Chinook Dog Breed

Country of Origin: United States
Height: Males 23 to 27 inches, females 21 to 25 inches
Weight: Males 70 pounds, females 55 pounds
Coat: Double coat with medium-length coarse, close-lying outercoat and thick, soft, downy undercoat; neck ruff
Colors: Tawny; black and buff markings|also fawn, gray-red, palomino, red-gold, silver-fawn, black, black and tan, buff, gray and tan, white; also black mask; also white markings [AKC]
Registries (With Group): AKC (FSS); UKC (Northern)

Origin and History

The Chinook breed is named after a single dog: Chinook. He was bred by the breed's founder, Arthur Walden, at his Wonalancet Farm in New Hampshire in 1917. Walden was an active explorer and wanted a dog with speed, power, endurance, and a good temperament. He started with a direct descendant of Admiral Peary's team and bred the dog to a Mastiff-type female. Chinook was one of three pups in the litter, and his intelligence and abilities quickly distinguished him from his littermates. He became Walden's constant companion and the star of many sled-dog competitions. He even accompanied Admiral Byrd's Antarctic Expedition in the late 1920s.

After Walden's death, the Chinook came under the care of several different kennels, all dedicated to the breed's preservation. By the early 1990s, a group of breeders formed Chinooks Worldwide (CWW) and actively sought official breed recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC). The club eventually changed its name to the Chinook Dog Club of America (CDCA). While the all-American Chinook is still a rare breed, this sled dog, with his incredible history, is alive and well today.

Personality Profile

Chinook fanciers will tell you that their breed has the fortitude and courage typical of northern breeds combined with a personality that is atypically affectionate. He is calm and a willing and eager learner. He is, however, first and foremost a working dog whose talents include sledding, pulling carts, carrying packs, search and rescue, and other physically and mentally demanding activities.

Care Requirements


Consistent but moderate daily exercise, which can include a fast-paced walk, is necessary. His exercise needs should be met through participation in some kind of activity or sport, which will keep him sharp and content in body and mind.


The Chinook's double coat requires only regular brushing to keep shedding under control but otherwise takes care of itself.

Life Span

The average life span of the Chinook is 12 to 14 years.


The smart and responsive Chinook is easily trained to do almost anything, from competitive obedience to work around the house or farm. He can be pushy, but with clear direction and positive reinforcement, the Chinook will easily master whatever his owner wants him to do.

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