One of the four recognized FCI sled breeds, the most primitive and rarest of all. The Greenland dog is healthy, resilient, with a great passion for sled work. Independent, with strong herd instinct, requires an experienced guide.
Greenland dog. Nature
Greenland dogs are large spitz dogs, heavier than husky dogs and not as fast as they are, but stronger. However, they are lighter, faster and more mobile than malamutes.
Like other dogs of the north, they feel good in a herd, in which they themselves establish a hierarchy – a man should not interfere in it. In the case of alien quadrupeds of the same sex, they tend to be dominant, which can lead to conflicts, especially if the foreign dog is the first to look for aggression.
As in any breed, there are individuals with different dispositions – also more willing to spend time on the sofa. However, it is better not to count on it, because Greenland without a job can become a destroyer.
The Greenland dog is considered one of the oldest breeds in existence – the Eskimos have used these quadrupeds for thousands of years to pull sleighs and hunt.
Working in a team, they had no opportunity to create deeper bonds. Treated like family members (which does not mean they have to live at home), they become strongly attached to carers, sometimes favoring someone. They like children, but sometimes they are lively and not very delicate – so be careful.
Like husky, they are friendly towards strangers, welcome guests nicely, can be petted – but not everyone will run in canicross with a stranger. Although they usually let strangers into the property, it happens that … they won’t let them leave, driving everyone to one place.
Greenland dog. Training and education
Training Greenland requires patience – they are intelligent but independent, harsh treatment can provoke aggression.
Who is this race for?
Greenland dog is a good choice for people who like movement outdoors. Of course, he does not have to pull the sleigh – he will also be happy to run by the bicycle or accompany you in jogging, and the lunch will be packed in panniers on the back.
Greenland dog. Advantages and disadvantages
stubborn and independent
very hierarchical with other dogs
requires a lot of traffic
has a strong hunting instinct
healthy and resilient
easy to care for
friendly towards people
Dogs of this breed are very resistant to cold – in their homeland, they are not disturbed by frosts reaching even 40 ° C. However, they do not tolerate heat and humidity.
They are generally healthy, and genetic problems occur sporadically. Despite this, they live only about 10 years. They are usually full of energy and go away suddenly.
It is important to remember that a sled dog must receive high energy food. Dogs working intensively are not satisfied with dry food alone, but they also need to get fatty meat.
It’s not complicated. Greenland should be brushed once a week, more often during molting.
Greenland dog. History
Greenland dogs come from quadrupeds brought to Greenland by Inuit, also called Eskimos. Excavations prove that the first settlers arrived here 4,500. years ago. They came from Siberia, so Greenland dogs are related to husky. It is known that similar animals have lived in those areas already 7 thousand. years BC
The first Europeans to reach Greenland were Vikings. Much later, whalers, travelers and leather dealers began to arrive there. They learned from the natives how to use sled dogs and began to take them on trips to other regions of the world.
Greenland dogs took part – along with samoyeds – incl. in the capture of the South Pole by Roald Amundsen. Most did not return home because … they were fed with other pets. This proves in what conditions the breed was shaped – these dogs were never stalled. The main selection criteria were: readiness to pull the sleigh, resistance and endurance.
The Eskimos used dogs to hunt seals and white bears. They were supposed to sniff a hole in the ice, through which the seals emerge to take a breath. To this day, the population of these quadrupeds working in the traditional way lives in Greenland, also in other countries, they are usually in the hands of sled sports enthusiasts. Every year in Greenland there are dog sled championships. The islanders make their living mainly from dogs – but they earn today by organizing trips for tourists.
Most Greenland dogs live in Greenland, which administratively belongs to Denmark. Also in its area, they are quite common. In addition, they are popular in Finland, Sweden, and Norway, and there are many in the Czech Republic. In the Scandinavian countries, it is also possible to register quadrupeds without papers imported from their homeland in the preliminary books.
Greenland dog – group V FCI, section 1, reference number 274
Country of origin: Greenland
Character: brave, confident, balanced, energetic dog, with a great passion for teamwork; friendly towards people, does not tend to watch; has strong herd and hunting instincts
Size: dogs minimum 60 cm, bitches minimum 55 cm
Weight: dogs 34-48 kg, bitches 27-41 kg
Coat: short, two-layer: dense, soft undercoat and dense, hard and straight coat; shorter coat on the head and legs, long and very dense on the torso; on the tail forms a moderate brush
Ointment: all colors are allowed
Lifespan: 10-11 years
Vulnerability to training: average; as a representative of the primitive race, he is characterized by independence
Activity: needs a lot of traffic, but otherwise is calm
Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant
Possibility to buy a puppy: because there is a little kennel, you usually have to order a puppy
Sled dogs living in Greenland have maintained high racial purity to this day due to very strict regulations. In the territory where Greenland dogs are kept (this includes towns above the polar circle on the west coast of Greenland and all towns on the east coast), no other breeds are allowed. If the Greenland dog leaves the area, he must not return there.
Sled Greenland dogs can read the environment in an unusual way. For example, they can sense that the ice is too thin and refuse to step on it.