Jobs at Green Dog Svalbard

Green Dog Guide

Green Dog Svalbard has a staff of 10-12 guides year around. Most of our guides stays for minimum 1 year and we employ new staff regularly. While working for Green Dog, we offer a place to live at the dog yard or close to. All staff share the work-load, but the guides primary job is to take care of his own 30 dogs, which he uses on tours year around.

It can be physically hard work and the winter darkness can be a mental challenge. But you also get the chance to live and work in high arctic nature with your international colleagues and 275 friendly dogs – you get to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world and you will get some amazing experiences in the nature!

Green Dog is primarily looking for guides with the following qualifications:
  • Previous musher experience – minimum 1 year.
  • A professional, loyal and committed attitude.
  • Looking for long-term employment.
  • Social with a happy and stable mentality.
  • Likes to work with people and animals – and outdoors.
  • Capable of leading a large group- an authority.
  • Speaks English – and willing to learn Norwegian.
  • Nature camping experience.
  • Experience from winter activities.
  • Any kind of craftsman’s skills.
  • A drivers license is a must and we expect you to be a skilled and responsible driver. License to drive a trailer/hanger has high priority.

We prefer guides with life experience and we keep an average age of around 30 years amongst our employees.

We are not interested in “partyguides”, but responsible people who enjoys living and being in the nature.

We expect that you own and bring your own tour equipment, such as:
  • GPS
  • Headlamp
  • Proper boots for sledding (winter)
  • Hiking boots (summer)
  • Rubber boots with spikes
  • Multitool (Leatherman)
  • Compass etc.

If you would like to work for us, click on the button below and fill out the form. We need a photo, your job application, at least 2 references with phonenumber/email and your resume.

A rewarding work

Working as a handler or guide for Green Dog Svalbard is rewarding work, but can be physically exhausting, especially in the beginning. If you have worked as a dog sled guide before, you will know roughly what you can expect. If you are new to it all, you are either fit or will get fit within the next couple of weeks.

Depending if you start as a handler and maybe later on become a guide or as guide from the beginning (who might also occasionally handle), the job will be quite different. Handlers take care of a lot of the daily hard work in the kennel. They have to do a lot of shit-picking, feeding, and preparing food as well as lots of other maintenance work. They are invaluable for keeping a kennel with ~300 dogs running, and they can make a guide’s life easier if one shows them the respect they deserve for their hard work.

As a guide one is in charge of 30 dogs, ranging from 20kg Alaskan huskies to 40 kg Greenland dogs and mixes between the two. This involves shitpicking, providing them with heavy buckets/cans of breakfast, snacks and dinner (and water in the summer), taking care of wounds and medications and everything in between. A guide takes care of up to 8 guests and goes out with 4 sleds on their own for trips ranging from a couple of hours to 3 days. The guide takes care of the guests from pick-up in town to drop off and is in charge of getting them dressed in warm suits/hats/gloves, briefed, and on the sleds. She/he provides them with food/ coffee/ cookies at stops, guides them through the ice cave or over a glacier and drops them back to town in one piece.

Although the dogs are as friendly as can be, they can be a handful when they get excited and one sometimes has to step in if they start a fight. Thus, it can sometimes be a bit of a struggle to get two at a time to the sleds without faceplanting in the snow. But finding your favourite clever/cuddly/silly/chill dog and sledding in the stunning landscape in Bolterdalen and beyond is well worth it.

On Svalbard it is essential that one carries a rifle (and a signal pistol) for polar bear protection when sledding or hiking but hopefully you will never have to use it. There is a shooting range in Longyearbyen, and one is shown how to use the rifle (and keep it in good working order). Going to the range with colleagues for practice is good after-work fun.

Another essential tool is a GPS to navigate in bad visibility (snowstorms or fog) and to help find your way in the polar night (hard to navigate when one can’t make out landmarks).

Accommodation is provided mostly on site at the kennel (10km outside of Longyearbyen) and can range from basic but cosy cabins (single or shared, with electricity and a kitchen but no running water) to shared cabins with running water. One picks up water for cooking at the kennel, does laundry there, and catches a ride with colleagues to town for a shower at the gym. Longyearbyen provides everything one needs and more, and the community is immensely welcoming. Additionally, there seems to be a different festival/event happening every month.

Karina and Martin are awesome bosses who take good care of their handlers and guides and Svalbard is a stunningly beautiful place. The wildlife is amazing and there is nothing better than to see your first polar bear, Arctic fox, or walrus, and the comically short-legged Svalbard reindeer is both amusing to watch and delicious.

Carina Gsottbauer
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Difficulty Levels

SG1

Suitable for everyone

SG2

Suitable for most people

SG3

Suitable for those in normal good shape

SG4

Suitable for those in good shape

SG5

This activity requires very good physical shape

Cancellation

  • If cancelled 22 days or more prior to departure 100 % refund
  • If cancelled 22-7 days prior to departure 50 % refund
  • Cancellation less than 7 days prior to departure is a ”no show” and does not qualify for any refund.
  • You may apply to your insurance company for a refund if you provide a medical certificate.
  • If Green Dog Svalbard decides to cancel a trip due to weather conditions or any other reasons, you will receive a full refund!