The Fan Hitch Volume 8, Number 3, June 2006

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue...

Editorial: Diversity with a Common Interest
FIDO: John Senter
Developing a Culture of Mushers
The Inuit Sled Dog Registry
Arctic Inuit Sled Dogs: Life in Retirement
Inuit Dog Thesis Update
In the News
Fan Mail
Kennel Tip: Taking the Heat Off
Book Review: The Lost Men
 IMHO: Filling the Woodshed

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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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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.

Inuit Dog Thesis Update

A late March, 2006 posting announcing Ken MacRury's thesis, The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History, to an arctic internet discussion list resulted in a blizzard of inquiries and sales of his publication. These requests came from all over the northern hemisphere and represented a variety of sources, among them world renown museums, universities in North America and Europe (including Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard) with polar studies programs, their students, booksellers in Germany and Alaska, as well as individuals from Texas to Nunavut to Europe with interest in the Inuit Dog. One such person is involved with a worldwide bird of prey conservation organization having a research lab in the Thule District of Greenland; another is a fellow who had peddled a cycle rickshaw around the world and at one point passed through East Greenland! It has been a real eye-opener to learn just how eclectic and geographically diverse interest in the Inuit Sled Dog is. And, it has been a genuine pleasure to meet these folks, with whom some dialogues extended beyond the original sale transactions. Another new experience gained from all this, thanks to the encouragement of one European buyer, was the first time use of PayPal. PayPal’s website says, “Pay for purchases or send money to anyone with an email address in 55 countries and regions. It's free. Signing up for a PayPal account is easy, and takes just a few minutes to complete. Once you're done, you can send your payment in minutes!” Those of you living outside the United States who have been reluctant to purchase a copy of the thesis because of high cost of bank checks or money orders made out in US dollars should look into using PayPal.  The only caveat about PayPal is that for ISDI to accept a payment, funds must be drawn from a checking account and not a credit card.

The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History by Ian Kenneth MacRury was written in 1991 as part of the requirement for the completion of his Master of Philosophy in Polar Studies degree from Darwin College, the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the most comprehensive scientific publication written about the oldest of all purebred polar dogs. It is a "must have" for anyone involved with sled dogs as well as those interested in understanding how the Inuit Dog proved to be an essential element to the survival of arctic people for four thousand years, well into the mid-twentieth century.

The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History covers the prehistoric origins of the Inuit Sled Dog, the wolf/dog controversy, and the environment in which the breed evolved. It examines physical characteristics including historical trends in height and weight, coat color patterns, and the breed's unique behaviour and nutritional requirements. It includes sections on the history of the different systems of Inuit Dog use in early exploration and scientific endeavor at both poles as well as the current operation by the Danish government's Sirius Patrol in North-East Greenland. It presents a wealth of information in the form of many tables and figures, as well as a thirty-four entry bibliography and one hundred thirty-eight references. This third printing has been updated by the author, and includes information not available in the first two printings.

The thesis, privately, professionally and exclusively published by the Inuit Sled Dog International, is fifty-nine 8.5 x 11 inch pages long. The front and back covers are heavy card stock and the spine is nicely bound with black fabric tape. The single copy retail price of The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History is $16.00 USD plus shipping. For more information and exact shipping charges, contact Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA or at

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