The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 1  November 1999

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled

Table of Contents

Editorial:  Looking to the Year 2000
Report: The North Baffin Quest
Project: Impress Your Dog
Behavioral Notebook: Tiri's Magic Carpet
ISD News from Norway
Feeding Tips
In My Humble Opinion: Cause and Effect
Janice Howls: The Spitz Group
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Jim Ryder
Hudson's Bay Adventure
Book Review: Running North

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: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

PostScript is published intermittently as material becomes available. Online access is free at:  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch Website and its publications  are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or

Seasonal end of the Ingraham Trail, Yellowknife, NWT, late April 1999 © Hamilton photo

IMHO: Cause & Effect
by Mark Hamilton

We deal with this subject all our lives. Now, I don’t know about you but it seems to me, at this point in my life I should have gotten a lot better at dealing with it. Truth is though, I'm pleased with myself if I just manage to recognize the situations as they arise. Oh sure, sometimes these events are easy to spot, i.e. don't water your house plants, watch them die or never look at your gas gauge, run out of gas.....  a lot. 

Other times it's not so clear cut. At times we act like we're have a cause and effect situation when in fact we don't know. A few of years ago it became almost fashionable to change your dog food based on whether it contained ethoxiquine or not. A vocal few offered up anecdotal information about poor coats and "breeding" problems. Eventually, most of the affected dog food manufacturers were compelled to make changes in their formulation and processes that eliminated their use of the chemical and their need to list it in the table of contents. Believers felt vindicated. To this day I'm unaware of any scientific research that implicates the chemical in any canine health problem. 

This gets me to ISDI's database, registry if you must, of purebred Inuit Sled Dogs. Does this put us in "competition" with the all breed kennel clubs? Does this encourage the mixing of Greenlandic and Canadian bloodlines? Must it lead to the demise of the pure bred dogs? 

As to the issue of competition with all breed kennel clubs, I don"t see how it is be possible. The dogs we are actively seeking to put in the ISDI database are pure bred animals that are not now registered with any all breed club. Once these animals are in the database, the fact of their existence is available to all others in the network. Increasingly this is information that was previously unavailable to most of us. The result is increased possibilities for owners seeking to expand the diversity of their gene pool while maintaining pure bred dogs. 

Does the database encourage owners to mix Greenlandic and Canadian bloodlines? No, because the information is neutral. While it may facilitate the behavior of those seeking to mix these two major bloodlines, for those who desire to keep strictly within one bloodline, it facilitates their behavior as well. The net result is that each dog owner makes his/her own decisions on their behavior, just like real life. 

The answers to the first two questions provides us with the answer to the third question, the one about leading to the demise of pure bred dogs. No, of course it doesn't. The ISDI database is nothing but information, information centralized so that it can function as a tool for all ISDI participants. The database may ultimately even serve those people involved with all breed clubs. If they needed to, and successfully petitioned their all bred club(s) to open their registry to allow for additional dogs or to diversify their gene pools, the dogs identified in the ISDI database could be a prime resource for them. 

Return to top of page