The Fan Hitch Volume 2, Number 3, May 2000

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

From the Editor
Nunavut Quest 2000:
More Than a Race
Nunavut Quest 2000:
Drivers' Meeting
Nunavut Quest 2000:
On the Trail
Nunavut Quest 2000:
Race Results
Poem: Dogs of the Sledge Trail
Inuit Demand Inquiry of Historical Dog Extermination Policy
Nunavut's Official Symbols
Niels Pedersen, D.V.M:
The Veterinary Service in Greenland
ISDI Foundation:
Sled Dog Problems in Iqaluit
Baking: Dog Cookie Recipe
Crafts: Save That Hair
Behavioral Notebook:
Social Order
Book Review:
Polar Dream
In My Humble Opinion: 
Sharing the Trail
Ihe ISDVMA Meeting

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

Subordinance and dominance                                                  Hamilton photo

Page from the Behaviour Notebook
by Geneviève Montcombroux

Food is put down in bowls, the dogs switch around. When they have finished, they lick each other's mouths, then the females lick the boss' penis. He stands still, a picture of contentment. Next they rub flanks and do another round of mouth licking. Often they take a slow run around the pen, flanks to flanks, finishing in the male rubbing his chin over the back - usually just behind the shoulders - of the nearest female.

Pups/young dogs rub their mouths against the boss's, and follow with the neck and their whole body against the boss's chest, who stands patiently. Then he rubs his mouth lightly against the young ones' mouths, down his neck and rubs his chin over the back - usually just behind the shoulders - of the young ones.

Boss (and any male below if he is alone, therefore the boss) lunges at a female so she rolls down squealing, he stands over her, growling with biting-like motions - but he doesn't actually  bite. All the while she squeals blue murder. Then he walks away and she yaps behind him in a very outraged tone. Oh yes, they do have different tones. If he walks away immediately after throwing her down and does not go through the ritual of growling and biting, she runs towards him, slithering on the ground right into his legs, and squealing appropriately. He usually ignores such a display.

Females who have an older pup with them, bond strongly with him/her and will defend him/her against the boss or another dog, by standing next to him/her and yapping with outrage when being submitted by the boss. Then she licks him/her, since he/she has urinated over him/herself.

And all the dogs scent themselves on the trail by rolling in some mysterious substances. Sometimes it's bear scats, or wolf droppings, most times there is nothing to see - or to smell for us humans.

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