The Northern Inuit Dog: The Direwolf You Can Own

Few breeds are more breathtaking or striking than the Northern Inuit Dog. Although they are mistaken for wolfdogs, this canine has been carefully developed away from being a true wolf hybrid.

To the modern Northern Inuit Dog, wolves are a distant genetic memory. They should no longer appear in any genetic sequencing.

However, they have retained their wolfish appearance, while the Northern Inuit dog temperament is completely dog-like. This makes them loving companions and devoted family members.

Most famous for playing the young direwolves in HBO’s Game of Thrones, these dogs’ magnificent screen presence has landed them more than one role. A Northern Inuit named Dewey is also one of the leading stars of Outlander, playing Rollo.

Dewey is a sweet boy who works best with loads of positive reinforcement and squeaky toys. This is a prime example of the “mellow” and “low-key” type of dogs Outlander Executive Producer Mathew B. Roberts describes them as.

History of the Northern Inuit: Where Do They Come From?

The exact origins of the Northern Inuit dog are not perfectly clear, but they are interesting.

The Northern Inuit Society explains that these dogs were inspired by the Inuit people who were reported to mix their spitz-type dogs with wolves to create working dogs.

Some of these dogs made it to England in the 1980s. They appear to have been purebreds and mixed Arctic breeds such as the Canadian Eskimo Dog, Alaskan Malamute, Alusky, and Siberian Husky.

DNA tests have indicated some wolf ancestry in this foundational stock as well as Samoyed and the rare and protected Greenland Dog.

The puppies were then combined with local wolf-like breeds such as the German Shepherd and more Malamutes and Huskies to create the Northern Inuit we know today.

Over time, breeders of the Northern Inuit began to splinter off into separate groups, forming new breeds from Northern Inuit stock.

These offshoots are the British Timber Dog, The Utonagan, and the Tamaskan.

Nowadays, the Northern Inuit Society is working toward making them an established and recognized breed. Northern Inuits are only bred to each other now, with no outcrossing, and any remaining wolf genetics have basically disappeared.

This makes the Northern Inuit an incredibly wolf-like dog, but without the potential behavior or legal issues that sometimes exist in true wolfdogs like the Kugsha.

They are also gaining popularity fast. Official breeders of the Northern Inuit exist now in America, Europe, and even so far as South Africa!



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