By Helena Sung
A family in Nicholasville, Kentucky brought their newborn baby, Alexander James Smith, home from the hospital this past Sunday. On Monday at about 1 p.m., the baby's father was horrified to see the family dog, a Native American Indian dog named Dakota, standing in the yard with the baby in its mouth.
The father gave chase, but the dog ran into the woods, later returning--alone. Luckily, the terrified father found little baby Alexander crying in the bushes about 150 yards away. He had cuts and punctures to his face and body, but he was alive, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.
By Greg Kocher
Michael Smith said they chose to get Native American Indian dogs in part because "my wife had done extensive research on them, and they're great family pets. She had talked to the breeder and had talked to other owners" of these types of dogs.
They got Dakota and Nikita from a Michigan breeder. He described the dogs' grandparents "as 90 percent wolf."
"They are the most mild-mannered dogs you could have," Smith said. "We've had them for four years, since they were pups."
Would they have used the breed in the headline if it were a German Shepard?
Indian dogs on the warpath! Look out, America!
What you need to be concerned about is the white supremacist dog. He sports a shaved head, tattoos and genital piercings. They are very aggressive in packs and seem rather feeble when alone.
Is there really such a thing as a "Native American Indian dog" (NAID)? Here's more on the story:
Native American Indian Dog
Some take it a step further and claim:
Any dog sold as an Indian dog is not even a recreation. Original native dogs are extinct and have been since before the invention of photography. Indians themselves did not have a pure breed of dog. Theirs were mixed dogs. With the arrival of the Europeans, these dogs became interbred with dogs from Europe and other countries. Because the dogs were never a purebred dog, and because no one bothered to study into them much, it would be impossible to "recreate" them. The NAID were originally bred by crossing wolfdogs and are a new type of dog started by one breeder.
By Amy Wilson, Greg Kocher and Emily Ulber
Critics argue that hybrids are unpredictable and dangerous, that they make poor pets and that there is no rabies vaccine available for wolves or their hybrids. Proponents claim the hybrid wolf is a good companion and is useful in educating the public about wolves. Many claim "once you have had a wolf hybrid, you will never own a dog again."
Mary Ann Zeigenfuse, a Lexington dog trainer and owner of Best Friends Obedience, said if Dakota is part wolf, she is no expert.
"If this is a wolf-hybrid, this is not a dog," she said. "It is still partly undomesticated. It may, in some cases, have no fear of humans."
When asked if she and loving pet owners could domesticate a wolf, she responded, "if I had 10,000 years."
There have been numerous reports of wolf hybrids injuring people, sometimes fatally. In 2002 in Ballard County, a wolf hybrid killed a 5-year-old boy; the animal's owner pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless homicide.
Janece Rollet, a certified canine behaviorist in Georgetown, is among the people who say that wolf hybrids are potential trouble. She said they are essentially wild animals.
However, do an Internet search and you will find sites that refer to Native American Indian dogs. According to Web sites devoted to the dog, there are only five breeders in the United States, and there's much discussion about their position and whether they have any verifiable claim to a dog with a specific native American origin with wolf ancestry.
Apparently, even the legal status of the dog has been challenged by some Native Americans.
Sherman Jett, supervisor of Jessamine County Animal Control, said he has never heard of a Native American Indian dog, nor has his predecessor. Beckey Reiter, director of Boone County Animal Control, also said "that's not a breed I'm aware of."
Jett said he could not say with certainty what type of animal Dakota is. "I honestly don't know," he said.
There are animals known as Native American dogs, "but they do not contain wolf," said Rollet. Native American dogs, she said, "are a combination of multiple, larger dogs: husky, German shepherd, malamute and so on."
But it seems clear Dakota is a wolf hybrid, not another kind of dog. The breeder may have called it a "Native American Indian dog" to make it sound more official and impressive and charge a higher price.
For more on the subject, see Indian Dog Training?