Chinook breed was first developed at the tail end of the 19th century
by adventurer turned musher Arthur Walden. Mr. Walden combined the strength of
a mastiff-type dog with the stamina and pulling power of Greenland Husky, which
resulted in a sled dog that quickly became well known for their all-around
sledding ability as well as their pleasant and affectionate nature. While the
breed nearly became extinct after Walden’s sudden death in 1947, breeders who
were particularly fond of the Chinook were able to restore the breed’s numbers
and they have since been named the official state dog of New Hampshire.
The dog sport of Skijor is a Nordic sport that was designed for Arctic sled pulling dogs, like the Chinook. While there are other versions of Skijor in which an individual can be pulled by a vehicle or horse instead of a dog, canine Skijor is generally the most well known. The Chinook breed was developed by adventurer Arthur Walden, specifically as a sledding dog, making them ideal candidates for this sport. Chinook dogs are typically very friendly animals and while they are certainly powerful enough to Skijor individually, they are also friendly and cooperative enough to work together in pairs as well.
Chinook breed dogs are best known for their pulling ability and their stamina, but they are very intelligent animals as well who enjoy working closely with their human family and learn quickly. They are more than capable of learning advanced obedience commands, also known as conformation, they are rarely shy or fearful in nature and due to their outgoing character, they tend to enjoy the attention they are given when they are in front of an audience. These qualities make the Chinook breed an ideal candidate for advanced obedience competitions where they are likely to thrive and may even excel.
Agility training is a cooperative dog sport in which a handler, most often the dog’s owner, directs their canine companion through a series of obstacles. The performance is judged not just on accuracy, but also on speed, and can be very exciting for both members of the agility team. Most Chinook breed dogs were bred for speed and stamina and they tend to be very agile for their larger size as well as being very sure-footed, even in slippery situations. They are also very people oriented and quick thinking, traits that are particularly beneficial to dogs who wish to participate in agility trials and competitions.
Canicross is a dog sport in which the dog is harnessed to their human partner’s waist or hips. This allows both the human and canine team member more freedom to move, giving them each a more effective workout.
The Chinook breed was specifically developed as a sled dog and due to their strength and stamina, they continue to excel in that capacity today.