In the 1950’s it was estimated that 20,000 Canadian Eskimo Dogs lived in Canada’s North. During the 1960’s with the introduction of the north came southern influences and inventions. Which in turn led to the demise of the Canadian Eskimo Dog. As the snowmobile gained popularity and the population in the Arctic grew the Canadian Eskimo Dog quickly started to vanish. Other breeds of dogs came to Canada’s north, carrying many diseases and illnesses that the Canadian Eskimo Dog had never been exposed too. Many died, many bred with other breeds, crossbreeding resulted. You can imagine the outcome. Entering the 1970’s the Canadian Eskimo Dog was on the verge of extinction with an estimated 200 pure dogs left in the North. In 1972 a project was initiated to try to save the breed and re-establish its numbers. William Carpenter and John McGrath with assistance from the Canadian Kennel Club and the Canadian Government began the Canadian Eskimo Dog Research Foundation Kennel Club. In 1986 the first dogs from this project were registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. The collaborated efforts were instrumental in creating the foundation stock of the registered breed. However again today the number of pure Canadian Eskimo Dogs in existence is dangerously low, there are 279 registered dogs in existence
It is estimated that the first Canadian Eskimo Dogs called “Qimmiq” (which simply means dog) by the Inuit, arrived approximately 1100-1200 A.D. with the migration of the Thule Inuit throughout Canada’s Arctic Region. These dogs were extremely versatile, used for transportation, hauling sleds and packing. They also assist in hunting,capable of locating seal breathing holes and served as a protector attacking and holding at bay musk ox and polar bears.
The dogs were a vital part in everyday survival of the Inuit people and their families. This breed has survived in the harshest terrain in the world, which lead to its demand in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as the dog of choice for expedition use, thus they have stood at both poles. A Canadian Eskimo Dog can pull twice its weight through the harshest weather and terrain with every little nourishment.