Chinooks come from a single ancestor, Chinook, whose father was a large Mastiff-type mixed breed, and mother was a “Northern Husky.” Amazed by his combination of strength and speed, owner Arthur Walden bred him with Belgian Sheepdogs, German Shepherd Dogs and Canadian Eskimo Dogs, then bred offspring that had his look and general characteristics. They came close to extinction in the early 1980s when the only breeder at the time passed away. Fanciers from Maine, Ohio and California saved the breed, and there are approximately 800 registered Chinooks today, with only about 100 puppies born each year.
Playful, dedicated and eager to please, they’d make lousy guard dogs. They are calm, non-aggressive, and would rather hang out with their owners than run too far away in open areas. Chinooks are also intelligent and dignified, so they need to be well socialized to people and places to avoid reserved behavior as adults. Most love children, and are very loyal; they are a member of the family. They need to know who the top-dog is, but are loyal, friendly and even-tempered.
A thick, double coat with a downy undercoat and coarse overcoat in their signature tawny color covers a muscular frame. They have broad heads with brown or amber almond-shaped eyes, and their ears may be up or down. Slightly webbed feet have lots of fur, even between the toes. The tail is broad at the base and tapers to a point, and hanging down with a little cure at the tip, or held high in a graceful sickle-curve when the dog is alert.
They just need to know what you want from them, and they’re happy to oblige. They are sensitive souls, so positive reinforcement techniques are the way to go. Redirect unwanted behaviors, be consistent, and you’ll have a trained dog in no time. An untrained Chinook will be strong-willed, and possibly reserved with strangers.
Grooming & Care
Chinooks need brushing daily because they blow their coats twice a year, but still shed on a daily basis. There will be hair everywhere, from under your furniture to all over your clothes, and frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. They also tend to have thick nails that grow fast, so keep them trimmed.
Genetic health problems are rare as there are very few breeders and they’re working hard to keep the breed healthy. However, the problems that can pop up include eye abnormalities, hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism (retained testicles), spondylosis (a spinal condition), and excessive shyness.
Arthur Walden's lead dog, Chinook, is the most famous!
|Challenges||Hard to get your hands on. Major shedders, possible diggers, and not interested in retrieving games.|
|Height||21 to 27 inches|
|Weight||55 to 70 pounds|
|Life||10 to 15 years|
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