The Fan Hitch Volume 1, Number 4  July 1999

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial:  Defining the Inuit Sled Dog
Featured Inuit Dog Owner:  Sylvia Feder
All the Wrong Reasons
DNA Project
Last Trip of the Century to the North Pole
Bering Bridge Expedition - 10 Years Later
Ways of the North
Behavioral Notebook:  Watching TV
Poem:  Standing Invitation
Video Review:  Dog of the Midnight Sun
Janice Howls:  Observations
In My Humble Opinion:  Work, et. al.

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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:

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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,
From the Editor...

Defining the Inuit Sled Dog

There are ways to describe their physical appearance.  And it is possible to put into words how the Inuit Dog works, although nothing beats the experience of sitting atop a tack box lashed down tightly to a komatiq while a team of these beasts works hour after hour under just about any conditions.  By now you must have read somewhere how the principle diet is seal and caribou and whale and fish, and that the dogs can work even if not fed on a daily basis and that after freeze up they get their water from the metabolism of fat in their diet and what snow and ice they consume.  So in assessing all that they do and are, words like tough, resilient, strong, determined come to mind.

Yet one of the best definitions of the breed, one that speaks to its true nature, was given to us by  Bill Carpenter during our recent visit to his Yellowknife home and kennel. In defining the essence of the Inuit Dog, Bill said, "This breed displays an exaggerated response to all stimuli."  I am sure that those of you who either own or have experienced working with Inuit Dogs recognize the wisdom of Bill's interpretation.  For those of you considering the purchase of one of these magnificent animals, please contemplate thoroughly Bill's insight, before you leap backwards, yes backwards, to meet the challenge of owning this primitive breed.  Understanding and accepting the nature of the Inuit Sled Dog is key to successfully living with them.

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads......... 

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