Tracing their origin back to over 4,000 years ago, the Canadian Eskimo Dog was a prized possession of the Inuit, indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic region of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. This hardy breed was developed to pull heavy sleds and also participated in hunting large game. Renowned for being able to travel long distances, the Canadian Eskimo Dog, called "Qimmiq" by the Inuit, was kept more as an all-purpose working dog than they were as household pets. Over the decades, the breed's numbers have declined severely due to the increased use of technology and snowmobiles for travel. Starting in the 1970s, Canadian Eskimo Dog breed enthusiasts, the Canadian Council, and many others have worked to save these hard-working sled dogs from extinction.
With a thick neck, strong legs, and well-muscled body, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is a powerfully-built Arctic breed that gives the impression of vitality and seriousness. Although not built for speed, these sled dogs are known for their strength and ability to work hard. Similar to many Northern breeds like the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, they have a coarse and water-resistant topcoat over a dense and wooly undercoat which allows them to withstand extremely cold conditions in high altitudes. Canadian Eskimo Dogs, like their Spitz-family counterparts, are widely recognized for their wedge-shaped head and erect ears, while their eyes and facial markings give them a serious expression. Another known characteristic of the breed would be their large, bushy tail that curls over on itself to sit on the lower back.
Tough and hard-working, the Canadian Eskimo's temperament should reflect that of a responsive, all-purpose sled dog and are not commonly seen as household pets but were domesticated by the Inuit to perform tasks in extreme conditions. Today, however, they are becoming more acceptable companions with a gentle and affectionate demeanor towards the ones they are familiar with while being curious and rather friendly to strangers. The breed is not known to be a nuisance barker but can be very vocal with entertaining howls and "woo-woo" sounds like many Northern breeds. Canadian Eskimo Dogs are known to be intelligent and trainable as long as they have a consistent owner who can show authority over a pack-orientated breed. Although these fairly submissive dogs can get along just fine with other dogs, they can exhibit dominant behavior to determine leadership and are not considered to be a child's pet. A great capacity for loyalty, Canadian Eskimos form extremely strong bonds with their owner, listening to every command given to them with proper obedience training. As a responsible owner, these fluffy, double-coated dogs should be paid close attention to when outdoors in hot weather and should have access to shade or air conditioning. If you are looking for a tough and active breed that will always be by your side, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is the breed for you!