The American Indian Dog is medium-sized with a light build and dingo-like appearance.
Coat and Coloring
The coat of the American Indian Dog consists of a short, thick undercoat and longer guard hairs that stand off from the body. The breed’s hair is longest on the chest, ruff, shoulders, back of legs, and tail. These dogs come in various colors—including black, blue, white, gray, fawn, and silver. All coat colors have sable shading with darker tipped guard hairs.
Distinctive Physical Traits
American Indian Dogs have wedge-shaped, moderately long muzzles, longish pricked ears, and almond-shaped eyes that come in pale yellow or pale blue. They also have long, bushy tails that they carry down with a slight curve.
In the 1960s, Kim La Flamme set out to preserve the indigenous dogs of the North American Indian tribes. These dogs were specifically bred to be excellent babysitters, but they also worked as hunters and herders through the 1700s. Unfortunately, their population all but vanished after the arrival of Europeans in the early 1800s.
La Flamme traveled to Indian reservations from Canada to Mexico, searching for dogs that most closely approximated the old native dogs. Slowly but surely—and with the help and history of Tribal Elders—he found several dogs that served as the foundation stock for the American Indian Dog breeding program. Though these dogs look and behave just like the traditional native dogs of yore, La Flamme points out it’s impossible to prove that they directly descend from pure Native American dogs.
In 2001, La Flamme authorized the formation of the International Indian Dog Owners and Breeders Association. This group of owners and breeders is dedicated to maintaining the breed’s appearance, primitive instincts, and temperament.