The Greenland Dog is the only surviving native breed in Greenland. Traditionally used as a sled dog the Greenland Dog is large, strong and perfectly adapted to a cold climate. The appearance of the Greenland Dog is somewhere inbetween an Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. This breed thrives in a working environment and does well with an active, outdoorsy family too. The hard-working Greenland Dog is a spitz-type dog with a thick double coat, a fluffy tail and small pointed ears.
The Greenland Dog is a unique looking breed with small pricked ears, a bushy tail that curves over their back and a thick, fluffy double coat. Greenland Dogs have been used for centuries to pull sleds and the males are noticeably larger than the females. The Greenland Dog is well proportioned with their broad, wedge-shaped heads and moderately long muzzles.
The dark brown eyes of the Greenland Dog are always alert and their ears are small, firm and carried erect. The Greenland Dogs neck is well-muscled and covered with loose skin, their shoulders and chest are broad and their front legs are powerful. The Greenland Dog is powerful and muscular but still looks well balanced. They have large feet with strong nails and thick pads perfect for high levels of exercise.
The coat of the Greenland Dog is incredibly dense with a thick undercoat and a coarse top coat. The hair of the Greenland Dog’s face and legs is shorter than the hair on the rest of their body. Greenland Dogs come in a range of colours including white, black and white, grey and white, red and white, fawn and white and tan and white.
How big do Greenland Dogs get?
Height - Males: 58 - 68cm, Females: 51 - 61cm
Weight - Males: 34 - 47kg, Females: 27 - 41kg
The Greenland Dog is a loyal, intelligent and energetic breed that loves to be busy working. The Greenland Dog is best suited to an active family that enjoys the outdoors. While Greenland Dogs are affectionate with their family, they are also independent, this is something that makes them more difficult to train for inexperienced owners. Greenland Dogs are playful, particularly when they are young. Greenland Dogs also make excellent guard dogs as they are always alert and are quick to let their owners know if there is something happening that they are suspicious of.
Are Greenland Dogs intelligent? Yes
Are Greenland Dogs affectionate? Yes
Do Greenland Dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy
Are Greenland Dogs loyal? Yes
Are Greenland Dogs playful? Yes, especially when they are young
Are Greenland Dogs aggressive? No
Are Greenland Dogs easy to train? They are more challenging to train than some other breeds due to their intelligence and independent thinking.
Are Greenland Dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are natural watchdogs and are always alert
Greenland Dogs are social animals that get on with other dogs but should not be left with smaller animals due to their high prey drive. The large size and boisterous nature of the Greenland Dog means they aren’t suited to living in homes with smaller children but can live with older kids without a problem. Greenland Dogs are also aloof with strangers but this natural suspicion is something that makes them such excellent watchdogs.
Do Greenland Dogs get along with other pets? No, their high prey drive means they will chase smaller animals so all contact is best avoided
Do Greenland Dogs get along with other dogs? Yes, these dogs are naturally pack animals so get on with other dogs
Are Greenland Dogs good with kids? They are better with older children as these large dogs can be boisterous
Are Greenland Dogs good with strangers? No, they are naturally aloof and wary of people they don’t know
Greenland Dogs are best suited to living in rural settings where they have access to a large secure garden and have plenty of space to roam. Although generally quiet, some Greenland Dogs have been known to howl at times. The independent nature of the Greenland Dog means they can handle being left on their own but only for short periods. This is a breed that needs to be kept busy with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation otherwise they can quickly become bored.
Are Greenland Dogs good for first-time owners? No, they need owners that are experienced with their socialisation, handling and training needs
Are Greenland Dogs hypoallergenic? No
Are Greenland Dogs prone to drooling? No
Are Greenland Dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, they need to live in a large home with a large, secure garden
Do Greenland Dogs shed a lot? Yes, with increased amounts of shedding twice a year
Do Greenland Dogs bark a lot? No, but some individuals howl when they feel like it
Can Greenland Dogs be left alone at home? Yes, they have quite an independent nature so can be alone for short periods
Can Greenland Dogs handle the heat? No
Can Greenland Dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes
Are Greenland Dogs sensitive to loud noises? No
Greenland Dogs have an average life expectancy of 10 - 14 years. Overall the breed is healthy and robust but there are a few hereditary health conditions that the Greenland Dog breed is known to suffer from including:
Hip dysplasia - as with other large dog breeds, the Greenland Dog is prone to hip dysplasia. This is a painful condition caused by the abnormal development of the hip joints. This can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes and in some cases with surgery.
Elbow dysplasia - this is when the elbow joint develops abnormally causing pain, swelling and arthritis. Treatment inclused phyiotherapy, weight and exercise control, pain relief and surgery.
Eye conditions - Greenland Dogs are prone to eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. Early treatment is best for eye conditions so take your dog to a vet if you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes.
How long do Greenland Dogs live? 10 - 14 years
As the Greenland Dog is a high energy breed that is used to working as a sled dog, they have a lot of energy. This means Greenland Dogs need to be walked for at least 2 hours per day. Countryside walks are best suited to these dogs and their social nature means they are happy to walk in parks too. It’s best to keep your Greenland Dog on lead during walks as they have a high prey drive and won’t think twice about chasing smaller animals. It’s important for Greenland Dogs to also have access to a large, secure garden so they can spend time off lead.
How much exercise does a Greenland Dog dog need? At least 2 hours per day
Do Greenland Dogs like water play? Yes, they enjoy water play during hot weather
The Greenland Dog is a large size dog that needs to be fed a high-quality dry food that has been formulated for bigger dog breeds. The high-energy nature of this working breed means they often need more food due to how much energy they are using during work. A Greenland Dog puppy needs between 260 - 560g of high-quality dry food per day but the actual amount will depend on the individual puppy. As this is just an estimate and every dog is unique it is important to have a personal dietary plan made.
Are Greenland Dogs prone to weight gain? No
How much should I feed a Greenland Dog puppy? Between 260 - 560g of high-quality dry food per day depending on the age and build of the puppy
How much should I feed an adult Greenland Dog? Between 270 - 520g of high-quality dry food per day depending on the weight and activity level of the dog
Grooming: The thick double coat of the Greenland Dog needs to be brushed a couple of times a week to keep them clean and free from dirt. Greenland Dogs also shed throughout the year so regular brushing will help to keep on top of this. Their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to help prevent infections. Greenland Dogs teeth and nails should also be checked periodically to keep them in good condition.
Emotional Care: A busy Greenland Dog is a happy Greenland Dog. The breed loves to be doing something and needs plenty of daily exercise as well as mental stimualtion to prevent boredom. If a Greenland Dog doesn’t get enough mental and physical stimualtion they may become destructive around the home as a way of relieving stress. The Greenland Dog is also quite independent in how they think, which means patience and consistency is required during training.
History of the Greenland Dog
The Greenland Dog is thought to be an ancient breed that was developed thousands of years ago. Greenland Dogs have a long history of working as sled dogs in the Arctic regions and are well adapted for this environment with thick double coats and high staminas.
Greenland Dogs were even used by explorers on expeditions and were famously used by Fridtjof Nansen on multiple trips including on his ship and during his voyage across the Arctic Ocean.
The Greenland Dog wasn’t seen outside of Greenland until the 1750s and the breed remains rare outside of their native land.
Greenland Dogs were used by famous explorer Fridtjof Nansen on several of his expeditions
The Greenland Dog breed is rare outside of Greenland
Greenland Dogs are believed to have been in the Arctic region for centuries
Greenland Dogs were traditionally sled dogs
If you think the Greenland Dog is the right breed for your home and lifestyle, take a look at our buying guide for advice on finding and buying a new dog. As most dogs are now bought online it is important to be aware of scams and make sure you only buy from responsible breeders. To make this easier, all breeders on Puppies have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. Take a look at our Greenland Dog page to find puppies available in your area.
How much does a Greenland Dog cost to buy? £800 - £2000
How much does a Greenland Dog cost to feed? £40 per month
How much does insurance for a Greenland Dog cost? £35 per month
As there are only a few Greenland Dog puppies bred in the UK each year, an alternative option is to adopt one of these dogs. We recommend speaking to your local dog rescue centre or contacting the associations below: