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The Chinook Shop

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Chinook Breed Summary

Calm, Loving, Loyal, Independent and Happy

These dogs came about when a man named Arthur Walden decided to breed his farm dog with a Husky. He had no idea that the dog he created would go on to form a legendary line of sled dogs! Walden brought sled dog racing to New England and he also brought one of his puppies along as well, named Chinook! He instantly stood out for his good looks, nice temperament and good working ability. It was when Admiral Byrd was planning an expedition to Antarctica that he called upon Walden to use some of his doggies for transport on his travels. Luckily, the expedition was a success, although Chinook, who was 12 at the time, wandered off and was never again found. But in the Chinook's honor, a road was named after him that led to his hometown in New Hampshire, it was called the Chinook Trail. Over time this breed started to fall in numbers and popularity, even noted in the Guinness Book of World records as one of the rarest breeds on the planet! They were just about saved from extinction but are still very rare across much of the world.

Kennel Club Group Working
Lifespan 12 - 15 years
Height (at the withers) Males 24in - 26in, Females 22in - 24in
Weight Males 55lb - 90lb, Females 50lb - 65lb
Coat Medium length with a coarse outer coat and a thick but soft undercoat
Color Fawn, White, Black or Gray
Eye color Brown or Amber
Common health issues Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia

These dogs have fantastic temperaments and are very calm and gentle dogs. They absolutely love 'hoomans' and are very friendly pooches meaning they are always eager to please their owners. They do however tend to be very reserved with strangers and will take a while to come around to them. These guys need lots of socialization with exposure to a variety of sounds, sights and experiences in order to grow into happy and well-rounded dogs. Overall, they make lovely pets and have the ability to provide a family with years of joy!

The original “Chinook” was born on the New Hampshire farm of author and explorer Arthur Walden in 1917. The meaning of the word chinook is warm winter winds. Chinook was the name given to the puppy that would later be considered the father of the breed. He was called a “sport,” a phenomenon of nature that did not resemble either of his parents. Chinook’s offspring, however, did inherit his coloring and size, as well as other general characteristics.

The offspring were bred for the strength of the larger freight dog with the speed of racing sled dogs. In fact, pulling a sled was the original purpose of the Chinook line. Only a small number of breeders raise Chinooks, making them a rare breed and only 125 existed in 1966. The breed almost became extinct in the 1980s but has made a comeback in recent years. The dog is no longer considered part of the working class of dogs and it has become more of a companion dog; however, they are still great at working in the harness and are very obedient.