All Dog Breeds A to Z
The Utonagan is large in size and well-muscled, but with a slender build so as to resemble a wolf as closely as possible. The breed has a thick double coat that appears quite different in winter and summer. The guard hair is straight and slightly coarse to the touch. The pelage can be silver grey, cream, or brown with black overlay and a characteristic wolf mask. It also comes in all white, all black and Ink Marked, meaning white with markings of brown, silver or black which look like ink spilled on blotting paper.
The Utonagan is a dog with a superb temperament; this in turn makes for a wonderful family dog and companion. They love the company of people plus they get along well with cats and smaller dogs.
Despite its German Shepherd ancestry, the Utonagan is not a guard dog. In fact, they would rather lick a stranger than attack or bark at them. Utonagans will howl, from time to time, if they are bored or if they wish to attract their owner’s attention.
The Utonagan craves companionship and attention. In some cases, without this, they can develop destructive behaviour if left alone for extended periods of time.
Unlike some of their ancestors, Utonagans will return to their owner when called, if they are trained to do so from a young age. Utonagans enjoy being trained and they are exceptionally quick learners; always eager to please their owners.
The Utonagan’s coat is very easy to manage and (roughly) only requires a twice weekly brush. However, when the dog is moulting, its coat will require more attention.
Some have thick coats that keep them warm in cool conditions but they have great difficulty staying cool in summer. This becomes a problem when walking the dog during hot weather, so owners must be careful not to over-exercise the dog and to keep water available when playing.
Generally the Utonagan is an active agile and healthy dog, they should not be overly exercised until their bones are fully mature. Prior to breeding all breeding stock should be KC/BVA hip scored and eye tested clear.
The Utonagan and Northern Inuit were created from 5 rescue dogs of unknown origin imported to the UK from America in 1987. Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd were added. The original dogs were bred by Edwina Harrison, who advertised them as wolf-dog hybrid. Buck, the founding father, looked like an Alaskan Malamute. His more wolf-like pups were prized for breeding.
The Utonagan and the Northern Inuit originally came from the same stock, but the Utonagan Society further developed its lines by returning to stock from the conceptual breeder. They are now considered two separate breeds.
The name Utonagan was found in a book of Native American mythology by one of the original breeders, Lyn Barraclough. It was then suggested by Brian Jenkins, her partner, as the breed name. It is originally from a Chinook tale where Ut!ô’naqan is interpreted as “Spirit of the Wolf”.
Ute, Northern Inuit Dog, Twatha Utonagan, Wolfdog
23 – 30 inches (58 – 76 cm)
55 – 110 pounds (25 – 50 kg)
Average $800 – $1200 USD
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