Greenland’s freight dog, perfectly adapted to a cold climate
The Greenland Dog is one of the world’s oldest breeds, having been used by the Inuit people since ancient times as both a hunting and a transportation dog. This is the only surviving native breed in Greenland, having survived a canine epidemic and it was protected from genetic dilution by a law forbidding matings with imported dogs. As a haulage dog they stand midway between the heavy weight Alaskan Malamute and the lighter Siberian Husky but like them their physical features and coat equip them for life in a cold climate. Since the Inuit people of Canada’s Arctic were known to have emigrated from Greenland many centuries ago bringing their sled dogs with them, it’s possible this hardy polar Spitz breed is the forerunner of the native Canadian Eskimo Dog. The relationship to other northern Spitz breeds – such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and Canadian Eskimo is unmistakable. Used primarily as sled dogs in the Scandinavian countries, Greenland Dogs were also put to work by the native people as hunting dog whose superior sense of smell was used to track down seal breathing holes.
Typically independent and with a natural tendency to exercise alpha behaviours, the Greenland Dog requires firm leadership and consistent training from an early age. That said, the breed is adaptable to domestic life and is a suitable breed choice for active families or the dedicated sole owner. Loyal, obedient and protective of home and property, the Greenland Dog makes a great addition to any home setting, providing its needs are met. They can act out and have howling frenzies. As average to high barkers, they can bark if they are not entertained or exercised enough. They can also act out in destructive ways if they do not have a variety of tasks, so they need to be kept busy and stimulated. Their personality finds fulfilment with exercise junkies or highly active people who can give them plenty of space and exercise.
Read more about the history of this breed – HERE
STATS AND FACTS
Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.
|Group – UK||Working|
|Bred For||Transportation, Hunting|
|Country of Origin||Greenland|
|Temperament||Intelligent, Affectionate, Loyal|
|Exercise Needed||More than 2 hours a day|
|Size of Home Needed||Large|
|Height at Withers – Females||51 – 61 cm / 20 – 24 in|
|Height at Withers – Males||58 – 68 cm / 23 – 27 in|
|Grooming||Once a week|
|Colour||Various – see photos|
|Life Expectancy||10 – 14 years|
- They have the habit of sleeping in a position in which their bodies curl up and their tails cover their noses. Greenland dogs do this even when they’re not in freezing cold conditions.
- The Greenland Dog is popular as a hiking companion in the Norway and Sweden today.
- They are good guard dogs and watchdogs. They are alert and will bark when something is amiss.
- The reason so many people have not heard of the Greenland Dog is that the breed is rare. It’s native to Greenland where it is still bred to serve as a working dog.
- The Greenland dog is also known as the Greenland Husky, Esquimaux Dog, the Kalaallit Qimmiat, the Qimmeq, the Gronlandshund and the Grunlandshund.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD
Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Greenland Dogs. Not all of the usual kennel clubs previously listed on this site recognise the Greenland Dog, only those below have classifications for this breed.
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WEBSITES ABOUT GREENLAND DOGS
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Greenland Dog breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here. As you can see from the ONE club below, this breed is rare and not widely known throughout the world.
Thanks for reading!