Canadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is an ancient dog breed that was bred by the Thule people about 4.000 years ago. These dogs were never kept as pets and were never considered as such. They were a survival tool that ancient people used for pulling heavy loads in snow and for hunting prey like seals or even the mighty polar bear.

Like many other Nordic sled dogs, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is not a breed for everyone. It is a hard-working, active dog breed that is used to hard work, and expect it. It is not a breed that is going to obey your every order and if you are looking for a family pet, maybe rethink your choice of this breed.

Canadian Eskimo Dog


20-27 in (50-70 cm)

Canadian Eskimo Dog


40-88 lb (18-40 kg)

Canadian Eskimo Dog



Canadian Eskimo Dog

Life Expectancy:

10-15 years

Breed History

Canadian Eskimo Dog has been working with Inuit hunters from the beginning and they were very popular for working purposes. They were used to find seal breathing holes and also to hold large predators such as bears at bay. Mostly they were used as sled dogs. There is a saying that around the 1920s there were 20 000 Canadian Eskimo Dogs in their native land but that number drastically decreased in the next 50 years with the development of snowmobiles. These dogs are fairly rare outside of Canada.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Canadian Eskimo Dog characteristics are similar to those of the Greenland dog. They have a thick, double coat that is able to withstand extreme Arctic temperatures. They have wedge-shaped heads and pricked ears that are fully covered with hair to prevent frostbite. The Canadian Eskimo Dog can have a black, brown, or even butterfly nose. Their eyes can come in a variety of colors, depending on the color of their coat.

These dogs have large, curled tails, a characteristic it shares with Nordic breeds around the world. They have well-developed and defined muscles.

Canadian Eskimo Dog standard


  • Group 5 (Spitz and primitive types), Section 1 (Nordic Sledge Dogs)
  • height - males 23-27 in (58-70 cm), females 20-23,5 in (50-60 cm)
  • weight - males 66-88 lbs(30-40 kg), females lbs 40-66 lbs (18-30 kg)
  • date of acceptance - 6/25/1959

canadian eskimo dog


Canadian Eskimo Dog has a thick and dense outercoat and a soft undercoat that serves as protection from various weather conditions. These dogs shed a lot and weekly brushing is required throughout the whole year. During shedding season – twice a year these dogs will blow their entire coat and at that time daily brushing is required to keep this dog looking good and to keep the amount of hair under control.

Canadian Eskimo Dog coat colors:

  • all white
  • white body with a small amount of red, buff, grey, or black around the ears and eyes
  • red and white
  • buff and white
  • cinnamon and white
  • black and white
  • red body white on chest and legs
  • sable, black or dark grey body with white on chest and legs
  • silver grey

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.


Canadian Eskimo Dog is a highly energetic and active breed. They were bred to work all day, so these dogs need a lot of daily exercise. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping or jogging. If you are thinking about getting a Canadian Eskimo Dog, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend it outside playing and training your Canadian Eskimo Dog.


Canadian Eskimo Dog’s temperament is that of a working Nordic breed. It was primarily bred as a working dog and you should keep that in mind if you’d like to get one of these dogs. They are extremely energetic and if they don’t have a proper outlet, they will become destructive and develop behavioral problems.

In recent times, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is kept as a family pet and a companion. These dogs are capable of being a lovely pet, as long as they are kept in the right conditions, and their physical needs are met. These dogs are best suited for outdoor living and aren’t really suited for apartment living. They can develop a strong bond with their owner and their families. Keep in mind that the Canadian Eskimo Dog has a very high prey drive and should not be trusted around other pets and even smaller dogs.

Training and socialization

Unlike other primitive breeds, the Canadian Eskimo Dog’s training can be quite successful and rewarding. They are naturally more submissive than other Nordic breeds and can learn to obey commands easily. They love having a clear leader so training can be easier. Be firm but fair and set a clear set of rules for your dog that they need to obey at all times. Make sure consistency is always in your mind.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog’s socialization should be high on your priority list if you are getting one of these dogs. They are naturally distrustful towards strangers and have a high prey drive. That means that you should expose your Canadian Eskimo Dog to different people, dogs, and other pets as soon as possible so that your dog can learn social rules and be on their best possible behavior. Due to their high prey drive, they might never be able to get along great with other small pets in the house.

Health problems

The Canadian Eskimo Dog is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 10-15 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye


If this breed is a good fit for you and/or your family, make sure that you find a registered and reputable Canadian Eskimo Dog breeder that can provide you with a great dog that will be physically and mentally healthy. Ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of his breeding dogs and if you can try and see what the puppy’s parents look like.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy.

Canadian Eskimo Dog is still a rare dog breed, especially outside of Canada, and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.

If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.

Dog on photos owned by Allevamento Rosin

World Dog Finder team


Updated at13.05.2021.