It’s the law to keep sledge dogs on a chain in the sledge dog districts of Greenland. Exceptions include bitches with pups, and puppies until they are six weeks old, or when their tails drop. It’s one of the things that really makes it clear that Greenland Sledge Dogs are working dogs.
They are also tough dogs.
While this storm – a little one – looks cold, it’s really not much more than a few degrees below zero. Healthy dogs with a good coat of fur, a nice layer of fat, and plenty of water, can cope with temperatures down to minus 50 Celsius. But in those temperatures, seal blubber is an important supplement to their diet. I gave chunks of blubber to my dogs when it dipped to the minus 20s.
My dogs were on chains about five or six metres long. They had dog houses, but rarely used them.