Canadian Eskimo Dog

Canadian Eskimo Dog picture


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is considered to be North America’s oldest purebred indigenous dog. It is known to have been resident in the Arctic for 4000 years and was breed by the Thule people who have been resident of Alaska since 500AD. It was and still is used as a dual purpose dog, often being put to work hunting seals or hauling supplies and people.

In the 1800s and 1900s they were in great demand for Polar expeditions, but due to snowmobiles and the introduction of non-indigenous dogs bring viruses and diseases the population fell from 20,000 in the 1920s to being virtually extinct. The Canadian Government funded a breeding and research programme in 1972. Though the Canadian Eskimo Dog is still a rare breed, it is slowly growing in strength and popularity – particularly in the show ring and with working sled dog teams.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog has a zest for life, they have a gentle disposition, are alert and very intelligent. To the outdoor- minded person, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is a good companion. Whether it be backpacking or sledding. He is quite easy to train and once commands are mastered, they are not forgotten. In spite of their ruggedness, strength and stamina, they are playful and gentle and submissive generally. They need plenty of exercise, at least 2 long walks a day and enjoy bike bjorking, carting, mushing, back packing and caniX. However they are not the dog for a first time dog owner.


The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a fairly robust, healthy dog. Like many other breeds, hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy can be an issue and breeding stock should be tested prior to breeding. Other health issues found within the spitz breeds are canine epilepsy, juvenile cataracts and monorchidism.