Friday, July 12, 2013

America's Native Dog Breeds

When Columbus arrived in the New World, more than 20 native American dog breeds were identified by explorers. By the early 1800s they were gone. Or maybe not. Recent DNA analysis proves that seven remain almost as purebred as they were 500 years ago, and still walk among us.
 Inuit Dog
Inuit girl and dog, 1904
Library of Congress
Northern Inuit Dog today

Eskimo Dog
Eskimos with dogs and sleds, World's Fair, St. Louis, c 1904
Library of Congress

(Canadian) Eskimo Dog today

Greenland Dog
Greenland girls with their dogs, c 1900
Library of Congress
Greenland dog today
Source: Wild Trekker

Pre-Columbian pottery depicting

Chihuahua today

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)
Tapestry, probably about 1600

Xolo today

Peruvian Hairless
Pre-Columbian pottery

The Carolina Dog
America's dingo, the Carolina Dog matches
17th and 18th century illustrations of mid-Atlantic and
Prairie Indian tribal dogs. The free ranging dog can still be found
living in lowland swamps of the southeastern U. S.
To learn more, check out these links:


  1. The beauty of these ancient breeds just takes my breath away! The hairless dogs do look a bit weird, but their skin colourations are amazing!!! I have to say I could take the Carolina dog home, what a regal and beautifully shaped dog, perfection really!!!!! Great links, thankyou!!!!

    1. I personally own a wild caught Carolina Dog. they are a wonderful breed. If you ever do consider getting one there are several Carolina Dog rescues that desperately need homes for these dogs. They are now being found in shelters all over the country as people get them and don't realize what they are getting into. they are a unique breed and have unique needs. Even in captivity or breeder bred they are more wild than their European cousins.They make wonderful additions to a family if they are understood. An extremely smart, non-aggressive and athletic dog. I couldn't imagine ever living without one now that I have her.

    2. Hi Cori - Send me a picture. I'd be happy to post a photo of your Carolina Pooch.

    3. Please take of your "northern inuit" example of a northern native dog- that is a modern designer breed developed in the UK from Malamutes, German Shepards, and wolf hybrids! The Interior Alaskan Husky is bred from Northern Interior Alaskan Village dogs and you don't have even one example.
      Stephanie Little Wolf

  2. northern inuit dogs are actually an English breed of recent origen.

  3. lots of misinformation - Northern Inuit is simply a designer dog of German Shepard, Malamute, and maybe a dad wolf dog- developed in UK - nothing to do with native dogs of North America. Nothing to do with Inuit Sled dogs or Eskimo dogs or Greenland. Carolina dogs are a possibility but a lot of research needs to be done still and studies are Mitochondrial not RNA, so its only part of the equation. So far they do not match DNA from the archeological record. You missed a great native dog the Alaskan Village dog or Alaskan Village Husky - not a pure land race anymore, but still descended from Interior Native Villages of Alaska and Canada.

    1. Thanks for you comments Sara- the purpose of this post and others like it, is to summarize, not challenge, recently published scientific studies so non-scientist dog-people will understand more about what's going on in the field. As you know, the real issue is about who gets to use the breed name. And that's another post altogether. To find out exactly which geographical populations were included in the study, check out this link

  4. Carolina dogs ROCK! Mine does anyway.