The Canadian Eskimo Dog is an Arctic breed of working dog, which is often considered to be one of North America's oldest and rarest remaining purebred indigenous domestic canines. Other names include qimmiq or qimmit (Inuit language word for "dog"). They were brought from Siberia to North America by the Thule people 1,000 years ago, along with the Greenland Dog that is genetically identical. The breed is currently threatened with extinction, with a 2008 estimate of only 300 purebred dogs. Although once used as the preferred method of transportation by Inuit in the Canadian Arctic, by the 1960s traditional working dog teams became increasingly rare in the North. Contributing factors to the breed's decline include the increasing popularity of snowmobiles for transportation and the spread of infectious canine diseases. Controversy surrounds the intentional destruction of a debated number of Inuit sled dogs between 1950 and 1970 by The Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as recent efforts to increase the breed's population.
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