Is That a Wolf? No, That’s The Native American Indian Dog

Last Updated on April 23, 2023

These dogs may look like wild wolves, but Native American Indian Dogs (NAID) are the gentlest creatures you’ll ever meet!

Considered a rare breed, NAIDs are smart and strong, making them reliable working dogs. Their loyal and friendly personality means they’re excellent family pets as well.

Let’s find out more about this gorgeous breed.

Are they wolf hybrids?

They’re not wolf hybrids like the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog or the Kunming Wolfdog.

Long, pointy ears, a powerful stare, and a huge built – with these features, it’s no wonder that NAIDs can be mistaken as descendants of wolves. But where did they really come from?

The Native American Indian dog’s history can be traced back to the early 1500s.

Back then, Native Americans trained their canine companions to do a variety of things, from hiking, hunting, fishing, and even babysitting their kids while they’re away!

Today’s NAIDs have been recreated to resemble those extinct ancient dogs. This new version of the ancestral breed came about in the mid-1990s. They were made to look like the wolves and have the characteristics of their hard-working ancestors.

So what would the NAID look like?

An Indian dog walking in the woods

Native American Indian Dogs look a lot like other dogs that have wolfish features, like the Alaskan Malamute or the Siberian Husky.

One way to distinguish the NAID from these dogs is through the eyes – NAIDs usually have almond-shaped eyes in shades of brown and amber.

These canines also have a long, triangular face with upright and erect ears.

Their head is broad, wide between the eyes, and ends in a slender muzzle.

In terms of size, Native American Indian dogs can grow up to be big, reaching large to giant size when full-grown.

An adult NAID can reach a full height of 23 to 34 inches (58 to 67 cm) and an average weight of between 55 to 120 lbs (25 to 55 kg).

Most of these dogs have thick, fluffy coats that may be short or long. Some of them have a short, dense coat with a protective undercoat, while others have a longer overcoat.

No matter the thickness, though, their coat will range in color from silver to black. Many NAIDs will also have a coat in a tortoiseshell pattern.

But they’re more than just a pretty face

Native American Indian dogs are gorgeous, alright! But there’s more to these canines than their majestic looks.

These dogs have a great personality and a sociable nature that will make you love them even more.

They’re friendly with most people they meet.

The NAID is one of friendliest dog breeds. Native American Indian dogs get along well with everyone, even with other pets in the household.

They’re known for their gentle nature, so they can be trusted around kids. These dogs are extremely loyal, too, forming deep bonds with their human pack. They enjoy spending time with and being around their owners.

They’re the best guard dogs.

Their ancestors used to babysit children and guard property back in the day, and these are tasks that today’s NAIDs can still do.

They have protective instincts that make them excellent guard dogs or watchdogs. They’re protective but they don’t usually get aggressive unless their family is in danger.

You can definitely trust these dogs when it comes to keeping a watch around your house or even on your kids.

They’re highly trainable.

Due to their nature as working dogs, NAIDs are highly intelligent and eager to please their humans. These two traits make them easier to train compared to other dogs.

Positive reinforcement is the most effective means of training Native American Indian dogs, so make sure to heap on the praise and treats when they follow your commands. They don’t do well with harshness, as they tend to be sensitive.

As soon as you take them home from the breeder or shelter, you need to establish your role as the pack’s alpha. NAIDs can easily grasp orders from their alpha with firm and consistent training.

It’s also best to start training your pup at a young age, especially since these dogs are easier to engage at that stage. You may still be able to train an older NAID, but you’ll have to be a little more patient with them.

Check out this adorable NAID pup being trained as a service dog:

They’re hard workers.

NAIDs won’t just sit around in your house all day. They’re bred to work, so they’re happiest when they have a job to do, just like their ancestors in Native American tribes.

This is why you’ll find many Native American Indian dogs working in search and rescue and therapy and also as hunting companions.

Who wouldn’t want such a helpful dog at home? As a house pet, the NAID probably won’t do much hunting and fishing, but you can give him simple chores such as putting away his toys, sorting laundry, or fetching the mail or newspaper.

Some things to consider before getting a NAID

With its friendliness and trainability, the Native American Indian dog may sound like the perfect family pet.

However, before you head out to the breeder, there are some things you should know about raising a NAID.

They’re not couch potatoes.

NAIDs are strong and active dogs and they need plenty of exercise. They need at least one hour of exercise or active playtime every day, and they’ll thrive with owners who love the outdoors.

You won’t want to leave your NAID indoors all day, as they won’t enjoy lazing around the house. Take them with you on your runs and walks around the neighborhood.

These dogs will even make for excellent hiking companions, as they’ll have the endurance for more physically demanding activities.

If you love hunting, then you probably already know that the Native American Indian Dog is one of the best dogs you get. They have natural survival and hunting skills – just look at these dogs grabbing fish out of the water.

The NAID will also excel in agility training, an activity which not only gets him moving but also helps him keep his mind sharp. These dogs need mental stimulation just as much as physical activity.

Crate-training and separation anxiety can be a problem.

We’ve mentioned how highly trainable this breed can be, but there are some behavioral issues you’ll face with this dog.

Crate training is not advisable for this breed as they can easily mistake it for punishment. Native American Indian Dogs don’t like to be confined, so crate training may be counter-productive.

With their loyal nature, separation anxiety is also common in this breed. One way to deal with this issue is to leave your dog for short periods at first. Make your absences longer until he can deal with being on his own for a couple of hours.

Counter-conditioning also helps in battling this separation anxiety issue. Try connecting this fear with positivity so they can associate being left alone with something fun.

For example, before you leave, offer them a treat-dispensing toy or puzzle so they’ll get a treat even when you’re not at home. This will help your dog realize that you leaving is not that bad after all.

Apartment space is not for them.

This dog needs a fenced backyard where he can run freely, and the cramped space of an apartment can’t be good for this breed. Because of its large size, the NAID needs a lot of space to move around.

If you really have your heart set on a NAID, though, it might just work out – provided that you take your dog out every day for a long walk and some playtime.

Caring for a NAID is easy

The Native American Indian Dog is not a fussy dog by any means – this is one of the easiest breeds to care for.

These dogs don’t need much grooming, they’re easy to feed, and they don’t suffer from many health problems, making the NAID a good choice for first-time owners.

They have low-shedding coats.

These dogs have a thick double coat that’s easy to groom and maintain. They do shed, but they shed only a small amount of fur. Their low shedding means that the NAID is less likely to trigger allergies and may even be considered hypoallergenic.

Because of their minimal shedding, these dogs’ coats don’t need much attention. Brush your NAID’s coat once a week to keep it healthy and looking neat and shiny.

You’ll need to brush his coat daily around spring, which is usually when your dog blows his coat and experiences heavier shedding.

The Native American Indian Dog doesn’t need to be bathed often, especially since he doesn’t emit that typical ‘dog’ odor. Don’t forget to brush his teeth weekly, though, to prevent cavities and bad breath.

His nails also need to be trimmed at least once a month, especially if he does not wear them down outdoors.

The right diet for the Native American Indian Dog

Native American Indian Dog lying on the floor with its paws up
Source: @atlas.the.naid / IG

Native American Indian dogs are large dogs and they need kibble that’s specially formulated for dogs their size.

In particular, large dogs need diets that will help them avoid orthopedic disease, obesity, and bloat.

Dog foods that are rich in glucosamine will help in building bone cartilage, which can help in minimizing the risk of joint conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Slow-feeding food dishes will keep your NAID from gobbling down his food in one go, greatly reducing the risk of bloat. (Keeping your dog from vigorous physical activity for 1 to 2 hours after meals will also keep the risk down.)

As for the amount of food your dog needs daily, your best bet is to ask your vet. The right amount is usually based on a dog’s weight and activity levels.

The NAID is a healthy and long-lived breed.

Native American Indian Dogs are usually a hardy breed, and they don’t suffer from many health conditions. These canines actually have a lifespan of 14 to 19 years.

One disease that most large dogs get, though, is hip dysplasia, and NAIDs are not an exception. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that prevents the joints in a dog’s hip from developing properly.

Regular low-impact exercise such as swimming can be of great help to dogs suffering from this joint condition. As we said before, a diet rich in protein and glucosamine will also help strengthen their joints.

Dogs similar to the NAID

Native American Indian Dogs are often compared to similar wolf-like breeds. If you’re interested in dogs similar to the NAID, here are two that are worth looking into:

NAID Dog vs. Carolina Dog

Many would say that the NAID and Carolina dogs are one and the same, but these two breeds differ from each other.

The Native American Indian Dog is a breed that was recreated in the 1990s to resemble the prehistoric dogs of the Native American Indians. Carolina dogs, on the other hand, are ‘wild dogs’ native to America that have been around for much longer.

NAIDs are typically much larger than the Carolina dog, which has a small to medium-sized body.

And while Native American Indian Dogs look like wolves, the Carolina dog’s physical qualities resemble those of the dingo. They have short fur with colors ranging from black, tan, ginger, to off-white.

The Carolina dog is now also recognized by the AKC, something that the NAID still hasn’t gotten.

Here’s a useful video on the differences of the two breeds.

NorthAID vs. NAID

This North American Indian Dog (NorthAID) looks a lot like the NAID, as both breeds came from breeders’ interest in the ancient American Indian dogs.

The NorthAID is a rare landrace created in 1986 by a breeder named Mark Klemperer. Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are just some breeds included in the development of this unique canine.

The NorthAID and NAID are similar in many ways: both breeds are highly trainable, strong dogs that are even-tempered and laid-back. These dogs are also known for their loyalty and sociable nature.

North American Indian Dog in the front lying down
Source: @wolf_man_cash / IG

A beautiful line of NAID mixes

The Native American Indian dog is often mixed with other breeds due to its wolf-like features and gentle temperament. Even when crossed with other breeds, the good-looking NAID makes some gorgeous puppies.

Here are some well-known NAID crossbreeds you should know about.

Native American Shepherd

A beautiful Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Sheepdog

This is a crossbreed of the Native American Indian Dog and the Belgian Shepherd, which is popularly known as the Belgian Sheepdog.

The Native American Indian Dog and Belgian Shepherd mix is a loyal, gentle and highly intelligent canine, like its parents. Native American Shepherds are hardworking dogs who are devoted to their families.

Siberian Indian Dog

Siberian Indian Dog resting on a wooden chair

The NAID mixed with a Siberian Husky created a beautiful offspring called the Siberian Indian Dog.

Typically, this crossbreed gets the long triangular face of the NAID while inheriting the striking eyes of the Siberian Husky.

They are strong, loyal, and smart, but the Husky’s playful side also gives this breed’s personality a special touch.

Shalom Shepherd

Native American Indian Dog and German Shepherd mix

Does the Native American Indian dog work well with the fine-looking German Shepherd? As expected, their crossbreed looks amazing!

Apart from many of the same qualities, these two breeds compliment each other’s physical features. In most cases, the German Shepherd’s black-and-tan markings will dominate, but, sometimes, the NAID’s coat will be apparent in the hybrid.

No matter what they look like, though, Shalom Shepherds are just as protective as the NAID and have the same gentle nature.

Where to buy a NAID dog

Sold on the Native American Indian Dog? Well, its price might sting a little. Just keep in mind that this, after all, is a rare breed.

Trustworthy NAID breeders usually put each pup’s price from $1200 to $2000. Though many breeders are enthusiastic about this dog, its rareness may find it difficult for you to find a source for your new NAID.

Here are some great Native American Indian dog breeders you can contact.

  • Majestic View Kennels (Michigan)
  • Native American Kennels
  • JAACE’s Animal Companions
  • Happy Bend Kennel (Arkansas)

NAID dogs for adoption

If buying a Native American Indian pup won’t be possible for your budget, you can always adopt a NAID dog. Adoption costs are usually much lower than the price of a NAID puppy.

You may find Native American Indian dogs for adoption from these organizations:

  • Texas Wolfdog Project (Texas)
  • Song Dog Kennels (Oregon)
native american indian dogs indoors
Source: @hail_to_the_chief_ / IG

A hardworking, loyal breed for any family

With their loyalty, trustworthiness, and gentleness, the NAID is a great match for most owners, including families. They’re playful, sweet, and they’ll love to help you out around the house!

NAIDs may cost a pretty penny, but, once you own one, you’ll know they’re worth their price. This is a smart and capable dog who will never leave your side.

Have you come across a NAID dog? Share your experience in the comments!

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