All About the Northern Inuit Dog, Its Temperament, and Much More

Northern Inuit Dog

Have you ever heard of the Northern Inuit Dog? It has been said that this hybrid dog breed was created by combining various dog DNA with wolves. Do you think that is true? Find out more about this impressive dog and whether or not you should own one.

Although the Northern Inuit dog is attractive in many ways, it is not yet a recognized breed by any of the major kennel clubs.

This dog breed is gaining huge popularity due to the popular Game Of Thrones show; the dogs are depicted as the dire wolves.

It is an unrecognized crossbreed intended to create a domesticated canine that resembles a wolf. This dog breed is very lovable, and they are very well tempered, not like its look-alike the wolf. These dogs are very loyal to you and your family and intelligent.

Northern Inuit History

There are some discrepancies with how this dog breed was developed. There are two main theories out there that we will discuss. The first is said that Eddie Harrison bred several rescue dogs of mixed breeds with German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes in the 1980s.

The result was the Northern Inuit breed we know today. The focus was to create a domesticated animal that looked much like a wolf but possessed the behavior and trainability of a dog.

Others believe that Labrador Huskies or Canadian Eskimo Dogs were brought to the United Kingdom from the United States in the 1970s and crossbred with German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes.

Since then, multiple breed groups have been formed, including the Anglo Wulfdog, British Timber Dog, and the Utonagan Society. Even though this breed looks very similar to wolves, it does not contain any wolf DNA. Today this breed is still not recongised by the AKC.

Northern Inuit Dog

Northern Inuit Dog Appearance

The Northern Inuit dog has a medium build and is very similar in shape and appearance to a wolf but has no actual wolf DNA in it. True examples of the breed should possess a double-layered coat.

The tail should be straight. Curled tails are viewed as a fault in the individual dogs of this breed. Their ears are pointed and held upright, much like a wolf.

The muzzle is very proportionate to the rest of the body, not being too long. The eyes of this dog breed are oval in shape and come in a variety of different colors, just like the coat.


Northern Inuit Dog temperament is very appealing because the breed is non-aggressive. They are extremely versatile and intelligent. That being said, this canine is also clever and stubborn, which can make it challenging to handle for the inexperienced.

A strong alpha leader is required to keep the Northern Inuit dog in line. Owners should be capable of providing guidance and leadership to ensure a healthy, happy relationship with their pets.

This breed can get very hyper, which is one reason why they need a firm hand when training. Remember always to use positive reinforcement when training your dog!

This breed is good with children in the home; however, it can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Therefore, general training must begin from day one.

Once the breed has been adequately trained, it can even be used as a service dog. In addition, the Northern Inuit dog breed has high intelligence, so when their energy is harnessed and trained, it can turn your dog into a fantastic therapy dog.

Northern Inuit Coat

This dog breed sports a very thick double coat. This will be quite a thick coat that will shed. You will need to get a consistent grooming routine to help your dog with its shedding in the springtime.

The coat is so thick to keep the dog warm in the winter because traditionally, these dogs live in colder climate weather. Northern Inuit Dogs have coats that will naturally be water-resistant, and it can even repel dirt to keep your dog clean.

Below you will see the variations of colors that the Northern Inuit might possibly come in.

Northern Inuit

What Colors Do They Come In?

The Northern Inuit Dog generally displays earthy markings similar to a wolf with brown undertones and hints of black and white.

The most common coat colors are:

  • Brown
  • Stable
  • White
  • Fawn
  • Black
  • Gray

You will notice this breed has oval-shaped eyes that can come in a few different colors, such as blue, hazel, brown, and even amber. The dog will sport the traditional black nose.

Height & Weight

Female Northern Inuit dogs should stand between 23 and 28 inches (58 and 71 cm) and weighs around 55 to 84 pounds (25 to 38 kg).

Males should stand 25 to 30 inches (58 to 81 cm) and weighs between 79 and 110 pounds (36 to 48 kg).

Northern Inuit Dog Health Problems

Below are some of the common health conditions that this breed can actually inherit or develop. The Northern Inuit dog is at a higher risk for hereditary cataracts, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia – This is a condition that bigger dogs have to worry about. Before you purchase a Northern Inuit Dog, ensure that you check out the family history and if the dog’s parents had hip dysplasia.

Cataracts – This can be something dogs can develop when they get older, as well as in their genes. The good thing about this is that your veterinarian can take care of your dog’s cataracts.

Cryptorchidism – The Northern Inuit dog can develop this condition where its testicles or even both can descend into your dog’s scrotum. This will occur quite early in your dog’s life when it is a puppy. The only way to help your dog with this issue is by getting a veterinarian to remove the effects testicles.

Degenerative Myelopathy – This is a very serious condition where the dog can develop lameness, and your dog will not be able to use its hind limbs. This can be a fatal disease in dogs, especially in some Northern Inuit dogs. Keep your dog’s regular checkups to ensure that your dog is healthy.

Life Expectancy of a Northern Inuit Dog

If your dog doesn’t develop the rather fatal health conditions above, it can live a rather long life span. Healthy Northern Inuit dogs will see a lifespan of approximately 12 to 14 years. This is significantly longer than other large dog breeds.

Medium Large Dog Silhouettes

Living Conditions

Northern Inuit dogs should be given room to move and regular exercise. Homes with plenty of space, fenced-in yards, and someone who will be present and with the dog for most of the day are preferable.

Your dog will need an ample amount of exercise to get all of your dog’s built-up energy out. If you do not do this successfully, it can cause your dog to develop some very destructive behavior.

They are dogs that require a strong leader and do not do well in homes that require them to be left alone for long stretches. If you train your dog from a young age, you can teach your dog how to deal with separation anxiety.

Remember to feed this dog breed high-quality, protein-packed dog food that will give your dog all the nutrients it needs in a day. If you are not up to the exercise and grooming requirements, then this would not be the dog breed for you.

Northern Inuit Dog Exercise

The Northern Inuit dog should be given ample exercise each day. This is a larger breed, so adequate physical activity is necessary to prevent boredom and ensure good health.

A long walk is recommended as well as separate playtime for bonding. You can also take your dog for swims in a pool, ocean, or lake. Another great option is to take your dog to a dog park to play with other dogs. These dogs work great playing with other dogs and also children.

As a rule of thumb, you should be spending between 45 minutes to one hour each day exercising your dog. You do not need to do this all at one time. I suggest breaking that time up into morning, afternoon, and evening exercise time. If you are at work during the day you can spend longer in the evening when you get home exercising and playing with your dog.

Northern Inuit Diet

This is a very big breed of dog, and when you have a bigger dog, they are going to eat more. This breed type will need just about four cups of a mixture of wet and dry food. Make sure you break up the four cups into smaller meals; that way, your dog doesn’t develop bloat and feels fuller longer.

This will cost you around $2.00 a day on food. Make sure you consider this before purchasing a dog! It is always highly recommended to purchase dog food with high amounts of protein in it.

If your dog is sensitive to different ingredients, you can always make your own dog food or even switch your dog to a raw food diet. This could drastically clear up your dog’s skin by switching to a raw formula.

Northern Inuit Dog Looks

Northern Inuit Dog Grooming

The Northern Inuit dog has a thick coat that should be brushed regularly. It is recommended to brush your Northern Inuit dog every few days. Professional grooming sessions are generally not needed because the dog is supposed to have a heavy layer of fur.

Bathing should only be done when necessary, and your dog is visibly dirty. The Northern Inuit Dogs have a natural water repellant and dirt repellant coat. When bathing, you can use a regular shampoo or conditioner or one for sensitive skin.

Remember that this is a heavy shedding dog that has a double coat. This coat will be shed during the spring and summer months. The coat grows back thicker in the winter because this breed is used to harsh cold weather conditions.

I recommend owning a grooming brush along with your grooming brushes. If you are not sure how to groom a dog, you can certainly take yours to a groomer. Luckily this dog breed doesn’t need much maintenance in grooming.

Other Types

No recognized Northern Inuit dog types currently exist.

Cool Traits / Characteristics

This breed was created to create a gentle domestic canine that looked like a wolf. They are not actually related to wolves in any way; they just look very similar.

They are now getting noticed more in popularity due to the hit Tv show Game Of Thrones. The Northern Inuit dogs play the animals known as Dire Wolves in the show.

Inuit Dog Side Profile

Northern Inuit Puppies

More and more dog owners are getting into breeding, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a Northern Inuit puppy. Get one from a reputable breeder and not from the pet store. Puppy mills are not reliable sources to purchase puppies from due to the fact that they may not have good breeding practices.

The Northern Inuit dog breed grows fast from puppy to adult. Be aware of how big this dog is actually going to get. These dogs need plenty of room to grow up, preferably a house with a big backyard that they can run and play in.

Remember to get all of your dog’s recommended puppy vaccinations and adult vaccinations. It is important to visit your local veterinarian to give your dog regular checkups throughout its life.

Northern Inuit Dog Litter Size

Again this dog breed is considered to be medium to large in size, so you can expect that a female Northern Inuit Dog will yield a lot of puppies. Expect your female to have between five to twelve puppies in a litter.

Good for the First Time Dog Owner? Training?

The Northern Inuit dog is not recommended for the first-time dog owner. While this breed is gentle and non-aggressive, it is very clever and stubborn. It requires significant attention throughout the day, as well.

Only owners with experience being a pack leader should raise or adopt this breed. You need to have a strong hand when training this type of dog. They will train easily, but you need to show them who is boss.

Remember to show your dog praise through treats and effect after a command or trick is done correctly. This will teach your dog that it performed the task correctly and you are happy. The dog will then repeat the task to get the same reward/praise outcome.

Dog Bones

Common Mixes

No notable Northern Inuit dog mixes currently exist.


Here are some common questions that you will find about the Northern Inuit Dog.

Do Northern Inuit Dogs Make Good Pets?

Yes, the Northern Inuit Dog can make a great family companion. It is important that this breed is owned by someone experienced in raising dogs. This may not be the best dog breed for first-time dog owners. This is still an exceptionally friendly dog breed that would be a great pet.

How Much Do Northern Inuit Dogs Cost?

The Northern Inuit Dog breed is actually one of the most affordable hybrids, only costing between $700 to $1,500 at the most. You will want to purchase from a reputable breeder.

What Breed of Dog is the Direwolve?

The dogs that the Starks own in Game of Thrones are played by Northern Inuit Dogs.

How Smart are Northern Inuit Dogs?

The Northern Inuit Dog is a smart dog breed that will easily pick up on training commands. However, smart dogs can sometimes be very stubborn in some ways so just make sure you have very consistent training.

Do Northern Inuit Dogs Shed?

Yes, your dog will shed frequently but will shed a lot more in the spring and summer months.

Key Takeaways

In this section of my article, I like to give you quick points about what I covered in the article. The key things you need to know about the Northern Inuit dog breed.

  • This dog breed has quite a controversial history as people are unsure which dog breeds were used to create this dog breed.
  • This is a muscular dog that can come in a few different colors.
  • The Northern Inuit dog has become increasingly popular from the hit t.v. show Game of Thrones. This breed was used to play the Wolf dogs that the Starks from Winterfell owned.
  • This breed needs quite a lot of exercise each day to keep the dog from being destructive.
  • Make sure you split up your dog’s meals into smaller ones to avoid bloat.
  • You will likely want to purchase a de-shedding brush to help with the loose hairs inside of your dog’s coat.

Close Relatives of the Northern Inuit Dog

Below you will find some dog breeds that are very similar in look and personality to the Northern Inuit Dog:

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