Northern Inuit Dogs are an amazing breed with
complicated characters. They are loyal, affectionate and loving, but on
the other hand independent, stubborn and far too intelligent for their
own good. They are not suited for novice owners and require for them to
have a good sense of humour, patience and commitment as well as being
able to put in a lot of hard work into training. They are not the type
of dog that will obey command "sit" just because you say so...they will
check and then double check if this is definitely what you meant and
Inuit Dog makes a fantastic companion but can be quite boisterous at play,
and can easily knock a child down so common sense dictates that children
and dogs should never be left unsupervised.
They are usually absolutely fantastic with children and grown ups due to their non-aggressive nature. Any companion dog must be able to withstand rough and tumble play that comes with an NI.
Overall, if you are willing to put time and effort into raising your NI puppy
will be rewarded tenfold with a loving, loyal and cheeky companion.
Beware though, this breed is very addictive...a lot of people don't just
stop at one and once you are in the crazy NI world you wouldn't have it
any other way.
As with any breed, training should begin from young age. Preferably as soon as you get your puppy. Consistency is also an important part of the training. You have to be prepared to give them leadership as otherwise they will take an advantage and you can quickly become the omega. They are non-aggressive and will usually submit when challenged, but they don't respond well to harsh treatment. They are eager to please, but lose interest and get bored very quickly, therefore training needs to be varied and most of all - fun!
They have quite high prey
drive, especially around smaller furry animals, and they will chase.
Some of the dogs introduced to livestock at an early stage will grow not
wanting to chase, but care should always be taken as sometimes the pack
instinct can take over.
They don't like to be left alone for long
periods of time and can often suffer separation anxiety. Another dog as a
companion is a good idea as NIs are very sociable, love company and
will want to take part in everything you do.
are quite a hardy breed, but, like all large breeds, they can suffer from hip and elbow
dysplasia. This disorder is thought to be part genetic which is why, prior to breeding, according to
the code of ethics all the dogs are hip and elbow scored under the BVA
scheme. This can also be brought by environmental factors, eg. inappropriate diet or level of excercise when young.
All Northern Inuit breeding dogs are eye tested prior to breeding to rule out any genetic eye diseases. The incidence of reported eye problems is really low.
There have been eight Northern Inuits born with a form of achondrodysplasia. The shared ancestry has been investigated by the Animal Health Trust, parents are no longer in the breeding programme and genetic test has been developed to ensure this will never happen again. All of our dogs are tested for this variation of the disease called OSD3. It's inheritance mode is recessive, which means that two carrier parents have to be put together to produce an affected puppy.
Male Northern Inuits can be prone to retained testicles issue, where one or both testes do not drop. There is no lasting consequences, if the dog is neuted at an appropriate time (for this breed recommended age is not earlier than 18mths - 24mths of life as they are slow developers).
There has been a limited number of dogs reported as having symptoms of Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). As a result, the dogs in the breeding programme have to be tested for DM (Exon 2) to ensure it will not happen again. This genetic disease is having inheritance mode of recessive, which means that two carrier parents shouldn't be bred together. However it is advised that carriers should be used in the breeding programme to ensure variety of genetic pool remains high. Those should be bred to clear NIs.
As mentioned above, they can suffer from sensitive stomachs. In addition, there have been very few cases reported of:
epilepsy, glaucoma, addisons disease and cancer. However it was unknown
whether the causes were genetic or environmental.
Unfortunately there can never be any guarantee that a puppy of any
breed will not develop health issues (genetic or environmental issues),
no matter how many tests are carried out. Thankfully, the majority of
Northern Inuits live happy healthy lives without issue and the life span
averages between 12 and 15 years old. Ask us if you have any questions about the health of the breed - we are open and honest and no questions are considered stupid.