The Greenland Dog is often mistaken for the Siberian Husky or the Alaskan Malamute as they do look very alike. However, the Greenland Dog is completely separate from these breeds. This dog originates from, unsurprisingly, Greenland and is still used there today primarily as a working dog that is valued for it’s strength and speed. However, they also make great companion dogs in other parts of the world, including the United States.
To own a Greenland Dog, you’ll need to be a firm and confident owner as they can have a stubborn streak. They are often not recommended for first time dog owners. Read on below to find out more about this breed and whether they might be the pup for you.
History Of The Greenland Dog
The Greenland Dog is an ancient breed and so it’s origins can be difficult to pinpoint. They are not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but they are recognized by the UK Kennel Club that recognizes them as a working breed, and the United Kennel Club that classifies the breed as a Northern Breed. The Greenland Dog is also recognized by the FCI and the Canadian Kennel Club.
The Greenland Dog was developed several thousand years ago to work alongside people as a sled dog in the Arctic regions of the world. They are considered a Spitz breed because they have a thick double coat and excellent stamina, which are two of the characteristics a dog would need to work in these conditions.
The Greenland Dog only made it’s first appearance outside of Greenland in the 1750s, and wasn’t exhibited in show until the late 1800s. While they are becoming more popular all over the world, they still are not commonly found outside of Greenland.
Characteristics Of The Greenland Dog
The Greenland Dog can be hard to find outside of Greenland, so you may have to be put on a waiting list when buying from a breeder in the United States. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.
Greenland Dog puppies are normally born in litter sizes of between four to six pups, and may cost around $800. However, because they are so rare and breeders are uncommon, the price can really vary from breeder to breeder.
The Greenland Dog is a medium to large sized dog breed that weighs between 50 to 75 lbs and stands between 20 and 27 inches tall. Males are usually bigger than females. These dogs are powerful and heavy-built.
They have a broad, wedge-shaped head, slightly tilted eyes and small, triangular ears covered with thick fur that prevents frostbite. Their legs are strong and their tail curls over their back. Their bodies are designed for them to move quickly across uneven and difficult terrain.
The Greenland Dog has a medium length coat that is a thick double coat. The under layer is made up of short, wool-like fur while the outer layer is longer, coarser and water-repellent to keep the Greenland warm and dry. Their tail is densely furred alongside their ears which are too, again to keep them warm.
The Greenland Dog can come in a variety of different coat colors, although the main combinations are white, black, brown, red and gray.
The Greenland is a fiercely loyal and affectionate dog when bonded to their owner, but these dogs can be a handful thanks to their sometimes stubborn streak! You will need to be firm and consistent with these dogs from a young age, so they learn that you are in charge. As a working breed, they were taught to follow a strong leader and so if you do not show them you are the boss, they won’t listen to you.
That being said, once your Greenland realizes you are in charge, they will do everything they can to be a loyal, trusting and protective companion to you! They can make good watchdogs and guard dogs and will bark when something is out of place. While these Greenlandic dogs are sociable and are certainly happy to go with the flow and live in a busy household, you’ll need to ensure they are socialized from a young age.
An intelligent breed, the Greenland Dog is easy to train — again, if you are consistent with them. Thanks to their intelligence they also like to be kept entertained, and will be happiest when outside playing and keeping active.
The Greenland Dog has an average life expectancy of between 13 and 14 years.
Known Health Issues
The Greenland Dog is a relatively healthy dog breed. However, like all dogs, they can be prone to some health problems. The two most common health issues are:
- Hip Dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Gastric Torsion (Bloat) — this is a potentially fatal condition in large breed dogs that results in them becoming bloated. You need to know the symptoms of it. Feeding your dog smaller more frequent meals instead of one big meal can help to reduce the risk.
The Greenland can also be prone to other musculoskeletal problems, as well as working injuries that they may receive out in the field. This isn’t so much of an issue if your Greenland is purely a companion dog and not a working dog.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parent dogs and will not breed if there is a chance of passing on any severe issues to offspring.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Greenland Dog, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is really like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
The Greenland Dog is an active, historic working breed and therefore requires a large diet to keep them healthy. You should base the amount you feed them on their weight, age and activity levels, all which should change throughout their life. Always check the back of the food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding your Greenland based on these factors.
As a puppy, they should be fed three to four times a day. This is particularly important in the larger breeds as they are most predisposed to bloat, where the stomach becomes bloated and twisted and is usually fatal. These three to four meals can then be decreased to two meals a day as an adult.
Their food should be healthy and nutritious. It should cover all the nutrients that a dog of this size needs, including proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is recommended that you feed them a diet specially formulated for large dog breeds. Take a look at the food we recommend below.
Best Dog Food For The Greenland DogBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the CRAVE Grain Free High Protein dry dog food for your Greenland Dog. This food is formulated with 34% protein from real salmon, inspired by the diet of dogs’ wolf ancestors. This high protein helps to keep their muscles lean and healthy so they can stay active for longer.
This food has no grains present in the recipe but there are quality carbohydrates for sources of energy. There are also vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the formula to provide your Greenland Dog with a full and balanced diet. Even better, there are no chicken byproduct meals in this food, nor any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Thanks to their working history, it is no surprise that the Greenland Dog is an active breed with relatively high exercise needs. You should be walking this dog for at least two hours a day, and should give them lots of time to roam and play games.
The Greenland Dog is intelligent and so will love to engage in dog sports and brain games, too. They’ll particularly like to play these with their family members and can make a wonderful exercise buddy!
The Greenland Dog can make a wonderful pet for those who understand their needs. An active breed, this dog will do best in a family where there is a lot going on and they can join in the fun. They’ll love to spend time with you outside, hiking and running, and can make a great playmate to children.
These dogs are very protective of their owners and like to be with them. While they can be left alone, it is a good idea not to leave them alone at home for too long. If you have to, give them lots of interactive toys to play with as they need to be kept stimulated so they don’t get bored and destructive!
While the Greenland can be difficult to look after and isn’t necessarily the pet for first time owners, because they are intelligent the entire family can help train them. They’re very adaptable and will love to be right in the middle of a busy lifestyle.
Because the Greenland Dog is a large breed, they are best kept in larger homes rather than apartment buildings. They can adapt, however, but you must make sure you are giving them enough exercise. They will really excel if they have a yard to run around in.
The Greenland Dog is fairly easy to train, thanks to their intelligence. However, they are taught to follow the commands of a strong leader, and so, as an owner, you will have to show them they that you are in charge. Otherwise, they might try to get their own way!
Like all dogs, the Greenland responds best to positive reinforcement and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats. You should never get angry or frustrated with your dog when training. They may not understand what is happening and this will cause them to not want to learn. You should ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior so they learn which is more desirable.
The Greenland is a relatively sociable dog who gets on well with other people and animals, but you will need to socialize them at a young age. They can be prone to barking which can make them a good watchdog, because they are very protective of their owners.
Introduce your Greenland Dog to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a calm and controlled way when they are a puppy, This way they will learn there is nothin to be afraid of.
The Greenland Dog sheds moderately and so regular brushing is needed. You should brush these dogs a few times a week to keep their coat in the best condition and to loosen any hairs. Fortunately, brushing your Greenland is about as complicated as it gets! You won’t need to take them to the groomers to be clipped and bathing is needed only occasionally.
You should check your Greenland’s ears regularly for signs of infection. You should also try to brush their teeth as often as you can, to prevent dental decay and disease.
How much does a Greenland Dog cost?
A Greenland Dog can set you back around $800, although it really depends on the breeder. Because breeders of the Greenland are rare in the US, the price may vary. Whatever the price, always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can give you health clearances for both parent breeds.
If this is out of your price range or you would prefer to adopt, you can always check your local shelter. You may also be able to find recuse organizations online.
Is a Greenland Dog good with children?
The Greenland Dog breed can get on very well with children, particularly those they know and live with. The Greenland likes to live in a busy house and will adapt well to any environment, so children shouldn’t be an issue. They also make wonderful playmates and can tire children out with their love of playing games — or vice versa!
A large, affectionate breed, the Greenland Dog can make a wonderful family pet to those who know their needs. This working dog is a fantastic companion to a firm and consistent owner, and will become very loyal and protective once bonded. The Greenland gets on very well with children and, as long as they get enough exercise everyday, they can be happy anywhere. If you think you’ve got what it takes to look after this unique breed, what are you waiting for?