The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 2, March 2003

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: The Blind Men and the Elephant
The Return
Dogs in Greenland
The Contribution of Dogs to Exploration in Antarctica
Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Raising Raven
Antarctic Sketches
Physiology of Sledge Dogs
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 2
News Briefs:
Thesis update
Blue Eye update
Product Review: DirectStop®
Book Review: Carved from the Land
Tip for the Trail: Re-lining Water Jug Caps
IMHO: Preservation vs. Saving

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

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The Fan Hitch home page

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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
News Briefs.....

Rasmus: a solid dog, though not quite as muscular as his brother, Arch. 
                                 by Mike Fielding from The Book that Wasn't

Update: The latest news on the blue eyes 
in Greenland Dogs issue

by Ove Nygaard

A change to the official breed standard for the Greenland Dog has been approved by The Danish Kennel Club (DKC). The new text, which makes blue eyes and flipped ears disqualifying faults, has been sent to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) for final approval. The next revision of the standard is to include these faults as disqualifying.

I received this information by email from Freddie Klindrup who is the leader of Spidshundeklubben, the Official Club for the Greenland Dog in Denmark. There is also a short notice on the DKC's web site about this, pointing to changes dated November 29, 2002. But the text will not be formally changed until it is made official by the FCI. They will make these changes known to all the other Kennel Clubs after which they will send the changes out in public. Then, after everyone has been informed, it will be considered official. 

This is one small step in the right direction, but still there's a lot of work to be done. Greenland Dog clubs with official connections to the Kennel Clubs must accept and honor these changes and not work against them, as the Norwegian club (Norsk Polarhundklubb) is doing. In my opinion, if any club currently associated with FCI or the Kennel Clubs does not support the text of the new Greenland Dog standard, they should no longer be allowed to have an official affiliation with FCI or the Kennel Clubs.

Also I believe that in a club made up of Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, Samoyed Dog, Siberian Husky and Alaskan Husky owners, it should be only we Greenland Dog owners who have the right to vote in any matter about our own breed. Denmark already follows this policy.

Word has recently been received that this new standard will be official from FCI as of March 2003. Ed.

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Progress report: The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, 
Environment and History

We apologize profusely to all of you who are waiting for your copies of Ken MacRury's master's thesis on the Inuit Dog. The process of creating this third printing, in an updated electronic form, is far more labor intensive that we could have ever imagined. The process is on-going as of this time (March 10, 2003). We are loathe to project another deadline we may not meet. However, we hope to have more positive news before the next The Fan Hitch. So please check in periodically at the ISDI web site starting in about a month. Again, we are sorry for the delay. In the mean time,  you may continue to email or snail mail your advanced requests to Sue Hamilton.

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Mail bag:

Hi Sue,

I just happened to go to your web site and noticed all the furor about Northern Inuits (sic)! This is a problem over here that we have had to put up with for some years now. I have been involved with sled dogs and wolf conservation since the start of the eighties long before any of these people had heard of sled dogs! I have Sibes that we work (not too much snow sadly) and a nearly fifteen-year old Greenland dog. In 1985 I founded the Wolf Society of Great Britain. This was an educational and conservation organisation. I have spent many years trying to prevent the idiots from ruining the reputation of both wolves and huskies etc.

I had one of the original imports that the Northern Inuit people refer to. I sort of rescued this dog as a pup from the original importers who quickly got fed up with them. We had him for nearly twelve years. I do not know exactly what he was, but he clearly contained both malamute and German Shepherd. Who knows if there was any wolf. If there were, it was a very small amount. Monty Sloan of Wolf Park in Indiana knew the original breeder and said that her dogs were based on four animals found straying! Pups from the same litter as my animal ended up with the idiots who went on to create the so-called Northern Inuit. 

Do not give these people the satisfaction of believing that their dogs have anything remotely to do with wolves. They are basically just sled dog/German Shepherd crosses sold to the gullible for lots of money. The woman only came up with the name when she was taken to court for keeping wolf crosses (even though they are actually just dogs!) and had to change her image. We have worked our dogs for the last 20 years and apart from the pup that I had, I have never seen any of these Northern Inuits being run at sled dog events over here. They just delude themselves and con all the new owners!

It just gets me so angry. Many of these dogs have ended up dead because people still believe that they are wolf crosses and the local authorities confiscate them and put them to sleep!! 

Best regards, 

Sue Hull
United Kingdom

A February 23, 2003 check of one of the two "Northern Inuit" web sites yielded the following statement:  "As the Inuit dog of Canada has played no part in the development of our dogs and the name Northern Inuit justifiably caused much controversy regarding both type and origin of the breed, we have now renamed them THE UTONAGAN - The Spirit of the Wolf". However another group, the Northern Inuit Society, remains stubbornly unenlightened, clinging to their misleading moniker and myth. Ed.

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