Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Esquimaux Dog

Dog SleddingDog SleddingHistorically the Esquimaux Dog is historical Spitz Dog from which many of today's Sled Dogs descend. They also had the legendary ability to withstand the cold. From observation of their skeletons, they weighed up to 80 pounds and had thick necks and deep chests but short strong legs.

By the 1860s these dogs were described by early Euro-American explorers as having bushy tails, erect ears, and intelligent expression. Called Sled Dogs, these dogs would 'dance with excitement and raise their voices with melodious strains' as soon as a sled appeared.

The Esquimaux Dog

Esquimaux Dogs (c1850)Esquimaux Dogs (c1850)

The Esquimaux Dog is believed to date back the to the 'Neolithic' period (3,000 BC) ago. The accompanying picture was published in 'The Quadrupeds of North America' by John James Audubon and John Bachman (1845 - 1848).

Today many sled dogs, especially the Canadian Eskimo Dog has a distinctive howl rather than a bark. When produced by a group of sled dogs, this sound has been named 'one of the most thrilling sounds of the Arctic'.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo is is a powerfully built, tough, hard-working, moderately sized Spitz dog. It has also has been described as a gentle, rather quiet, primitive type of dog. However, it is inclined to adopt a dominant or subordinate role when raised in the company of either numbers of dogs, or numbers of humans. This tendency to dominate is the reason a why a Canadian Eskimo dog is not recommended as a family pet. In an attempt to dominate, like any other dog in that position, this dog will bite!

Canadian Eskimo DogCanadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is significantly larger than the Greenland Dog. This dog measures 58-70 cm (23 to 27.5 ins) and the bitch 50-60 cm (19.5 to 23.5 ins). Although we do not have a weight for the Greenland Dog, the Canadian Eskimo Dog weighs 30-40 kg (66-88 lb) and the bitch weighs 18-30 kg (40-66 lb). However, the double coat is very similar in texture and the various colours of the coat are clearly enunciated in the Breed Standard. 

The skull is described as being massive, but wedge-shaped and well-proportioned. The muzzle is tapered but of medium length. The small widely spaced eyes are place obliquely in the skull. The short, thick erect ears have rounded tips and are covered with short, thick hair. The powerful jaws have large teeth that close in a normal scissors bite.

The neck is short, thick and very muscular. Below the broad, obliquely set muscular shoulders are straight legs that can give he appearance of being bowed because of the muscling on the forearm. The feet are large and round, with well-arched toes and thick pads with plenty of fur between them. The well muscled body accentuates the over-all power and endurance of he dog through the deep, wide well-muscled chest to the well-developed loin. The hindquarters are very muscular and stifles well bent and he hind feet similar to the front, but slightly longer. The tail is large and bushy, and generally carried up or curled over the back. The powerful brisk trot with the rear legs moving in line with the front legs is a well-balanced efficient stride suitable for heavy pulling day after day.

References and Further Reading

[1] Canadian Eskimo Dog: