Chinook

Working Group

Photo of Chinook dog with Arthur T. Walden, the man who created the breed

Height at Shoulders

Females 22-24 in, Males 24-26 in

Weight

Females 50-65 lbs, Males 55-90 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Chinook originated in 1917 thanks to an adventurer, Arthur Treadwell Walden of Wonalancet, New Hampshire. In 1896, Walden joined the herds of prospectors heading to Yukon for the Klondike Gold Rush. During the 6 years he spent there, he gained experience as a sled driver and became familiar with sled dogs. Upon his return to New Hampshire, he decided he wanted to breed his own sled dogs. It is believed that he crossed mastiff-type dogs with Belgian Sheepdogs, German Shepherd Dogs, and Canadian Eskimo Dogs. The resulting puppies were effective sled dogs as well as gentle companions. Walden named the breed "Chinook" after his lead dog who died on Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr.'s 1929 Antarctic expedition. After Walden's death in 1947, the breed almost went extinct, but was eventually brought back by breed enthusiasts. Today, they remain one of the rarest breeds of dog.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Chinooks will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆

★★★★★

★★☆

★☆☆

★★

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★★


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★★★


Noise Level

★★☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Too friendly to be watchdogs or guard dogs 

Most are big-time diggers

Smart, quick learners, but will take advantage of any gaps in training or consistency

Can be reserved with strangers and independent (especially females)

Some are silent but most are very vocal, not necessarily by barking but by making a variety of awoo's, whines, etc.