Canadian Inuit dogs, one of 12 distinct breeds known as sled dogs: The strongest teams can pull well over a ton in weight. The fastest can sustain a pace of 30 kilometers per hour. And those with the best endurance can travel 1,600 kilometers in just eight days.
Their success is all about the pack. And for generations, people have found ways of harnessing this power.
Biologist Patrick Aryee visits with Mark Schurke and his excited team of Canadian Inuit dogs or Qimmiit (plural for Qimmiq, ‘dog’ in the Inuit language) in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. There, Aryee hears how this breed has traveled snowy landscapes with humans for thousands of years.
Plus, he gets some happy dog hugs. Watch this snowy clip from The Smithsonian Channel’s Amazing Dogs.
There are only a few hundred of this species left, but hopefully, with educational videos like this one, the aboriginal breed will gain support that can expand their present-day population. Some background from The Canadian Encylopedia:
Canadian Inuit dogs descend from dogs used by the Thule, ancestors of the Inuit, about 1,000 years ago. Archeology shows that the Thule harnessed the dogs to sleds, opening up the Arctic and Subarctic to fast, efficient travel and transportation of goods.
Watch this next: Travel through Greenland on a dog sled.