The Fan Hitch Volume 8, Number 4, September 2006

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue....

Editorial: The Northern Experience
A Nunavik Adventure
In the News
Fan Mail
Tip for the Trail: Keep it Clean
Behavior Notebook: Displacement, Discipline, Diversion, Disarming
 IMHO: Transitions
Index: Volume 8, The Fan Hitch

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:

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

Contents of The Fan Hitch 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

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.
Fan Mail....

In the off season, dog teams are traditionally kept 
on dog islands                           Photo: Gordon

June 27, 2006

Hi Mrs. Hamilton,

I'm very interested to get a copy of Mr. MacRury's document.

Like it is mentioned in the latest Fan Hitch edition, this thesis represents a "must have" for everybody related to Inuit Sled Dogs...and since three years now, we've been enjoying ourselves with our dog team in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik.  Our interest seems to increase every day from now on...

Thank you for your time and "bravo!" for all the work you're carrying on.

J.-M. S.

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July 6, 2006

Dear Sue,

I'm from Poland and have been reading The Fan Hitch newsletter frequently since a year (I read all the archives), which I consider the best theoretic source of my knowledge about ISD.


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Aug 13, 2006


I have type 2 diabetes so I walk every day. I have also raised dogs all my 50 years. My dog now likes to walk in the summer, but chickens out in the winter. I am interested in the Inuit breed as my one and only dog. What is my first step would you say?


B. N.
Michigan, USA


I would say your first step would be to ask yourself the following questions: 1) Why you want an Inuit Sled Dog as your one and only dog and 2) Is your situation is truly right for one (remember the ISD is not a pet or a "city" dog). Your next step would be to learn absolutely everything you could about the breed, starting with reading The Canadian Inuit Dog, Canada's Heritage by Genevieve Montcombroux and The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History by Ken MacRury. If you can, get to meet some ISDs in person. Then ask yourself if you have the dogged determination and will power to deal with this often difficult primitive breed.


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September 11, 2006


I just happened across the on-line version of the The Fan Hitch, Volume 3, Number 3, June 2001 in which appeared an article "Inuit Dogs in New Hampshire, Part II". I am the son of the Labrador man, Jimmy Martin of Cartwright, whom Mr. Clark hired to bring the dogs from Labrador to New Hampshire, and your article has filled in a couple of holes in the story as we know it.  It is particularly timely that I should come across this article now since I am in the process of organizing my memoirs. 

I visited the Clark Trading Post and Museum in Lincoln [New Hampshire, USA] in 1977 and saw my father's trail gear and paraphernalia on display there. 

The sled dog pretty well disappeared from the scene in Labrador with the arrival of the snow-mobile in the 1950s.  There was a bit of a revival in the '70s but the breed has been sadly diluted and diminished.  They hold traditional dog-team races there every year as part of their winter festivals, but the dogs are anything but pure anymore.

Thank you for publishing this article and putting it on line.  The story is an important part of our family legend.  I also liked the bit about Clarence Birdseye.  Father was his dog team driver as well. 


Michael Martin
Newfoundland and Labrador

Ed: Mr. Martin would like us all to know that the correct pronunciation of Newfoundland is "New-fun-DLAND" and definitely not "New-FOUND-land".

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