Chinook Dog – Is It a Good Companion for You?

chinook dog puppy

The choice of every pet lover when looking out to buy a dog usually goes something like this: athletic, fun-loving, smart, versatile, and loving. While a lot of other dogs check these boxes, there is one, in particular, that is the classic embodiment of the canine spirit (and one of our personal favorites, too!).

Presenting you… The truly American: Chinook Dog! A big heart, starry gaze, and a sweet disposition are what make a Chinook Dog, well, a Chinook Dog.

Initially bred as one of the finest breeds in terms of agility and stamina, this rare breed has seen its days of gore and glory. Being pushed even to the brink of extinction several times, the Chinook Dog Breed has had a rollercoaster of history.

These days, their expedition days are behind them, and they are considered one of the best and the most consummate friends of man. They will not leave you alone even in the most strenuous activities; you might find yourself a great hiking companion in this dog!

Sadly, due to their difficult history, they are usually found in shelters or rescue groups. Adopt this lovely creature right now to give it the loving household it deserves!

Chinook Dog

About The Breed

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to this fun-loving, goofy adventure box. Not just possessing an American ancestry and history but also an American spirit, the Chinook was originally bred as a sled dog on New Hampshire Farm.

chinook dog

It might not come off as a surprise that the Chinook breed possesses a tremendous amount of physical strength and stamina. Known for this trait, these active dogs have served as man’s sports companions in jogging, hiking, and other dog sports.

However, this breed of purebred dogs has its expedition days behind it; and is found playing around in grassy yards with kids and other family members alike.

Chinooks are very friendly dogs and love to channel their agility and swiftness in all sorts of plays and dog sports – from family boating to playing the good ole’ fetch; you’ve got a friend!

History Of The Chinook Dog Breed

As exciting and as bustling with energy and activity as this dog breed is, it has an equally eventful and interesting history with lots of ups and downs. Moving sleighs, going on expeditions, and even (sadly) touching extinction are just some of the impressive feats of this canine powerhouse.

chinook breeder

Chinook dog breed holds the distinct position of being one of the few purebred American dogs. It was developed initially as a farm dog in New Hampshire by Arthur T. Walden – a writer and explorer.

Having seen and worked in the Gold Rush days of America, Arthur T. Walden set out to develop a breed of sled dogs excelling in stamina, speed, and endurance. He bred the Northern Husky with a mastiff-type dog and named one of the three puppies in the litter Rikki.

Rikki was the lead dog of Arthur’s dreams; it had all the desired qualities: tremendous speed, intelligence, and agility. It was named Chinook by Arthur after the beloved dog he left in Alaska.

Further breeding of Chinook with Belgian and German Shepherds gave us the breed we recognize today as the Chinook Dogs. The Chinook Dog breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club. This international club was founded to preserve the value of notable dog pedigrees.

Chinook Dog Facts

If knowing about all the interesting details and the mellow sweetness of this dog has not sealed the deal for you, we guarantee that reading these fun facts about them sure will!

chinook dog breed
  • Chinooks are a rare type of dog; they are not the type of breed you can find easily in a pet store. People usually have to wait months to adopt an available puppy (that is why it is better to get one from a shelter!)
  • Look elsewhere if you want to have a guard or watchdog! This agile and smart creature is not usually aggressive or alert toward danger. They tend to be shy and reserved around strangers.
  • Being very smart creatures, they need repeated and consistent training. Positive reinforcement is your best bet since they tend to be headstrong without proper training. Some experts even suggest professional training for these bad boys.
  • They are extremely high-energy, playful dogs! They enjoy vigorous exercise and physical activities, from hiking to going on bicycle tours with their masters; they are the dog-of-all-trades!
  • They are also potentially great therapy dogs. It might be due to their bubbly and happy aura.
  • They are recognized by AKC and the United Kennel Club.
  • It was listed as the rarest dog in 1966 in The Guinness Book of World Records.

Chinook Dog Breed Appearance

The qualities are not the only distinctive thing about these multipurpose dogs, as Chinooks come in all sorts of colors and sizes.

husky chinook dog

Although the physical traits of this rare breed vary significantly in each individual dog, the typical breed standard is a muscular and brawny dog with dense hairs – suitable for the northern environment like other Nordic dogs.

The dog has floppy ears, and the hair of this tawny creature can come in many shades, from silver to red!

The males are usually tall, with some standing as high as twenty-six inches. The females have unique feminine features and are generally physically smaller than their male counterparts.

Keep reading to learn more about the size and coat of this dog.


The Chinook Dog breed is one of the most scarce ones, according to the American Kennel Club. They come in a wide variety of sizes because of this reason.

However, the height of an average male dog is expected to be around fifty-eight to sixty-nine centimeters (22-26 inches). The same size and height for female Chinooks can vary.

The female Chinooks are substantially smaller than their male counterparts. This difference in size can be accounted for based on different factors like genetics, metabolism, nutrition, and general physical health.

The average height of female Chinooks is expected to be around fifty-three to sixty-four centimeters (20-25 inches). But you should not be too concerned if your dog’s weight deviates a little bit from the breed standard. Being scarce in number, this breed comes in all heights and weights.

Too much abnormal deviance should be alarming for you and might indicate serious underlying health conditions. In this case, you should take your dog to the nearest clinic and get them veterinary medicine.


The early Chinook Dogs were bred for a dual purpose; they were developed both for freighting and sledding in the races. This gave these beauties exceptional physical stamina and speed. Sledding, obedience, and herding are some areas they have mastered.

They also need enough exercise to keep their tough bodies functioning well. Keeping all that in mind, it might not surprise you that these bad boys have very stiff and muscular physiques.

The average weight of a male Chinook Dog is expected to be between twenty-five to forty-one kilograms (55-90 lbs). Similarly, the average mass of the female Chinooks is approximately in the same range.

Normal variation from the breed standard of weight is not very concerning. But if your dog is getting too fat or too lean, you should immediately take it to a clinic to diagnose the root cause of the problem.

In most cases, the dog’s weight can be brought back to normal just by adjusting its exercise and dietary habits!


Like the rest of its features corresponding to its purposes, the breed’s coat also serves a unique purpose and is well-suited for northern breeds.

These sled dogs are a double-coated breed. The texture and length of both these coats vary and enhance this breed’s overall resilience and strength.

The undercoat of this breed is dense and consists of fine, medium-length hair. This layer provides the insulation and heating required in extreme weather – warm winter winds or other living conditions.

The topmost coat, which is usually associated with Chinooks, is straight and coarse, opposite to the undercoat. It consists of short hair and is generally known (and loved) as the coarse outer coat.

The long dog hair of the outercoats generally extends to their whole body, from their ruff to shoulders to their breeches, withers, and the underside of the tails.

Coat Color

This hard-bodied breed not only has muscular power but also shows off beautifully graceful features and colors. The breed of Great Chinooks is a rare one, and they come in several colors and sizes.

However, the usual color associated with them is their tan skin in combination with a number of different shades like honey, silver, reddish gold, and fawn.

Taking care of the fur of an adult dog can be a bit overwhelming for a new puppy’s parents, but it really isn’t… well, at least, depending on the season.

Having thick double coats, Chinooks shed at a low to moderate rate. But they would require daily brushing and grooming during their shedding season (which would come twice yearly).

The usage of good organic hair products best suited to your dog’s hair type will help solve almost all your coat-related problems.

Chinook Dog Breed Temperament and Personality

chinook breed

Another important factor to keep in mind when welcoming a new puppy into your life is its temperament; and whether or not it matches your household and lifestyle.

For instance, a playful dog demanding a lot of physical activity might not be compatible with owners of an uneventful, quiet household. Similarly, relatively quieter dogs with low activity levels might be off-putting for a household with many energetic children.

Therefore, you should know about the personality and temperament of a Chinook before buying one.

Chinooks are temperamentally very athletic and agile. Having strong “pack instincts,” they like to accompany their family on outings such as jogging and backyard barbeques!

Chinooks are a smart, tough, and fiercely loyal breed best suited for large families with a lot of bustling activity.

Another thing to remember is that Chinooks are not primarily guarding dogs. When they sense danger from a stranger, they will advance beyond barking.

Being intelligent and gentle, they are easy to train and adaptable. They are friendly animals but should be introduced to other pets slowly.

Chinook Dog Health and Care

chinook breeders

Letting a dog into your house is not just about getting a creature you can play with. It is a responsibility. As with other dogs, getting a Chinook means caring for its well-being and health at all times.

Chinooks are usually very robust, energetic, and healthy. They require high-quality dog food to keep up with their energy level. But, there are a few health problems that this breed is susceptible to.

These conditions include hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism (the absence of testes in the scrotum), and some gastrointestinal disorders and allergies.

You should run regular health tests to ensure that there are no underlying diseases that your dog harbors. Some of these recommended tests include the hip evaluation test and the ophthalmologist evaluation test.

When it comes to grooming, the double coat of a Chinook is easy to take care of. Weekly brushing will help remove any dust and dirt and keep your boy looking handsome!

Like all other dogs, their nails should be trimmed on a regular basis, as long nails are painful for dogs when walking and running. Their teeth should also be brushed regularly to maintain their oral hygiene.

Chinooks are a double-coated breed that tends to shed at a moderate-low amount. However, there are times of the year when they shed heavily (brace yourselves for a fur storm!). But they, being good with grooming, can make do with regular brushing to ensure that they don’t shed so much throughout the house.

Chinook Dog Training


Training a dog is the first and foremost responsibility of a dog owner. Proper training ensures that your dog grows into a well-mannered creature. Depending on the breed and the training technique, it can be hard or easy.

Chinooks are easy to train and interact with. Training classes and early socialization are recommended by dog experts for all Chinook puppies.

The best trick while training a Chinook Dog is to use positive reinforcement techniques. Like other northern breeds, these dogs also like to dig in the yard.

Chinooks have a habit of getting excited and jumping up to face their humans. This can be a little problematic for some people, and dogs should be trained early on not to adopt this behavior.

Chinooks are an outgoing and confident breed. And this trait can be used to turn them into guard-dog. It depends on the proper socialization and training of the young puppy.

black chinook dog


Chinook Dogs were initially bred by Arthur T. Walden in post-Gold-Rush days to be the most physically strong and swift of their kind. But its inception can hardly be called the most interesting part of its history.

Having touched the brink of extinction more than once, this resilient and enduring breed has seen its best and worst days.

Yet despite it all, they are now surviving and thriving as one of the rarest American breeds. Chinooks have tremendous brawn and speed. They are the most loving and playful creatures bound to fill with colors the life of everyone who is lucky enough to have them.

If you want a canine companion with you during your outdoor activities, such as early morning jogging and mountain hiking, you have got yourself a friend in this sled dog!

But look elsewhere if you want a dog from the more aggressive side of the canine kingdom, as these creatures were not developed to be guard dogs.

You can contact reputable breeders or visit a shelter home to get your hands on this adorable being. Make sure to ask for health clearances before buying your new pup.

We hope this article led you to consider getting a Chinook puppy to turn your house into a home!

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Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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