≡ Menu

Is the Greenland Dog Temperament (Intelligent BUT Stubborn) for YOU?

The Greenland Dog temperament isn’t for everybody. In fact, it takes a particular environment and owner for him to thrive. You see he has exercise needs that will overwhelm the majority of people.

And if you don’t fulfill his activity needs daily, he’ll act out in destructive ways. But his high activity level isn’t the only issue either. He’s also incredibly smart and hardheaded, which makes training him somewhat tricky.

His ideal environment will likely reside with an exercise junkie that has an extensive dog owning background. If this scenario doesn’t sound like you, it’s best to look into another breed for your next pet.

The Greenland Dog Temperament and Personality

We’ll discuss at length why the Greenland Dog temperament isn’t a suitable one for most households. But this discussion will also reveal some environments that might satisfy all the Greenland Dog traits.


One challenging aspect of the Greenland Dog temperament is his independent nature. This trait can make him seem somewhat aloof. He’s more comfortable doing his own thing than your typical dog.

If you’re looking for an affectionate, couch potato, the Greenland dog behaviors aren’t a match for you. He’s the rare dog breed that will put his needs over his owner, which means protective instincts are non-existent.

As a result, he’s a horrible candidate for guard dog duty. It also doesn’t make him an ideal fit for being a family dog either. His independent nature instead makes him value his privacy and a bit of a recluse.

Hardheaded but Intelligent

Being one of the smartest breeds around, Greenlands are excellent at grasping new concepts; therefore, you’d think he’d be easy to train, but this sadly couldn’t be further from the truth. You see his high-IQ isn’t combined with an eager to please personality.

He instead has a hard-headed stubbornness about him that makes training a constant struggle. It’ll require an owner who has a lot of experience dealing with challenging breeds. You also need to be reliable and authoritative with the commands.

And this authoritative nature needs to stay around even after his training is complete. If it doesn't, he’s known to relapsing into old habits and letting his stubborn side win. This high-level intelligence also means he needs constant mental stimulation as well.

With this in mind, if you plan on getting a Greenland, buying some puzzle toys should be a high priority. You should also look into creative ways to challenge him during his daily activities. For instance, hiding his food or continuously changing up his walking route.

Highly Active

The Greenland Dog temperament has an activity level that’s one of the highest among all breeds. In fact, the Greenland Dog exercise needs are so extensive that it’s not uncommon for him to outlast his owner.

You see he needs at least two hours of activity per day to ensure he doesn’t become bored. This boredom will lead to him destroying things around the home. Exercise can definitely help offset bad behaviors. Read how here.

But if you don’t want to run them for hours daily, there are a few other options.

One of these options is giving him some work, which will stimulate him during the day. This route will require a lot of time and effort regarding their training, but it will satisfy their exercise needs.

You could also invest in a dog walker that could take him on long walks when you’re not home. But if you do go the walker route, it’s imperative you still take him on walks yourself. If you don’t, he’ll start to feel neglected, and the bond you form with him will start diminishing.

Well-developed Hunting Instincts

There’s one thing the Greenland Dog temperament is more suited for than most other breeds: being a hunting companion. He has excellent agility, strength, and senses, which all are incredibly useful traits to have in a hunting dog.

Eskimos often use him for hunting animals like walruses, seals, and even polar bears. This ability comes out in full force when trained in a pack. There isn’t an animal on earth that could successfully take on a Greenland pack by themselves.

Of course, this trait is rendered useless without proper training. But if you want a dog for hunting purposes, he should be at the top of our list. And it’s an excellent way to satisfy his excessive exercise needs as well.

A Brief Introduction into the Greenland Dog History

As one of the oldest breeds within North American, the Greenland Dog’s origins date back quite a ways: he first showed up in Siberia around 12,000 years ago. It’s often thought he was brought over to Greenland by the Sarqaq people around 4000 or 5000 years ago.

But there’s evidence that the breed was already established 7000 years ago with remains found on the New Siberian Islands. Nonetheless, it’s quite apparent he’s one of the oldest dogs in the entire world.

His history suggests that he learned his hunting and sledding abilities from European settlers such as the Vikings. From there, he was used in these capacities for centuries and was brought over to England in 1750.

When he first got to England, he kept a relatively low profile. In fact, he didn’t enter into the public eye until the breed was shown at a dog show in 1875. And from there, his notoriety started to rise quickly as the Kennel Club recognized them in 1880.

But his rise in popularity wasn’t meant for the long haul. During the 1900s and after, the breed’s numbers have gotten dramatically decreased. Nowadays, you barely see him outside his home country of Greenland.

Understanding the Greenland Dog Appearance

This breed is a large muscular dog that has a powerful physique. This information is conveyed by the Greenland Dog weight, which will hover between 65 and 72 pounds. It’s fair to say he’s a bit bigger than your typical dog.  

The Greenland Dog height further showcases his impressive physique with it being somewhere between 20 and 27 inches. We should also note that he’ll have a dense double coat, which will protect him from harsh environmental conditions.

This coat’s outside layer will be rough while the internal layer has a soft almost wool-like quality to it. In general, his fur will be thick particularly in the back, chest, tail, and neck regions. But around his legs and face, it’ll be a little thinner.

It’s not uncommon for people to comment that his face reminds them of a wolf; the difference resides in his muzzle that’s shorter. He’ll also have upright ears, which will have dense fur. These ears offer excellent protection in colder climates.

The Greenland dog colors come in numerous different variations; but the primary ones tend to feature black, grey, brown, red, and white.

Greenland Dog Training: Key Points

The first you need to know is a Greenland Dog needs socialization and training as soon as possible. Most people find the 3 or 4-month mark to be an appropriate starting point. It’ll help the behaviors rooted in his psyche from an early age.

It's essential you understand that you need to start this early because of his high-level of intelligence. You see it does make him more susceptible to training, but it also gives him a mind of his own; therefore, he’s capable of making independent decisions, which can make these sessions a bit challenging.

This characteristic makes it imperative that his owner remains consistent and firm within these training sessions. You’ll need to set up rules and make sure he understands you’re the leader.

If you don’t, you’ll find out it’s difficult to keep an untrained dog that’s the Greenland Dog size under control. As for what methods to use, positive reinforcement training usually works wonders with him.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Greenland Dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

The Greenland Dog Grooming Requirements

The Greenland’s grooming seems rather low-key when you compare him to other dog breeds. In other words, he’s a low-maintenance dog, which is an incredibly appealing trait for many prospective owners.

It’s also surprising considering his extensive amount of fur, but he doesn’t shed often; therefore, his coat can be taken care of by merely brushing him 2 or 3 times a week. These brushing sessions will ensure matting or tangling don’t occur.

You should be aware that the hair on his feet tends to mat as well. It’s essential you trim it regularly to ensure this doesn’t happen. He’ll also need a bath every 2 to 3 months, as it’ll help keep his coat in pristine condition.

Besides these grooming requirements, the rest fall under basic care: trimming nails his when needed, checking his ears for build-ups, and brushing his teeth.

Relevant Greenland Dog Health Issues

Health is another area where a Greenland Dog tends to excel, as he’s an extremely healthy breed. This overly healthy status is evident in the average Greenland Dog lifespan of 13 years. But there are still a few issues a prospective owner must be aware of:

All of these conditions are considered rare in Greenlands, but there was still a pattern within the populace. But the good news you control these issues with regular vet visits; therefore, going to the vet every six months would be a good idea.

These appointments will also make you more aware of what you need to do better as a dog owner. After all, it never hurts to get a professional opinion about something as important as your dog’s health.

You should also ensure the Greenland Dog puppy you get has parents with hips that are OFA certified. Dogs with this certification are less likely to experience hip dysplasia later in life.  And given the nightmare this condition is for dogs, you should explore any protection against it.

The certification is also helpful in identifying breeder quality. If a breeder doesn’t have offer puppies with OFA certifications, it’s a massive sign that’s something isn’t right. It's a huge red flag and moving onto another breeder should be your next move.

Note: Don't let the issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Greenland Dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.

Finding Your Greenland Dog

If you think you’re ready for the Greenland Dog temperament challenges, you must make one final decision: adoption or buy. We should mention that finding a Greenland within the US borders will border on impossible.

But we’ll outline both processes and point you toward some places that might have one available for you. In other words, we’ll do the best we can to ensure you have a good chance of finding your Greenland.

Greenland Dog For Sale

The first thing you need to know is that there’s a lack of Greenland Dog breeders within the United States. And since they’re not apart of the American Kennel Club, finding a reputable one will be tricky. You’ll have to rely on unregulated sites like Puppyfinder.com during your search.

This site will locate nearest Greenland Dog puppy and tell you all the information you might need for an inquiry. But the breeders on sites like this one don’t have to follow any code of conduct; therefore, there’s a high probability of contacting a bad breeder.  

As a result, you’ll need to be aware of a few bad breeder warning signs before starting your search: available online payment with credit card, unsanitary breeding facilities, an absence of standard paperwork, etc.

It’s also imperative that you set up a meeting with the breeder at their breeding facility before purchase. It’ll give you a chance to take a gander yourself and evaluate whether or not everything seems right.  

There’s another option that you consider, but it’s kind of out there. If you’re willing to travel overseas, The Greenland Dog Club of Great Britain has a list of local English breeders. And given their strict guidelines, you can bet on them being reputable.

But regardless of the route you take, the average Greenland Dog price will range between $500 and $800. This cost will vary depending on various factors such as breeder, shipping costs, medical issues, DNA, etc.

Greenland Dog For Adoption

Adopting won’t be any easier as there isn’t a single Greenland Dog rescue within the borders of the United States. You’ll instead have to use sites like Adoptapet.com when conducting your search.

These sites will point you towards the nearest adoptable Greenland Dog and give all the information you need. Another option that’s always available to you is exploring your local shelter or humane society.

It’s rather unlikely a Greenland will be inside an American shelter, but it doesn’t hurt to look. It’s also a good idea to give them your contact information. This action will ensure they can call you if/when one does come into the facility.

If you do find an adoptable Greenland, there are some questions you should ask before bringing him into your home. These questions should cover all background information about the dog you need to ensure you’re comfortable with the situation: medical issues, previous situation, training, etc.

The answers will give you some insight into how you can make the transition go smoothly. And once you feel comfortable enough, you should expect to spend around $300 for the adoption fee.

Conclusion: Is the Greenland the Right Dog For You?

If you want a high-energy, challenging breed, the Greenland Dog temperament could be an ideal fit for you. His intelligence and high-activity level will provide you with new challenges every day. Plus, you won’t find a better workout partner than him.

But if you’re a first-time owner or low-key person, this breed wouldn’t be a good fit. His overwhelming exercise requirements will frustrate you and causing all sorts of issues. It also a good idea for city people to avoid this breed given his need for a lot of space.