For the first time in a decade, Inuit Timbers Dogs made famous in Game of Thrones, have had a litter in Northern Ireland.
Adult dogs from the breed were used to play the wolves in the hit HBO series.
And now a litter has been produced in Co Down, causing a stir in the doggie world and gradually charming their way into experienced homes.
In Game of Thrones, The Stark family’s famous Direwolves are not really wolves at all despite the wolf-like look.
They were instead a group of specially-trained Northern Inuit Dogs, a crossbred relative of the Siberian Husky, a cross breed that dates back to the 1980s.
The breeding was an attempt to create a domestic dog that closely resembles the wolf but does not have many of the wolf attributes.
The adult females weigh up to six stones and the males can weigh in seven stones or more.
Ingrid Houwers whose dog Cody fathered the litter said: “In my opinion they are the most beautiful breed, intelligent and quick-witted, stubborn, playful and great company.
“But these dogs take some looking after and they are definitely not for the novice dog owner.
“Some of Cody’s puppies have now gone to their new homes and they were vetted very thoroughly by the breeder.
“Anyone who takes on a Northern Inuit Dog needs to be a strong leader or these beautiful dogs will take advantage of them and every situation.
“They need loving, firm, consistent handling and understanding of the breed. Training from the start is essentia.”
The birth of the nine puppies was announced by Lecale Inuit and Timber Dogs after the mating of Cody and Naboo.”
A spokesperson said: “This will be the first litter here in County Down, Northern Ireland in nine years. As a homage to ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ we have decided to give the puppies kennel names from the films. The five males are called Merry, Pippin, Legolas, Aragorn and Theoden and the females are Arwen, Eowyn, Tauriel and Galadriel.”
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