"More About the Chinook a Lesser Known but Lovely Breed of Dog

"More About the Chinook a Lesser Known but Lovely Breed of Dog

There are some very handsome dogs in the world and one of them nearly vanished off the face of the earth several times over the last few decades. The breed is the Chinook, a lesser known dog that has a tremendous amount going for them which includes a lovely personality and extremely intelligent, kind, loyal nature.

A Little Background History

This proud dog came about when a New Hampshire farmer crossed a Siberian Husky with a farm dog and the result was a litter of puppies that grew up to be handsome and gentle natured characters. One male dog in particular grew to be big boned and charming, earning himself the name Chinook"". He continued to produce puppies with his own unique personality and looks which many people in the States found irresistible.

That was back in the early nineteen hundreds, but over time fewer and fewer of these proud dogs were around which meant on several occasions over the following decades, the breed almost vanished altogether only to be bought back from the brink of extinction by fans of the kind hearted and mellow natured dog called the Chinook.

Chinooks were used as sled dogs on Admiral Byrd's Antarctica expedition in 1928. However, as numbers of these lovely dogs fell, they were considered among the rarest dogs on the planet with only around 28 of them being recorded at one time. It was only in 1981 that people started a breeding campaign to rescue these lovely dogs and today, although still extremely hard to find, these proud looking dogs have been saved from disappearing altogether.

Superb Stamina and Pulling Ability

Chinooks were originally bred for their stamina and pulling abilities which they excelled at. However, today these lovely alert and kind natured dogs are bred because they make such superb companions and family dogs. They are known for their loving natures, but it's their versatility and athleticism that gets them noticed too. If you are looking for a canine companion and one that would enjoy jogging or hiking with you, the Chinook would be the perfect choice.

These charming dogs stand at anything from 21 inches to over 24 inches at the shoulder and can weigh in at between 55 to 70 lbs. They also boast longer life spans than a lot of other large dogs which means when they are well cared for and fed a nutritious diet to suit the various stages of their lives, this can be anything from 12 to 15+ years. As with many other breeds, female dogs are typically slightly shorter and lighter than their male counterparts.

Wonderful Even Temperaments

Although not the most striking looking of dogs, the Chinook boasts a superb even temperament that's often described as being eager to please, affectionate and very calm by nature. With this said, they can be a little wary around strangers. Female dogs tend to be more independent than their male counterparts too. They are not the best choice if you are looking for a watch dog, although their size alone tends to put anyone off getting too hear them or a property they are on.

With this said, the Chinook is very gentle around children and typically ends up becoming a child's best friend and because being part of a team is ingrained in their natures, they also tend to get on with other animals as long as they have been well socialised from a young age that is. The thing to bear in mind is that male dogs when not neutered, can be a little more aggressive toward other male dogs.

These lovely dogs don't bark as such, but they do sing and when they are excited, a Chinook tends to whine rather than bark and there's nothing they enjoy more than having a few discussions to their owners!

Early Socialisation is a Must

Early socialisation is a must with Chinooks, much as it is with other dogs. The more exposure they have to as many people, animals and situations, the happier and more well-balanced they will be when they are mature, adult dogs.

Naughty Traits Worth Knowing About

The Chinook has a few ""naughty"" traits which includes the fact they can be diggers and will happily plough their way out of a garden if they feel the need to expend some pent up energy or chase after something. However, they also like to dig holes to sleep in, a trait and behaviour that's very typical sled dogs.

Grooming Needs of the Chinook

Chinooks, like many other breeds tend to shed more during the spring and then again in the autumn when they winter coats start to grow through. They boast lovely double coats with a thick and very soft undercoat which offers loads of protection against the elements. Their outer coats are coarser to the touch and can range from a light honey colour to a glorious darker gold tinged with red. A lot of dogs have darker markings around their eyes, on on their ears and muzzles which adds to their overall appeal and handsome looks.

To keep their coats looking good, a daily brush is the ideal and it helps keep any shed and loose hair off the furniture and carpets. Chinooks rarely need bathing although if they get very dirty, it might be necessary.

Healthy, Robust Dogs

The Chinook is considered to be a healthy and robust dog although like so many other breeds, they are predisposed to suffering from certain hereditary health issues which include the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Seizures
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Gastrointestinal disorders


If you are hoping to share your home with a Chinook, you may find it pretty hard to find one of these handsome dogs because even today, they are considered to be among the rarest breeds around. For decades, the Chinook has proved to be a reliable and courageous working dog as well as a loyal and loving companion. They boast wonderfully gentle, kind natures and just love being around people. However, they need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation to be truly happy and when puppies, it's essential they be well socialised and introduced to lots of people, other animals and situations so they turn into well-balanced, confident adult dogs.


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