The Fan Hitch Volume 4, Number 3, May 2002

Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial
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Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Chuck Weiss
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Research Paper 1: Survey of Diseases and Accidents
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When to Start Working Dogs
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A Day in the Woods
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Future or Death
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Reality Check: Reproduction or the Real Deal
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Behaviour: Qiniliq Learns His Place
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High Arctic Mushing: Part III
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Book Review: Igloo Dwellers Were My Church
*
Janice Howls: All Along the Watch Tower
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IMHO: Friends and Allies


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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: http://thefanhitch.org.

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.)


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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; gmontcombroux@gmail.com
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, mail@thefanhitch.org
Page from the Behavior Notebook.....


As Goofy approaches, Qiniliq seeks to be returned to the security of his pack          Hamilton photo

Qiniliq Learns His Place 

by Sue Hamilton

As Qiniliq (a.k.a. the Twerp) has been lifting his leg since he was three months old, it's a little more tricky to identify signs of the onset of sexual maturity.  Not that three-legged peeing is a defining moment, but it has helped identify when most of our males have reached puberty. With Qiniliq, we are measuring his rising testosterone level in part by how the other dogs are reacting to him.  Bishop and Tunaq began fighting, seriously. Bishop, the boss in the pack next door (to Qiniliq) is big into displacement aggression and the Twerp had been spending more time at the fence, baiting the older dog. Not being able to deliver his comeuppance to the young upstart, Bishop instead savaged Tunaq. At 2.5 years, Tunaq is coming into his own and, fed up with the beatings, began defending himself. This resulted in multiple puncture wounds, lots of limping and two dogs who went to the vet one day and got "fixed". So, while Qiniliq's sex hormones continue to rise, the boys next door have lost theirs. 

Qiniliq still respects the elders in his run, a ten-year-old male and a ten and five-and-a-half-year-old mother and daughter, both spayed. Still, he is getting cocky and fresh and fancies himself able to take on the world. Ken MacRury advised that too much human attention and not enough defining of social strata will lead to a dog that is full of himself which could lead to trouble for him and maybe for us.  He suggested an "attitude adjustment" courtesy of Goofy, Ken's retired boss dog who came to live with us in May, 2001. That was a good choice. Actually, the only choice. Qiniliq lives with an indulgent male, Puggiq who, if pushed, will bellow at the youngster, but otherwise tolerates a great deal of nonsense. He may live to regret this. Well, we hope he lives a long life, but one where Qiniliq won't turn him into pulp the way Bishop is trying to do to Tunaq. We couldn't turn Bishop or Tunaq out with Qiniliq as we're trying hard to turn off the "beating reflex". Our ten-year-old intact male malamute is treated by the ISDs as if he's invisible - and he acts that way - no more animation than a dandelion, unless activity involves food or sex, and with no intact bitches left in our kennel, the dog is pretty much out of the loop on that latter activity.

So, Goofy was selected as the Jedi Knight, to train the young warrior in the way of The Force. The unsuspecting old master waited in the back yard. Qiniliq, released from his pen, bolted out of the front security gate and made a bee-line for Goofy. Much to our amazement, Twerp chest butted Goofy as he laid his neck and chin across Goofy's withers. Every joint in both their bodies stiffened and froze. We were about to wet our shorts. Goofy spoke, verrrry softly conveying his displeasure at the brazen act. Qiniliq held his ground. Goofy raised the stakes with a low rumble. Qiniliq imitated a marble statue. The ground began to shake - about a 4.0 on the Richter scale-o-meter as Goofy began a roar that penetrated every follicle on his body because he was getting wider, taller, bigger, fluffier with every passing nanosecond. And when Qiniliq refused to yield the floor to the senior senator from Iqaluit, Goofy turned and rose on his hind legs like a pissed-off polar bear!  We could barely contain ourselves when Qiniliq rose to meet Goofy, face to face, enamel to enamel, as they inhaled each other's exhalations.  Mark and I just held on to each other, mutual restraint to muster the courage NOT to interfere.

It was over in a few seconds. Qiniliq "blinked" then pancaked under Goofy's eighty pounds (to his sixty-eight). Goofy held him fast to the walkway by placing his chin and neck on top of the now terrified pup's quivering neck and shoulder.  Not a tooth was fired.  When finally allowed to get to his feet, poor Qiniliq ran behind Mark and stood up against him, begging for protection and comfort, neither of which he received. By this point Goofy need only stare at the pup to put the fear of Sedna in him.

We repeated the meeting a week later while Janice Dougherty was here so she could referee, if necessary, while I was at the ready with the camera. Qiniliq, no dummy, remembered his lesson well and tippy-toed behind Mark, brave enough only to peek out at Goofy from between Mark's legs - not the most comforting position for the human to be in.

Qiniliq is getting sassier as he matures and eventually even he will be more than Goofy can handle. In fact, Qiniliq may turn out to be the omnipotent boss dog that Goofy is now.  But for the time being, the kid is enjoying life and putting up with the occasional humiliations he deserves from the rest of the pack. But he's got a good memory and some day the tables will be turned.  We only hope he remembers and emulates that part of his first encounter with Master Goofy where his life was mercifully spared without bloodshed.

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