Breed Type: Northern
Country of Origin: Greenland
Also known as: Esquimaux Dog, Greenland Husky
Males: Height: 58-68 cm Weight: 30-32kg
Females: Height: 51-61 cm Weight: 28-30kg
Exercise Requirements: High
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Best Suited as: Sled Dog
The Greenland Dog, or Greenland Husky, was born to be a sled dog. They are large and muscular, which makes them well equipped for the task. While they are most content when they have a job to do, they also make good pets for those who are experienced dog handlers. They bond equally with family members and are one of the most healthy dog breeds around. Today, Greenland Dogs are much rarer as the need for sled dogs have become less important.
The Greenland Dog is a mighty worker with a broad, wedge-shaped head. Most males are quite a bit larger than their female counterparts. They have tilted eyes, small, triangular ears and extremely powerful jaws. This breed has muscular, short-haired legs with feathering. This athletic guy has a think double coat and still retains many of its wolf-like characteristics. Their under coat is dense and wooly which keeps them insulated from the freezing cold. Their outer coat is coarser and water-repellent.
The Greenland Dog has a large, bushy tail, which curls over her back and keeps her face covered while she sleeps. Most Greenland Dogs have a characteristic triangular area on their shoulders.
The Greenland Dog is a working breed, and is most at home when given a physically demanding job to do. They are smart, adaptable, friendly and affectionate pets. They can be independent and stubborn, but have tons of energy, mental strength and are brave. Most tend to enjoy rough and tumble play. While friendly to people and loving towards his owners, this dog is unlikely to choose one particular family member over another.
Training these dogs can be quite difficult and a lot of firm, patient leadership is essential. The best approach is to use food, toys, and praise to positively reinforce desired behavior. Harsh verbal or physical corrections should never be used. The Greenland Dog, surprisingly does not make the best watch dog, as the breed has very little guarding and protecting instincts. Instead, they are true hunters and their pack mentality is very strong. An owner of a Greenland Dog must be a strong leader able to show the dog who is boss.
The Greenland Dog is said to be one of the oldest breeds with their ancestry dating back over 12,000 years. Native Siberians (who are now the Inuit people of today) used the Greenland Dog as both a hunting and a sled dog.
The Vikings were the next group to notice and appreciate this breed. As the first European settlers in Greenland, the Greenland Dog captured their attention because of their natural ability to pull loads. They were also smitten with the dog’s endurance to work in such a harsh environment. They were used on many expeditions by explorers, the most famous being Fridtjof Nansen who was a successful polar explorer. He used the dogs on his famous voyage across the Arctic Ocean.
The first Greenland Dogs were taken to Britain in the mid 1700’s and the breed was recognized by the Kennel Club for the first time in 1880. In 1875, A female Greenland Dog was shown in Darlington. The breed has been known in the past by a variety of names including Eskimo Dog, Husky, Inuit Dog, Esquimaux and it finally earned its permanent name in 1990.
The Greenland Dog population has greatly declined since its days working as sled dogs. It has also incurred quite a bit of competition with the more domesticated and eye catching sled dog breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and the Samoyed. The Greenland Dog was recognized by the United Kennel Club January 1, 1996 but remains rare today.
Care and Grooming
Your Greenland Dog is easy to groom and only needs an occasional bath and brushing. Because the Greenland Dog thrives with vigorous exercise, it is very important that your dog get the essential exercise she needs. Long walks, secure areas in which to run, participation in hiking expeditions and sports like sledding, will keep your dog happy and healthy. If you notice your Greenland Dog displaying destructive behavior and howling, this is a good sign that she needs more from you. Exercising your well-insulated Greenland in the heat of the day should be avoided, to keep them from overheating.
The Greenland Dog is unusually resilient and healthy. This breed is not commonly plagued by genetic conditions. Only a few have developed issues with hip and elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, ear infection, and bloat. Work related injuries, such as strained muscles, are the most common health problem.
Suitability as a Pet
The ideal owner for the Greenland Dog is an experienced dog owner and one that is strong-willed and physically active. This is an owner who wants a dog to work with them, either pulling a sled or hunting. The Greenland Dog is not suited for life in an apartment, or in a small house. They thrive in a big living spaces, which includes a large yard. This is one breed that can do well living outdoors all year round, but only in cold climates. In any yard, tall, secure fencing is essential.
The Greenland Dog usually does best in a household of adults, without children. They have strong hunting instincts and should not be adopted by a family that already has other dogs or small animals.
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