Dating back thousands of years, the Native American Indian Dog has a wild appearance and patient temperament. The exact origins are unknown and highly debated, including whether or not the breed today is actually a recreation of an extinct breed. Native American Indian Dogs (NAID) have a long history that can be traced back to at least the 16th century and were companions to some indigenous people of North America. With a look similar to their wolf ancestors, these dogs were used in all sorts of fields, from herding to tracking and hunting to guarding. Nowadays, the NAID is a very rare breed but one that makes a great companion. These dogs are smart, protective, loyal, and gentle.
Finding consistent information about the Native American Indian Dog (NAID) is a challenge. Accounts trace dogs similar to today’s NAID to dogs originally domesticated by indigenous people in North America and some believe that historically, the breed could be a link between domesticated dogs and wolves. The breed isn’t officially recognized by many clubs or organizations; according to PetGuide.com, this is because the NAID nowadays is a hybrid breed with ancestors/related breeds like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskeys, and Chinook dogs. Breeders of NAIDs have used historical documents and photographs from missionaries, trappers, explorers, and others to recreate the breed.
Because there’s no official breed standard for the NAID, their looks can vary a bit but generally, they stand 17-20 inches tall and weigh 40-120 pounds. They have a wolf-like appearance with two different double coat possibilities, one that’s short and dense or another that’s long. Their coat colors include silver and black, tortoiseshell, red, or brown while their ears stand upright on their broad, angular head and their almond-shaped eyes are usually brown or amber.
Temperament-wise, these dogs are loyal, eager to please, aloof, gentle, and intelligent. Like other breeds, training and socialization is important for NAIDs but they can be a bit stubborn and independent sometimes. They’re also prone to separation anxiety, meaning they’re not great dogs for folks who are away from home for long periods of time. They also need plenty of exercise and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy, meaning an active home would be great for these dogs. NAIDs are generally good with families and children but everyone in the home should definitely respect any boundaries and understand basic dog body language.
As far as their health goes, the most common health issue that NAIDs face is hip dysplasia, something that’s more common in larger dogs. This genetic condition is influenced by environmental factors and symptoms can include a decrease in activity or range of motion, lameness, stiffness, limping, or pain. Like other larger breeds, NAIDs can be treated for hip dysplasia and things like supplements, appropriate levels of exercise, and a healthy diet can all help prevent this condition (or at least reduce the severity of symptoms!). Outside of this issue, NAIDs are relatively healthy and have an average lifespan of 14-19 years.
In the end, Native American Indian Dogs are incredibly unique dogs with a long history in North America. But as mentioned, finding consistent information about this breed is difficult, particularly since it’s so rare and not recognized by most kennel clubs. The rarity of the breed also makes it difficult to find a reputable breeder rather than a scammer or backyard breeder. Like always, make sure to research any breeder claiming to have Native American Indian Dog puppies!
Have you ever met a Native American Indian Dog before? Or even heard of the breed? Let me know in the comments!