Chinook - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The first Chinook dog had a unique American lineage, coming from a female Northern Husky and a dog from the North Pole. Although the puppy didn’t resemble its parents due to its mixed-breed father, it was named Chinook and eventually became the namesake for the entire breed. Legend has it that this intelligent dog accompanied Admiral Byrd on his mission to the South Pole in 1927. In the early 1900s, this dedicated pup set records for time, distance, and cargo weight. The Chinook breed is considered rare because only a small group of dedicated breeders have been responsible for its propagation.

These passionate breeders have contributed to the limited spread of the Chinook dog, making it a special and sought-after breed.

Below, we look at Chinook dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Chinook, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and much more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Chinooks!

Dog Breed Chinook
Size Large
Weight 55-90 lbs (average)
Height 21-25″ (average)
Location United States
Ancestry Husky, North Pole Sled Team Dog
Date of Origin 1900s
Group Sled Pulling
Life Expectancy 11-15 years
Price $800 – $1000
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The original “Chinook” was born in 1917 on a New Hampshire farm owned by Arthur Walden, an author and explorer. The name “Chinook” refers to warm winter winds. Chinook, the puppy, was considered the father of the breed and was a “sport,” meaning he didn’t resemble his parents. Although he didn’t resemble his parents, his offspring inherited his coloring, size, and other general characteristics. These offspring were bred for the strength of larger freight dogs and the speed of racing sled dogs. Originally, the purpose of this breed’s line was to pull sleds. Chinooks are a rare breed, with only a small number of breeders raising them. In 1966, there were only 125 Chinooks in existence. The breed faced near extinction in the 1980s but has made a comeback in recent years. While they were once considered working dogs, they are now more commonly seen as companion dogs. However, they still excel at working in a harness and are highly obedient. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1991.

🐕 Chinook Appearance

The Chinook is a big dog with floppy ears that is often tawny in color. It is hard to predict how the ears will appear until the puppy is around six months old since some of these dogs have upright ears. The medium-length coat has a thick, velvety undercoat underneath its harsh, outer coat. Their tawny hues range from a lovely reddish-gold to a pale honey tone. They are a distinctive-looking dog that may have dark tawny to black markings on the nose and ears, as well as markings on the inside corners of the eyes. Their almond-shaped eyes frequently create the impression that they are intelligent. Some dogs may have buff markings on their tummy, toes, neck, snout, and cheeks. When the dog is relaxed, its long tail falls down; nevertheless, when it gets aroused, it is carried upward.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Fawn, White, Black, Gray

Fun Fact: Chinook dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Chinook

The Chinook’s ancestors were herding dogs and mastiffs, and the dog shares these traits. However, they are wary of strangers. They should be maintained in a fenced yard since they may roam. Chinooks get along well with both kids and other dogs. However, they are not watchmen. Even though they seem a little wary at first, this somewhat timid dog usually doesn’t bite. They don’t seem to bark a lot; instead, dogs frequently communicate by whimpering or producing “woo-woo” noises. They are extremely energetic dogs who love to go biking, hiking, and running with their owners. They might perhaps become effective therapy dogs. They dislike the water, and while they like to be active, they become bored playing fetch for an extended period of time. They may also dig in the yard if they are energised and passionate. Highly clever, it is advised that you start your puppy’s training the moment you bring them home by being consistent and stern. Without the right training, they can develop into aggressive dogs; some experts even advise getting them professional training as soon as possible. They are eager to please and take to instruction well.

🤝 Are Chinooks Friendly or Aggressive?

Chinook dogs are usually good with other pets and have an average level of friendliness towards strangers. They are also known to be very kid-friendly and enjoy being around children. When it comes to cats and other dogs, they have an average level of friendliness. Additionally, Chinooks are considered to be one of the top breeds for elderly individuals.

This breed is known for being:

  • Dignified
  • Alert
  • Friendly
  • Responsive
  • Calm

🐩 Chinook Care & Maintenance

The Chinook does have a double coat, and depending on the temperature where the dog lives, it may be rather thick. (If the dog lives in a cooler area, such as the northern United States, their coat will be thick; if they reside in a warmer environment, such as the southern United States, their coat won’t be as thick. ) They shed rather readily, so brushing them once a week is essential. The recommendation is to just take a bath once every six months, according to specialists. This robust dog will undergo a shedding cycle known as “blowing coat” twice a year. The dog will require additional brushing during this period, which will last three weeks. You should clip their nails once a week since they grow fast. The benefits of consistent tooth brushing extend to overall dental health. If they receive regular exercise, this energetic breed may live contently in an apartment.

Chinook dogs have a moderate shedding level, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. By regularly brushing them, you can minimize the amount of hair that they shed. The extent of shedding can also vary based on the dog’s overall health and breed characteristics. As for bath time, it is recommended to give Chinook dogs a bath every 3-4 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $1.50 – $1.90 daily, or approximately $39.00 – $52.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Chinook dogs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 10 miles per week, which equates to about 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Chinook dogs have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

❤️‍🩹 Chinook Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Chinook Dog Breed can be:

  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed

While minor concerns include:

  • Excessive Shyness
  • Eye Abnormalities
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hormonal Skin Problems
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Seizures And Spondylosis

🤧 Important: Is Chinook hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Chinook.

⚡ Chinook Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Chinook a great choice for families with young children?
The Chinook is a great choice for families with young children because they are gentle and friendly. They are known to be good with other dogs and with children, making them a suitable companion for kids.

Is the Chinook breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Chinook breed is not considered suitable for apartment living as they are very active dogs and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, and biking. They require a yard to roam and exercise properly.

How much exercise does a Chinook require compared to other breeds?
Compared to other breeds, Chinooks require a significant amount of exercise. They are very active and enjoy engaging in physical activities with their owners.

Is the Chinook breed known for being good with other pets?
Yes, the Chinook breed is known for being good with other pets. They are generally friendly and can get along well with other animals, including other dogs and cats.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Chinook?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Chinook include the Labrador Retriever, Boxer, and Golden Retriever. These breeds are known for their friendly and easygoing nature.

What are the common health issues that Chinooks are prone to?
Chinooks are generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and allergies. Regular vet check-ups and proper care are important to ensure their well-being.

Are Chinooks known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Chinooks are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train compared to some other breeds. Consistent, firm training from an early age is recommended to prevent them from becoming headstrong.

Are Chinooks more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Chinooks are not particularly prone to separation anxiety compared to some other breeds. However, like any dog, they may experience some level of anxiety when left alone for extended periods. Proper training and socialization can help alleviate this.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Chinook that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Chinook that are suitable for people with allergies include the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and Portuguese Water Dog. These breeds are known for their hypoallergenic coat and minimal shedding.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Chinook are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Smaller-sized dogs similar to the Chinook that are best for individuals or families with limited space include the Shiba Inu, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Cocker Spaniel. These breeds are smaller in size but still require regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Is the Chinook breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Chinook breed is known to be good with children, including those with special needs. Their gentle and friendly nature makes them a suitable companion for children of all abilities.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Chinook?
The grooming needs of the Chinook are relatively low compared to some other breeds. They have a dense double coat that requires regular brushing to keep it clean and prevent matting. They are moderate shedders and may require more frequent brushing during shedding seasons.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Chinook dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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