Greenland Dog

Greenland Dog

Group: Working Group

Origin: Greenland

Height: 25 inches

Greenland Dog
Seacourt Star Dust at Sledog “Grit”
Photo courtesy:
SLEDOG Alaskan Malamutes & Greenland Dogs

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Breed Profile

The Greenland Dog originated from the Arctic regions of Northern Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland and is one of the oldest breeds in the world. He has been known by several names including Eskimo Dog, Husky, Inuit Dog, Esquimaux and, in 1990, the official name became the Greenland Dog in order to fall in line with several areas of Europe where he is known as the Gronlandhund. He is a typical husky-type working dog who was used as a sled dog to haul heavy loads. Northern natives also used him to hunt seal, utilizing his keen sense of smell to find the seals’ breathing holes in the ice. In summer months, he would carry a backpack of supplies weighing up to 33 pounds. He is an excellent draft dog and guardian. Today, the breed remains principally a working dog but numbers have declined significantly since the advent of mechanized vehicles and the more domesticated and popular Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed are used for racing, dog shows, and as family companions.

Because he is used to life in the unforgiving northern climate, the Greenland Dog can adapt to almost any environment. He is well known for his endurance and stamina, is a faithful and hard-working dog who is happiest when he has a job to do. In addition to being independent and self-willed, he has the typical spitz breed temperament. He is intelligent, good natured and affectionate. The Greenland Dog is not a “one-man dog” in that he does not show particular loyalty to a specific family member. Although his size and appearance is an excellent deterrent, the Greenland Dog does not make a good guard dog in that it is not in his nature to be aggressive toward people.

The Greenland Dog’s outer coat is thick with a dense underwool allowing him to withstand constant outdoor living in extreme cold temperatures. The coat can be any colour or combination of colours.


Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Greenland Dog puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

The Greenland Dog is naturally independent and can have a dominant temperament which can make him somewhat of a challenge to train. Training should be persistent, consistent and done with patience. The breed is best suited to an experienced dog owner.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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