Discover the Native American Indian Dog, Breed Information, and More!

The Native American Indian Dog (NAID) is a pleasant creature with nearly almond-shaped eyes that shine with an intelligent gleam.  This beloved canine is bred in two sizes with two different hair lengths and coat colors.

You might think you are looking at a wolf if you are new to this dog breed. Their wolf-like appearance makes the Native American Indian dog look like their oldest ancestors!

Even though this dog breed may look like a wolf, believe me when I tell you their temperament isn’t like the wolf’s. They make excellent working dogs as well as family dogs.

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American Indian Dog

Native American Indian Dog Appearance

The Native American Indian Dog is a large dog breed. This is one of the features that you will notice right away. This dog can weigh between 55 to 120 pounds in weight.

Another very noticeable feature is the strong triangle-shaped head and slender muzzle. Many people mistake this dog breed for a wolf or Husky mix.

They sometimes have a curled tail, much like the Alaskan Malamute but are usually preferred with a long tail held down.  A bend may be near the tip of the tail when held in this position. The canine’s head is broad with upright ears.

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Native American Indian Dog History

The Native Americans created the American Indian dog breed.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the mid-1500s, canines were the primary work animal for native peoples in North America.

They would pull carts, hunt, fish, and even serve as caretakers and guardians for children and elderly family members.

The canine was featured in many drawings and texts created by missionaries outlining the way Native Americans lived day to day with their hard-working four-legged companions.

Back then, the Native Americans bred their dogs with different dog breeds brought over by the Europeans and coyotes.

So nowadays, it is very hard to distinguish what the ancestors of these NAID would have looked like.

Today the breed is still considered a working dog used in the police force, rescue operations, and even as a therapy dog.

The Temperament of an American Indian Dog

American Indian dogs are brilliant, which makes them easy to train.  They show an eagerness to please their human partner and are very loyal.  This breed is not built like a typical guard dog but will be protective if it feels its loved ones are threatened.

They are very sensitive and require gentle treatment and training. Being too firm or harsh can cause behavior issues and fear.  American Indian dog puppies should be socialized well so they do not act shy around strangers later in life. This breed is great for children and other animals.

This breed has a naturally gentle nature, meaning they will be sweet and nice around children and adults. The Native American Indian dog is very loyal, so once he knows who his pack family is, this dog breed will do everything to protect the pack.

They are a very smart dog breed, so they will quickly learn basic commands and tricks. These dogs have been seen working as rescue dogs, K9 units, therapy dogs, and much more because of their ability to be trained quickly.

American Indian Dog

Native American Indian Dog Coat

There are two variations regarding the coat of the Native American Indian Dog. Your dog can either have a short, very dense coat or a long-haired dense coat. Most of the dogs in this breed fall into the long-haired dense undercoat category.

You may not know this, but the coat of the NAID is hypoallergenic. So if you suffer from mild dog allergies, this will not be an issue for you with this breed.

However, this dog breed will have a shedding season every spring when it sheds some of the hairs in the undercoat. You will want to stay consistent with grooming during this season to help contain the shedding.

What Colors Do They Come In?

The coat color can be silver to black, with some American Indian dog puppies born with a tortoiseshell coloration. 

Native Americans sometimes called the tortoiseshell version the “Spirit Dog.” There have been rare red and all-white NAID too.

More colors include:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Silver
  • Gray
  • Tortoiseshell

Height & Weight

The average American Indian dog weighs between 55 and 120 pounds (25 to 55 kg) and stands 23 to 34 inches (58 to 67 cm).

Since this dog breed is much bigger than others, ensuring enough room in your home to accompany the dog is important!

Health Problems

American Indian dogs are prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is prevalent in bigger dog breeds because the weight of their body puts stains on their joints.

This is a health condition that is passed down through genetics. Get your dog screened for this to learn how to care for this condition properly.

If you are buying a puppy from a breeder, ask them about the puppy’s parents and if they have hip dysplasia.

This dog breed has a long life expectancy of around 14 to 19 years despite possibly having this.

Thankfully this is the only common health issue that this breed can inherit. Consult your veterinarian if you are ever worried about your dog’s health.

The Life Expectancy of an American Indian Dog

The American Indian dog lives approximately 14 to 19 years. This is much longer than the average dog breed.

Remember that life span is different for each dog. Some may live longer than the expected range, and some can live shorter. Take your dog to regular check-ups to ensure your dog is healthy.

Living Conditions

Anyone looking for an American Indian dog for sale should remember that this breed is not good in urban settings. Apartments, condos, and small dwellings are not recommended.

This breed requires access to bigger spaces in the outdoors and does not thrive as a house dog only.  Rural locations are recommended for the American Indian dog breed.

As you may know from above, the NAID (Native American Indian Dog) are very big dogs, so they will need a lot of space to move around freely in your house. They also love to be outside, so if you have a large fenced-in backyard, that will work great.

These dogs are very active and will need a lot of exercise besides just running around the backyard. Keep that in mind before purchasing. Only get these breeds if you have the time to properly take care of the dog with daily exercise.


Reputable American Indian dog breeders will tell you this canine requires extensive exercise.

They are not lazy dogs, so if you do not want to take your dog on long walks or play with them, this dog breed is not for you.

The breed is intended to thrive in the outdoors, so long walks, vigorous jogs, and playtime is required to keep the canine happy and healthy.

Some examples of this type of playtime can be :

  • A trip to the dog park to run around with other dogs
  • A run on the beach or at a lake to play in the water
  • Hiking trails
  • Longer walks around 45 minutes

This is also an opportunity to reinforce dominance in a positive way.  That being said, the American Indian dog breed is generally mellow and laid back, and it does require excessive activity to burn off its energy.


This dog breed is very versatile when it comes to dog food. They aren’t very picky about what you give them.

Giving your dog half dry food and half wet food is recommended. Your dog will need about 1,200 calories a day, equaling about three bowls of food.

Ensure that your dog’s protein source is turkey, chicken, fish, or lamb. This should be one of the first few ingredients listed in your dog’s food.

This is a big dog you are feeding so much, sure the food is packed full of protein. Treats are beneficial when you are in the training phase! A perfect budget-friendly training treats you can use Cheerios.


Spring is shed time for the American Indian dog breed. Owners should schedule extra brushing sessions this season to rid their pets of shed hair. Regular grooming throughout the rest of the year will reduce the presence of fur in homes.

In other seasons, the Native American Indian dog does not shed much.

Some people even say this dog breed is hypoallergenic because of the low shedding during the rest of the year.

Make sure to brush your dog once and week to maintain their coat. Bathes can occur once a month for this breed; they don’t typically get that wet dog smell unless they have been rolling around in the mud.

Make sure to keep your dog’s teeth cleaned every week to prevent bad breath germs and cavities.

Other types of American Indian Dogs

Aside from medium to large size individuals, the American Indian dog breed contains no notable sub-groups.

We do not have the proper documentation from the Native Americans stating what mixes their dogs had to know.

Cool Traits / Characteristics

The American Indian Dog is a true work animal that can handle almost anything. They are versatile and willing to pull sleds and carts, hunt, fish, and guard.

Other Names

Spirit Dog is one, and the acronym for Native American Indian dog is (NAID).

Are NAIDs Good for First-Time Owners?

The American Indian dog breed may not be a good choice for an inexperienced owner without a mentor or other guidance.

The breed is very intelligent, easy to train, and a sensitive animal. Excessive force or firmness can greatly impact the animal.

Otherwise, the breed is friendly, versatile, and pleasant, with traits that make it good for families with children.

Native American Indian Puppies

Puppies can be rambunctious from any dog breed but especially the Native American Indian Dog.

Remember, this dog breed is very intelligent, so the puppies will get into things they shouldn’t be getting into.

Start your dog training as a puppy to make it easier to enforce good behavior. Getting your dog associated with other dogs and people is also recommended to start early socialization.

You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for a NAID puppy from a reputable breeder. Depending on various factors, some breeders will even charge more than that range.

Ensure you know enough about what this dog requires before purchasing a puppy. Use this article’s information to prepare your home and family for a NAID breed.

Native American Indian Dog Litter Size

This is a very large dog breed, so when a female has a litter of puppies, it can be quite a large litter. You should expect a female to have between four to ten puppies.

Native American Indian Dogs also have a very impressive long life span, so you can expect your new puppy to live a very long time.

native american indian puppies for sale


Is the Native American Indian Dog a Real Breed?

Yes, the Native American Indian Dog is a real dog breed. It is said to be one of the oldest dog breeds in North America. This breed was first created by breeding various dogs hundreds of years ago. The Native American people used the breed for a variety of things.

Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club does not recognize the Native American Indian Dog as purebred. There is a separate club dedicated to this dog breed.

Do Native American Indian Dogs have Wolf in Them?

The Native Americans created this dog breed hundreds of years ago, so it is unknown if they made it for a wolf. The Native American Indian Dog has many looks similar to a wolf.

When the Spaniards came to America, the natives bred their NAIDs with some of the dog breeds brought over.

What does a Native American Indian Dog look like?

Native American Indian Dogs come in various colors, including black, brown, gray, and white. They have a thick double coat, pointed ears, and a long, bushy tail. They can range from medium to large and have a muscular, athletic build.

What is the temperament of a Native American Indian Dog?

NAIDs are loyal, intelligent, and independent dogs that bond closely with their families. They can be aloof with strangers but are typically not aggressive. They are natural hunters and may have a high prey drive.

Do Native American Indian Dogs require a lot of grooming?

Native American Indian Dogs have a thick double coat that sheds seasonally. They require regular brushing to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting.

Common mixes

There are a few mixed-breed dogs that resemble the Native American Indian Dog. They are:

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