The Northern Inuit Dog is an unrecognized crossbred dog that originated in the late 1980s, in an attempt to create a domestic dog breed more closely resembling the wolf. It is currently only recognized by its own independent breed club, but by no other major kennel clubs. The dog originates from crosses among German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and a variety of Inuit breeds. Although the original stock is Canadian in origin, the breed was developed in the UK.
The Northern Inuit Dog is of Medium build, athletic but never racy. Females should be between 23-28 inches (58–71 cm) tall and weigh around 55-84 pounds (25–38 kg), while males should be between 25-30 inches (58–81 cm) tall and weigh 79-110 pounds (36–48 kg). The dog should have a double coat and a straight tail - curly tails are considered a fault.
The Northern Inuit dog is known to have a friendly demeanor and rarely shows aggression. They are the most versatile of dogs, but they are not for the novice owner as they can be very stubborn and are very quick-witted. The owner of an Northern Inuit must show themselves to be the Alpha member of the pack or be prepared to be the underdog, and be taken advantage of. A firm hand is most definitely needed.
They are intelligent, independent dogs, which can make them more difficult to train than other, more biddable breed. They are not recommended for inexperienced owners. They are good with children, but as with all dogs should not be left alone with them. They are very loyal and pack-oriented, forming close bonds with their owner and family. Separation anxiety may arise when they are left alone and unsupervised too long, leading to destructive and sometimes self-mutilating behaviours. Training from the onset is a must for this breed. Often, they will do better with another dog for company. Socialization should begin early.
Some genetic problems have become apparent in Northern Inuit lines, such as hereditary cataracts, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy, all of which should be tested for prior to breeding by responsible breeders.
There are two stories regarding the history of the Northern Inuit Dog. In the late 1980s, the founder of the breed, Eddie Harrison, bred several mixed-breed rescue dogs of unknown origin or heritage with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and German Shepherds to produce the early Northern Inuit dogs. The breed's intent was to create a dog that closely resembled a wolf in appearance while possessing the gentler, more trainable character of the domesticated dog.
Over the years various groups have split from the original Northern Inuit Society to form their own breed groups. These have included The Inuit Dog Association, The British Timber dog, Anglo Wulfdog, The British Inuit Dog Club, and The Utonagan Society; the latter has also now splintered into different groups. None of these clubs have been accepted by larger organizations such as the British Kennel Club.