It is believed, that the Greenland dog is one of the oldest of all breeds in the world and that has been around since the ancient times. Of course, because the breed is so old, it is almost impossible to track down its history precisely. According to the Greenland dog club, the breeds evolved in the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, Siberia and Alaska. The breed evolved many thousands years old and some estimates say, that their history is going back as far as 12 000 years and for most of the time, the Greenland dog has been the Inuits only sledge dog.
2) Sled dogs
Sleds were the main transportation of Inuits, the Eskimos and as you already know, the main utilization of the Greenland dog always was sledding. Their incredible stamina and endurance, combined with powerful body, steady drive and passion for work and pack mentality makes them just amazing for this job. The Greenland dog belongs into the five most popular sled dogs, next to Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Samoyed and Alaskan Husky.
Sledding is not the only utilization for which the Greenland dog was used, because Greenland dogs were also kept for hunting purposes. And they were used to hunt even extremely dangerous animals, such as polar bears, also seals and walruses. Their main weapon on the hunt is their extreme stamina and keen sense of smell.
Most of these dogs are used to work, but that does not mean they are only workers. Of course, they are also amazing companions, just like any other dog in the world. The Greenland dog is known for loyal and affectionate personality and for creating very strong bond with its owner and family. They are not for everyone as they definitely need active owner who will provide plenty and plenty of exercise. These dogs tend to be friendly towards almost all the people and they would not be a good choice for guarding. The Greenland dog is intelligent, but also independent, which makes the training little bit harder, but with enough patience and consistency, they are capable of learning all the basic obedience commands without any problems.
Thanks to the Greenland dogs experiences in sledding, many explorers used them on their polar expeditions. It is even believed, that the famous Roald Amundsen used many Greenland dogs on his expeditions that explored the South Pole and it was his use of the dogs that is widely credited as giving him the edge over Scott in capturing the South Pole in his expedition of 1910-1912.
This is a powerful, strong and heavy built dog with wedge shaped head and small triangular ears. The tail is usually rolled along the back. The average height of the Greenland dog is between 55-60 cm, which is 22-24 inch and weight between 30-32 kg, which is 66-70 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
Of course, just like any other breed that lives in cold regions, even the Greenland dog has a very practical thick, dense and waterproof doublecoat, which consists of dense wooly undercoat and stand-off outer coat. The tail is typically very bushy. This coat allows the dog withstand even extremely cold temperatures without any problems. This dog can be found in many different colors, commonly the color varies from black to different shades of fawn.
As you would probably expect, these dogs do shed some deal of fur all year long and if you want to minimize the shedding and keep the coat in best possible condition, regular brushing is definitely a good idea. Brushing will also prevent matting and tangling. Bathing is not needed very often, only when the dog is very dirty. Overall the maintenance and grooming is simple and only brushing is needed. Just like with all dogs, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
Back in the past, the Greenland dog existed in different regional variants and they even had different names. The dog was called as for example just Husky, Inuit Dog, Eskimo dog or Equimaux. The name Greenland dog was officialy given only in the 1990.
The Greenland dog is usually very healthy and hardy breed with average lifespan around 13 years. These dogs are not extremely prone to any genetic health issues, but of course, they may ocassionally suffer from the same health problems as other large dogs, such as hip and elbow dysplasia and other joint problems or bloating. Some allergies, infections and eye problems can also occur in this breed, but it is not very common.