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Wolves are undeniably stunning, powerful and impressive creatures, and many dog owners have considered the abstract idea of owning a fierce, bold and beautiful pet wolf. However for obvious reasons, the reality is rather different, and wolfs simply do not make good domestic pets! While it is not illegal within the UK to keep a second generation wolf-dog hybrid, DEFRA, the RSPCA and The Dogs Trust all strongly advise against it- even if you could find someone willing to sell you one and had upwards of £5,000 to pay for the privilege! Owning a first generation wolf-dog hybrid or an outright wolf itself is not legal within the UK without a special licence, which the layperson or would-be pet owner is unlikely to be granted. Nevertheless, if you are keen to own a dog that looks as wolf-like as possible, some breeds are most closely familiar to wild wolves in their appearance than others! The husky is a good example of a dog which shares many surface physical traits with the wolf but without the wild, hunter-scavenger temperament, as are larger German shepherd dogs and other breeds such as the Canadian Eskimo dog. However, one type of domestic dog resembles the wolf more closely than any other; and that is the Northern Inuit dog.
If you love the look of the wild wolf and have wondered what kind of dog type you might be able to buy or adopt to satisfy your craving for all things lupine, then you’re not alone. For generations, dog lovers and pet owners have sought to find or produce a domestic dog with all of the reliability and loyalty of other domestic dogs, but with the look of the wolf- which is how the Northern Inuit dog came into being. The Northern Inuit dog is almost universally recognised to be the domestic dog type that most closely resembles the wolf- and this didn’t happen by accident! The Northern Inuit is a large, double- coated dog which is generally considered to be comprised of the mixed breeding of the Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute and German shepherd. There is some debate over the question of whether or not some other breeds such as the Siberian sleddog and the Canadian Eskimo dog were also involved in the original cross breeding mixture, but generally the husky-malamute-shepherd mix is considered to be the base foundation of the type.
The end result of the mentioned cross breeding of the above three dogs is the animal which is now known as the Northern Inuit dog. While there is of course some natural variation between the look of different dogs within the type, the general appearance of the Northern Inuit dog very closely resembles the typical appearance of the wild wolf- so much so, that in the television series ‘Game of Thrones’ (Based on George R.R. Martin’s saga of the same name) Northern Inuit dogs were used as the canine actors depicting the ‘Direwolves,’ a particularly large and fearsome breed of wolf which is now extinct. The Northern Inuit dog should be large and athletic, muscular rather than lean and have a dense double layered coat which is usually white or grey, although variations in most other colours are also acceptable. Their tails should be straight (rather than curled over as is normally found in the husky and malamute) and they should be sturdy, alert and noble in appearance.
At the time of writing, the Northern Inuit dog has a very specific and defined set of desirable breed standards and traits as defined by The Northern Inuit Society, which is composed of prominent breeders and proponents of the breed. However the Northern Inuit dog is not currently recognised as a breed in its own right by the UK Kennel Club or any of the other international Kennel Club authorities. The Northern Inuit dog is a very young breed in dog terms, with the breed only originating in the late 1980’s, and as with all new breeds and types of dog it can take many decades to become formally recognised by The Kennel Club and other official organisations.
The Northern Inuit dog is generally considered to be a very good pet dog, renowned for its good nature and non-aggressive temperament. However much like the pure bred cousins of their component three breeds, they can be stubborn and challenging to train. They are very intelligent, and require firm guidance from a strong ‘alpha’ owner, as the Northern Inuit dog does have a tendency to see themselves as the pack leader within the family! They are good with children but may see younger family members as their juniors within the pack, which must of course be properly managed. They are very active dogs as a general rule, and need plenty of exercise and sufficient opportunity to stretch their legs and run on a daily basis.
Northern Inuit dogs are still fairly unusual, and so are not as easy to buy or adopt as many other breeds of dog. It is almost unheard of for a Northern Inuit dog to be offered for adoption from a pet shelter, although the Northern Inuit Society does assist with the rehoming of adult dogs of the type. To find out more about the breed and where to find a breeder, check out the Northern Inuit Society’s website, or for Northern Inuit dogs for sale, check out our Northern Inuit dogs for sale pages here at Pets4homes.
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