The Northern Inuit and British Timber Dog are loyal and affectionate and get on well with children and other dogs, as with all breeds they should not be left unsupervised with young children as they can be boisterous in play and because they are big dogs, knock them over. They can be quite independant and strong willed. These breeds are not so work driven as sled dogs or huskies, but tend more to like being an interactive part of the family.
If you like a nice well planted garden then it needs to be mentioned the they do like to dig and will quite likely dig up plants and eat them if left unsupervised or untrained. Most people have a nice slabbed patio areas or fenced garden with concrete or slabs at the base to prevent them digging under where the dogs will run free.
These breeds are pack orientated, as they are maturing owners need to establish and maintain themselves as Pack Leader (Alpha) or they may find themselves relegated to underdog. They need to be socialised as young as possible, otherwise they have a tendancy to "spook" easily when faced with something new. They are intelligent and respond well to training, many have reached very high levels and awards in numerous fields. With gentle approach training and encouragement even old dogs that are timid can usually be socialised and rehabilitated.
They can be very destructive if left alone, this needs consideration and training. They love company, whether human or another dog as a companion. They can be boisterious in play and a companion dog needs to be able to enjoy and withstand the rough and tumble.
We have a great deal of feedback from our owners, who having taken on board advice and the need for constant company in the early stages of development, have with training overcome separation anxiety and can leave their dogs alone for periods with no mishaps and curbed their desire to "re-arrange" their gardens !!!.
Many dogs have proved themselves and responded exceptionally well to early training, going on to achieve awards to Gold level in Good Citizenship, Agility and Obedience. Some have even being trained as "Pat Dogs" and Service Dogs.
During maturation "Alpha" position needs to be maintained as during the various stages, they will "test the bounderies". Nipped in the bud this should settle down when mature.
They are not generally a guarding breed as they normally submit when challenged. They often greet all comers as long lost friends. We have feedback from one owner who has included this in the training and in their own words "The Best all round dog they have ever had" displaying a good balance with no excess aggression.
All things considered they do make fantastic family pets and companions. Often very laid back and chilled out
Yes they do. It is a beautiful melodious song, so reminisant of the wild. They all have their own part in the pack song. Our alpha male begins with his distinct low, long voice, then he is followed by the betas a slightly different tone, then the Deltas and Omegas join in with their own distinctive song. When all are singing in tune. They stop suddenly and the following silence seems almost atmospheric. The built up to them all singing in harmony takes around 1 to 2 minutes. Ours do it dawn and dusk and sometimes midday. We think they are calling the pack together, checking everybody is present, even when they cant see all the members. They know they are all here. Or maybe it is just the joy of life.
Like many large breed dogs the Northern Inuit can suffer from hip dysplacia, therefore when looking to buy a puppy it is wise to check that the hip scores of the parents are within the perimeters of the breed average. The current BMS for the Northern Inuit is 14.
All BTD and Northern Inuits born after Jan 2006 are hip scored and have to have received a satisfactory result before being bred from. Since Jan 2009 all NIDs born after that date are now BVA Hip Scored. BVA Elbow Scored and Eye Tested. This has been introduced to further improve the breeding standard. There have been no incidence of eye problems but it was decided to means test 100 dogs and if they all came back clear then the breed can be officially declared eye problem free.
There have been reported epilepsy and Addisons disease in some of the older lines. This has been managed by identifying these lines and eradicating them from the breeding programme.
In 2012 it was found that DM were in some of the lines in many wolfy breeds. All our dogs were DNA tested and any found to be carrying the gene were removed from our breeding programme. Some breeders are still using DM carriers, put to a DM free they will produce 50% carriers and 50% clear. But none will be affected as they can only have the carrier element. At Julestar we decided to completely remove all dogs carrying the gene to move forward in eradicating DM alltogether. We have never had a DM affected dog. All our dogs and puppies are DM free by virtue of parentage.
Northern Inuit can be prone to sensitive tummies and their have been cases of undecended testicles in males. This is now very rare.
All breeds have their problems and many far more frequent and serious than those occuring within the NI and BTD. These problems have been accepted by ethical breeders and protocols put in place to deal with them
Average life expectancy is around 12 years+ but there are some who have lived to around 16 years, that I know of.