The Fan Hitch Volume 9, Number 2, March 2007

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue....

From the Editor: Who Will Share Our Vision?

ISDI Launches New Partnership in Nunavik

Qimmiit Utirtut's First Litter

A Real Inuk

Update: Sledge Dog Memorial Fund

Recollections of the Doggy Man

Sledge Dogs of The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, 1947-50

Fan Mail

In the News 

Video Reviews:
Secrets of Antarctica
Wolf Dog
Return of the Qimutsiit
Dogs That Changed the World

Product  Review: Leather Mittens by Sterling Glove

Tip for the Trail: It's in the Bag

IMHO: One Brick at a Time

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.

Video Review....
Wolf Dog 

reviewed by Sue Hamilton

The ISDI has always been eager to learn of any lesser known populations of pure Inuit Sled Dogs which might exist, for example in the Russian Arctic perhaps. Another topic of keen interest is what, if any, pure ISDs might still remain in Labrador. Many dogs  (assumed to be and which appeared to be pure ISDs) taken to Antarctica in the mid-twentieth century by the Falkland Islands Dependences Service (FIDS, later to become the British Antarctic Survey) were obtained in Labrador. 

Despite its questionable title, Wolf Dog, a CBC production of Land and Sea, the long-running series showcasing the culture and history of Newfoundland and Labrador, drew considerable interest in Nunavik and elsewhere when it was aired on Canadian television February 19, 2007. According to this program, as well as information available on the world wide web, the featured topic, the Labrador Husky, takes much of its history and description of use from the Inuit Sled Dog. Yet geographic isolation from other polar regions of North America and deliberate hybridization with wolves, claimed to have been practiced by Labrador Inuit even up to the time when snowmobiles were introduced to the region, created a unique breed, according to Labrador Husky enthusiasts. 

Ken MacRury's master's thesis, The Inuit Dog: Its Provenance, Environment and History, devotes an entire chapter to the "dog-wolf controversy". Citing physical evidence and cultural practices, MacRury goes into great detail why crossing of pure ISDs and wolves did not take place. Could dog-keeping cultural practices of Labrador Inuit be so different from those of Inuit in other polar regions? Would Labrador Inuit have considered their pure Inuit Dog to be in need of such "tweaking" and improvement as described by Labrador Husky enthusiasts? Unfortunately Wolf Dog, more "docutainment" than serious examination, goes absolutely nowhere in answering these questions. And, as I chose to settle on viewing this program online, which was offered at very low resolution, it would be unfair to comment on the appearance of the dogs.

You can draw your own conclusions by obtaining a copy of Wolf Dogs at $25.00 CAD for a VHS tape or $30.00 CAD for a DVD. Contact Rosemary Sampson to receive exact shipping charges, payment methods and to receive and fill out a required Standard Release Form; by email: or traditional mail at:  Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. P.O. Box 12010, Stn. A, St. John's, NL Attention: Rosemary Sampson 

Readers who have information about Inuit Sled Dogs in Labrador are encouraged to share their knowledge in The Fan Hitch. Please contact Sue Hamilton at

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