The Greenlandic is a Nordic dog breed of the spitz type, one of the oldest still in circulation and most likely descended from the arctic wolf. Very beautiful aesthetically and with an ancestral appearance that recalls that of the first lupoids, this dog is similar to them also in the strong temperament, independent and lover of open spaces.
He is a great companion dog but, by nature, he is a tow dog that can withstand the lowest temperatures.
Greenlandic: the origins
In ancient times, the Greenlandic dog arrived in Greenland together with the Mongolian peoples who migrated to this land of the far north. It is therefore a dog of Asian origin, from which other Nordic dog breeds such as the Siberian Huskythe Russian Lajka and theAlaskan Malamute. In fact, it is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. It was used to pull sleds and to hunt seals and polar bears in the vast expanses of ice.
A direct descendant of Arctic wolves, such as these, it is beautiful and majestic. After centuries of breeding, this dog has kept its original appearance.
Greenlandic: physical characteristics
The Greenlandic dog is an animal of medium size. A very strong polar Spitz. Typical sled dog, it has a body structure that allows it to withstand hard efforts even in extreme conditions. His body is inscribed in a rectangle tending to the square. Its height at the withers is, in relation, of 10/11 with the total length.
Let’s look specifically at the individual parts of his body.
- body size: solid and compact with very evident and well developed musculature
- Legs: straight and well placed, they have a thick and resistant bone structure and a very developed musculature. The feet, rather large, are equipped with hard pads that allow him to move easily even on ice
- Skull: slightly rounded, it is wide in the area between the ears
- Color of the nose: big and dark. However, the specific color varies based on the shade of the coat. In winter it can turn pink, the so-called “winter nose”
- Neck: rather short and very strong
- Eyes: almost always dark, they are positioned obliquely. They are neither prominent nor sunken
- Ears: with a triangular but “rounded” shape, they are not too big. They are attached at the top
- Lip: thin and taut, they are well applied on a powerful set of teeth
- Jaws: solid
- Teeth: regular with scissor joint
- Tail: thick and thick, it has a high attachment and is carried in an arch or rolled up on itself
- Fur: being a polar dog, it has a coat and an undercoat that cover it well and protect it from the cold. The hair is a little shorter on the head and limbs, while it is longer and more abundant on the rest of the body, with a tuft on the tail.
Color: exists in all possible colors, both in a single color and in combinations of several shades. The only exception not allowed is the albino version, which is considered a defect.
Weight and height
According to the breed standard, the Greenlander weighs between 30 and 32 kilograms. On average, the height at the withers is 60 centimeters for males and 55 centimeters for females.
Affectionate and very loyal, many consider this dog the ideal companion. Moreover, it is also very intelligent and trainable without major difficulties.
Other characteristic traits are energy, courage and tenacity. Given its origins, it is a very resistant dog that can withstand even the harshest climatic conditions.
Greenlander is a “free spirit”. He doesn’t have the temperament for guard or apartment living. He is a dog born to run and move. He therefore needs to do a lot of movement. If he doesn’t have something to do he gets depressed.
Greenlander is a true free spirit. Most likely, wolf blood flows in him, and in some respects it has remained very similar to his ancestor. This is why he is not an easy dog to tame. By nature he does not know masters, but tends to excel and do his own thing.
Greenlandic is a independent, strong and stubborn dog. To train him you need a person who is expert in canines and who, moreover, also has a firm wrist and knows how to impose himself as a leader.
The Eskimos devised an effective system for training this dog. This system is based on dry and precise commands that he has been taught since he was a puppy. Easy terms are used, which the dog can memorize easily. Often, then, also sounds and pops linked to specific actions are used.
Speaking of puppies, in the case of the Greenlander, is rather relative. In fact, from birth, these dogs have much larger dimensions than other dog breeds. In the first weeks of life, the hair is pigment-free. Only as it grows does the coat begin to take on a specific and recognizable shade.
Greenlandic, health and pathologies
Considering the arctic origin and therefore in areas with extreme climatic situations, the Greenlander is a very strong and resistant dog that, in practice, never gets sick.
The only defects that can be found in this breed are a light skeleton and a fearful or aggressive character. In addition, purely aesthetic defects could also be revealed, such as non-standard sizes, pointed muzzle and eyes of two different colors.
The Greenlander has a very thick and thick coat that needs to be brushed regularly, at least once a day. In addition, the breed has maintained the characteristic of the moult and therefore sheds a lot of hair at certain times of the year.
Given its arctic origins, it does not thrive in an environment that is too hot compared to the low temperatures it was selected for in the past.
A specimen that lives in the polar ice must obviously have a much more caloric diet, rich in animal proteins and fats, much more than what is generally recommended for normal indoor dogs.
How long does a Greenlander live?
On average, this breed can live between 12 and 14 years.
Although the Greenlander is one of the oldest breeds in the world, in Italy there are – to date – officially reported by ENCI.
The Greenlandic Dog was born from a very well thought out centuries-old selection process. The goal has always been to maintain and optimize its peculiar qualities, such as strength, solidity and tenacity.
As this is a very rare breed, it is very difficult to make a price estimate. However, it could be said that a Greenlandic puppy can cost around 1,000 – 1,600 $.
The Greenlandic dog has a very distinctive trait that recalls its wolf ancestors. This dog, in fact, does not bark but launches a kind of thin and high-pitched, almost shrill howl. This is a peculiarity typical of other Nordic dog breeds, such as the Siberian Husky.
The Greenlander is also known by the following names: Greenland Dog, Grønlandshund, Grünlandshund and Esquimaux Dog.
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Greenlandic: characteristics, puppies and breeding