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Alternative names
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Utonagan is a dog breed-under-development that strongly resembles a wolf. Until recently they were thought to contain a percentage of wolf (Canis Lupus) but, on investigation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK), have been found to contain only three breeds of domestic dog: Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky. Selective breeding of the wolf dog began in the early 1990s


The Utonagan is large and well-muscled but with a slender build so as to resemble a wolf as closely as possible.

Adult males weigh around 70-110 lbs and stand 25"-33" to the shoulder. Females are approximately 20lb lighter at between 55-90 lbs and stand 24"-26" to the shoulder.

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 and all black.


Utonagans are very placid and respond incredibly well to training (due to their German Shepherd ancestors), which should begin at an early age.


Utonagans should be fed on a BARF Diet and have only necessary vaccinations. They do not eat as much as many other large breeds but are prone to obesity and bloating if overfed.

Utonagans need constant attention to remain in good health, so owners who will be unavailable for long periods of time should rethink this breed as an option. They 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 overexercise the dog and to keep available when playing.

Utonagans live between 12 and 15 years.


The breed was initially known as the Northern Inuit but, because it had no relationship to the Canadian Inuit Dog, the name was changed to Utonagan.


Breed status and development

The development of the Utonagan is hampered by crossbreeding and backyard breeding. The British and International Untonagan Society believes it now has a dog that breeds true. The BUIS insists that their registered breeders screen breeding stock for genetic disorders. Adult dogs must be evalutated after 12 months of age to be certified fit for breeding. The Utonagan Society have recently introduced very strong breeding rules, and refuse to breed from dogs with genetic disorders.


Utonagan should be kept in a house that has a large yard with plenty of cool, clean water. Like their Siberian Husky ancestors, Utonagan may try to escape if the oppourtunity presents itself. The surrounding fence should be at least 3 times the height of the dog and should curve inwards at the top. The fence should be buried at least a foot below the ground unless it has concrete foundations as Utonagan are good diggers. If the fence is weak it should be reinforced to prevent damage.

Wolf hybrids

DEFRA express their concern over people who believe they have a wolf hybrid. Dogs with wolf in them are illegal as pets in the UK and owners without a Dangerous Animals Licence leave themselves open to prosecution. Utonagans are not wolf hybrids; they are dogs that resemble wolves. (See also Novelty pet.)

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