September 30, 2020 // 6 minute read

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The Chinook is a large-sized dog that usually stands at a height of 24 inches, maximum. They are believed to be the only dog breed where you can easily distinguish the females from the males because of their distinctive female look. These dogs have medium-length coats that come in colors that range from pale honey to deep reddish gold.

These dogs are described to be awesome companions: loving, sweet, athletic, and versatile. They are the best fit for active companions who need a company in jogs and hikes. They can also be very vocal and need to be entertained frequently so as not to encourage destructive behavior.


Chinook Statistics

Dog Breed GroupWorking
Breed SizeLarge
Height24-26 inches (male); 22-24 inches (female)
Weight55-90 pounds (male); 50-65 pounds (female)
Lifespan12-15 years

Chinook Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Chinook History

The Chinook is an American dog breed developed in New Hampshire in the early 20th century. They were created by a man named Arthur Walden in his very own farm in Wonalancet.

Walden was an explorer, author, and sled-dog driver. When he returned to his hometown, he had this desire to create his line of sled dogs. He crossed a mastiff-type dog with a husky, and little did he know that this would result in the best all-around sledding dog.

Walden soon brought the sport of sled dog racing to England. He also formed his sled team with his lead dogs named Chinook. You can also trace back all of Chinook’s lineage back to this dog.

The dogs are best at what they do. Years after Walden died, sled dog racing also declined, which also caused a significant decline in the dog’s numbers to the point where only 28 dogs were left.

By 1965, the dog breed was listed as the rarest dog breed in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Fortunately, by 1981, several breeders attempted to save the dog breed. By 2013, the dogs were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2013.

Today, they are still considered a very rare breed, but their numbers are better than before. They are also named the official state dog of New Hampshire and rank 190th in popularity in the US.

Chinook Temperament

Chinooks are smart, patient, and devoted dogs. They have great energy, and they are best known for their working ability and versatility. If you love the outdoors, you’ll surely appreciate these dogs.

You can take them out to any kind of outdoor activity – backpacking, carting, hiking, and, most especially, skiing. These are workaholic dogs, and play sessions may not be something they’d enjoy, so make sure to create reasonable activities that stimulate their minds and bodies.

These dogs are people-oriented and need attention. They can’t be left alone for long periods without an animal or human company. They are never aggressive, can be very gentle with children, and will be great in assisting the elderly or handicapped.

They are also friendly to strangers. They will bark at someone suspicious, which makes them excellent watchdogs, but that’s it, which makes them poor guard dogs.

Socialization is needed to improve the temperament of the breed. It will help them become more stable, well-rounded, and confident. Training is also crucial, and since these dogs can be independent, you need to be a lot more patient.

Chinook Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Chinooks, like any other dog breeds, should be fed with high-quality and well-balanced meals daily. Ensure that your dog gets all the essential nutrients he needs: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Only get high-quality ingredients for your dog. You can get protein from animal meat, fats from fish oils, carbohydrates from whole grains, and vitamins from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of fiber that will help in your dog’s digestion. If you’re serving commercially manufactured food, you must check the label and ensure that it doesn’t contain fillers, additives, and by-products. Stay away from ingredients that your dog is allergic to, also. Another thing that you should watch is the number of calories you serve your dog daily. You should also compute the calories in the dog treats you’re giving them. If you are having a hard time deciding on the right amount of calories to feed your dog, it’s always best to ask your vet.
  • Grooming: Chinooks have double coats that shed seasonally. The hair is generally easy to maintain, requiring regular brushing to remove dirt and loose hair. Weekly brushing is necessary throughout the year, but during the shedding season, it’s best to do it daily. Baths can be given once a month or depending on how smelly or dirty your dog gets. Make sure to use a gentle shampoo to protect their skin, and you should not forget to clean out their ears regularly to prevent ear infection. Nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from feeling pain and being uncomfortable.
  • Exercise: Chinook is an energetic dog breed outdoors, though it can also be relaxed and calm inside the house. These dogs love to exercise and play, and they are the happiest when doing activities with their owners. They are excellent companions for active owners. They can accompany you on walks, hikes, biking rides, camping trips, swimming, boating, and a lot more outdoor activities. You can also let them participate in dog sports where they can show off their skills.
  • Health: Chinooks are generally healthy dogs. But like any other dog breeds, they are prone to a number of diseases. As dog owners, it’s highly essential to be aware of what these diseases are, so you can find ways to prevent your dog from acquiring them. For Chinooks, hip dysplasia is probably the most common health condition your dog may get. So, it’s essential that you only exercise your dog enough and not too much. These dogs are also prone to eye diseases like cataracts. Other diseases they might get are seizures, skin diseases, and gastrointestinal issues. Hereditary issues can also be found, so it’s best if you meet at least one of your dog’s parents to be aware of any diseases your dogs might acquire. Closely monitor your dog’s behavior and if you notice any changes, take him immediately to the vet.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Chinooks is 12-15 years.

Famous Chinooks

  • Chinook: The first Chinook and the foundation of the breed

Fun Facts about Chinooks

  • Chinooks originated from a small town of Wonalancet in the early 1900s.
  • They are the official state dog of New Hampshire.
  • They were named after Chinook, the very first of the dog breed.
  • They had a Guinness World of Book Record as the rarest dog breed in the world more than 40 years ago.
  • These dogs are all-purpose sled dogs.
  • They were fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2013.
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