The Fan Hitch Volume 3, Number 3, June 2001

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

From the Editor
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Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Brian and Linda Fredericksen
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Lake Nipigon - Solo
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Inuit Dogs in New Hampshire, Part II
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The Inuit Dogs of Svalbard
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Update: Uummannaq Children's Expedition
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Update: Iqaluit Dog Team By-Law is Official
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Poem: Instinct
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The Homecoming: Epilogue
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Product Review: Sock Sense
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Tip for the Trail: Wet Equals Cold
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Janice Howls: More Than Meets the Eye
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Page from a Behaviour Notebook: Hunting


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              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. 

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Brian & Cyrus                                 Fredericksen photo

Featured Inuit Dog Owners: Brian and Linda Fredericksen
of  Points Unknown Kennels

written by Brian Fredericksen

Recently married, Linda and I live in Central Minnesota with our nineteen dogs ten of which are pure Inuit Sled Dogs.

My interest in winter travel began in 1976 when I was 16 years old and two friends and I took my Siberian Husky and a wooden toboggan into Northern Wisconsin for a New Year's Eve camping trip. In the years that followed, I spent  hundreds of nights winter camping in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Minnesota and Ontario.

My first exposure to Inuit Sled Dogs was around 1989 when I was invited to attend a program Lonnie Dupre was giving on his Northwest Passage Expedition. Lonnie had Kernak with him as a "visual aid" and I knew right then I had finally found the true husky of the north.  At the time of Lonnie's presentation, I had just started to accumulate a small team of Alaskans and Siberians with the intent of getting more serious about dog sledding. Hearing Lonnie and learning about the Inuit Sled Dog gave me a new focus on the kind of dog I wanted in my kennel. I really had no interest in sled dog racing and felt the Alaskan Malamute was too big of a dog for my use. The ISD impressed me by the fact that it was the true freight dog of the north. I spoke with Lonnie after his presentation and admired  Kernak, who I eventually would own five years later and breed. Lonnie had a litter of pups, born on the expedition, at a farm he was temporarily staying at near where I lived. Within days of that first meeting, I visited Lonnie and purchased a female pup, Gjoa, named after Amundsen's ship which he successfully used to make the first Northwest Passage.

In the late 1980's the ISD was a very uncommon dog here in the United States. But I was fortunate to acquire three puppies, two males and a female, from Paul Schurke,  giving me the beginnings of a breeding program. Until recently my kennel consisted of  ISDs from the Schurke -Dupre lines. During the 1990's I learned about the ISDI and met Geneviève Montcombroux and through that interaction expanded our bloodlines by obtaining pups from both her and Jerry and Sharon Roberts.

Here in Minnesota we probably have the largest population of pure ISDs outside of northern Canada. However, not all are pure in this state where the Polar Husky calls home. The Polar Husky was  developed by Will Steger for use in his Arctic expeditions  and is essentially an ISD crossbreed. Their size and strength impressed many mushers. For those reasons some of the so called Canadian Eskimo Dogs in northern Minnesota  are crossbreeds. Its still a big problem when finding or placing pure ISDs.  I still have three [Polar Huskies] in my kennel but have become determined to maintain the pure ISDs by being more careful in my additions to our kennel.

Linda & Adja                                                        Fredericksen photo

Linda and I live thirty miles west of Minneapolis/St. Paul (the Twin Cities as they are called) in Minnesota on a 450 acre lake. Once frozen, it offers the ability to do some early season training on ice before the snow accumulates on the wooded trails. The recreational trail, eighty  miles long, crosses the lake on a old rail trestle and allows longer training runs to be made from the backyard. Before I met Linda, my main interest in the dogs was in maintaining a world class freighting kennel that would allow me to take 300-500 mile trips with gear and supplies. I selected dogs to keep for their pulling abilities and gave less regard for their social and behavior traits. 

Linda's interest in dogs got her involved with Australian Shepherds of which she now has two males. She has taught me the importance of socializing puppies and selecting dogs based on their temperament and confidence. Dog sledding is a new experience for her and we have assembled a four dog ISD team which we kennel in a  separate area to allow them to establish their own hierarchy apart from the nine dog team I run.

My primary interest in owning and breeding these dogs revolves around an interest in winter travel. Each winter I make several 3-4 day trips into the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness on the border of Minnesota and Ontario. In the last five years I have expanded my horizons by taking longer one to three week long trips to Lake Nipigon and Hudson Bay near Churchill. 

ISDI members with an interest in winter travel should feel free to contact us if you would like do some trips together. We can be reached by e-mail: Brian@amesfarm.com  or Linda@amesfarm.com

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