Canadian Eskimo Dog
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|Date of Origin:
Canadian Eskimo Dog is an aboriginal breed of dog that has
gone through many name changes. As a breed, The Canadian Kennel
Club has, in the past, referred to the dog as the “Eskimo”,
“Exquimaux Husky”, “Esquimaux Dog”
and”Husky”. The Inuit of Arctic Canada called
this dog “Qimmiq”. The breed has an1100 to 2000
year history of being interdependent with the Thule culture
of Inuit (Eskimo people) who, following the Dorset culture,
occupied the coastal and Archipelago area of what is now Arctic
Canada. Although within the spitz family of dogs, the Canadian
Eskimo Dog’s origin prior to this is lost in the Inuit
prehistory which includes the migration of the Mongolian race
from the Asian continent to North America. The existing strain
of Canadian Eskimo Dog originated from stock primarily bred
by the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation in the Northwest Territories.
The foundation’s work over a six year period was primarily
funded by the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories
and involved the purchase of specimens from the remnant population
of dogs kept by the Inuit of the Boothia Peninsula, Melville
Peninsula and parts of Baffin Island. The Canadian Eskimo
Dog, as a primitive dog, is primarily a carnivorous breed,
whose natural diet consisted of seal, walrus, fish, or caribou.
For centuries this breed was used as a draught animal and
was capable of pulling between 45 and 80 kg per dog, covering
distances from 15 to 70 miles per day. He was also used as
a hunting dog, to locate seal breathing holes for Inuit hunters.
As a hunting dog he would also attack and hold at bay musk
ox and polar bear for the Inuit hunters. In summer the dog
was used as a pack dog carrying up to 15kg.
Official ANKC Breed Standard of the Canadian Eskimo Dog
Canadian Eskimo Dog is an aboriginal breed of dog that has gone
through many name changes. As a breed, The Canadian Kennel Club
has, in the past, referred to the dog as the “Eskimo”,
“Exquimaux Husky”, “Esquimaux Dog” and”Husky”.
The Inuit of Arctic Canada called this dog “Qimmiq”.
The breed has an1100 to 2000 year history of being interdependent
with the Thule culture of Inuit (Eskimo people) who, following
the Dorset culture, occupied the coastal and Archipelago area
of what is now Arctic Canada. Although within the spitz family
of dogs, the Canadian Eskimo Dog’s origin prior to this
is lost in the Inuit prehistory which includes the migration
of the Mongolian race from the Asian continent to North America.
The existing strain of Canadian Eskimo Dog originated from stock
primarily bred by the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation in the
Northwest Territories. The foundation’s work over a six
year period was primarily funded by the Governments of Canada
and the Northwest Territories and involved the purchase of specimens
from the remnant population of dogs kept by the Inuit of the
Boothia Peninsula, Melville Peninsula and parts of Baffin Island.
The Canadian Eskimo Dog, as a primitive dog, is primarily a
carnivorous breed, whose natural diet consisted of seal, walrus,
fish, or caribou. For centuries this breed was used as a draught
animal and was capable of pulling between 45 and 80 kg per dog,
covering distances from 15 to 70 miles per day. He was also
used as a hunting dog, to locate seal breathing holes for Inuit
hunters. As a hunting dog he would also attack and hold at bay
musk ox and polar bear for the Inuit hunters. In summer the
dog was used as a pack dog carrying up to 15kg.
Official ANKC Breed Standard of the Canadian Eskimo Dog
Central Asian Sheepdog needs daily mental and physical exertion.
It likes to run, but its exercise needs can also be met with
a good jog or a long walk on leash. It can live in all climates.
The Central Asian Sheepdog requires a large yard, the larger
the better, with a fence. They have a job to do (guarding).
Small living conditions can lead to boredom and thus digging
and chewing will be a problem. Even with lots of exercise these
dogs like to be outdoors watching over their territory. They
must have a securely fenced yard or they will expand their territory
as far as they can. Its coat needs only occasional brushing
to remove dead hair.
Official Breed Standard
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a powerfully built, moderately sized
dog with a thick neck and chest and medium length legs. Typical
of the spitz family of dogs he has a wedge shaped head held high
with erect ears. The eyes are obliquely set giving a serious appearance.
The dog has a bushy tail carried up or curled over the back. Of
almost equal height at the hips as at the withers, medium to large
boned and well muscled the dog displays a majestic and powerful
physique giving the impression that he is not built for speed but
rather for hard work.
During the winter the body is thickly clothed with an outer coat
of straight or erect hair, below is dense undercoat which enables
the animal to easily withstand the rigours of high latitudes. A
mane like growth of longer hair over the neck and shoulders will
appear on male specimens. The whole conformation of the Canadian
Eskimo Dog should be one of strength, power and endurance balanced
with agility, alertness and boldness. The female of the breed will
usually have a shorter coat than the male and will always be significantly
smaller than the males. As young bitches, they will be finer boned
giving among other things a narrower head which tends to produce
a friendlier looking face than with the males
Both males and females of the breed are known to have a rapid growth
rate reaching working size around seven months. However, the maturing
process extends to at least three years of age giving them a very
majestic appearance. Puppies have often been described as miniature
adults, with erect ears and a curly tail at the young ages between
three to five weeks. There may be occasional periods during adolescent
growth stages when the ears may not be fully erect, but it is important
to note that the ears of the Canadian Eskimo Dog do not have the
same gradual growth of becoming erect around four months of age
as is seen in some other breeds.
The natural voice is a howl, not a bark. When in a group the dogs
often give voice in a chorus of strangely woven tones and is one
of the thrilling sounds of the Arctic. A number of dogs will produce
a mass crescendo persisting for varying periods until as if cued
by a special note all will abruptly stop
The temperament of the Canadian Eskimo Dog should reflect the tough
hard-working breed that he is. He is not to be viewed as a domestic
pet but rather as a primitive dog originally domesticated by Inuit
for specific tasks in a harsh arctic environment. In general disposition,
the mature Canadian Eskimo Dog is gentle and affectionate with the
average individual, enjoying attention. Even with total strangers
the dogs are rarely standoffish.
Usually they will exhibit a rather quiet friendliness and harmless
curiosity or become completely distant. The dog is very pack oriented
and if raised in a group, dominant and subordinate roles will be
acted out under the leadership of a totally dominant or boss dog.
Behaviour within a group or pack is usually well structured and
controlled but it is not uncommon to see battle scars or torn ears
on dogs originating from kennel areas where the dogs are raised
in groups or packs.
Compared to modern domestic breeds, the Canadian Eskimo Dog has
almost over response to any stimulus whether it be food, work, fighting
or play. For this reason, the dog should be a companion for adults
and is not to be considered a child’s pet.
Head and Skull:
Overall the skull would be described as massive but well proportioned
being broad and wedge-shaped. Although often described as wolf-like
in appearance the head of the Canadian Eskimo Dog has a more elevated
forehead. Immature females will have a much narrower skull than
the male. The muzzle is tapered and of medium length.The pigmentation
of the nose will vary from black to light brown (especially on light
coloured dogs with red, buff or cinnamon on the body). Butterfly
noses have, on occasion, appeared with the light brown nose.
The eyes are generally dark coloured but hazel or yellow coloured
eyes will appear in the breed. They are small, wide spaced and placed
obliquely in the head, which tends to impart much more of a wild
and deceitful appearance than the dog deserves.
The ears are short, thick and have slightly rounded tips. They are
carried erect, turned forwards and are covered with dense short
hair. Width of the forehead between the ears on the males will be
from 13-15 cm (5-6 inches). On females the distance will be from
11-14 cm (four and a half to five and a half inches).
The jaws are heavy and powerful, possessing large teeth with well-developed
canine teeth. The incisors meet in a scissor bite. The teeth are
perfectly adapted for the dog’s instinctive approach to ripping
and tearing his meat or fish. The lips are black or brown with pink.
The neck is short, straight, thick and very muscular.
The dog has broad shoulders obliquely set with moderate muscling.
The forelegs are straight but may give the appearance of being bowed
because of the well developed triceps muscle above and behind the
elbow and the pronounced muscle on the forearm itself.
The body should further accentuate the over-all power and endurance
of the dog through a deep, wide and well muscled chest to a well
developed loin. There is very little curve to the flank. Interestingly,
the spinal column when felt through the furred body is well pronounced.
Above all the body should be muscled and not fat. The skin of the
dog should feel thick and tough. Females will have a smaller and
less muscled body than the males.
The hips may appear as pronounced and bony as the spine, and are
about the same height as the withers. The legs will be very muscular
with the width of the thigh being carried well down towards the
hock. The stifles are well bent. From the rear the legs will appear
straight with the hocks turning neither in nor out.
The feet are large, nearly round, well arched with thick pads being
well furred between. However, under extremely cold winter conditions,
this fur will grow to be very long so as to cover the bottom of
the pads. The hind feet are similar in design to the front but slightly
The tail is large and bushy and generally carried up or curled over
the back. Mature bitches may on occasion carry the tail down.
The working gait of this dog is a powerful and brisk trot with the
rear legs moving in line with the front legs in the force motion
but showing some abduction during the forward movement of the stride.
This may be especially pronounced in mature male dogs with many
miles in harness. This gait may appear awkward to the untrained
eye but is a result of a wide stance caused by well-developed thighs.
This particular gait is a well-balanced efficient stride for heavy
pulling day after day. The movement of the dog should in no way
appear as a choppy or paddling motion. The females are much faster
and free in movement than the heavier males and are capable of breaking
stride from the natural trot and running or galloping for much longer
distances than the males.
Subject to an annual moult the coat is thick and dense with guard
hairs being hard and stiff. The outer coat will vary from 7-15 cm
(3-6 inches) in length. In males it will occur in a mane-like growth
over the shoulder and neck making the male appear much larger in
size and taller at the withers than he actually is. The undercoat
is very dense to give excellent protection during the most extreme
winter conditions. During the moult the undercoat will come loose
in clumps over a period of a few days. Females will usually have
a shorter coat overall, partially because of the additional moult
that will occur following the birth of pups.
No one colour or colour pattern should dominate the breed with the
colour and colour patterns of the Canadian Eskimo Dog ranging from:
(a) An all white body with pigmentation around the eyes, nose
and lips (eg. not albino}.
(b) White body with only the smallest amount of red, buff (including
cinnamon shades), grey or black around the ears.
(c) White bodies with either red, buff, cinnamon, grey, or black
head marks around ears and eyes or the entire head and the occasional
small patch of the same colour on the body usually around the
hip or flank.
(d) Red and white, or buff and white, or cinnamon and white or
black and white with about 50/50 distribution of the two colours,
on various parts of the body.
(e) Red body or buff body or cinnamon body with white on the chest
or legs and underside of the body.
(f) Sable or black body or dark grey body with white on chest
and/or legs and underside of the body occasionally extending around
part of the neck in a collar-like fashion.
(g) Silver grey or greyish white body.
(h) Buff to brown undercoat with black guard hairs.
Very common to dogs with solid colour to most of the head is a mask-like
shading of white around the eyes and/or muzzle with or without white
spots over the eyes. On very rare occasions the spots over the eyes
as well as the cheek-marks will be buff coloured adding a third
colour to a normally two-coloured animal.
Dogs Height at withers 58-70 cm (23 to 27 ½ inches).
Weight 30-40 kg (66-88 lb)
Bitches Height at withers 50-60 cm (19 ½ to 23 ½ inches)
Weight 18-30 kg (40-66 lb)
Note: The height at the hips should be approximately
the same as that at the withers. Weight should be taken with animals
in working condition
· Head: Square muzzle or loose lips, round or bulging
· Legs: Thin, fine boned or cow hocked.
· Neck: Long and thin
· Coat: Short, off prime.
· Body: Narrow chest, over-all lack of muscle, excess fat,
coarseness or lack of finer bones in bitches.
· Feet: Flat or open.
Very Serious faults:
· Blue eyes.
· Dewclaws on rear legs.
· Floppy ears, the exception being battle torn ears.
· Clipping or altering the coat by scissoring.
· No evidence at all of a curled or upright tail in male
dogs (recognising that a tail may occasionally be kept down as
a sign of subordination or stress).
· Excessive undershot or overshot jaw.
NB Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum