Have You Seen Chinooks in Your Neighborhood or Somewhere Else? You’ve

Most dog lovers can recognize a breed by its appearance, with English bulldog or Pug being an easy discovery. You can find them in a nearby dog park. However, some breeds are lesser known due to their lower visibility or underpopulation. You can think of Chinooks, for instance. Only around or less than 1000 such dogs are available worldwide, with the highest number in North America. The scarcity of these dogs makes the close-knit group of breeders keep a watch on these puppies. You can encounter shepherds or other mixed breeds that share similarities with Chinooks. But purebreds can be a rare sight. With adequate knowledge about them, it can be easier to discern them. You need to know their personality, appearance, and other aspects. So, let’s figure out what makes these dogs special or unique from others.

Who Are Chinooks?

The Chinook dog breed comes from New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They gained attention in 1928 when Admiral Byrd made an expedition to the Antarctic.

The modern Chinooks stand out for their versatility during sledding, hiking, and agility contests. They were initially nurtured to haul weight and race. However, their gentleness and sensitivity define their demeanor and relationship with households. A Chinook loves to spend time with humans. Kids can also be safe around them. Because of their higher energy levels, these dogs must exercise for their mental and physical health. Pet owners usually adopt them from rescue homes for their longevity. But buying one is also an option. In that case, you must trust a reputable breeder only. Someone adhering to ethical practices and caring for their well-being will be reliable.

What Is the Background Story of Chinooks?


There is a lot to tell about their beginning. Chinooks are a crossbreed of a husky and a farm dog born in 1917. It was a male puppy, who was called Chinook. Big bones, handsome looks, floppy ears, and gentle nature defined its personality, passing from generation to generation. That gave rise to the eponymous breed. These dogs have seen many ups and downs, facing the risk of extinction several times. Thanks to some individuals, they have been rescued and preserved. Their nature and body speak volumes about their resilience hidden under the brown exteriors. Chinooks evolved in their role, from pulling sleds to becoming companions. A hiking and jogging enthusiast can view them as trusted athletes and partners. Please don't expect them to retrieve or land in water. Other breeds will be much better than it then.

Do you want to own a Chinook puppy? You may have to wait six months to 2 years, depending on your preference. Nevertheless, Chinook was born on Arthur Walden’s farm in New Hampshire. At that time, he barely knew that it would go down in history as the creation of sled dogs. Walden worked in Alaska as a dog driver and is credited with starting a sled dog competition in New England.

From the litter produced on January 17, Chinook was exceptional in everything, including temper, personality, and working talent. Do you know why this breed is called Chinook? The ancestor Chinook earned a name after the dry wind that causes Alaska snow to melt.

Furthermore, the remarkable abilities of the Chinook even drew the attention of Admiral Byrd, known for his Antarctica exploration in 1928. He contacted Walden to borrow these dogs for hauling. The expedition concluded successfully, but a 12-year-old Chinook lost its way and was never found. In its memory, one of the trails on Route 113A to Chinook’s New Hampshire hometown was named after him. In 2013, the American Kennel Club also recognized the breed.

How Do You Describe Chinook’s Personality?

Males weighing around 70 pounds on average can be 23 to 27 inches tall, while their female counterparts would measure around 55 pounds with 21 to 25 inches of height. Gentle temperament is their hallmark. They are neither aggressive nor shy. Calmness feels inherent in them. That makes them an ideal family member. These little creatures are also intelligent. After seeing their response to your positive reinforcement training, you can vouch for this. As a pet owner, you can find it hard to resist their tendency to please you. You will be drawn to its affection and loyalty.

Another trait that makes them suitable house dogs is their expressive behavior, without excessive barking. They communicate by whining to coax the owner. Because they are exceptionally tolerant and patient, you can trust them around kids in the house. However, these dogs need time to acclimatize to strangers and new environments. If you train them for socialization in their early years, it will be great.

What Are the Common Health Risks Chinooks Face?

Even though healthy, these dogs are also vulnerable to diseases like their cousins. Knowing about this aspect is necessary if you plan to adopt one of them. It will allow you to provide a conducive atmosphere for their well-being. A common threat to their wellness can be hip dysplasia, which is transmitted through genes. Due to the problem in hip joints, they can become lame and feel pain. Their eyes can be susceptible to cataracts, especially during aging. However, it can be surgically eliminated for vision improvement. Some dogs can suffer from hot spots, itchiness, and skin dryness. Then, cases of seizures also emerge commonly among older adults. Although it's incurable, the condition can be managed with medication. Other health complications include constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Remember, these are possibilities. Not every Chinook will suffer from these issues. Regular vet visits, proper nutrition, and care can significantly reduce these risks. You can get a dog from a breeder who focuses on its health.

Chinook Dog Walking on Snow

How Do You Care for Chinooks?

Exercise, grooming, and diet form an integral part of it. These dogs enjoy their time closer to humans and less in the outdoors. Most home environments suit them, provided their exercise needs are addressed. These energetic pups should exercise about 30-60 minutes daily. Running and long walks can be good for them. You can involve professional trainers for positive reinforcement training. If you do it yourself, the trick is to be consistent with your approach, whether it concerns crate or potty training. As for nutrition, Chinooks need the best dog food, about 3 1/8 to 4 5/8 cups a day. It should be served in two meals. However, every dog has unique dietary needs. So, one must consider its age, size, metabolic rate, activity, and physical body.

Another critical area is grooming. Many people associate this aspect with their looks. But it's more about their health. These dogs feature medium-sized double coats: a dense, soft undercoat and a rough exterior layer. Coat density depends on the climatic conditions they live in.

Those living in hotter regions will have relatively thinner coats. The coat can be reddish gold or light honey in color. Some dogs can have black spots in the inner eye corners, muzzle, and ears. Some can also have black hairs on the outer part of their tails.

Nevertheless, brush their coat regularly to keep them clean and safe from shedding. Bathing duty is more manageable as you can bathe them a few times annually. For their dental health, you can brush their teeth thrice a week. It will eliminate the risk of bad breath and dental issues. Trim their nails once a week as their nails grow fast. Regular grooming helps you observe its health from close and allows you to establish a deeper connection. When working on their coat, teeth, or ears, checking signs of soreness, redness, irritation, and discharge is essential. The grooming schedules should be in place from their early years of life. It will enable you to handle them better when they grow bigger. You can take one to a vet clinic when necessary without a hassle due to habit building.

Who Should You Choose Between a Male or Female Chinook?

It's a personal decision. Yet, knowing each personality is essential to determining who you can manage well. Females are usually more petite than their male counterparts. You can identify them by their prominent feminine characteristics, such as size and weight. Another area of consideration can be sterilization requirements. Neutering can be done with an easy surgical method, but spaying is complex. Hence, the latter costs more, and the female may take longer to recover. Are these methods optional? A pet owner should choose these procedures to avoid the risk of unwanted litter and aggressive behavior. These methods also help increase the animal’s lifespan while reducing health hazards.

Besides this, behavioral differences also demand attention. Some people think females are more affectionate and easy to train. However, such beliefs need proper evidence. A lot of this depends on their early socialization and training. Treating an adult dog well contributes to its sound personality and temperament development. 

As mentioned earlier, Chinook's population is declining, even though there has been a slight recovery. Even if you don't get a chance to pet one, you can shower your love on them whenever your paths meet under whatever circumstances.

Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering jewelry, accessories, and trends. She’s also works with services, home décor. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the environment, crafts and natural products over the years helps her continue to be a top expert at Wooden Earth.


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