their body proportions allow them to curl up into a little ball, which preserves body heat while their big, furry tails blanket their nose and paws. When snow piles over them in this position, it builds a little igloo around them which acts as an insulator to keep them even warmer. The worst danger for these dogs is getting wet and in those cases, Brian brings them in until they are dry.
In southern climates they actually tend to overheat, and will spend the summer months in discomfort in their winter parka-type coats. Keeping them safe from overheating can be a challenge for owners.
They are a very active breed, and would not enjoy being cooped up in a house all day – it is not uncommon for safety reasons in the north to keep Eskimo sled dogs in chains. Bred to work as a team, they enjoy the companionship of their pack and are fiercely loyal to their team.
Relationship with polar bears:
The Canadian Eskimo breed historically has been used to hunt polar bears and alarm people to exploring polar bears. By law, polar bear hunting in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut must be conducted q with a dog team. The requirement is partly for safety reasons; the working dog can better sense when a polar bear is around, whereas the sound of a snowmobile motor masks any sign of a polar bear.
Occasionally, a gentler Eskimo Dog will meet an equally gentle polar bear, and a friendship can develop. Interspecies bonding is not unusual in the animal world, and these situations can happen. However, most take a more aggressively defensive stance with the bears.
To learn more about the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation and their conservation efforts, visit their website here: