The Fan Hitch Volume 1, Number 2, October 1998

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

From the Editor
Major Announcement

IGE Expedition News

A Chat About Breeding

Honour & Glory

Behavioral Notebook

Janice Howls
IMHO: Pets, et al

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)

The Fan Hitch
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The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,

A Chat About Breeding

Geneviève Montcombroux

The Inuit sled dog pup grows quickly. By the time he reaches six months, he is almost as tall as the adults. It is very easy to forget that under all that luxuriant fur, there isn't a big mass of muscle, and it is even easier to forget that he is really just an adolescent. I was reminded of this when the female I had selected for breeding came in heat a couple of months earlier than expected. Cousteau-Angayuk, the male, was just six months. I didn't expect him to even know what to do, but I put Tekoone in his pen in the hope something would happen. They loved each other at first sight. His interest was high, and she, being a three-year-old, showed him what to do. The eager student got an A+! Then the hopeful waiting began. After all, I've lost count of the number of people whose six-month-old males accidentally bred a female. Soon, it became obvious that there would be no puppies. Cousteau- Angayuk, for all his eagerness,was not mature enough. Are males really mature at six months? Personally, I doubt it.

As for the females, many of them have been bred on their first heat, which is regretable. The Inuit sled dog's skeleton takes three years to reach full maturity, i.e. when the bones and cartilages have finished growing and hardening. To breed a female before she is at least two years old is theequivalent of a thirteen-year-old teenager being pregnant. Whelping a litter takes a lot out of a female (as it does out of a human!). When the female is still growing herself, it takes even more out of her. A lot of calcium is leeched from her bones, leaving her prone to injuries and weakness later in life. Traditionally, Inuit people bred the females dogs young. There is no data on what damage was caused later in later life.

A female should not be bred until after two years, and everyone would agree that a female should not be bred at every heat, year after year. I would be interested to hear from Inuit sled dog owners on the subject of how often females come in heat, and if anybody is using the contraceptive pill.
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