Greenland Dog - Characteristics, Behavior and Care

Greenland dog: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. You may have seen the photo of a sleigh pulled by beautiful...

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You may have seen the photo of a sled being pulled by beautiful, sturdy dogs, similar to the Siberian Husky, but slightly different. They were probably Greenland dogs, which have been pulling the sleds of the Eskimos since very ancient times. These dogs are renowned for their strength and tenacity, and make excellent companions for lovers of nature, sports and the great outdoors. Curiously, they are largely misunderstood, especially when compared to other breeds of dogs typical of arctic regions such as the Samoyeds or the Siberian Huskies already mentioned.

Do you want to get to know these Eskimo dogs? At PlanèteAnimal we bring you a little closer to them and we tell you all the characteristics of the Greenlandic dog or Greenland dog.


  • America
  • Canada
  • Greenland

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group V

Physical Characteristics

  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Large


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Strong
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Docile

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • The hunt
  • Sports

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Long
  • Hard
  • Big

Origin of the Greenland Dog

Greenland dogs are classified in the group of polar spitz and primitive type dogs. This is a breed with extremely ancient origins, so it is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.These dogs have traditionally accompanied the Inuit, that is to say the Eskimos of Greenland and Northeastern Canada. It was these Greenlandic and Canadian Eskimos who used Greenlandic dogs as sled dogs, selecting the strongest, he althiest and toughest dogs. This selection has resulted in the Greenland dogs that exist today being an incredibly hardy and incredibly he althy breed of dogs.

However, they were not only appreciated as sled dogs, but also by the Eskimos for their hunting skills, as well as being excellent and affectionate companions in the harsh and eternal polar winter .

Characteristics of the Greenland Dog

The Greenland dog is a large dog, males measure between 60 and 68 centimeters at the withers and weigh between 28 and 36 kilograms, while females measure between 55 and 61 centimeters and weigh between 26 and 32 kilograms.Their life expectancy is about 10-12 years.

The Greenland Dog is characterized by a well-proportioned body with elegant lines and strong, well-developed muscles. The legs are straight, strong and robust, and end in paws proportionally large compared to the rest of the body. The tail is of great length and the hair is long and dense. The head is large and wide, wedge-shaped, its eyes are medium-sized and slightly slanted upwards, giving it a fox-like look. The ears, triangular in shape, are medium-small in size compared to the head, with a particularly thick coat that insulates from the cold and prevents frostbite.

The colors of the Greenland dog

The coat of these dogs has a two-layer structure, so the undercoat consists of dense woolly hairs, its function being to insulate the animal's skin from cold and humidity . The outer coat is the one that can be seen with the naked eye, it is longer and thicker than the undercoat.As for colors, it is true that in this breed, all solid colors and patterns with more than one color are allowed, with the exception of albinism and merle color markings. However, the most common colors are white, black, suede or brown and cinnamon, in different shades. In the pattern of the coat, it is common to see a triangle at the shoulders.

Greenland dog character

If there's one thing that defines these dogs, it's their boundless energy, coupled with their self-confidence and courage. This combination makes Greenland dogs dogs with a strong and protective character. However, they don't make good watchdogs, as they are extremely social and affectionate, even with strangers, and are neither fearful nor reluctant to come into contact with new people and surroundings.

Greenland dogs are loyal, attentive and affectionate, which is why they are highly valued as companion dogs. He loves being outdoors and in contact with nature, which makes him the ideal dog for athletes and hikers.

On the other hand, they are dogs with a highly developed intelligence, as well as a surprising level of attention and curiosity. As a result, they are quite good learners, as we will see in training.

" A very special characteristic of the Greenland dog, typical of Japanese breeds like the Akita Inu, is that he does not bark, but communicates by howling. He can thus express what he feels, because it is easy to distinguish whether he is sad, happy or frightened by the intonation and intensity of his howls. This peculiar characteristic has led the Eskimos to call the howling of Greenland dogs the cry of the savage."

Caring for a Greenland dog

If you adopt a dog from Greenland, one of the main cares will be daily exercise, as these animals need high doses of high intensity physical activity in order to release all the energy they have. tend to accumulate.That's why with these dogs, a 20 minute walk to relieve themselves and take them for a walk is not enough, they need to run and let off steam. For this reason Greenlandic dogs are ideal as sporting companions, we can take them for a walk, a run or any other outdoor sport.

In line with the previous point, it is very important to devote time to the Greenlandic dog, not only for outdoor exercise, but also to play with him at home. To do this, it is possible to offer him intelligence games, to do this, make his own toys or buy the ones that best suit your dog.

As for the maintenance of the coat of the Greenland dog, it is recommended to brush it two or three times a week, which helps to eliminate dirt and maintain a he althy and shiny coat. It should not be washed too much, but only when necessary.A fundamental aspect, both for the good condition of the coat and for general he alth, is the diet. He must cover all his nutritional needs. We must therefore be very scrupulous in choosing the most suitable diet for our dog.

Greenland dog education

As mentioned above, Greenland dogs are attentive and highly intelligent dogs. This characteristic, combined with their gentle and docile nature, makes them easier to train than other dogs. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been as good as sled dogs, as Eskimos point out that they were able to train them with very little effort and that the dedication and tenacity they show is astonishing and admirable. They even point out how happy they seem when trained from puppyhood and used to pull harnesses.

One thing to keep in mind when training dogs with a high energy level like the Greenland Hound is that we need to make sure the energy is controlled for training, it It is therefore recommended to carry out physical exercise sessions before the start of the training session.It should also be borne in mind that in order to prevent our dog from being reluctant and sullen in the face of training, punishment and violence in all its forms must be avoided, which is why you must use respectful training techniques based on the rewards and affection, such as positive reinforcement. Rewards are not just treats or toys, sometimes petting or displays of affection work best, but it all depends on each dog. Don't miss our guide on how to educate a puppy if you have just adopted one.

Greenland Dog He alth

As already mentioned above, Greenlandic dogs are hardy and enjoy good he alth. They do not suffer from congenital diseases unique to this particular breed, so there are no recorded anomalies in this regard. However, they do suffer from diseases typical of large dogs, some of the most worrisome in terms of their incidence and implications for the he alth of these dogs are stomach torsion, which can be fatal, and stomach dysplasia. hip.In the case of dysplasia, we can resort to physiotherapy exercises, as well as giving them chondroprotectors, such as omega 3, which keep the joints lubricated in order to keep them in the best possible condition.

For all these reasons, it is essential to carry out regular veterinary checks, during which, in addition to tests and analyses, the necessary vaccinations and deworming are carried out, in order to keep our animal free of parasites and diseases.

Where and how to adopt a dog from Greenland?

The truth is that it is very difficult to find them for adoption outside of their place of origin. However, we always recommend going to shelters and associations to see if there is a specimen of this breed to adopt or a mongrel with certain similarities. However, at this stage, it is important to remember that there are many dogs to adopt, so the most important thing in choosing your best companion is not that he belongs to a certain breed, but that you can meet his needs to give him the best possible life.

That said, we once again stress the importance of checking that you can actually commit the time this dog needs if you find a Greenland dog to adopt. Remember this is a very energetic breed.

Greenland Dog Pictures

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