A Chinook is a medium to large dog breed created to be a multipurpose dog. The Chinook breed was developed in the snowy mountain of New Hampshire for the purpose of sled pulling. During the years its purpose has outgrown it and the dog became so much more.
It is used for various things around the house and has become a family companion today. This dog is a rare breed today and it is going to be remembered as one of the dogs which went on Admiral Byrd’s first expedition to Antarctic in 1928.
Chinook History & Origins
A Chinook was developed by Arthur Treadwell Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire, who is the sole man credited for the existence of the breed. This breed actually has a single male ancestor from which it all began. The dog was also named Chinook and the name was given to the entire breed. Chinook was actually a product of crossbreeding between a husky from the Peary North Pole expedition with a Mastiff like dog. Walden’s dog was a strong breeder and it was bred with Belgian Sheepdogs, German Shepherd Dogs, and Canadian Eskimo Dogs. This allowed the breed to spread and these dogs were also used in Byrd’s 1929 Antarctic expedition. Walden was also credited for bringing sled sports to New England and also helped found the New England Sled Dog Club in 1924.
After Walden, other people took control of the core breeding stock. Unfortunately, a Chinook is a rare breed and at one point the population of the dog started dangerously to dwindle. They did manage to bring it back and save it from extinction. This also brought to the dog being accepted by the UKC in 1991 and later by the American Kennel Club in 2001. Today, there are about 800 dogs accounted for and it is estimated that only a 100 puppies are born each year.
Characteristics & Temperament
A Chinook is a very friendly dog with a calm demeanor and a tendency to please their owners. They are sometimes reserved when they meet new people and they can be shy, but with proper training you can avoid that. Also, females may be more independent compared to males.
These dogs are not at all hard to train. You can easily provide the dog with the necessary training and even keep them around kids. They are big but they are very loveable as well. In order to train this dog well you also need to socialize it well. This means that you should introduce it to other dogs and people. This will help with the dog being reserved and there will be no problems with other people as well.
Chinook Appearance, Colors, Size
A Chinook dog is a muscular dog by appearance and stands pretty balanced. The size of this dog goes from 21 to 27 inches in height, while its weight is between 55 to 90 pounds.
According to the American Kennel Club, the best hue is somewhere between a light honey color to reddish-gold. Also specified are black markings on the inside corners of the eyes, dark tawny markings on the ears, and guard hairs on the tail may also be black. What is completely unacceptable are white markings. The Kennel Club also disqualifies any dog which is not tawny colored.
A Chinook is a pretty healthy dog and has a regular lifespan of 13 to 14 years. There are no specific problems that affect this breed except some hereditary issues that it may have. The most common healthy problems that this dogs face include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and atopy. In 10% of cases, male Chinook dogs may also suffer from cryptorchidism. The leading cause of death for these dogs is still cancer. But if you take care of your dog, you might avoid all of the given problems that tend to affect them.
Chinook Grooming & Shedding
Chinooks have a double coat with a soft undercoat and a coarse overcoat. But Chinook dogs that live in warmer climates will have a denser coat compared to the ones which are in colder areas where it is a lot colder. In order to keep their coats shiny and under control, regular brushing is needed. This will also remove all the unnecessary dead hair that the dog may have.
They do not need frequent baths and you should only do it a few times a year. But there are other things that you need to do. Clipping their nails is needed more than with other dogs. Their nails tend to grow quite fast and in some cases you should clip them on a weekly basis. Other forms of grooming include brushing their teeth which will improve the overall health of your dog.
Price and Breeders
There are still quality breeders which sell Chinook dogs. The most quality ones are found in the US and there are several good ones around the world. But if you are looking for this kind of a dog, be prepared to pay a sum of 800 to 1,000 dollars for it.
Even though a Chinook is considered a rare breed by today’s standard, there are still many rescue groups that offer adoption. This dog is a very lovable pet in deed and a person would be lucky to have it. But in so many ways these dogs actually need your help. If you look at the pages of Chinook Dogs Rescue and Great Mountain Chinooks you will see the number of dogs that are just waiting to be rescued.