The Northern Inuit Dog: Is This Wolf-Like Breed Right For You?

Two Northern Inuit Dog

If you have ever watched the television series known as Game of Thrones and you want a direwolf in real life, look no further!

In all the direwolf scenes, the producers used Northern Inuit dogs, which make great family pets.

The Northern Inuit Dog is a relatively new dog breed that looks much like a wolf. With the aim of combining the best traits of a wolf with the qualities of a domestic dog, breeders used a number of canines such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds and certain Inuit dogs to develop the Northern Inuit dog.

Originally developed in the UK, the Northern Inuit breed is only recognized by its own breed club. Due to the breed’s starring role in the Game of Thrones, these dogs have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.

Agile, intelligent and friendly, Northern Inuits have the potential to become great family companions. If you’re interested in acquiring a Northern Inuit of your own, or simply want to learn more about the breed, keep reading.

In this article, you’ll find Northern Inuit Dog images, and discover interesting facts and information about this wolf-like dog breed.

So here we go!

Other Names of the Northern Inuit Dog

The Northern Inuit Dog also goes by other names, including:

  • NI dog
  • Wolf Dog
[thrive_leads id=’7777′]

The Origin of the Northern Inuit Dog

Evidence shows that the Northern Inuit dog was bred between the 1970’s and 1980’s with the intention of developing a strong dog with a well-balanced temperament and a unique wolf-like conformation.

Although two different stories seem to conceal the truth behind the origin of the Northern Inuit, it is widely believed that the breed is a cross between German Shepherds and Alaska Malamutes.

However, there’s also evidence showing that Labrador Huskies, Siberian Huskies and Canadian Eskimo Dogs may have contributed to the gene pool.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ?R A M B O the Direwolf ? (@rambo_the_direwolf) on

For the last 20 years, these dogs have been bred mainly by the Northern Inuit Society only with no mixing or crossing with other dog breeds. So, the modern-day Northern Inuit is a distinct breed with its own unique appearance and characteristics.

Until 2014, these dogs were only bred in the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, Northern Inuit puppies were and are still being exported to countries around the world, including the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland and South Africa. Today, the Northern Inuit society has breeders in the United States, Switzerland and South Africa.

Unfortunately, the breed has not yet been officially recognized as a unique breed by any major kennel club. This includes the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club and the United Kingdom Kennel Club.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ?R A M B O the Direwolf ? (@rambo_the_direwolf) on

The only organization that has recognized this breed of dogs is the Northern Inuit Society. This organization even runs a rescue service for Northern Inuits that have been abandoned or neglected.

This society is now working towards getting the Northern Inuit dog officially recognized by various breed registries and kennel clubs.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide To The Tamaskan Dog [/thrive_text_block]

Famous Northern Inuit Dogs

The Northern Inuit Dog became particularly popular when the first episode of the popular TV series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in 2011. The breed was chosen to represent adult and puppy Dire Wolves. Their popularity has been growing steadily since then.

Another moment of fame for Northern Inuit Dogs came in 2016 when Wayne Dixon and his Northern Inuit Dog Koda began a 7000-mile journey. They traveled along the UK coast collecting litter, thereby attracting a lot of media attention along the way.

Husky Vs Northern Inuit Dog Comparison

Siberian Huskies and Northern Inuit dogs share a lot in common, especially when it comes to their physical characteristics. However, they are some clear differences between Huskies and Northern Inuits.

Northern Inuit dogs are much larger than Siberian Huskies and look much like wolves since they were developed by crossing Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes with German Shepherds. On the other hand, Huskies are more popular than northern Inuits.

Both breeds of dogs have been used as sled dogs and make great family pets due to intelligence, loyalty and non-aggressive behavior.

So what does a Northern Inuit Dog look like? Let’s find out below.

Northern Inuit Dog General Appearance

Northern Inuits have a certain size and appearance that makes them very similar to real dire wolves.

Apart from their wolf-like appearance, Northern Inuits have a strong and muscular body ending with a straight tail. You’ll never find a Northern Inuit dog with a curled tail.

They have an athletic build combined with strong legs and chest. They also have erect ears and a long muzzle.

The Northern Inuit Dog has a short, straight and smooth coat that is very dense. They have a double coat and come in many colors.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mila and Kylo (@mila_northern_inuit) on

Common Northern Inuit Dog colors include black, white, and sable shades such as gray and apricot.

The white Northern Inuits are pure white, but breed standards allow for facial markings on other colors. Most Northern units have a grey coat with white markings.

Size, Height & Weight

So how big is a Northern Inuit dog? These dogs are generally large in size.

Males can be 25 to 30 inches tall while females can stand anywhere between 23 and 28 inches tall.

When it comes to weight, males weigh around 80 to 11 pounds while the average weight for females is approximately 55 to 84 pounds.

With their large size, Northern Inuits are not ideal for apartment living. It is best for this dog to live in a place with a spacious yard.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]I’ve written a Complete Guide on How To Identify Your Dog’s Breed, you can check it here. [/thrive_text_block]

Northern Inuit Dog Temperament

The Northern Inuit is known for his intelligence and loyalty towards his family. These friendly and confident dogs have well-balanced temperaments and have previously been used as therapy dogs.

They are calm and gentle dogs who love their owners and families. As friendly dogs, they do not show any form of aggression. However, the Northern Inuit is sometimes stubborn.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mila and Kylo (@mila_northern_inuit) on

The Inuit is a very affectionate dog. They enjoy taking part in their family’s activities. This breed is anything but aloof.

It’s not recommended to leave your Northern Inuit alone for extended periods of time. These dogs enjoy being around their family and can be vulnerable to developing separation anxiety. Loyal to their families, they quickly establish strong bonds and have deep respect for their pack leader.

They are also very energetic dogs, which when combined with their likelihood to develop separation anxiety, can lead to destructive behaviors. To avoid this, it is very important to ensure your dog’s exercise needs are met.

It is also important to note that Northern Inuits make poor guard dogs since they are generally friendly to people, including strangers.

? They are vulnerable to making friends with strangers, instead of alerting you of a possible threat. You will be lucky if your Northern Inuit dog barks to alert you of new visitors. They tend to howl more often.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Is the Northern Inuit a Good Family Dog?

The simple answer is yes! As we’ve already mentioned, the Northern Inuit dog is calm and gentle, making them suitable for families with young children.

? Due to their massive size, however, they may unintentionally knock small kids over. Fortunately, such accidents are very rare. Nonetheless, it’s better safe than sorry. So, make sure you supervise any interactions between your kids and your Northern Inuit dog.

Moreover, you should teach your children how to safely interact with dogs.

As social dogs, Northern Inuits get along well with other canines, especially when they have been socialized from an early stage. However, care should be taken when these dogs are around small pets and animals like cats due to their high prey drive.

As with any other breed, Northern Inuit training should be done properly. In fact, you should start training your Northern Inuit puppy immediately you bring him home.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mila and Kylo (@mila_northern_inuit) on

How to Train a Northern Inuit Dog

Northern Inuit dogs are known for their intelligence, but can be stubborn at times. This makes housetraining and obedience training a bit harder than your ordinary dog. They can get bored easily, so repetitive training activities should be avoided.

The best way to keep your dog’s attention is to use positive reinforcements. Give your dog plenty of food treats and praises to encourage them during training. It is also important to hold short training sessions and to include interesting tasks to keep them interested.

You should also exercise patience and avoid punishing them. Northern Inuits are very sensitive dogs and harsh treatment could cause your pup to be fearful. If you are in doubt, it is recommended to hire a professional dog trainer.

Massive Change - 300 x 250

Northern Inuit dogs are friendly to both people and other dogs, but early socialization is still extremely important. Early socialization will enable them to build confidence and to learn how to behave properly around people and other animals.

Due their intelligence and calm nature, Northern Inuit dogs are suitable for therapy work. If you would like to train your Northern Inuit puppy to be a therapy dog, it is recommended to hire a professional trainer. This is because there are some strict rules that therapy dogs must adhere to.

Training a Northern Inuit dog can be a challenging task. For that reason, these dogs are ideal for experienced dog owners only.

It is important to start training your dog from a young age. That way, they can learn what is and what is not expected of them.

Zak George's Dog Training Revolution

To prevent boredom and stubbornness, you must keep your dog mentally stimulated. Make sure the lessons are short, varied, fun and interesting.

Northern Inuit dogs have a high prey drive, which when coupled with their heightened sense of smell can lead to an overwhelming desire to chase and hunt small animals. You should address this during training.

If you have livestock, you should introduce your Northern Inuit to them from an early age.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]LEARN ABOUT IT: 13 Common Dog Training Mistakes You Ought to Avoid [/thrive_text_block]

Exercise Needs

Northern Inuits are active dogs and need plenty of exercises on a daily basis. These dogs will need two short walks (or one long one) per day. They enjoy walking alongside their owners, but you should avoid walking them off-leash due to their high prey drive.

It is always recommended to walk your Northern Inuit on a leash if you are not sure of their recall abilities. Once they have mastered recall, you can walk them off leash without any issues.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dave (@faz.fazworth) on

These dogs also love running and hiking. Quality playtime should also be provided on a daily basis. They love the outdoors and would be happy to be with their owners all day long.

Thanks to their curious nature, they also enjoy learning various activities. Recommended activities for these dogs include obedience training, agility training and other activities that will burn off their excess energy and keep them mentally active.

Providing your Northern Inuit dog with lots of interactive dog toys is also highly recommended. This will help prevent boredom and enhance their mental stimulation.


Northern Inuits are generally moderate shedders, and hence, they are not hypoallergenic. Therefore, you should invest in some grooming tools. Those beautiful, thick coats will requires maintenance to keep your dog clean and healthy.

Their weather-resistant hair will require brushing at least 2 to 3 times every week with a quality slicker brush. Brushing your pup’s coat will help reduce shedding.

Their eyes and ears must also be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infections.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Amanda Navarro (@kalexrainier) on

Your Northern Inuit dog will do some self-grooming, so he will rarely need to be bathed. Therefore, bathing your dog should be done only when it’s absolutely necessary.

Check your local pet store for quality doggie grooming tools and supplies in order to give your pup a pleasant grooming experience.

Feeding Information

As with all dog breeds, it’s extremely important to provide your Northern Inuit with a well-balanced diet in order to keep them happy and healthy.

Inuits may have a sensitive stomach, so feeding them high quality dog food is best. Provide your pup with food that has been specially formulated for large and active dog breeds.

The recommended daily amount is 4 cups of high protein food per day. You should divide this amount into 2 to 3 meals per day to avoid digestive issues.

Also, provide your dog with fresh water daily to keep him hydrated.

Fish oil supplements can also be added to this dog’s meals to help keep their coat smooth and healthy.


The life expectancy of the Northern Inuit Dog is approximately 12 to 14 years.

Northern Inuit Dog Health Issues

Northern Inuit dogs are generally healthy. Provided you offer proper nutrition, daily exercises and take proper care of your dog, he could avoid many health problems.

However, you should familiarize yourself with the most common health risks associated with this breed.

Northern Inuit dogs are vulnerable to hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, epilepsy, and degenerative myelopathy. Fortunately, most of these health issues are quite rare.

One thing you can do to ensure your dog is healthy is to go through a reputable breeder. Good breeders should have health screened their puppies to ensure they are healthy and ready to go to their new home.

[thrive_leads id=’12402′]

Finding a Healthy Northern Inuit Dog for Sale

There are four recognized Northern Inuit dog breeders in the United States, according to the Northern Inuit Society. Unfortunately, these breeders usually have long wait lists for puppies.

Buying one of those puppies can be a protracted and expensive process. Therefore, you should consider this when thinking about getting one of these pups.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ?R A M B O the Direwolf ? (@rambo_the_direwolf) on

Be careful with any breeder who claims to offer Northern Inuit puppies for sale. Due to their growth in popularity, these dogs have found their way into pet stores and puppy mills. Such places do not offer the same care to their puppies as reputable breeders.

Red flags of unethical breeders are that they don’t allow you to meet both parent dogs, that they are offering puppies that are less than eight weeks old or if they are pressurizing you into buying their puppies.

Reputable Northern Inuit Dog breeders love their puppies and want to make sure they go to loving homes.

How Much Does a Northern Inuit Puppy Cost?

Due to the increasing popularity of Northern Inuit dogs, reputable breeders that are recognized by the Northern Inuit Society usually have long waiting lists.

For this reason, these dogs don’t come cheap. The cost of a Northern Inuit dog ranges from $800 to $1000 USD.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Red Heeler Dog Breed Information, Facts and Pictures [/thrive_text_block]

Northern Inuit Dog for Adoption

If you want to adopt a Northern Inuit dog, the Northern Inuit Society runs a rescue service for dogs in need of a forever home. You may also want to contact Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue to see if they have any Northern Inuit dogs listed for adoption.

male northern inuit dog

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Northern Inuit a wolf dog?

The Northern Inuit is a hybrid developed from crosses of the Siberian husky, the German Shepherd, the Labrador Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Samoyed and different Inuit canine breeds. Therefore, there is no wolf DNA in the Northern Inuit Dog’s blood.

Is Northern Inuit Dog Suitable For Apartment Living?

Northern Inuits are not an ideal choice for an apartment dog. However, they won’t mind staying inside if you provide them with plenty of exercises each day.

Do Northern Inuit Dogs Howl?

It is annoying when your dog howls throughout the day and night. Unfortunately, Northern Inuits howl a lot and there’s not much you can do to stop them. That’s why these dogs are not suitable for an apartment lifestyle.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mila and Kylo (@mila_northern_inuit) on

Can Northern Inuit dogs do well in hot climates?

As their name suggests, Northern Inuit dogs are a northern dog breed and thrive in cooler climates since they love snow and have a double coat.

However, it is possible to keep a Northern Inuit dog in hot weather if you have an air-conditioned home where they can keep cool and if you provide them with fresh water at all times to keep they hydrated.

Is a Northern Inuit Dog Right for You?

Ideal as family pets, Northern Inuit dogs are energetic, friendly and non-aggressive.

They do best with active families and in homes where children and other pets are present. Although there is no guarantee about an individual dog’s temperament and personality, most owners report that they are happy with their Northern Inuit dog’s unique and charming personalities.

These dogs might look like wolves, but they are social and friendly creatures. You’ll surely enjoy having this calm, friendly and intelligent dog at home.


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

Recent Posts

Get Your Free 5 Dog Training Videos

Enter your Email Below to access the free training...

Get Your 5 Free Dog Training Videos

Enter your Email Below to access the free training...

Enter Your Email Address Below To Instantly Download The Free Report