General description of the animal, the version of the breeding of the Canadian Eskimo dog, its use and recognition, the reasons for the decrease in the number of the breed, the restoration of the species. The content of the article:
- Versions of origin
- Application and recognition of the breed
- Reasons for the decrease in livestock
- Recovery history
The Canadian Eskimo Dog is an Arctic working breed of the "Spitz" type. These are athletic dogs with a powerful physique, created to transport goods and people on a sleigh. They have straight, triangular ears and a curled tail, thick hair and a rather different color. The species is currently endangered.
Versions of the origin of the Canadian Eskimo dog
The variety is truly an ancient breed and, along with the Alaskan Malamute and the Caroline dog, is the oldest breed to have originated in North America. It was brought out a thousand years ago by people unfamiliar with writing. Therefore, little is known about her ancestry, and most of the theories consist of speculation. It is clear that these dogs were developed in the northern part of what is now Canada and Alaska. They were mainly supported by the Thule tribes and their Inuit descendants. They were called Eskimos at the time the Canadian Eskimo dog was given the name. However, these terms are now considered obsolete and somewhat offensive.
At one point, a theory has been put forward that throughout history, canines have been domesticated several times. Native Americans tamed their dogs from the North American or red wolf or coyote. Recent genetic evidence confirms that these animals around the world are mainly descended from a small group of individual wolves (Canis lupus), once living somewhere in Asia, India and Tibet, the Middle East or China.
The earliest dogs, the ancestors of the Canadian Eskimo dogs, were wolf-like and accompanied nomadic hunter-gatherer groups. They helped in the extraction of meat and skins, guarded the camps, and served as companions. Direct descendants of the small, short-haired, light brown wolves of South Asia, closely related to the Australian dingo and the new guinea singing dog. They have proven to be extremely useful to the tribal people and also extremely adaptable.
Dogs quickly spread throughout the world, and eventually lived everywhere except in a few remote islands. Some of the ancestors of the Canadian Eskimo dogs, penetrated north into Siberia, where they encountered a climate different from that of India and Tibet. The local winter destroyed animals adapted to tropical conditions. The problem was solved by crossing domestic dogs with large, hardy and aggressive northern wolves.
The result of these crosses was a new type, known in the West as the Pomeranian. Spitz-like have spread in East Asia and Siberia and remain the most common in the region up to the present time. These dogs with long, thick hair, excellent sense of smell and instincts, have become masters of survival in the coldest climates of the planet.
The Spitz, the ancestor of the Canadian Eskimo dogs, proved to be absolutely essential to life in the far North. He helped his owners find food, defend themselves from predators and travel across vast territories of ice and snow. Human survival in the Arctic until the 20th century depended on the dog. When spitzen was first bred, the earth's climate was considered colder.
At various points, the Bering Strait separating Alaska from Russia was much smaller than it is today, and was completely absent for a long time when Asia and North America were connected. There is a huge amount of controversy that during the period 7,000-25,000 years ago, Siberian nomads migrated from Asia to North America, on foot or in primitive canoes. These mysterious colonists were undoubtedly accompanied by their spitz-like pets, the progenitors of the Canadian Eskimo dogs.
Archaeological and historical evidence is hard to find in the Arctic. Cumulative data show that the Dorset tribes inhabited the region until 1000 AD. and they were very different from modern Inuit. Around that time, a new culture emerged in what is now coastal Alaska - Thule. Their lifestyle has proven to be extremely successful for the region. The Thule migrated across Canada and Greenland, almost completely replacing Dorset.
The Thule people used dog sleds to travel and transport their goods across vast expanses of snow and ice. It is unclear how the tribes developed this technology and what kind of dogs were used, but regardless of whether their canines became the direct ancestors of modern greenland and canadian eskimo dogs. Due to a lack of evidence, it is impossible to say exactly when the Canadian Eskimo dog was first developed.
Experts say that the breed practically does not differ from the ancestor-Spitz, who lived somewhere between 14,000 and 35,000 years ago. Other researchers suggest that the species was first bred by Thule about 1,000 years ago. Almost every date is possible, but controversial.
Application of the Canadian Eskimo dog and breed recognition
Whenever the canadian eskimo dog has developed, it has become a vital feature of Inuit life - a unique human tool. Without them, people would not be able to survive in the local harsh landscape. Such pets served the main purpose of pulling the sleigh, which was the property of the tribe members and the only means of transportation over longer distances. Canadian Eskimo dogs acted as guards, warning the owners of the approaching predators - polar bears and wolves.
Some tribes used the Canadian Eskimo dog for hunting assistance. The dogs tracked and attacked creatures such as seals and polar bears, for which the breed has an instinctive hatred. Most of the people working with the species note that it is unusually aggressive towards polar bears and, apparently, actually hunted them. The Canadian eskimo dog's diet consisted almost entirely of meat.
The Canadian Eskimo dog remained significantly wolf-like than most modern breeds. This is explained by the "gray brother" being so well adapted to life in the Arctic that several changes would be required for his transformation. Another reason is that only the strongest and most violent individuals are able to withstand the effects of the environment.
Many argue that the breed's emergence is the result of recent and repeated wolf crosses. Recent genetic data show that these dogs are not closely related to the "gray brothers". Studies of behavior between the two species (mutual dislike) suggest that such an overlap is unlikely.
Due to its endurance, speed, strength and incredible ability to survive in the coldest conditions on Earth, the Canadian Eskimo Dog has attracted Arctic and Antarctic explorers. These canines made several trips to both poles with American, Canadian and British explorers who had easy access to the breed.
Unlike other sled dogs, which became popular pets after working with polar explorers, the canadian eskimo dog was not popularized among the general public.But thanks to expeditions, the variety was recognized all over the world, and by the late 1920s the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) fully recognized the breed.
Reasons for the decline in the population of the Canadian Eskimo dog
The species remained very important to Inuit life long before the European conquest of Canada. Until the 1950s, the breed was essentially the only means of transportation throughout much of the Canadian Arctic. According to the stories of the local population, the rather large livestock of the canadian eskimo dog, until the early 1950s, numbered at least 20,000 working individuals.
Despite this, changes still came to the region. The introduction of the snowmobile completely changed the local culture. Traveling is easier and faster than ever before. Thus, the Canadian Arctic "opened the doors" to an outside world that it never knew. These changes made the Canadian Eskimo dog largely obsolete.
Fewer and fewer Inuit have kept such pets, which have been a part of their lives for centuries. The ease of transportation has also made it easy for other Canadians to enter the region. Many of these newcomers brought their dogs with them from other territories, which interbred with Canadian Eskimo dogs, destroying the purity of their blood.
Imported canine diseases such as distemper, parvovirus and rabies are of great concern. The Canadian Eskimo dogs, almost completely isolated from other breeds for centuries, did not have natural immunity. Many of them died as a result of contracting these diseases. Experts agree that these two reasons made the species quite rare. By 1959, the AKC no longer recognized the species for lack of interest, and very few animals were registered with the Canadian CKC.
During the past sixty years, a great deal of controversy has arisen with the government of Canada regarding the danger of the Canadian Eskimo dog becoming extinct. Many Inuit activist groups claim that local authorities actively tried to destroy the canadian eskimo dog. They say that in an attempt to disrupt the traditional way of life of the Inuit and force them into mainstream Canadian society, they deliberately persecuted and killed members of the breed at the behest of the ruling elite.
While all parties agree that snowmobiling and disease have reduced the Canadian Eskimo dog population, the local government has the primary responsibility for reducing the population. The Canadian authorities have largely denied these claims. The debate was the main theme of the 2010 Canadian film Qimmit: Two Truths Clash.
Regardless of the reason, the Canadian Eskimo dog came close to extinction by the 1970s. In 1963, the CKC registered only one breed. In 1970, it was estimated that fewer than 200 purebred canadian eskimo dogs remained, and only in the most remote regions. This data does not include several thousand mixed breed dogs with some percentage of Alaskan Husky genes.
Recovery story of the Canadian Eskimo dog
The hobbyists were worried that the species would disappear as a purebred. In 1972, the extinction of the canadian eskimo dog came to a halt thanks to John McGrath and William Carpenter. The two men worked with the government of Canada and the CKC to found the Canadian Eskimo Dog Federation (CEDRF). The task of the CEDRF was to find the last surviving pedigree representatives and establish a nursery for their breeding.
Dogs deemed purebred were collected from across the Canadian Arctic and brought to the CEDRF Kennel in Yellowknife, Northwest Region. Most of the canines used were from the Boothia and Melville Peninsulas. The organization has bred and registered a variety for the first time in a decade.Around the same time that CEDRF began its activities, a breeder and sled dog racer named Brian Ladoon was also working to save the breed. The fancier acquired his own canines from all over the region and founded the Canadian Eskimo Dog Federation (CEDF). For over 40 years, this lover has continued to preserve the variety. His dedication was the subject of the 2011 documentary The Last Dogs of Winter (New Zealand).
By the late 1980s, the Canadian Eskimo dog had once achieved sufficient pedigree status to gain full recognition in the CKC. In 1986, over 20 years, the first members of the breed were registered with the CKC. A small number of other breeders began working with the Canadian Eskimo Dog, the group that later founded the Canadian Eskimo Dog Club (CEDC). Despite decades of dedicated devotion to the species, these canines remained incredibly rare, especially as purebred animals.
At last count, 279 members of the species were officially registered with the CKC. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the breed due to its tourist attraction. Sled dog racing is a major factor in the growing tourism industry in the region, and the Canadian Eskimo dog provides the most authentic experience possible. Their image was printed on the stamp in 1988 and engraved at fifty cents in 1997. In 1996, the species came to the attention of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in the United States of America, which gave them full recognition as members of the northern breed group.
The Canadian Eskimo dog is very closely related to the Greenland dog and of course comes from common ancestors. Some experts argue that there is no reason to separate the two breeds and consider them as one. However, the canadian eskimo dog is generally considered to be cleaner, which means it is less susceptible to foreign varieties. In any event, the registries of the two types have been separate for more than ninety years.
The Canadian Eskimo dog is often confused with the American Eskimo dog. Although the two breeds have similar names and both are of the "spitzen" type, they are not closely related or very similar. The Canadian eskimo dog has parameters between medium and large, as well as excellent physical characteristics. It is a working animal bred for sports, namely sled racing. Individuals also show large differences in coat coloration. Perhaps most importantly, the species are descendants of Indian canines.
The American Eskimo dog, on the other hand, is small to medium in size and is mainly bred for character and appearance. These canines are essentially only found in pure white, cream and liver colors. The variety has no actual connection with the Eskimo people and their dogs, and its origin is entirely German. Originally referred to as the German Spitz, the breed gained its present name in the 1940s as a result of World War II anti-German sentiment.
The films "The Last Dogs of Winter" and "Qimmit: The Clash of Two Truths" significantly increased the popularity of the Canadian Eskimo dog, and people learned about its plight in Canada and around the world. However, the breed did not experience as much popularity as other canines that have appeared in the cinema. The CEDRF, CEDF and CEDC are constantly working to increase the demand and size of the variety. Virtually every opportunity to promote canadian eskimo dog is taken, such as show contests, dog sled races, and local fairs and exhibitions.
The position of the breed is very precarious and extremely unstable. The number of livestock is so low that one epidemic in a nursery can destroy from one fifth to one third of all individuals. Fortunately, the CKC and amateurs are serious about preserving the canadian eskimo dog.If the Canadian Eskimo dogs do not have more breeders who are able to provide such dogs with the right maintenance, they are threatened with extinction.