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(Picture used with kind permission of Matty McNair, Northwinds)


 The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a large breed of Arctic dog, which is considered to be North America's oldest purebred indigenous dog. Other names include Qimmiq (Inuit for "dog") or what is considered to be the more politically correct Canadian Inuit Dog. The name Eskimo translates to 'Flesh Eater', in Canada and Greenland the term 'Eskimo' has fallen out of favour as it is considered insulting. It has been replaced by the term Inuit. However, while Inuit describes all of the Eskimo people in Canada and Greenland, that is not true in Alaska and Siberia who retain the Eskimo name. The dogs were mainly used by the Inuit for hunting and for transportation in the Canadian Arctic, traditional working dog teams became increasingly rare in the North after the 1960's, as snowmobiles became more popular, and tended to be faster and more efficient, also a massive cull of the dogs has led to the breed falling into the category of an endangered species.

After the Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation (CEDRF) was formed in the 1970's purebred dogs were taken from around pockets of Northern Canada and then registered with the CKC these foundation dogs were chosen on their phenotype as the parents of these dogs did not have registration papers with any kennel club or organisation. The Inuit did not care for papers to prove their dog's worth. They needed dogs that were tough and reliable, very different to what we expect of our dogs today. Those dogs were the foundation for many lines of the CED to this day however in the far north still pockets of purebred dogs exist. They are used in expeditions, there are races where only Inuit and their dogs can take part and some still use the dogs for sledding whether for recreational or for the tourist business.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is registered by the CKC - country of origin kennel club. It is also registered in Great Britain by the Kennel Club, USA has several registering bodies one of which the United Kennel Club (UKC) accepts them and more recently the Irish Kennel Club (IKC). Sadly over the years the breed has attracted many undesirable owners and breeders which along with all the politics has aided the probable demise of the increasingly rare Canadian Eskimo Dog.


The registered CEDs in the UK, have increased since 2011. Over 150 dogs have been bred or imported in the UK to date. They are not dogs for the novice owner nor should they be kept purely as pets. They have a natural working drive and are strong, powerful dogs described as freight dogs rather than fast sprinters such as the Siberian Husky. The Canadian Eskimo Dog is known to have been resident in the Arctic for at least 4000 years. If you are interested there is a UK based breed club specifically ran by a group of owners who can help guide you or give advice on our wonderful breed. Find the website here: CEDCGB   or visit: FACEBOOK

The Canadian Eskimo Dog was first bred by the Thule People. The people of the Thule originally resided in Alaska in 500AD, and later Nunavut, Canada. It was, and still is (to a very limited extent), used by the native Inuit people as multi-purpose dog, often put to work hunting seals and other Arctic game, as well as hunting polar bears and hauling supplies and people. In the 1800s and early 1900s this breed was in demand for polar expeditions. Used by famous explorers such as Captain William Peary, Roald Amundsen and more recently dogs supplied by Matty McNair used by Tom Avery.

In the 1920s there were approximately 20,000 dogs living in the Canadian Arctic, and the breed was accepted for showing by both the AKC and CKC; however, in 1959 the AKC dropped the breed from its registry because of extremely low numbers. Bill Carpenter and John McGrath in 1972 began the Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation project (CEDRF), with assistance from the CKC and the Canadian Government. Dogs were collected from all around Canada and specimens were visually deemed to be suitable examples to be included in the future breeding program and then registrations on these previously unregistered dogs were further granted in 1986. 


Brian Ladoon (pictured below) was the founder of the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation (CEDF) in 1976. He also took on the task of trying to preserve the Canadian Eskimo Dog and travelled into the far north of Igoolik to collect Eskimo dogs and to this day has the largest colony of dogs in the world. Sadly the CEDs in Churchill do not have registrations.


Copyright: Racheal Bailey (Akna).The above pictures may not be used, copied or reproduced without permission