The Inuit dog has existed for thousands of years. The Inuit people needed a dog to suit their lifestyle and as a working companion. Legend has it that to achieve this, they staked out several bitches to be mated by wild wolves. By selective breeding and culling of the offspring, they eventually got what they wanted - a dog that could work long hours in cold temperatures, would live as a family pet and be obedient and loyal.
In the 1990's, there was an increase in the amount of advertisements offering ‘wolf hybrid’ pups for sale. As the recent ‘Pit Bull’ horror stories from an over zealous tabloid press emerged, the RSPCA and other authorities grabbed the chance to try and have many people prosecuted and their dogs confiscated under the Dangerous wild animal act. Because of all the controversy surrounding any wolfy looking dogs, a group of people got together to try and safeguard the future of a particular line of these dogs.
The dogs were given the name ‘the Northern Inuit dog’ due to the Northern breeds and Inuit type dogs that were used to create the breed. Two of these original Inuit types were imported to the UK from the USA as ‘wolf hybrid’ dogs, and there ensuing progeny were sold up and down the country as ‘wolf hybrids’, it is very dubious as to whether there was any actual wolf content in these dogs at all.
At the time of the N.I being established, one of the founders of the breed, Julie Kelham, had the local authorities hammering at her door, trying to seize her dogs as dangerous wild animals. Although they went away empty handed, it resulted in a court case being brought against her, at the local magistrates court on the 20th of June 1998. At this time, the N.I was well established as a breed of dog and not as a wolf hybrid. The end result of the court case was a not guilty verdict due to the fact that it could not be proven that there was any wolf content in the breed.
So, the question still remains ‘is there any wolf content in the N.I.? This is a question many people ask, and the truthful answer is, it really is impossible to say. If there is, it is so far back that it would have been diluted to almost 0%. Although some people would prefer that we steer well away from the wolf question, we are proud that our breed resemble the wolf in looks and of the unanswered question ‘is there or isn't there?’