The Fan Hitch Volume 7, Number 1, December 2004

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: New Faces, Old Passions
F.I.D.O.: Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen
A Conversation with Palle Norit
DNA Analysis of the Greenland Dog and the Canadian Inuit Dog
Pregnancy, Whelping and Pup Development in the ISD, Part 1
Product Review: Herculiner®
Tip for the Trail: Anti-fatigue Mats
In the News
Janice Howls: At the Heart of Greatness
 IMHO: Training or Interference

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, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

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This site is dedicated to the Inuit Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. It is also home to The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
In the News.....

                                                   Nygaard photo

A Reason to Follow the Iditarod 

The 1,049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race honors the famous twenty-driver relay run that transported serum from Nenana to Nome, Alaska in order to save villagers during a 1925 diphtheria epidemic.  The first commemorative race was in 1973. Today teams averaging 16 dogs, nearly all made up 45-50 pound Alaskan Huskies cover around 100 miles a day. Winning times have been a little over 9 days.

This is a far cry from our Inuit Dogs whose dog sledding tour de force is the ability to pull at least 125 pounds each over the most challenging of terrain in the most horrendous weather without quitting. In their native environment, an average good (long) day can be as much as 40 "arctic" miles. 

Despite these contrasts, Inuit Dog enthusiasts may want to keep an eye on the March 5, 2005 Iditarod. Inuit Sled Dog International's European coordinator Ove Nygaard of Årnes, Norway has been contracted to build sleds for the two Norwegian competitors, 2003 Iditarod winner Robert Sørly and 2005 Iditarod rookie Bjørnar Andersen. Ove will also be building sleds for mushers entered in the Femundløpet (February 4, 2005) and Finnmarksløpet (March 5, 2005) races in Norway.

We hope mushers using Nygaard sleds do very well and they keep in mind while spending all those days on the runners that they have put their trust into the hands of an Inuit Dog enthusiast.  Way to go, Ove! Talking about having a foot in each of two worlds! 

Inuit Sled Dog DNA Samples Sought

A canid DNA research center is actively seeking samples from pure Inuit Sled Dogs and selected contaminated ISDs for an ongoing study, "Population Genetics of the Inuit Sled Dog - Canis familiaris borealis". The overview for this project states, "Current methods of genetics allow us to describe the diversity and ancestry of indigenous populations of dogs. Using mitochondrial DNA markers (which track the maternal lineage), Y-chromosome markers (which track the paternal lineage), and other genome markers, we may be able to describe the genetic history of the Inuit Sled Dog." 

Participation is easy and sampling materials are delivered to you free. An approximately 1-inch fine bristle brush on the end of a flexible handle is scrubbed inside the cheek pouch and or along the gum line for ten seconds. Inuit Sled Dog owners worldwide are urged to participate. To learn how you can contribute, write to the project's Breed Contact, Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, Connecticut 06791, USA or at 

Poor Hunting in Qaanaaq

A November 15, 2004 story by CBC News North cited the lack of sea ice formation and bad weather and therefore the inability to hunt seals as the reason hunters in the Qaanaaq region of northwest Greenland have been forced cull some of their dogs in order to prevent them from starving.

A representative of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) Greenland said an effort has been initiated to provide supplemental dog food and raise money to assist hunters in the region.

In an email to the ISDI, ICC Greenland said that so far a couple of tons of dog food plus its transportation to the hamlets in the Qaanaaq region had been donated from Ilulissat. A bank account has been set up for receiving contributions to support this effort and the dog team owners until the sea ice forms and they can go out hunting seals. The sea ice, normally set by the end of September, still had not yet formed in the region as of mid-November.

Fan Hitch Story Nominated for Writing Award

"Geronimo's Travels", the true tale of the remarkable adventures of a Greenland Inuit Dog, is one of three finalists in the category of "National or International Club: newsletter: feature article" in the 2004 annual writing competition of the Dog Writers' Association of America. The Maxwell Medallion will be presented to the winner on February 13, 2005 at the annual awards dinner in New York City. This story was written by Sue Hamilton.
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