Northern Inuit

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55-84 lbs
23-28"
United Kingdom
NI Dog
While there is a vast expanse of dog breeds, recognized or not, there are very few that actually reflect their potential ancient lineage as much as the Northern Inuit Dog and its wolf-life appearance. In fact, the likeness is so convincing, this breed was even used to portray several Dire Wolves in the hit series Game of Thrones, which has also influenced their recent popularity. Despite the resemblance, Northern Inuit Dogs are actually quite friendly, easy-going, affectionate, and are rarely aggressive but like their pack-traveling ancestors, appreciate being part of a family in any capacity, whether human, canine, or both and may develop separation anxiety if left alone too long. Overall, they are very even-tempered, and generally do well with other dogs, children, and even strangers and will opt to be aloof over anything else if they're uncomfortable, but as with any breed, should be thoroughly trained and socialized to maximize their positive behavior. They are known to be a highly intelligent breed and are a bit strong-willed, so they are not ideal for inexperienced owners as they need a firm hand and consistent direction to keep them from becoming stubborn or trying to assert themselves as the alpha by ignoring commands. Because of their size, they do best in a larger home, preferably with a fenced yard, but are adaptive enough to join an active family in a smaller living space.
Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
1980s
Ancestry
Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd

Northern Inuit Health

Average Size
Male Northern Inuit size stats
Height: 23-32 inches Weight: 79-110 lbs
Female Northern Inuit size stats
Height: 23-28 inches Weight: 55-84 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Epilepsy
  • Cryptorchidism
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Blood Tests

Northern Inuit Breed History

While many believe this breed is long descended from wolves, which is reasonable given their appearance, the only well documented evidence seems to support that this breed was largely developed between the 1970s and 1980s with the aim of creating a strong, endurant dog with a good overall temperament and a distinct wolf-like appearance. While two separate story lines seem to cloud the truth behind their origin, what does seem to be most often confirmed is that the breed was the result of crossbreeding Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds, although there is also evidence that Siberian Huskies, Canadian Eskimo Dogs and Labrador Huskies also may have had some influence. Regardless of speculation, the breed has been on the rise in popularity in recent years, partially due to the word-of-mouth and well-documented response to them as family pets overall and partially because of shows like Game of Thrones, who featured them as actors, portraying the Stark family's faithful Dire Wolves. They are currently unrecognized by any major Kennel Club but are recognized by their own specific breed clubs that have spread to several countries in the last decade alone.

Northern Inuit Breed Appearance

Northern Inuit Dogs are a large breed, standing up to 32 inches tall and weighing over 100 pounds. They are built with a trim, lanky frame that still possesses a fair amount of muscle, but not to the point of being overt or bulky. Like everywhere else, their faces are incredibly wolf-like, with a relatively trim skull width that is widened in appearance by additional hair and a long, narrow muzzle capped with a black nose. Their ears are tall and pricked and their eyes are oval in shape and come in every color. They have relatively long legs, a deep yet somewhat narrow chest, a straight back with a slight curve over the hindquarters, and well-muscled legs, especially in the back. Their tails are long and bushy with a good amount of hair and are usually low-kept. Their coats are highly wolf-like as well, being relatively long and dense with a thicker, softer undercoat and come in a wide variety of colors including pure black, pure white, gray, sable, and fawn.
Eye Color Possibilities
blue Northern Inuit eyes
Blue
hazel Northern Inuit eyes
Hazel
brown Northern Inuit eyes
Brown
amber Northern Inuit eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Northern Inuit nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
sable Northern Inuit coat
Sable
white Northern Inuit coat
White
fawn Northern Inuit coat
Fawn
gray Northern Inuit coat
Gray
black Northern Inuit coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Northern Inuit straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Northern Inuit Breed Maintenance

Although they have longer coats and are average shedders, Northern Inuit Dogs are considered a fairly low maintenance breed. They need to be brushed only  2 to 3 times a week with a slicker brush and a deshedder for their undercoat to keep their coats clean and healthy. They keep themselves clean on their own regularly and rarely need a bath unless they get into something foul smelling. If they are exercised with regularity, their nails should wear down mostly on their own, but should still be checked frequently and trimmed when necessary to prevent cracking or breaking. Their teeth should also be brushed at least once a week to help maintain good oral health.
Brushes for Northern Inuit
Slicker Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Northern Inuit requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Northern Inuit Temperament

Northern Inuit dogs are affectionate and friendly dogs and appreciate being part of a family or pack, although they do have a tendency to develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They have been described as spirited and mischievous, which can be ultimately fun when incorporated into positive behavior, but along with potential separation anxiety, can also cause them to become destructive. They are considered good with people inherently, being patient with kids and very easy-going with their families, but especially with strangers, may become aloof if they are uncomfortable. They are a highly intelligent breed, which makes them quite responsive once they've been trained, but the training process itself can be an uphill battle, as they still retain some of their ancestors' strong-willed nature, so they'll need a firm, consistent owner to give them orders to get the best behavior out of them. Since their exercise requirements are generally not as high as other dogs of a similar size, it's easier to tire them out and thus generate more good behavior instead of what most owners see when their dogs have pent up energy. This also makes them a bit more adaptive than other large dogs, meaning they will be more suitable for smaller living spaces as long as they have a semi-active owner or family.

Northern Inuit Activity Requirements

Unlike many other dogs of their size, Northern Inuit Dogs do not require an excessive amount of exercise and are generally considered only medium energy level dogs. While they do appreciate having a place to run such as a large fenced yard or dog park, they will be satisfied with two medium walks/runs or one longer walk or run a day, supplemented by around 45 minutes of other playtime. Because of their high intelligence, playing games that stimulate them mentally as well as physically will go a long way in promoting positive behavior.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Northern Inuit Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $2
Monthly Cost
$45 - $60

Northern Inuit Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Northern Inuit size stats at six months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 67 lbs
Female Northern Inuit size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 49 lbs
12 Months
Male Northern Inuit size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 80 lbs
Female Northern Inuit size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 59 lbs
18 Months
Male Northern Inuit size stats at 18 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 94 lbs
Female Northern Inuit size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 69 lbs

Northern Inuit Owner Experiences

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