Inuit Sled Dog International
Copyright ISDI, 1997, 2012
Preserving the pure Inuit dog
THE INUIT DOG
On this page, I will post extracts of the book The Canadian Inuit Dog: Canada's Heritage, by Geneviève Montcombroux.
There are no known genetic defects among Inuit dogs. Osteoarthritis, which may affect hard working sled dogs, must not be confused with hip dysplasia common to other breeds.
The degenerative changes of osteoarthritis in ageing dogs are sufficiently dissimilar to hip dysplasia to say that Inuit dogs are not affected by this condition.
Osteoarthritis has been extensively studied among the dogs in Antarctica. It is also mostly due to trauma to the joints. The joints become inflamed due to the breakdown of the cartilage. It appears around five or six years of age, which is the dog's middle age, a time when normal aging begins a process of deterioration.
The trauma can be an accident from which the young dog recovers, or a small but repetitive action. One of the causes can be an ill-fitting harness.
A dog who, although worked hard but never suffered an accident or any kind of trauma, can sail through to old age without a limp.
Gradual and careful training of the pups will go a long way to prevent osteoarthritis.
Toadhall trail, snow tunnel?
Piqatik, photo Allen Gordon
Future team, photo Allen Gordon
Pingo, a magnificent specimen of Inuit dog. Photo Allen Gordon