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Northern Inuit Dog: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Northern Inuit Dog is a breed that traces its roots back to the UK in the 1980s, where it was selectively bred to look like a wolf while having the temperament of a dog. This breed was created using a mix of Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, and Inuit dogs.

Characteristic Information
Origin United Kingdom
Size Large
Weight Males: 79-110 lbs, Females: 55-84 lbs
Coat and Colors Dense double coat; white, sable, black, grey, and combinations
Temperament Friendly, outgoing, intelligent
Lifespan 12-14 years
Common Health Problems Hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts
Exercise Needs High
Grooming Regular brushing is required, as heavy shedding
Living Conditions Best in homes with large yards, not suitable for apartments

Characteristics and Physical Appearance

Size and Weight

Northern Inuit Dogs are large dogs, with males standing between 23 to 32 inches tall and weighing between 79 to 110 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, measuring between 23 to 28 inches in height and weighing between 55 to 84 pounds.

Coat and Colors

This breed has a dense double coat that helps it withstand cold weather. The colors can range from white, sable, black, grey, and combinations of these.

Distinctive Features

Northern Inuit Dogs have a wolf-like appearance with a broad head, small ears, and almond-shaped eyes that are usually yellow or light brown.

Temperament and Behavior of Northern Inuit Dogs

General Temperament

Northern Inuit Dogs are known for their friendly, outgoing, and intelligent nature. They are typically good with children and can get along well with other dogs if socialized properly.

Behavior with Families and Children

These dogs are loyal and protective of their families. They can be a great companion for children, but due to their size, interactions with smaller children should always be supervised.

Behavior with Other Pets

Although they can be good with other dogs, Northern Inuit Dogs may have a high prey drive and may not do well with smaller animals unless properly socialized from a young age.

Health and Lifespan of Northern Inuit Dogs


Northern Inuit Dogs have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, which is typical for dogs of their size.

Common Health Problems

Like many large breeds, they can be prone to conditions like hip dysplasia, and eye conditions such as hereditary cataracts. Regular vet check-ups are important to maintain their health.

Preventative Care and Treatments

A balanced diet, regular exercise, and preventative health care can help prolong a Northern Inuit Dog’s life and minimize the risk of health problems.

Training and Exercise Needs of Northern Inuit Dogs

Training Requirements and Tips

Training should be started from a young age and positive reinforcement techniques are recommended. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them highly trainable.

Exercise Requirements and Recommendations

They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Daily walks, playtime, and tasks to challenge them mentally are all important.

Socialization Needs

Socialization is crucial for this breed. They should be exposed to a variety of environments, people, and other animals from a young age to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded dogs.

Feeding and Nutrition of Northern Inuit Dogs

Recommended Diet

A balanced diet with a good blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is crucial. High-quality commercial dog food designed for large breeds can be a good option.

Feeding Guidelines by Age, Weight, and Activity Level

Feeding needs can vary based on age, weight, and activity level. Puppies generally need more frequent feedings, while adult dogs can be fed twice a day.

Common Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Some Northern Inuit Dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. Consult your vet if you notice any signs of food allergies.

Grooming Needs of Northern Inuit Dogs

Grooming Requirements and Tips

Their double coat requires regular brushing to keep it healthy and prevent excessive shedding. They don’t need frequent baths unless they get dirty.

Seasonal Grooming Changes

During the shedding season, usually in the spring and fall, they will require more frequent grooming to manage loose fur.

Common Grooming Problems

This breed is a heavy shedder, which can be a challenge. Regular grooming can help control this.

Breeding and Puppies

Breeding Considerations

Breeding should only be undertaken with a full understanding of the responsibilities involved, including the health risks to the mother and puppies.

Pregnancy and Whelping

Pregnancy in Northern Inuit Dogs lasts about 63 days, and the litter size can vary, with an average of 4-6 puppies.

Raising Puppies

Raising puppies requires time, patience, and a commitment to socialization and training.

Adoption and Purchasing Considerations

What to Know Before Getting a Northern Inuit Dog

These dogs require a lot of time, commitment, and exercise. They may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners or those living in apartments.

Adoption Vs. Buying from a Breeder

Adopting a Northern Inuit Dog from a rescue can be a rewarding experience. If choosing a breeder, ensure they are reputable and prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs.

The Cost of Owning a Northern Inuit Dog

Besides the initial cost of purchasing a puppy, potential owners should consider ongoing costs such as food, vet care, grooming, and pet insurance.

Famous Northern Inuit Dogs

Northern Inuit Dogs in Popular Culture

Northern Inuit Dogs gained fame after being featured as Direwolves in the popular television show “Game of Thrones”.

Noteworthy Northern Inuit Dogs

Many Northern Inuit Dogs have made their mark in obedience and agility competitions, thanks to their intelligence and trainability.

Living Conditions Suitable for a Northern Inuit Dog

Best Living Environments

The Northern Inuit Dog is not a breed meant for apartment living. These dogs require space and are best suited to homes with large, securely fenced yards where they can roam and play. However, they are not outdoor dogs and should live inside the home with their family.

Climate Considerations

Given their thick double coats, Northern Inuit Dogs are well-adapted to colder climates. They can withstand low temperatures better than many other breeds. However, these dogs can struggle in hot weather. If living in a warmer climate, ensure they have access to shade and fresh water at all times, and avoid vigorous exercise during the hottest parts of the day.

Community and Social Events for Northern Inuit Dogs

Dog Sports and Competitions

The Northern Inuit Dog’s intelligence and athleticism make it well-suited to dog sports such as agility, obedience, and rally. Participation in these activities can provide excellent mental and physical stimulation for the dog and strengthen the bond between the pet and the owner.

Social Groups and Meetups

Joining social groups or attending meetups with other Northern Inuit Dog owners can be a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. It can provide your dog with socialization opportunities and allow you to share experiences and advice with other owners of the breed. These gatherings can often be found through social media or local dog clubs.


Northern Inuit Dogs are a unique breed that combines the looks of a wolf with the loyalty and friendliness of a dog. They require a lot of exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization but can make a rewarding companion for the right owner. If you have the time and resources to dedicate to their needs, the Northern Inuit Dog can make a loyal, protective, and loving family pet.

Sergey Uhanov

Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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