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Native American Indian Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits, & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

native american indian dog

Height: 18 – 24 inches
Weight: 55 – 120 pounds
Lifespan: 14 – 19 years
Colors: Silver, black, white, gray, tortoiseshell
Suitable for: Families with huge backyards, experienced owners
Temperament: Intelligent, protective, shy, loyal, eager to please

All dogs are descended from wolves, but some are further down the genetic chain than others. The Native American Indian Dog, on the other hand, looks like it could infiltrate a wolf pack without any of the members being any the wiser.

These animals are slightly smaller than their wild forebears, but other than that, they could easily pass for a ferocious Arctic predator. They still have a bit of a wild streak too, so they’re not suitable for first-time owners.

If you’re unfamiliar with these beautiful dogs, the information below will be your guide to the wonderful world of Native American Indian Dogs.

Divider 1Native American Indian Dog Puppies — Before You Get One…


There are precious few things in this world as adorable as a Native American Indian Dog puppy. While the adults are long and lean (or should be, at least), their babies are chubby little furballs. It’s next to impossible to look at them without falling in love.

Don’t let their cuteness overwhelm your better judgment, though. These dogs can be high-maintenance, and you should never bring one home on a whim. That’s a recipe for disaster for both you and the dog.

Before you add one of these dogs to your pack, you should make sure that your home is set up to accommodate them and that you have the time and energy to devote to them. It’s unfair to bring one of these pups into an apartment and leave them alone all day, so make sure you can give them the space and attention they need.

Also, make sure that you’re not in love with the idea of having an exotic dog. You may be excited about the idea of walking a wolf down the street, but that novelty will wear off quickly, and you’ll be stuck with a smart, intelligent dog that doesn’t deserve to be neglected.

We’re not trying to talk you out of adopting one of these fine animals, but we do want you to understand what you’d be getting yourself into before it’s too late.

Divider 8 3 Little-Known Facts About Native American Indian Dogs

1. They’re Thought to Be Similar to the Dingo

It may not make sense at first glance, but these Native American dogs share much in common with their Australian cousins. It’s believed that when the first settlers came to North America 12,000 years ago, they brought the early versions of domesticated dogs with them.

These dogs then intermingled with the coyotes living in America. This led to a dog that was comfortable living around humans, but more than capable of functioning independently — just like the Dingo.

2. Modern Native American Indian Dogs Aren’t Exact Replicas of Their Ancestors

The original dogs that were used by Native Americans have disappeared, as they’ve been crossbred with other dogs enough that their DNA has been lost to time.

The modern Native American Indian Dogs are replicas of those dogs. Their genetic makeup has been assembled based on documents left by explorers, missionaries, and others who encountered the original species.

Are they a perfect facsimile of the original dogs? Probably not. Are they close enough that no one will argue with you about their heritage? Absolutely.

3. They’re Great for Skijoring

If you’re not familiar with skijoring, it’s a sport in which a person gets pulled on cross-country skis by a pack of dogs. It’s like dog sledding without the sled.

As it turns out, Native American Indian Dogs love skijoring. They’re also perfectly built for it, as they’re powerful and have tons of stamina.

If you want to get your dogs into skijoring, you’ll still need to give them plenty of obedience training. After all, it’s hard to stop a determined wolf-dog when you’re standing on a pair of skis.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Native American Indian Dog🧠

These dogs have been used to do just about everything. Herd livestock, guard homes, hunt food, pull weight — you name it, they’ve done it. To be that versatile, you have to be intelligent, and the Native American Indian Dog is downright brilliant.

One of these pups can be trained to do virtually anything you ask of them, and they’ll pick it up quickly. They love to be challenged as well.

However, they’re extremely sensitive and become deeply attached to their humans. As a result, you need to treat them with kid gloves, even while training.

That devotion to their families makes them wonderful protectors, and they’ll gladly give their lives to keep your family safe. You need to temper that instinct with training and socialization, though, as you don’t want them to view your guests as a threat to your safety.

They’re happiest when they’re with you, so try to spend as much time with them as possible. If you have to leave them home alone while you work, try to arrange for a babysitter or dog walker to come over to break up the monotony for them.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

Native American Indian Dogs can make incredible family pets, but you’ll need to do a little work to make sure of it. That means socialization and obedience work, and you should teach your kids how to behave around the dogs as well.

They can be incredibly patient and loving with small kids, although you should monitor them to make sure any roughhousing doesn’t get out of hand.

Older kids will get along with them even better, as the Native American Indian Dog is the perfect partner in crime, willing to do anything and go anywhere as long as they can be close to one of their family members.

You will need to be careful when you have guests over, as these pups are often wary of strangers. New people will need to be slowly introduced to the dog, so make sure your guests don’t get in their face right away.

You’ll need the help of the entire family to tucker them out, too, as they have boundless energy. However, once they’re good and tired, they love nothing more than to curl up with their humans and watch a movie or read a book.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽

Native American Indian Dogs can get along with other dogs, but it’s best if their canine companion is roughly as big as they are. Smaller dogs can easily be trampled or dominated — or viewed as prey.

Smaller animals are usually not a good idea, as they’re too similar to the animals that these dogs would be used to hunt.

None of this is set in stone, of course. You may be able to mitigate their natural tendencies with obedience work and socialization, but you’ll likely be fighting an uphill battle.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Native American Indian Dog

While these dogs make great pets, you still need to know what you’re doing in order to raise one properly. We’ve listed important things to keep in mind below.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

You’ll need to find a high-quality food to give these pups, as they need a large amount of fuel to maintain their energy levels. We recommend one that’s high in protein, so long as it doesn’t use animal by-products or other cheap fillers.

Many wolf-like dogs do especially well on raw diets, so you may want to consider switching to one. Just talk to your vet to make sure the dog is getting all the nutrients they need.

Whatever you feed them, make sure it doesn’t have too many empty calories. Ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy are notorious for this, so try to avoid them. You don’t want your dog to become obese, as that can lead to joint problems and other health issues.

Hip dysplasia is one of the few conditions that these dogs are prone to, so you may want to add a glucosamine supplement to their diet. It’s not a miracle cure but it can certainly help.


We hope that you enjoy spending time working out with your dog, because these pups need a ton of exercise. They can run for days, and you’ll need a big backyard to tucker them out.

Long walks are a good idea, but they may not be sufficient. If you do take them for a stroll, though, letting them sniff around should tax their brains, and it may be more effective than trying to set a new record.

Their incredible stamina and brilliant minds make them naturals in agility training or similar events. They love having a job to do, so anything that requires hard work and discipline will be a big hit with them.

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exertion for a breed this intelligent. Obedience work will help, but you may want to invest in puzzle toys or similar games to keep them engaged.

If you don’t give them all the exercise they need, they may channel that excess energy into redecorating your home or doing unsolicited landscaping in the backyard.


Training is essential for Native American Indian Dogs because they’re big, powerful mutts with minds to match. If you’re unable to control them, they can get wildly out of hand.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to deal with them, as they can get their feelings hurt if you’re too harsh. They’re eager to please, though, so there shouldn’t be much need to discipline them.

You’ll need to vary your training regimen as well, as they can quickly become bored with a set routine. They love variety, and if you’re not capable of entertaining them, they’ll ignore you in favor of something that will.

Some people like to take these dogs out into the woods or other wide-open spaces and let them run off-leash, as this is a great way to exhaust them. We don’t recommend this, as your dog can get in all sorts of trouble when separated from you.

If you decide to do it, though, be sure that your recall command is firmly entrenched in the pup’s mind. You want to be absolutely sure that they’ll come when called, even if they’ve spotted something to chase.

Grooming ✂️

Despite their dense, bushy coats, these dogs aren’t heavy shedders — with one big exception.

Once a year, they’ll shed their undercoat. At this time, you’ll have enough stray fur to make another dog, so you’ll want to brush them frequently to get the shedding under control.

Other than that, though, you won’t have to do much in the way of grooming these pooches.

Everything else is standard: Brush their teeth regularly, trim their nails as needed, and clean their ears once a week.

Health and Conditions❤️

The Native American Indian Dog is one of the healthiest breeds on the planet. While it can suffer from any disease that other dogs can, it’s only prone to one major condition.

Minor Conditions
  • None
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

Divider 5Male vs. Female

From a physical standpoint, males tend to be larger than females, sometimes noticeably so.

Temperamentally, they’re fairly similar. Females often mature faster, making them easier to train. They’re also more protective of children and somewhat more aloof, while males love playing more than anything in the world.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

If you want a dog that will make people on the street stop and take notice, you can’t do much better than the wolf-like Native American Indian Dog. These pups look vicious, but they’re actually sweet, loyal, and loving.

They are still a bit wild at heart, so don’t adopt one if you’re not confident in your ability to handle them. They have a ton of energy, and they need to be around their families as much as possible, or else they can get destructive.

Overall, though, they’re fantastic pets that should fit right into your family. After all, who doesn’t want to have a deeply devoted wolf standing watch over their kids?

Featured Image Credit: Pxhere

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