Understanding the Temperament of the Greenland Dog Breed

Understanding the Temperament of the Greenland Dog Breed

Are you considering adding a Greenland Dog to your family? Understanding the temperament of this unique breed is essential for ensuring a harmonious relationship. Greenland Dogs are known for their independent nature, intelligence, and strong work ethic. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of the Greenland Dog’s temperament to help you better understand and appreciate this remarkable breed.

History of the Greenland Dog Breed

The Greenland Dog is a breed that has a long and storied history, dating back hundreds of years. These dogs were originally bred by the indigenous people of Greenland, known as the Inuit, for various purposes such as hunting, pulling sleds, and as companions.

Origins of the Greenland Dog

The Greenland Dog is believed to have descended from the ancient Arctic wolf, which explains their thick double coat and strong, muscular build. These dogs were essential to the survival of the Inuit people, as they helped them navigate the harsh Arctic terrain and hunt for food.

Historical use of the Greenland Dog

The Greenland Dog was primarily used by the Inuit people for pulling sleds across long distances. These dogs were incredibly strong and resilient, able to withstand the freezing temperatures and harsh conditions of the Arctic. They were also used for hunting polar bears, seals, and other game, as well as for protection and companionship.

Breed recognition and standard

The Greenland Dog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2011. The breed standard for the Greenland Dog includes a strong and sturdy build, a thick double coat, and a friendly and loyal temperament. These dogs are known for their intelligence and trainability, making them excellent working dogs and companions.

Physical Characteristics

Size and weight

The Greenland Dog breed is a large and powerful working dog, typically measuring between 22-27 inches at the shoulder for males and slightly smaller for females. They usually weigh between 66-100 pounds, with males being on the heavier end of the spectrum.

Coat and color

Greenland Dogs have a thick double coat that is designed to protect them from the harsh Arctic climate. The outer coat is dense and coarse, while the undercoat is soft and insulating. They come in a variety of colors, including shades of gray, black, sable, and white.

Distinctive features

One of the most distinctive features of the Greenland Dog is their pricked ears, which stand upright on their head. They also have a bushy tail that curls over their back, helping to keep them warm in cold weather. Their strong build and muscular frame make them well-suited for pulling sleds and other heavy loads.

Temperament and Behavior

The Greenland Dog breed is known for its unique temperament and behavior traits. Understanding these characteristics is essential for any potential owner looking to bring one of these majestic dogs into their home.

Loyalty and Independence

Greenland Dogs are incredibly loyal to their owners and are known for forming strong bonds with their families. They are also independent by nature, which can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness. It’s important for owners to establish themselves as the pack leader early on to ensure that their Greenland Dog respects and follows their commands.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

Greenland Dogs are high-energy working dogs that require plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They were originally bred to pull sleds for long distances in harsh Arctic conditions, so they have a natural instinct for physical activity. Owners should be prepared to provide their Greenland Dog with ample opportunities for exercise, such as long walks, hikes, or even participating in dog sports like agility or obedience training.

Interaction with Other Pets and Children

When properly socialized, Greenland Dogs can get along well with other pets and children. However, due to their strong prey drive and independent nature, they may not always do well with smaller animals or young children who may not understand their boundaries. It’s important for owners to supervise interactions between their Greenland Dog and other pets or children to ensure everyone’s safety.

Overall, understanding the temperament and behavior of the Greenland Dog breed is crucial for providing them with the best possible care and environment to thrive. With proper training, socialization, and exercise, these incredible dogs can make loyal and loving companions for the right family.

Training and Socialization

Training methods for Greenland Dogs

Greenland Dogs are known for their independent and stubborn nature, making training a bit of a challenge. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, they can be successfully trained. It is important to start training at a young age and use rewards such as treats or praise to motivate them. Training sessions should be short and fun to keep their interest.

Some effective training methods for Greenland Dogs include clicker training, which helps them associate the sound of the clicker with a reward, and positive reinforcement training, where they are rewarded for good behavior. It is important to avoid harsh punishments or yelling as this can cause them to become fearful or aggressive.

Socialization tips

Socialization is crucial for Greenland Dogs to ensure they are well-adjusted and friendly towards other animals and people. Expose them to a variety of environments, sounds, and experiences from a young age to help them become more confident and adaptable. Take them to dog parks, puppy classes, and on walks in different neighborhoods to help them interact with new people and animals.

It is important to supervise their interactions with other dogs and people to ensure they are behaving appropriately. If they show signs of fear or aggression, remove them from the situation and try again later. Positive experiences will help them become more social and well-behaved.

Common behavioral issues

Greenland Dogs are known to be independent and strong-willed, which can lead to some common behavioral issues. Some of these include digging, barking, and escaping. To address these issues, it is important to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them occupied.

To prevent digging, provide them with a designated digging area in the yard and discourage them from digging in other areas. To reduce barking, teach them a "quiet" command and reward them for being silent. To prevent escaping, ensure your yard is secure and provide them with plenty of exercise to prevent boredom.

Overall, with proper training and socialization, Greenland Dogs can be well-behaved and loving companions.

Health Considerations

When considering adding a Greenland Dog to your family, it is important to be aware of their unique health considerations.

Common health problems

Greenland Dogs are generally a healthy and hardy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some common health problems to watch out for in Greenland Dogs include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and gastric torsion. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or manage these issues.

Nutritional requirements

Proper nutrition is essential for the overall health and well-being of Greenland Dogs. It is important to provide them with a balanced diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Additionally, make sure to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding, as Greenland Dogs can be prone to obesity.

Exercise and grooming needs

Greenland Dogs are an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, playtime, and even engaging in activities like agility training can help keep them physically and mentally stimulated. In terms of grooming, Greenland Dogs have a thick double coat that sheds seasonally. Regular brushing and occasional baths are necessary to keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding. Additionally, make sure to trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth regularly to maintain their overall health.


In conclusion, understanding the temperament of the Greenland Dog breed is crucial for anyone considering adding one of these unique and independent animals to their family. With their strong hunting instincts, intelligence, and loyalty, Greenland Dogs make wonderful companions for experienced dog owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and socialize them. While they may be independent and stubborn at times, their loving and devoted nature makes them a truly special addition to any household. By taking the time to understand their unique characteristics and needs, owners can ensure a happy and fulfilling relationship with their Greenland Dog for years to come.