Many times, when people first see a Native American Indian Dog (NAID) they mistakenly think that it is a dog/wolf hybrid.
And to be honest, it is easy to understand why. Many of the dogs have a “wolf-ish” or wild look to them. And some of
the variations of the NAID even have similar coat patterns and colors to wolves. But make no mistake these dogs are not
dog/wolf hybrid. They are a breed of intelligent, often mischievous and always hearty dog. They are wonderful companion
dogs but require a lot more commitment and interaction then many other dog breeds. In general, they are good around children
and other dogs but many have a high prey drive and will chase after wild animals like squirrels, rabbits etc when in they come
in contact with them.
The NAID is not a dog that I would recommend for everyone. And for that matter I would even caution experienced dog
people to make sure they understand exactly what they are getting into with this breed before they make a commitment to
it. The dogs themselves are generally even tempered but they require a lot of exercise and stimulation or they can become
destructive to their environment. It is said that they do better in homes with companion dogs and in my experience I have
found that to be true.
One of the first questions I am asked when people first meet my NAIDS is "do they shed a lot?" The answer I give has changed over
the years. When we first got our Native American Shepherd (NAS) we were told this breed only sheds twice a year. In my experience the
first year in a half, as he was losing his puppy coat, he shed a lot of hair and it was all of the time. It was worse in the spring
and fall but there was a constant loss of hair. After we reached the year and a half mark the shedding stabilized a lot and found if
we brush him out once or twice a week the hair is much more manageable. The hair will still transfer to cloths but the shedding is
much less then I have experienced with other large dog breeds.
NOTE: Karen Markel the owner of the NAID trademark has emailed me with this quote about my comments concerning this breed and
The dogs really do shed once annually if they are an outside dog ... but if they are environmentally or nutritionally stressed
they do tend to shed more than once annually.
I would just add this to both of our comments. It is true that these dogs share many common traits they are all also each a unique dog and
will have traits that are particular to themselves. I do believe that their environment and even diet can have some impact on
the amount of shedding that occurs. If you are a person who is concerned about the amount of shedding try to find someone who has the
type you are interested in, which also lives in the same environment. Face Book has a support group where you are likely to find
someone in similar environmental condition as you. The group is called the NAID Support Group, the people in it are diverse as the dogs
and in my experience have been extremely eager to help other seeking information about the dogs.
Many times the subject of their hypo allergenic status comes up. And in this case I always answer it this way. I will never claim that
any dog is 100% hypo allergenic but if you are a person with dog allergies and want a large dog that would normally not be thought of
as allergy friendly dog. You should spend some time around one of these dogs and see if it bothers your allergies. Based on my family and
many other people's experience the odds are you will have a good experience with these dogs.
In our case my wife and daughter both have dog allergies and I was skeptical that these dog could pass the test. We called Karen Markel
from Majestic View Kennels and asked her about it. She invited us to come to her place, spend some time with the dogs and see if they react
to them. We took her up on the offer and spent a couple of hours with the dogs. And to our amazement neither of them had an allergic reaction
to the dogs.
The origin of the breed and what constitutes a “Native American Indian Dog” is somewhat controversial, which you can read more
about elsewhere on the Internet. For instance, The American Indian Dog Site
claims the original trademark to the True American Indian Dog. The Northern Dog site is not going to end the controversy and, in fact,
I am not even going to weigh in with my opinion. Other then to say I agree with the author there that people should do their own
research. For the purpose of this site, I am going to focus mostly on modern version of the dogs, which are
commonly known as NAIDs. I should also mention that there are variations of the NAID, which include the NAS, Sibercaan,
Siberian Indian Dog, Shalom Shepherd, Golder Indian Dog and the St. Johns Indian Dog.
Variations on the NAID
- NAID – Native American Indian Dog
- NAS – NAID/Belgium Shepherd mix.
- Sibercaan – NAID/Canaan Dog mix.
- Siberian Indian Dog – NAID/Siberian Husky mix.
- Shalom Shepherd - NAID/German Shepherd mix.
- Golden Indian Dog - NAID/Golden Retriever mix.
- St Johns Indian Dog – NAID/Native Canadian Dogs/Newfoundland mix.
Karen Markel is credited with trademarking and defining the modern NAID and all the variations in the 1990's. Her goal was to
recreate the appearance and versatility of the original Native American Dogs. She used selective breeding to mimic, what she
thought were the ideal traits of these dogs.
While that is a pretty decent introduction to the breed I want to make it clear that this is not all inclusive and I am not an
expert on the breed. I am just an enthusiastic companion to two of them, a NAID and A NAS, and I wanted to share some of my experiences
I should also mention that these are all generalities and that no two dogs are exactly alike so your mileage may vary. I would say
that if you are interested in this dog I would really recommend that you try and find some that you can spend some time with them
before you commit, talk to the people who have them and ask a lot of questions. If you can't find someone close I really recommend
that you get on Face Book, search for people with these dogs and ask them a lot of questions.