Dog Breeds 101: Chinook

Dog Breeds 101 – Chinook
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.0

The Chinook originated in the state of New Hampshire during the early 20th century and these hardy, intelligent and loyal dogs were bred to be outstanding athletes. They don’t like to be left alone for long periods and thrive when they are part of a pack. Chinooks vary greatly in size but generally, they grow up to 25 inches tall and weigh approximately 60 to 80 pounds. [1]

Arthur Tradwell Walden from Wonalancet, New Hampshire is the man who created the breed. It is said that the entire breed can trace their origins to one male ancestor, named Chinook who was Walden’s lead dog and stud. Chinook was a cross between a Husky female and a Mastiff male. He stood out among his litter due to his good looks, temperament and working ability. All his puppies shared the same traits and a new breed was born. [2]


The Chinook was once hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s rarest breed because at one point, there were only 28 Chinooks alive. After that, several groups attempted to save the breed from extinction and they were successful but Chinooks are still rare today. The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club and is in the process of seeking recognition from the American Kennel Club. [3]

Just like their northern ancestors, the Chinook has a gentle and friendly temperament. This sled dog loves to engage in intense physical activities such as hiking and jogging. Taking it out on a daily walk or run is ideal and it also needs to be allowed to roam off-leash in a secure area. These dogs are not into games of fetch and playing in the water is not their thing. They love to dig around the yard but this behavior is can be corrected through consistent, positive reinforcement training. [4]

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