Canadian Eskimo Dog
The almost forgotten fifth polardog
FCI N°211 Group 5/Section 1
ANCIENT HISTORY The Canadian Eskimo Dog is an ancient breed of dog whose history is strictly related to the Inuit people. The Inuit are one of the main groups of the Eskimo people inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Russia (Siberia) and the United States (Alaska). The roots of the Inuit dog date back 4,000 years, with the paleoinuit culture. From 4000 BP to 800 BP different Inuit cultures developed: Independence I, Pre-Dorset, Independence II and Dorset. The Thule Civilization, following the Dorset culture, occupied the coastal and archipelago area of what is now Arctic Canada. Accompanied by their dogs, the Thule people crossed the Bering Strait in continuous waves of migration between 1100 BP and 900 BP. These dogs are extremely versatile and the perfect companions for the Inuit for packing, transportation, hunting and protecting against polar bears. The first identification of sled runners and harness parts was identified with the Thule culture of about 800 BP, indicating that up until that time, these dogs were used more as hunting partners than sled haulers.
RECENT HISTORY In 1920 the population of inuit dogs was estimated at 20,000 members. Around 1950, with the introduction of snowmobiles and more modern technologies, this breed started to decline and by 1970 just around 200 pure specimens were left. To save this breed, the Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation was established in 1972. 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 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 first dogs from this project were born in 1986 and registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. A new counting done in 2017 showed nearly 400 individuals worldwide. In the end of 2018 FCI decided to rerecognize the Canadian Eskimo dog as a own race and pure breed dog in Europe, classified as sled dogs & working breed, FCI N°211 Group 5/Section 1.
OUR HISTORY My first contact with a Canadian Eskimo dog was in September 2015. By hazard I saw a video on the internet. I was fascinated from the very first moment I saw this amazing breed but at that time of the 21st century there was very little information about this bred found. Luckily I got in touch with Canadian people which tried to save the race from the very first moment and had access to descendants of foundation dogs as well as origin dogs from the Northwestern territories. Since then many things changed! After my first visit in Canada in spring 2016 I came back with two four months old Canadian Eskimo dog puppies, the very first ever imported to Austria. It was the beginning of an emotional journey. Owning CEDs brought me in touch with Canadian history, the Inuit culture, different definitions of purity and primitive aboriginal dog breeding and a totally new way of thinking of dog packs. Today we are the first working and breeding kennel of Canadian Eskimo dogs in Sweden and own a whole sled dog team of more than 18 Canadian Eskimo dogs. 2019 the first litter of Canadian Eskimo dogs in Scandinavia will be born. And the journey will be continued...