Greenland Dog

History

It is believed that this dog has its origins in the arctic regions of Siberia, Canada and Greenland. They are classed as a Spitz type of dog. They are one of the oldest breeds still around today, being brought to the region some 7000 years ago. They are used by the native Inuit people as sledding dogs. These are very strong dogs, perfectly suited for life in the arctic, being able to travel miles without tiring.

Behaviour

If placed into a family situation, these dogs will be loving and gentle. However, you should always keep in mind that at heart these are working dogs and will need a tonne of physical exercise each day. Only consider this breed if you are prepared to put in the effort that is needed. They will usually be friendly with other dogs and people, if raised together. They are also seemingly acceptive of strangers in the home. They are good with children if raised around them, but their fact that they can be rather boisterous paired with their large size makes them unsuitable for small children. This varies from dog to dog however and you will have to be the judge of whether or not you deem it safe.

Bred for thousands of years, the Greenland Dog needs some form of work, usually pulling a sled, to keep them happy. The breed is more common in Scandinavia arctic regions where they are still used for this very purpose. They can be kept as pets, but as mentioned before they will need heaps of exercise each day. They make good running partners and will happily run with you for miles. At least one very long walk paired with active play sessions will be needed each day. Surprisingly they aren’t much good as guards dogs, but they do adore hunting and will happily run after prey for miles if need be. Outdoor karting where a team of dogs pull the owner around forest tracks has become popular and is a good way to give the dogs the work that they need.

Training will be rather time-consuming with this breed as these are independent thinkers and will even take over a household if given a chance. Make sure they know who’s boss in order to avoid this. They are a very old breed and still retain many of their wild cousin’s instincts. Fortunately this means that they have a strong pack instinct and will be loyal to the pack “leader”, unfortunately this also means that the leader shows too much weakness they will try to take over the forle for themselves. This means that firm and constant training is needed throughout their lives. It will take a lot of patience to train these dogs, more so than any other breed. Food based reward and praise works well with these dogs but the owners attitude towards the training is key. Harsh training won’t work, neither will super-lax training. You have to find the perfect middle ground that works for you. They are certainly a challenge, but it will all pay off as once trained these dogs will make great companions.

Greenland dogs have been around for thousands of years and as such have few health concerns. They are very good at 'working through' any health problems, so owners need to keep a close eye on them. Hip dysplasia can be seen in the breed.

Their coat is dense and built for harsh arctic winters, a brush ever so often will be in order. Be careful with these dogs as they can be more prone to overheating. They dislike the heat and providing a cool place for them to sleep in or retreat from the sun to is key.

Temperament

Greenland Dogs have an independent and boisterous temperament. This really is a doggy dog and you must expect it to be noisy, rowdy and full of energy. They can form loving bonds with an owner they respect which must be gained through mutual admiration. These dogs need tonnes of exercise or you risk a very unhappy dog. Difficult to train due to their stubborn and independent nature it is important that you are firm and totally consistent or the dog will deem you a pushover. They can be aggressive towards other dogs and may be too boisterous for children.

Health Problems

Greenland Dogs may be prone to canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, lens luxation (detachment of the lens inside the eyeball which can cause blindness), glaucoma and bloat.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
  • Weight: 62 - 70 pounds
  • Height: 22 - 25"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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