The Chinook dog breed, which originated in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, gained notoriety in 1928 during Admiral Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition. These days, they are multipurpose dogs that enjoy playing with children, pulling a sled or other vehicle, hiking, and participating in agility and other dog sports. Despite being purebred dogs, you might find them in shelters or with rescue organizations.
Don’t forget to adopt! If you want to bring a dog home, avoid shopping. Chinooks typically have a pleasant demeanor and are sensitive, gentle dogs. They are incredibly intelligent and kind to all of their family members, including children and other dogs. However, inexperienced pet owners should exercise caution because these dogs require consistent, experienced training.
These dogs would prefer homes with large yards to run around in, and those yards need to be secure, even though they can adapt to apartment life. Chinooks are diggers, so make sure the fence in your yard is sturdy and able to thwart attempts at Houdini-like escape. See all the Chinooks dog breed characteristics and information below!
Chinook Mixed Dog Breed Picture
Chinook – Mixed Dog Breed Characteristics
|Adapts Well To Apartment Living||****|
|Good For Novice Owners||*|
|Tolerates Being Alone||*|
|Tolerates Cold Weather||*****|
|Tolerates Hot Weather||****|
|All Around Friendliness||*****|
|Affectionate With Family||*****|
|Friendly Toward Strangers||****|
|Health And Grooming Needs||***|
|Amount Of Shedding||*****|
|Easy To Groom||**|
|Potential For Weight Gain||***|
|Easy To Train||****|
|Potential For Mouthiness||***|
|Tendency To Bark Or Howl||**|
|Potential For Playfulness||****|
|Dog Breed Group:||Working Dogs|
|Height:||21 to 27 inches|
|Weight:||55 to 70 pounds|
|Life Span:||12 to 15 years|
On Arthur Walden’s farm in New Hampshire, a farm dog and husky mix was the beginning of it all. On January 17, 1917, a litter of tawny puppies was born, one of which was a handsome, big-boned, flop-eared male with a calm disposition. Chinook was his name, and he produced puppies that had his pawprint on them. The breed that bears his name has experienced ups and downs since then.
It has repeatedly been on the verge of extinction, but someone has always intervened to save it. That is understandable given that the Chinook is a hearty creature with strength, intelligence, and a subdued sweetness hidden beneath its unassuming brown skin. The Chinook was bred for his strength and pulling capacity.
Today, with his expedition days behind him, he is regarded as the ideal companion, being devoted, active, and adaptable. He’s a great option if you want to go hiking or jogging with a friend, but not so great if you want a retriever or water dog. If you want a guard or watchdog, look elsewhere. He isn’t aggressive, but his size might be enough to scare off anyone threatening.
Although they are simple to groom, Chinooks shed heavily twice a year and only slightly to moderately the rest of the year. If you’re looking for a dog that might be hypoallergenic, stay away from them. Not the Chinook, though. Some Chinooks can be diggers, staying true to their sled dog heritage by creating a comfortable napping area. Be ready for your yard to look cratered because this behavior is ingrained.
Give a Chinook his own unique place to dig as a workaround. A Chinook can speak in silence, woo-woos, or even whines with excitement. You might get a quiet one, but more often than not, your Chinook will be happy to give you his take on the events of the day. A Chinook is a rare breed that is extremely difficult to locate.
If you have your heart set on a specific sex or ear type (floppy or prick ear), you should be prepared to wait anywhere between six months and two years before a puppy becomes available. Typically, prices fall between $650 and $1,500.
- Chinooks rarely exhibit shyness or aggression and have a calm, even temperament.
- Chinooks should reside indoors with their owners, preferably in a house with a secure yard.
- The Chinook can dig.
- Chinooks require 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. No matter what is behind them—a sled, a wagon, a person on skis or skates—they like to hike, jog, and pull.
- Chinooks are intelligent and quick learners, but they will take advantage of you if you aren’t consistent in what you expect from them.
- Chinooks don’t bark, but they can be chatty, whiny, and “woo-woo” when they want to air their views.
- Chinooks shed heavily twice a year due to their thick coats; for the remainder of the year, they shed infrequently every day.
- Chinooks rarely need to take baths, but they do require daily brushing to keep their coats clean.
- When raised with children, Chinooks are loving but can be reserved around them.
- Never purchase a Chinook from a pet shop or puppy broker. There are no assurances as to whether the puppy had parents who were healthy because reputable breeders do not sell to intermediaries or retailers. Reputable breeders run a number of health tests on their breeding dogs to make sure that they don’t pass on a genetic disease predisposition.
- Make sure the puppy’s parents have been checked for genetic disorders specific to that breed and conduct in-depth interviews with the breeders. Ask breeders about the health problems their dogs have experienced, and don’t take a breeder’s assurance that her dogs are always healthy at face value. Request references so you can get in touch with other puppy purchasers to find out if they are satisfied with their Chinook. Doing your homework could prevent a lot of heartache in the future.
On his farm in Wonalancet, New Hampshire, Arthur Walden bred a farm dog and a husky, little realizing that the offspring would produce a legendary line of sled dogs. Sled dog racing was introduced to New England by Walden, a former dog driver in Alaska. The warm winds that melt Alaskan snows inspired the name Chinook to be given to one of the puppies from the aforementioned litter.
Chinook stood out for his attractiveness, temperament, and work ethic, and his offspring followed in his footsteps. Admiral Byrd requested the services of Walden and his Chinook dogs for transportation when he was organizing his 1928 Antarctic expedition. The group included the first Chinook. With one terrible exception—Chinook, who was by this point 12 years old and had wandered off and never been found—the Byrd expedition was a success.
An area of Route 113A that went to Chinook’s birthplace in New Hampshire was given the name Chinook Trail in honor of the famous sled dog. After his adventures in Antarctica, Walden took a retirement and handed the responsibility of caring for the breed to Milton and Eva Seeley and Julia Lombard. Perry and Honey Greene eventually took over and were the only ones left breeding the dogs.
The Guinness Book of World Records claims that the Chinooks eventually attained the dubious distinction of being the world’s rarest breed as a result of their steadily declining population. In 1981, a number of people started making an effort to save the breed when there were only 28 of the dogs left. They were Peter Abrahams, Kathy Adams, and Neil and Marra Wollpert.
Despite their success, Chinooks are still difficult to come by. They have United Kennel Club recognition and are working to get American Kennel Club recognition.
Males typically weigh 70 pounds and stand 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. Females typically weigh 55 pounds and stand 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder.
The Chinook is described as having a friendly, agreeable, and calm disposition. Despite this, he isn’t always a hail fellow well met dog. With strangers, he can be dignified and reserved. Independent thinkers are more likely to be female than male. Chinooks, like all dogs, require early socialization, or exposure to a wide variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences.
He should start by enrolling in a kindergarten class for puppies. Another way to help him develop his social skills is to regularly invite guests over, take him to crowded parks, pet-friendly stores, and on leisurely strolls to meet the neighbors.
Chinooks are typically in good health, but like all breeds, they are prone to some health issues. Not every Chinook will contract one or more of these illnesses, but if you’re thinking about getting one, you should be aware of them. Find a reputable breeder who will provide you with the health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents if you are purchasing a puppy.
Health certifications attest to a dog’s having undergone testing and receiving a clean bill of health. In Chinooks, you should anticipate seeing medical clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or PennHIP for the hips, as well as confirmation that the eyes are healthy from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
Health clearances aren’t given to dogs younger than two years old because some health issues don’t manifest themselves until a dog reaches full maturity. Look for a breeder who waits until her dogs are two or three years old to breed them. Hip dysplasia, cataracts, seizures, skin and coat problems, and digestive problems are among the health issues this breed is prone to.
- Hip dysplasia: This heritable condition causes the thighbone to not fit tightly into the hip joint, which may result in pain and lameness in one or both of the back legs. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) both perform X-ray screening for hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia in dogs should prevent breeding. Although hip dysplasia is inherited, environmental factors such as rapid growth brought on by a high-calorie diet or injuries sustained when jumping or falling on slick floors can make it worse.
- Cataracts: A cataract is an opacity on the eye’s lens that impairs vision. Although they don’t always develop with age, cataracts can occasionally be surgically removed to enhance the dog’s vision.
- Seizures: The University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine is conducting research on the issue as Chinooks have been reported to experience various types of seizures. Although seizures cannot be cured, they can occasionally be controlled with medication since they frequently don’t manifest until later in life. Seizure-prone Chinooks shouldn’t be bred.
- Skin and coat: Some Chinooks may experience hot spots or dry, itchy skin.
- gastrointestinal problems: Some Chinooks may experience persistent gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
Chinooks are social creatures and cannot live outdoors without their people. As long as their exercise requirements are satisfied, they can adapt to almost any home. These energetic dogs require 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise, preferably in the form of long walks and opportunities for running in spacious, enclosed spaces.
Since Chinooks are so determined to get where they want to go, underground electronic fencing is not advised for this breed. Use techniques for positive reinforcement to train the perceptive and intelligent Chinook. If you are consistent in your expectations, he will pick up on them quickly. Working with a trainer to figure out how to reroute undesirable behaviors and reward desired behaviors is even better.
As long as you make housetraining enjoyable for your dog, give him a consistent schedule for going potty, and give him lots of opportunities to go outside, you shouldn’t have any trouble. The use of a crate can help you housebreak your puppy and prevent him from chewing on inappropriate objects.
The suggested daily intake is 3 1/8 to 4 5/8 cups of premium dog food divided into two meals each day. The amount of food your adult dog consumes is influenced by his size, age, build, metabolism, and level of activity. Like people, each dog is unique, so they don’t all require the same amount of food. A highly active dog will require more than a couch potato dog, which should almost go without saying.
The kind of dog food you purchase also matters; the better the food, the more effectively it will nourish your dog and the less you will need to shake into the bowl. Instead of leaving food out all the time, keep your Chinook in good shape by feeding him twice a day and measuring his food. Give him the hands-on and eye tests if you’re not sure if he’s obese.
Look down at him first. There should be a waist visible. After that, lay your hands on his back with your thumbs along his spine and your fingers spread outward. Without exerting much pressure, you should be able to feel his ribs but not see them. He needs less food and more exercise if you can’t. See our recommendations for selecting the best food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog for more information on feeding your Chinook.
Coat Design and Maintenance
The medium-length hair of the double-coated Chinook has a thick, soft undercoat and a coarse outer coat. Chinooks that reside in warm climates typically have less dense coats than those that do in colder climates. The tawny coat of the Chinook varies in color from light honey to reddish-gold. The dogs may have dark tawny to black markings on the ears and muzzle, as well as on the inner corners of their eyes.
Sometimes the tail’s outer hairs are black. On the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest, breeches, toes, and belly of some Chinooks are buff markings. The Chinook’s shedding is kept in check and kept clean with daily brushing. Make certain to brush down to the skin. Rarely does the Chinook require more than one or two baths per year. At least twice a week, brush your teeth, and trim your thick, quickly growing nails.
If you want to avoid periodontal disease and bad breath, daily is preferable. When you groom your dog, you have a wonderful chance to build a relationship with him and assess his general health. Check for sores or other indications of irritation, such as redness on the skin, mouth, feet, or ears, as you brush his coat or teeth. Redness and discharge from the eyes should be absent.
When your Chinook is a puppy, start acclimating him to being brushed and examined. Dogs are sensitive when it comes to their feet, so handle his paws frequently and examine his mouth and ears. Lay the groundwork for simple veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult by making grooming a rewarding experience filled with praise and rewards.
Kids and other animals
If they are raised together, a gentle and friendly Chinook can become a child’s best friend. Introduce the two calmly and gradually if your Chinook hasn’t been socialized with children so that the Chinook can get used to the child at his own pace.
In any case, make sure to supervise any interactions between young children and dogs and always teach kids how to approach and pet them to avoid any ear biting or tail pulling on either party’s part. Teach your child to never disturb a dog while he is sleeping or eating, or to attempt to take the dog’s food. No dog, regardless of how friendly, should ever be left unattended with a child.
The Chinook is a good team player and typically gets along with other animals, including cats, because he was developed to be a sled dog, but early exposure to other pets is still crucial. Males who have not undergone neutering, particularly unneutered males, may be hostile to other males.
Chinooks are occasionally purchased without a clear understanding of what it takes to own one, and as a result, these dogs frequently end up in the care of rescue organizations and require adoption or fostering. For more information on available dogs and adoption requirements, get in touch with rescue organizations.